Part 5 of 6 by Peter Wild

You were at once a different creature: the wayward, contrary girl I’d fallen in love with was gone; suddenly, out of nowhere, you were docile, gamine, obedient, a girl out of time. If I came home from work in a mood, if I lashed out or barked at you, for whatever reason, whether it was deserved or not, you just took it, like a dog brought to heel. I couldn’t work it out, couldn’t work you out, had to keep asking you whether you were alright, whether we were alright, whether everything was alright – and each time I asked, you smiled sweetly and said yes and of course and why wouldn’t I/we/everything be alright? I tried to not let the change bother me (I tried to bask in all of the attention, luxuriating in the peace and the quiet, open and receptive to your many ministrations – you, the pliable doll) but your sweetness eventually provoked me beyond all measure. Over a period of days and weeks and months, I grew more and more cruel, taunting you and mocking you and hurting you in every devious way I could in order to shake you up and make you fight back. But there was nothing, nothing beyond your sweet, confused hurt, your bruised acceptance of whatever I threw your way, your stoical martyrdom – and that wasn’t the worst thing, not by a long chalk.


Peter Wild, author of Deerhoof, Part 4, makes his online home at peterwild.com. Part 6, the conclusion, arrives on Thursday, March 29th.

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