Deflating by Colin O’Sullivan
He used to think about her all the time and these days he hardly thinks about her at all. Maybe he is past her; maybe he needs a new one. For a while though she had been everything. He used to rush home from work as quickly as he could, and she was always there for him, waiting, passive, but somehow he believed: eager. All those times he discarded his clothes so quickly, so violently, and jumped on to the bed to be with her, to give himself to her, violently, completely, for there was no other way.
She still waits for him, she hasn’t changed, it’s him, it’s Robert that is changing. Robert needs new.
This has happened before: Robert changing his mind about things. It had been the same with Louise. She had been his type, silent, constant, and then, suddenly, he had enough of her, simple as that. Flung her out of the house, just garbage, didn’t need to give an explanation, didn’t need to defend his brusqueness. He is a cold man sometimes, he knows this about himself. But he can’t form too much of a bond, it just isn’t right.
Robert is tired of it all, dejected, like an old bicycle tyre that has a slow puncture, not yet flat but getting there. Maybe it’s the job, all those people looking for new glasses, everybody wanting to have their eyes better, and not only better, but prettier too. What is it all about, this seeing? Why does everyone want to see so clearly? Some things in the world don’t need so much focus, you can get by; so far Robert has lived his days like this, everything doesn’t need to be so real and vivid. He’s going to start over, be rid, just dump her, get a new one, there are plenty others.
He is a violent man, he knows this. He has a temper. He gets frustrated. Now that he has decided he no longer wants to be with Maria, well, it’s much better to dispose of her savagely than to just say goodbye. After a long day selling glasses, telling people they look lovely and that their eyepieces (spectacles!) suited them, he takes a long sharp knife to the bedroom. Maria is there, staring at him, her eyes wide, her mouth open, aghast, and he leaps and plunges the knife into her and watches her deflate, the air hissing out of her, wrinkling up, or is it down; the garbage collectors will have another laugh, a latex limb hanging out under the lid, or a tuft of mock hair loose, eyelashes hanging off, they’ll make their usual jokes and roll eyeballs and Robert will go again to that emporium and get a new one.