Italy Label Magazine Short Story: Broken
Now why don’t I get to enjoy any of that?
Being a bed is hard work. What a pack of lies that bastard who made me promised—that I’d experience a lifetime of tactile memories so powerful, few other furniture would ever come close. Nail by nail, part by part, I was hammered together with immense effort and meticulous nitpicking. Craftsmen and their obsession with using their acquired expertise from apprenticeship, carrying all the pride of the guild from the past. After all, I wasn’t just an ordinary bed, I was the pinnacle in the league of luxurious beds. So much for me serving a greater purpose in life for a greater good, providing endless nights of restful sleep and sweet dreams.
A comfortable warm place where one spends almost half their lifetime; a space that bridges the conscious mind and subconscious. For all it’s worth, I didn’t think I’d double up as a fucking tool, and now my leg is broken. A broken leg, sweet dreams and copious amount of sex that I don’t get to partake in. This isn’t really what I’d expected. All that vigorous motions that makes me creak; there isn’t a day I go by without a sore throat and my spine is starting to come loose and I certainly hope they don’t give way. It’d be unimaginable to be ill with a bad throat and be rendered an invalid.
It would be nice if he’d be more selective in his choice of playmates that he lays down upon my sacred body. His taste for chunky women of late has taken toil on my back, I’d prefer he fucked them missionary rather than let them straddle on top. The grotesque images of oversized chunks of meat bobbing like a buoy in waters, incessant wailing and cries of ecstasy. I’ve gotten much better at measuring his pace with different partners. The chunkier they were, the more pleasure he took in delaying the whole process of mating, which in turn prolonged my pain. Sex on my body is back breaking work.
From air stewardess types to librarians and secretaries, he had them all. He eventually settled on this chunky one, and subsequently broke my leg. An overweight champion who ate all the time, before, during and after sex. She had an excellent sense of rhythm that made sex almost like a musical masterpiece peppered with staccato beats, crescendo and allegro moments. I creaked along as accompaniment percussion, till that day they broke my leg while they were at it. That really hurt, but he had the courtesy to hammer it back into place. A broken leg is never as good as new, but I’m glad that I was not dismantled and chucked down the chute.
She snored, and every intermittent moment between sleep and sex was filled with food. Her voracious appetite for food grew on him and his interest in sex waned. This made me feel good about myself, as he was building his relationship with me, rather than fucking that piece of ham day and night. One day, she had an epiphany and decided to go on a strict diet and be an evangelist to the obese, to rid the world of fat people. As she got fitter and slimmer, he started to take less interest in her. She was getting leaner and more attractive as the days passed but he no longer found her exceedingly attractive, as he liked his women chunky.
He hadn’t seen that coming even though they communicated less and less. Of late, he slept all over the house; on the floor, in the bathtub and on the sofa. Everywhere, except on me. How I wished I could reach out and touch him and cradle him to offer some warmth and comfort. One morning, he woke up and got to work fervently. He cleaned up the house and picked up all the bits of food that she ate. He cleared out the fridge and cleaned up the entire flat and collected the bits and pieces of food, the last traces of her and placed them in a box. I thought he’d recover. Once and for all he’d rid all traces of reminders of her, but I was wrong.
He went through the entire house and collected all her belongings she left behind. He was bordering on hysterics as he overturned tables, ransacked drawers forcefully and tore the curtains off its hinges. He started to rearrange the furniture in whole house and moved me into the centre of the living room. This was rather disconcerting because I was previous placed by the heater, and I was enjoying the warm comfort before being moved into a stark living room littered with miscellaneous items on the floor.
I was caught in a shipwreck of a living room stripped of any other piece of furniture. I couldn’t figure out what he was planning to do to me and I felt like a sacrificial lamb lain in a ritual. The atmosphere was melancholic and damp. The boxes of her belongings sat in the corner, with the rotting food particles coming alive with mould. A morose palette of colours of leftover food items from weeks and months ago, outlined in a haphazard greens, grays and blues of mould.
It wasn’t fair that I had to bear all the humiliation and painful memories of her. Day and night, he put together a collage of the food, half eaten, uneaten on my frame. I was also dressed in clothes, accessories and toiletries that she left behind; he was making me into a piece of art, a collage of her. As he nailed hardened pieces of bread and pasta into my bones, he buttered my feet with cream cheese and sauces. He put half eaten fruit, brown from oxidization on my face. He painted the nails in my body with a shade of silvery blue- “L’Oreal Jet Set nail polish.”
This food and objects collage, in loving memory of his lost love left me dirty, tainted and eroded my purpose of existence. I’d become a work of art, an embodiment of someone else. I’ve become nothing but an indelible memory. From the years we’ve been together, I had inevitably absorbed his energy and bits of his personality. We had an intimate relationship that was difficult to define beyond physical intimacy and state of rest.
I wished I could have done something to salvage the tragic and bitter end. I knew that he was slowly giving in to hopelessness and despair. His heartbeat started to slow down with periods of irregularity and his breathing, stilted. I knew he wasn’t going to make it.
He collapsed the other day and wasn’t found till months later. I cradled this stench of rotting meat with the love and care of a mother to a child. One should not underestimate the love of a bed. Old, creaky and imperfect, I have served my purpose in my love and devotion; I’ve provided him a place of rest from the best times of his life while he engaged in his carnal adventures, nursed him as he rested sick in bed till his last moments alive.
Sore from nail wounds, and the moldy rotting stench of the food collage, I knew it was time to throw me out. They never keep the dead’s furniture and personal items for fear that they’d come back.
Read the bilingual Italian/English version of Broken. in L@bel magazine.
creative writing, italy, label magazine, short story