Saturday
Dec052015

Sworn

Eric G. Wilson


 

Who the woman was who was in my house, I forgot. If I ever remembered. If you don't know who she is now, how do you know if you knew who she was then?

I say the word "know" as if you know what I mean. Surely, you do. But to be extra clear—for without clarity, what do we have?—I shall remind you that to know someone means that if you threaten her, you know how she will react.

This is what someone taught me who once lived in my house.

But you want me to tell you what happened. Such is the purpose. I know that. Perhaps you are right now thinking, "Get to the point." You mean that ironically, I imagine, for I am already discussing the point, am I not? The point being, when did I know what?

 

Why you ended that last session so abruptly, I know. You told me you would suspend this activity entirely if I did not tell you what you wished to hear.

As if a document like this should reinforce your bias. Surely you know that the purpose of this document is either to reveal to you a truth that has thus far escaped your awareness, or to demonstrate to you the false pretenses under which you have been laboring.

I realize you are most interested in that woman who was in my house. This subject is tedious to me. I have confessed to you repeatedly that one day I woke up and a woman was in my house. It's not that I saw her first thing that morning. I felt her. You surely know what I mean.

You are walking down a street at night and you know someone is following you. You turn around quickly and you see no one, but yet you know that someone is there.

You just know it, in the same way—to take another example— you know someone is spying on you. The person, perhaps a person who lives in your house, talks to you as if she knows you, asks you about your nightly walks and so on, but all the while is watching closely your every move in order to report your activities.

That's how I knew that a woman was in my house that morning, as I might know someone is following me or spying on me.

You might ask, "Why did you not immediately seek this woman out, this woman in your house, and get to the bottom of it? Inquire why she was in the house, what her disposition was, and the like?"

The answer should be obvious. I didn't pursue this woman in my house because then she would have known I was in the house.

You see, just as I knew she was in the house, even though I did not know who she was, I also knew she didn't know I was in the house, and very likely did not know who I was, either.

I remained in the room where I sleep. I waited for this woman to appear in my room. When she did, I would find out who she was and know what to do. Essential to my plan was that I remain unknown to her.

 

You've made yourself very clear. This is my last chance to make known what it was I did to the woman in my house whom I did not know. I also understand what will happen to me if I do not report what I did, if anything, to the woman I did not know.

Let me begin at the beginning. I woke up. A woman was in my house. I did not know this woman. She did not know I was in the house.

Exactly when this woman appeared in my room is unknown. I was still in the place of the room where I sleep, knowing that remaining in this place would keep her from knowing I was in the house.

She was standing three feet from me. She was looking in my direction. She was looking right where my eyes were. She was performing the action of "I recognize you."

Meaning she looked smugly satisfied.

Because I did not know her, or if I did I forgot who she was, I could not predict how she would react when I did it, if I did it. This is unclear.

In any case, I did what anyone would do when a woman he doesn't know is staring where his eyes are. I closed my eyes.

When I opened them again, this woman was in the place of the room where I sleep. Her body was touching mine. I could tell by how her flesh felt that she probably once had a name. I remembered that I, too, had a name.

I looked where her eyes were. I had to ascertain that she no longer recognized me. Her eyes were wide open, as before, but no smug satisfaction now. She did not know me.

I know this because she remained in the place where I sleep for a long time, a very long time, and she never knew me.

She is still there for all I know.

If you would let me return to my house, to the place where I sleep in my house, then I could tell you. I would know by feeling of her flesh. Last I knew, it was no longer soft and cold. It was rough. It was rough and black and it was hot. It burned me.

No one knows how it burned me.