When we argued, he said slowly, I lost control. I—I couldn't speak. He closed his eyes in agony as he felt his jaw tighten. Finally, after a long and shaky exhale, he said, I hate myself like that.
Daphne's face filled with concern. Unwanted, pitying concern. Are you all right? she whispered. Can you breathe?D-d-d-d-d— It was a far cry from don't pity me, but it was all he could do. He could feel his father's mocking presence, squeezing at his throat, choking his tongue.
Simon? Daphne said, hurrying to his side. Her voice grew panicked. Simon, say something!She reached out to touch his arm, but he threw her off. Don't touch me! he exploded.She shrank back. I guess there are still some things you can say, she said in a small, sad voice.
Simon hated himself, hated the voice that had forsaken him, and hated his wife because she had the power to reduce his control to rubble. This complete loss of speech, this choking, strangling feeling—he had worked his entire life to escape it, and now she had brought it all back with a vengeance.He couldn't let her do this. He couldn't let her make him like he'd once been.
He tried to say her name, couldn't get anything out.
He had to leave. He couldn't look at her. He couldn't be with her. He didn't even want to be with himself, but that, unfortunately, was beyond his meager control.Before I can utter a word, she says: Wow, that’s a new one."
She was premature, I lie. She’s older than she looks.I’m Dieter, she says, holding out her hand. I take it and shake.
Would you like a tour of Sunny Side?I want to say Hell no, but I nod politely, and Dieter leads me through a set of double doors that she opens with a key card.