Saturday, November 13, 2010

It cuts like a knife

One of our kitchen knives is missing. It's a knife from a nice Hoffritz set my wife and I got as a wedding present, but that was almost 22 years ago, so it's not a huge loss. At the same time, though, it was a knife I used very frequently, so I'll miss it. It wasn't even a regular knife. It was a small knife with a curved, almost hook-like blade. I used it for lots of things, including opening packages. I have no idea what could've happened to it. Maybe it'll turn up somewhere.

The reason I bring up this missing knife is because it brings back memories of some of the worst of times involving my son. A few years ago, not too long after our son's unsuccessful overdose attempt, another one of our kitchen knives went missing. We looked and looked, but couldn't find it anywhere. Eventually, though, we did find it. My son had it hidden in his bed. He was using it to cut himself. "Cutting" is something that is more common among troubled teenage girls, but some troubled teenage boys do it, too.

We were pretty alarmed to discover what our son was doing. It was another one of those "Where did we go wrong?" moments. It's tough to see the self-inflicted, bloody letters that spell "SIN" cut into your kid's bicep and not feel at least a little bit of guilt about it. That incident led to my wife and I actually hiding all the knives in the house for quite some time. We were terrified that the cutting would lead to something worse.

In any case, I was doing dishes a while ago and was washing some knives. While I was washing the knives, I kept thinking about my son and the cutting incident. This happens pretty much every time I wash the knives. Or use the knives. In fact, just seeing the knives triggers the memory. The same way that just hearing the name of a certain restaurant triggers memories of my drunken father getting into a horrible argument with my mother at that restaurant when I was a kid. Or the way the smell of an idling lawn mower brings back happy memories of my maternal grandfather--one of my favorite people ever and my son's namesake--who owned a lawn mower repair shop.

It's fascinating how the mind works. How little things can trigger memories, good or bad. I love to cook, so I use those damn knives a lot. So I think about my son's cutting a lot. Which kind of sucks. I wonder if that trigger will ever stop. Somehow, I don't think so. Oh, well.

1 comment:

  1. It is amazing what will trigger our memories. I hope that someday you can look at a knife and not be reminded of those times. Until then, I understand. I have a long list of trigger words related to my son.