I’m the meat, you’re the knife

Paul Theroux

Read time: about 2 minutes

I’m absolutely loving 365stories. If discovering a new author each day wasn’t enough I have the joy of reading the authors that I always wanted to read but couldn’t get to their longer fictions. Paul Theroux is one of those authors who I have been eyeing since quite sometime but haven’t really picked up a book before. The New Yorker thankfully offers us an opportunity to read a couple of short stories by the authors that are absolutely stunning! I had a good start with ‘I’m the meat, you’re the knife’.

Cover: I’m the meat, you’re the knife

It is the story of Jay. Jay has come back to his town of childhood after year for his father’s funeral. Everything is familiar to him but a lot has changed. The lives around have changed and so has his high school English teacher.

Murray Cutler used to teach English in Jay’s school. Jay may one day owe his writing career to him. But now Cutler is in hospice with a few visitors. He is paralysed from top to bottom. He can speak only a few commotion-ed words and only his hearing ability is working. Jay visits him in the hospital after learning of his condition. Thus begins a series of sessions of Storytelling. Jay tells Cutler a story each day he visits him.

Each of these stories are cruel is nature. They are full of sexual violence. Each story develops a frown of the patient’s forehead instead of healing him as stories should. And one fine day the dear patient dies.

I absolutely loved the story as it tells you the power of Story telling. There is a man’s revenge that came too late. Forgiveness is a finality that is explicitly portrayed here. Some can afford to forgive, others don’t have the luxury.

It is good start for those who want to get familiar with Theroux’s great writing. I am more motivated to pick his novels now.

Read the story here for free.

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Veena Choudhary

An avid reader and history fanatic.

Mumbai, MH merakipost.com