She was always stressed, always physically and mentally tired. Her multiple lives were tearing her apart. It isn’t easy to play, for a few hours, the role of a mother; later, that of a working woman; then that of a wife. There is no stopping to take a rest. Oh no! Resting is neglecting responsibilities. When one doesn’t play one of the various roles, chaos comes like a hurricane. She was obviously wearing herself out. Her situation caused her despair. She believed the best solution was to sink deeper, to let herself be consumed by work so she wouldn’t have to think about fatigue.
On her way to work, she noticed that all her colleagues looked sad. The boss had some bad news: the company went bankrupt. Oh my God! This was saddening news indeed! If she no longer has a job, how could she chase away her dark thoughts, her issues about tiredness? In the evening, while she was lying in bed, her husband asked “Honey, what’s wrong?” She didn’t answer him. She remained seated in her bed with a blank stare. She was thinking about a new way to lose herself in work, to stop thinking about this vicious cycle of role changing and fatigue. The fact that she thought was, for her, a sign of her downfall.
The next day, she began sweeping the already impeccably clean floor back and forth, up and down, north to south, north-east to south west. She prepared a grandiose breakfast fit for a banquet, yet the only person she needed to cook for was her ten year old son. He asked her: “Mom, why do you work when you don’t have to?” Oh you little pest! Children are truly like livestock! They are so ungrateful! They stuff their faces, run around and scream like animals. They only think about themselves. And also, livestock produce milk, eggs, meat and leather whereas children only bring headaches and fatigue. The mother, continued her machine-like activities without answering her child who had forced her to think, to tread heavily.
The following night, she continued her chores but with more zeal. She didn’t even have time to go to bed last night. She no longer needed to. Her husband came down the stairs and saw an atrocious mess: the food was burnt, cake mix was running down the walls, the sink was overflowing, wet laundry was lying around on the floor, and many screws, gears and springs drew a path leading to the basement. The husband followed the trail and saw his wife. We was no longer thinking. She was metallic grey. Sparks flew out of her shoulder, her arm was hanging and the lid on her stomach was open. On the inside, he saw some wires instead of intestines and instead of a heart, a stone.
Note: I wrote this story in 2007 in French under the title “Mécanisation”. I presented it on stage at Montmorency college for a stage production called “La fête de la lecture” in the same year. It was meant as a tribute to Normand de Bellefeuille’s “Votre appel est important”. It was the first story I have ever presented in public. After having seen my performance, two very close friends of mine encouraged me to become a writer. I will forever be grateful for their support.