The Carver.


Wednesday morning at 5 am by curlytops

He carved. By profession. By character. Everything he did had an element of cleaving to it; a sense of tearing in two.

And he fascinated her. Interesting people always had an uncanny ability to lure her in and she knew she was caving, but she did so anyway. Not exactly a moth to a flame – although these people tended to be dangerous. She was more like a phoenix, reveling in the fire that simultaneously destroyed her and gave her new birth.

She sat in front of him, cross-legged like a child, and watched as he carved a small block of wood, carefully curling back and peeling away layers of solid as if it were clay. She wondered at the delicacy of the process, the detail, the care. Transfixed by the sight, she could almost feel the knife on her. Painless cuts whittling away confusions of the past, creating new wounds that she could not yet feel the sting of. But she would. She knew she would. She was waiting for it.

She picked up the shavings and breathed in the smell of fresh cut wood. The scent disoriented her. It was so out of place there, so natural. She felt as if she should be in the woods somewhere. Isolated. She was surprised by a sudden urge to want to sink her bare hands and feet into dark, cool soil.

He looked back at her but continued carving – sure and unhurried. A shape was beginning to emerge but she couldn’t tell what it was. She could feel his half-smiling gaze as he watched her squint at his work in progress, trying to guess what it would turn out to be.

“It’s you”, he said, snatching the surprise away from her. “I’m carving you”.

Everything he did, everything he said had a sense of doubles to it. Double sided. Double edged. She could feel herself wince involuntarily.

I’m carving you.

And he was. In a thousand ways.

She watched herself emerge from the lifeless block of wood – the curve of her back, the angle of her shoulders, the smooth lines of her cheeks – and wondered at the parallel, the play on words in that deceptively simple phrase.

She was the wood. He was the blade. Molding her the way he wanted. Stripping her down until he reached her essence, slicing all her secrets from her, sandpapering away her flaws until she could not see them anymore. Comfort. Excitement. Relief. Fear. She looked at him and felt all those things.

He hadn’t made her but he’d somehow improved upon her. Although ‘improvement’ was a subjective word. But he would break her. It was just a matter of time. He would cut too deep, tear away too much. The stinging would start, the superficial wounds would deepen, she would bleed out.

She couldn’t risk it.

She takes a breath and blows out the air. When she stands up, for the first time, his deft movements show signs of hesitating. When she walks towards the door, he stops carving altogether.

“Was it something I said?” he asks. She smiles, a little apologetically, but says nothing.

Walks up to him and bends to kiss him. He tilts his head to find her mouth but she kisses his forehead instead.

Gently wrests the knife from his hands and walks out the door, onto the street.

Cold. Alone. But safe.

It’s done.



30 Comments Add yours

  1. Gehan says:

    sigh.. welcome back… :)

  2. RD says:

    Deep and rather beautifully written stuff Gypsy. I’ll now try to figure out what it all means.

  3. thebohemiangypsy says:

    Gehan: Thanks – I’d been too distracted to write but suddenly this just came to me.

    RD: The inner workings of my soul, R, the inner workings of my soul…….. :P

  4. T says:

    sometimes it’s better to risk it? but maybe not.

  5. The Unsilent says:

    G, beautifully written. Wow I missed your writing :)

  6. thebohemiangypsy says:

    T: Sometimes, yes. But I tend to love risks a little too much for my own good.

    Unsilent: :) Thanks babe!

  7. absent says:

    Heartbreaking post! Imperfections are what makes us human. We’re unique because of them. I learnt this the hard way. I was at one point, a carver myself…

  8. TheWhacksteR says:

    Awesome. The climatic moment to me was when she started thinking that she would bleed out.

  9. Icarus says:

    Strangely haunting stuff gypsy, i like your writing

  10. thebohemiangypsy says:

    Absent: I think we’ve all been on both sides. Although I (more often than not) am the confused child wondering how to react to the situation rather than the carver.

    Whackster & Icarus: Thanks :)

  11. Makuluwo says:

    Beautiful writing once again.. love the metaphor and it’s an unusual way of putting it that makes it so hard to forget.
    A story I might narrate to others! A Gypsy once told me a story, it would start. (:

  12. Sachith says:

    For some weird reason, I felt that this is the best piece of writing I saw on your bloggy. Maybe it touched me on some weird soft spot?.. i dunno.. anyways, Thanks a lot…keep them coming…. :)

  13. thebohemiangypsy says:

    Makuluwo: ‘A Gypsy once told me a story….’ – I love it!!! :D

    Sachith: Loving that you call it a ‘bloggy’, haha. Glad you enjoyed it :)

  14. Love it, love it, love it!

    So good to see you again. ;)

  15. Amazing says:

    Scarlett Johansson? You? I think not :) You have a passionate, beautiful little soul and your writing mirrors that to the rest of the world…..I only hope all the positive comments on your blog gives you the confidence to write for a larger forum …. more people need to become aware of your remarkable talent….:)

  16. thebohemiangypsy says:

    Serendib: Thanks :)

    Amazing: Darling you are my biggest fan and I love that! Hehe :) As for the writing, I’m still finding my feet since I haven’t been at it for too long. But maybe later :) Thank you!

  17. javajones says:

    Lovely! Keep them comin’.

  18. I was totally immersed in this post beginning to end! Amazing! :)

  19. thebohemiangypsy says:

    JJ & Scrumpy: Thank you. It’s nice to be back from the world of no-inspiration. But I feel it’s a brief stint only – I hate writer’s block :P

  20. Lost says:


    This is so beautiful and powerful and amazing. And describes everything I feel so perfectly.

  21. whendesireruns says:

    Lovely Gypsy! Absolutely lovely! I can relate… :) Although I hate to admit it, I was; you can say, ‘being carved’, it helped me up to one point, but it went overboard afterwards…

    VeryveryveryveryNicenicenicenicenicenice post! :D

  22. thebohemiangypsy says:

    Wheredesireruns: I just have to say it – you are TOO CUTE. Thank you :) And yes, it’s exciting up to a point. But the tendency is always to let it go overboard and that’s when the cuts start to hurt.

  23. Zephyr says:

    Wish I could write like you. The turmoil and anguish of the last 6 months has cut into me, that i no longer recognize myself. I want peace of mind and I think I’ll go in search of it soon. Please write my epitaph when I’m gone?

  24. thebohemiangypsy says:

    Z: You’re not going anywhere, you’re staying right here. Cuts hurt but the good thing about them is that they heal. With a little help from your friends, you’ll be okay. Take it from the Beatles, they know everything. And I’ll be there. I love you.

  25. I wanted to leave a comment earlier… but I had to let that huge swell of feelings it evoked subside first. Sorry to use a bad pun, but this post cut too close to the truth for me too. I let myself be carved until it hurt. And continued to be carved way after the pain was so great that all I felt was numbness.

    I just love the way you write. Makes me feel like I was in the story myself, sitting in a corner & watching it all unfold. Thank you for that. For being able to do that.

  26. thebohemiangypsy says:

    TMS: It’s nice that we both feel exactly the same way about each other’s writing :) I know just a little of what you’ve been through and I still can’t even fathom how you must have felt. I admire your strength and your ability to throw yourself into everything you do with an enthusiasm that’s as boundless as it’s contagious. Keep at it – you’ve got this far so I’m positive you can get through anything.

  27. citizenlk says:

    How long shall I wait for your ‘first novel’?

  28. thebohemiangypsy says:

    Citizen – Haha! Quite a while, possibly! But thank you for the compliment :)

  29. citizen says:

    oh… and on a different note, i think i worked it out myself – quite by chance actually!

  30. thebohemiangypsy says:

    Interesting. You’ll have to tell me how. Not on this blog obviously! :)

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