The Paring Knife by Michael Oppeheimer


The Paring Knife


Michael Oppenheimer

    I found a knife under the refrigerator while the woman I love and I were cleaning our house. It was a small paring knife that we lost many years before and had forgotten about. I showed the knife to the woman I love and she said, "Oh. Where did you find it?" After I told her, she put the knife on the table and then went into the next room and continued to clean. While I cleaned the kitchen floor, I remembered something that happened four years before that explained how the knife had gotten under the refrigerator.
    We had eaten a large dinner and had drunk many glasses of wine. We turned all the lights out, took our clothing off, and went to bed. We thought we would make love, but something happened and we had an argument while making love. We had never experienced such a thing. We both became extremely angry. I said some very hurtful things to the woman I love. She kicked at me in bed and I got out and went into the kitchen. I fumbled for a chair and sat down. I wanted to rest my arms on the table and then rest my head in my arms, but I felt the dirty dishes on the table and they were in the way. I became incensed. I swept everything that was on the table onto the floor.    The noise was tremendous, but then the room was very quiet and I suddenly felt sad. I thought I had destroyed everything. I began to cry. The woman I love came into the kitchen and asked if I was all right. I said, "Yes." She turned the light on and we looked at the kitchen floor. Nothing much was broken, but the floor was very messy. We both laughed and then went back to bed and made love. The next morning we cleaned up the mess, but obviously overlooked the knife.
     I was about to ask the woman I love if she remembered that incident when she came in from the next room and without saying a word, picked up the knife from the table and slid it back under the refrigerator.

I heard this story on NPR last night. For some reason it brought me to tears. I thought I would share it.

~Noelle Renee


  1. I think part of what touches me about this story is the way the author refers to "the woman I love".  Sometimes when I am out with my child, I introduce myself as, for example, "Will's mom".  I don't need to label myself with anything else because sometimes, that's the true essence of who I am.  It the same way, "the woman I love" sums up for the author the most distilled description of who she is.  And after years of being together, what a lovely thing to be.

  2. I could not agree with you more my dear. It is a lovely thing to be, both
    Will's mom and a woman who is loved and you happen to be both :-)

  3. I don't know how I feel about it -- perhaps I will listen to it. 


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