The weather seemed it would snow any moment. We were sitting inside a café.
I took some time off to go on a trip with my wife, but we ended up not going anywhere, leaving me with a few more days of vacation.
We reached a conclusion to end our marriage of five years and four months.
눈이 쏟아질 것 같은 수상한 날씨였다.
우리는 카페에 앉아 있었다.
나는 아내와 여행하기 위해서
휴가를 낸 상태였지만
결국 우린 아무데도 가지 못했고
휴가는 여전히 며칠이나 남아 있었다.
우리는 5년 4개월의 결혼생활을 끝내자는 결론에 다다랐다.
Interview by literary critic Jeon So-yeong
A person’s memories of a shocking or scary experience often remain in her subconscious mind. They are recalled from time to time, causing her great fear and pain. This is called a trauma and an individual with a traumatic experience tends to repeat actions that are associated with that painful event. In this story the wife stitches a pattern of spilled water on a piece of black fabric. That seems to represent the amniocentesis that she had experienced. She keeps stitching that pattern obsessively like Arachne, a female weaver in Greek mythology cursed to become a spider and weave forever.
But she started to change. She poked her fingers on the needle and often bled from them. The threads landed carelessly, not on the designed pattern. But my wife didn’t stop. She kept on sewing like the cursed Arachne. The more she sewed, however, the messier the embroidery became. She claimed that every piece of needlework had a meaning but couldn’t explain what she was trying to depict.
It became increasingly difficult for me to watch her do needlework. Whenever I saw her stitching on something, I felt myself being strangled to death.
언젠가부터 아내는 이상해졌다.
자주 바늘에 찔렸고
손가락에서는 피가 넘쳐 흘렀다.
실은 그려놓은 도안을 넘어 아무 곳에나 불시착했다.
그래도 아내는 멈추지 않았고
저주에 걸린 아라크네처럼 바느질을 해댔다.
그럴수록 천 위에 새겨지는 것들은 점차 형태를 잃어갔다.
아내는 그것들이 모두 의미를 가지고 있다고 했지만
자신이 무엇을 표현하려는 건지는 잘 말하지 못했다.
차츰 아내가 바느질을 하는 게 불편해지기 시작했다.
바느질하는 아내의 모습을 보고 있노라면
질식할 것 같은 두려움이 나를 짓눌렀다.
Sohn Won-pyung (Born in 1979, Seoul)
: Debuted by winning the 10th Changbi Prize for Young Adult Fiction with “Almond” in 2016
Won the 5th Jeju 4.3 Peace Literary Prize in 2017