I called him Mr X and he lived in the drains coiled under our sink. I was a fearful and sickly looking pale child and had the over active imagination that forbade me to go outside often and interact with other children. As such many lonely days were spent with nothing but the burbling brook of the plumbing for company. It is in these first early days when my primordial consciousness came swimming to the surface of the murky mirror of my infantile experiences that I first encountered Mr X. My mother was still alive back then. I never understood the chats she’d have with my estranged father over the phone or the doting little whispers she’d make beside the sink in the dead of night. All these night time curiosities were obliterated by the cool beam of daylight that ran across my bedroom and into the very essence of my personhood during that dreaded worriless morning when my mother disappeared.
It would be easy to retreat to the bloody screaming specifics: running into my kitchen to see half of my mother disappear into the hot tap as blood sprayed everywhere and she screamed for dear life. Easy would be the descriptions that were burned deep and irremovable into my young mind. Easy would be the little dribble of viscera dripping into the washing up bowl like red coalescing crusts of wobbly muscle tissue.
None of that is difficult. The part that’s difficult to describe is the utter inability to leave that house The raw primordial need for safety and sanctuary was kicked into overdrive and I felt a biting attachment to that house after that. Even when father passed away a few years later and left me the money for options I remained in that little house with the sounds of Mr X creeping through the sewers in the dead of night. I couldn’t leave even as I was gripped, I assure you, by a cold form of terror the likes of which I’d never felt.
Suffering was my existence with Mr X. Life was the knowledge that any tap, any shower, any bath plug could spell my violent death. Mr X didn’t kill me though. I think he found me too fun to toy with.