The Husband Stitch (Machado)

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The Husband Stitch
Summary of the book
Microsummary: A woman with a mysterious ribbon around her neck navigates her life being a wife and a mother, dealing with her husband's obsession with untie her ribbon until it leads to her death.

A woman fell for a man before he recognized his feelings for her. She met the man at a neighbour's party when she was seventeen. She was drawn to him and saw a potential partner in him. Her beauty and innocence captivated him.

The Narrator — narrator; wife and mother; beautiful, loving, mysterious ; she has a green ribbon tied around her neck that she does not allow anyone to touch.

She was certain that they would get married. One evening at a party, she kissed him, and their relationship intensified. At one point in their relationship, the man asked about her green ribbon tied around her neck. She warned him not to touch it.

The Husband — husband and father; worker, loving husband and father with an obsession over his wife's green ribbon.

They eventually got married and had a son.

The Son — son of the narrator and husband; inquisitive, kind, respectful; the only one who respects the boundary set by her mother regarding the green ribbon.

My son is a good baby. He grows and grows. We try to have another child, but I suspect that Little One did so much ruinous damage inside of me that my body couldn’t house another.

During these years, despite his wife's warnings, the man's curiosity about the ribbon never ceased. He realized that he could never truly know his wife unless he knew the secret of the ribbon.

Their son grew up and moved out. The man's curiosity reached its peak, and one night, he undid her ribbon without her approval. The woman's head fell off afterward.

If you are reading this story out loud, prepare a soda can full of pennies. When you arrive at this moment, shake it loudly in the face of the people closest to you. Observe their expression of startled fear, and then betrayal. Notice how they never look at you exactly the same way for the rest of your days.

The narrative ends with the woman's rollaway head, stating that she feels lonelier than ever and apologizing for the unresolved question about the nature of her ribbon-protected place.