Kneel down on my face if it makes you feel better if I am not deemed worthy of being in your eyes. You are only as alive as my bleeding corpse at your feet, if you inflicted your love upon me.
He is back with her … and he didn‟t tell me. Why would he, though? The other woman is not privy to that information but I am not sure that I even count as that anymore. It hurts. I‟m numb, though. I don‟t feel it as acutely as I should. I lie. I feel it like I mean it but I can‟t do anything about it so now I … I don‟t know … ignore my life as I know it. I am behind in my work and in writing my dissertation and I am in trouble because all I want to do is sleep and ignore everything and everyone and I can‟t but I want to and it‟s landing me in trouble and I don‟t care. I called in sick because I was too hungover to be bothered to get out of my bed and get up and lecture. And my people cared and I didn‟t. My students asked if I was better and showed sympathy and care and I didn‟t care. I was annoyed that they would intrude that far into my life.
Jonathan didn‟t even wish me happy birthday when he had made such a fuss that it was exactly a month after his. I‟m not generally big on birthdays but that hurt because I had made effort for his and he basically ignored me.
My doctor reprimanded me for not taking my medication like I should, because “if the shit hits the fan I‟ll have to admit you”. I asked to where and he said anywhere.
My body has forgotten how to function with my medication in it. I took my prescribed RDA and I slept. I imagine that is a small measure of what heroin would be like because it is a drowsy warm safe place where everything is muted.
I want to try heroin. I am addicted to stimulants but I am curious. Jonathan told me not to but I don‟t think he‟d care right now. He might have said that he hasn‟t thrown me away but he has. I am not even an afterthought to him anymore. I miss him. And I want to tell him that I miss him but I don‟t know what I can do about it because I don‟t want to be that attached person even though I am. My friends are all happy that it is over even though in my mind it‟s not quite over yet. Not until this is done. Meta-fiction, I have just admitted to writing this all down. That was never the intention but now I have to because I have an ulterior motive. I can‟t let him go until this is done. I need for this. I need that closure. Because once he sees this he will walk away without a shadow of a doubt, but at least I am honest here and I can say what I can‟t say to face. But he needs to hear it. He wouldn‟t read my writing before, but I think a book with his name as the title will maybe serve as a catalyst to
get him involved enough to bother. And then fuck off out of my life and regret ever knowing me because … it‟s not a nice thing to do, but I can‟t help myself.
I have never been shy with my body. Physical expression just makes sense to me. I am not shy to touch, but slightly less receptive to it, depending on the circumstance. I am giving with my body because I am not so in the least with my emotions, and to me the physical and emotional are apples and pears. The “giving of a body” is not necessarily sexual in nature. When I did Ju-Jitsu, I gave my body to my training partner to throw and lock and strain. In dancing, my body was given to my partner to lead and direct. In art, my body is given to my tattoo artist to be his canvas; to a photographer, my body is a sculpture that holds their possibilities of perception. And every now and then, I give my body to myself when I feel as if I‟m going crazy from feeling too much and then I‟ll use my body to cry my red tears.
Piercings, for me at least, have become my own form of Sublimation (a socially acceptable action masking an unacceptable desire). People judge me less for piercings than for self- inflicted scars. They don‟t ask “what happened there” or “why do you scar yourself like that” … mostly they stare until I meet their gaze and then they move along. At any given time I have an average of between sixteen and twenty five piercings in, on and around my body. I feel rather naked without them, and I think that they keep me sane. I met this boy with the saddest eyes. He was an apprentice piercer at the time, so he had to observe the piercings the other artist did, so he saw a lot of me, especially because my piercings tend toward the not-so-mainstream exotic and odd variety. In the beginning of my Sublimation process, I was fairly nervous of the artist, because I knew I could trust myself to hurt me, but trusting someone else is … not quite my forte. I did not doubt his skill, but I wasn‟t there for aesthetic modification, and I had a process which had a ritual that needed to be honoured. This process soon came to involve this boy talking to me for a while before the needle met skin, and sometimes he would hold my hand, understanding that there was more to me being there than acquiring some shiny jewellery.
At some point, this boy and I started speaking outside of the piercing process and we became friends. He unwittingly helped me to complete about four philosophy assignments; and all of the philosophical pontifications led to psychological ones. We began to share our emotions. And then he was allowed to do piercings by himself, and I gave him my body as well. And that was strange, at first, because I trusted him emotionally, but not physically. I could sense his tension and his focus was unnerving. The first piercing he gave me took a lifetime, because he was slow and methodical and because I was unused to him being so close to me, but soon enough he hurt me, and I didn‟t mind. He wiped up the blood and
admired his work and I sat quietly, thinking that his hands on my body felt rather … odd … and that they were warm.
We became adventurous in our piercings, facial surface piercings turned into the sternum surface piercing … which was an experience … I was nervous of that particular piercing. He had never done one before and he was unsupervised that day. It was also more significant in terms of our growing friendship because it would be placed right over my heart; and also because he asked me to take my top and bra off for him to do it. (I later found out that it could be done while I was fully clothed).
He asked me to lie down on the chair, and it happened in a moment. The anticipatory preparation felt like a lifetime passing by in slow motion, but the moment when the deed was done, it was only a moment, an instant, less than three seconds, and following that moment, the stinging lingered and every movement served as a reminder of the instant of infliction, every reminder bringing vivid sensory stimulated recollection; flashes of heightened memory, sights, sounds, scents, touch. His eyes appear bright in every recollection; his features appearing harsher in my state of unrest. The smell of him intermingled with the smell of disinfectant and latex and yet despite their abrasive odours, the smell of him filled my head and all I could do was to breathe him in. I felt his hands, but I did not look at them, for I was too scared, but I felt those hands wielding the various instruments of his torturous craft. I felt the cold, metallic grasp of the clamp and the sharp, searing, blinding pain of the needle as it slid into my skin and I felt the instantaneous relief once the needle was extracted and the detached pull of the metal being inserted into the puncture wound. I felt the area of the piercing as it came alive with a throbbing, dull ache and I felt the sudden, sharp sting as those hands cleaned and wiped and disinfected my bleeding body. I heard his voice, inquiring about my well-being and I opened my eyes to look into his, and shared a moment of intensely exquisite agony in which I shamelessly displayed my weakness and in which he engaged in it, and asked me to stay there with him for a while. I composed myself as he destroyed the evidence of the infliction. As the needle was disposed of, he offered me a tissue with which to dry my tears, and as I wiped away the evidence of my vulnerability, the moment had passed and a new moment was underway and we were in it together.
I left there in pain and confused. And neither of those feelings would change very much over the course of the weeks to come. The piercing was unhappy. And that should have been a major warning sign of the unhappiness to come, because piercings catch juju, and if it‟s bad juju, they reject the metal in an effort to get the bad juju out of the body. I didn‟t think that far though. I suffered with the piercing for a few days and then cut it out myself (it was Bioplast). It left a scar befitting its juju.
The last time he pierced me was awkward and strange. I wanted to have the jewellery in my lip changed from a ring to a bar. His hands on my face and on my lips brought back memories of that which made the experience far more anxious and unpleasant that it needed to have been; but then the juju appeared and made it necessarily worse enough to make that the last time that I would give him my body. When the ring had been removed, the hole started to swell closed almost immediately (which almost never happens) and he could not find the hole inside of my mouth through which to insert the new jewellery. He stuck a needle through the front of my lip to try and find its path … but he made a new hole that was off-centre. He tried again. He tried twice more until he finally decided to just make it a new piercing altogether. I nearly passed out. A labret piercing is sensitive when done once, quickly. Four times is a bit much. And he was fumbling, frustrated and unsure. Four times. I burst into tears and punched him for his incompetence and for hurting me that much. There was a limit to how much pain I‟ll let others inflict upon me and he had reached it. I spit up blood as he apologised for his mess … for that night … for everything. His eyes were sorry, as he knelt down in front of me. His closeness was so familiar that I recoiled.
He stopped working at that tattoo parlour, and I haven‟t heard of him since I left that day. Looking back at it, I should not have felt so guilty for what had happened. When all of the preceding events are examined, their culmination into what transpired that night was really just a matter of time. We both took advantage of a moment to feel something more than just on the outside, and each gave up a body willingly, in a moment that was golden. Golden moments only become tarnished when they are remembered in the waking hours when reason takes over from feeling, and forces darkness into light.
The boy with the heavy eyes is different to him but, not quite, but he is. And I could feel his breath on me, in me, four days ago when we mutilated my vagina some more. It was sore. I lie. I cried and I yelled and he said he was sorry. He has said that he is sorry every day since I saw him and he smiles when he says it and I smile back because I felt him breathe on me and I liked it. We also have our little rituals, and we also have a distinction between whether we‟re doing it because of needing it or because we want something aesthetic. In the beginning there was more aesthetic motivation than anything else but then I met Jonathan and all that changed. I often go to him and say that I don‟t care what he does so long as I feel it. I don‟t look at the marks he draws on me and I don‟t look at the piercing afterwards. I just leave. I am not exactly sure how he feels about this. I want to ask him but I won‟t because I don‟t want to hear him say that he doesn‟t really care one way or the other. I don‟t think that he‟ll say that but I‟m sensitive to rejection right now and I would hurt if he, my person who called himself my “Mr Fix-it”, would stop fixing it and make it worse. I doubt that he would but …
The girl who reads faces is silent today. She has her own pain today. She can‟t always share mine and she‟s probably tired of dancing for me.
Jonathan used to dance. So did I. I started again and it makes me feel better. I have some grace then. He told me to feel through my dancing. And said that we would dance together and that I shouldn‟t hurt myself so badly because we have so many dances to dance together yet. I think he has forgotten that. I think he has forgotten a lot of things. I don‟t think of him as a graceful person. I can see him doing power moves but I don‟t see him in arabesque with particularly good extension.
We‟ll see, though, when we illustrate this, I‟ll make him dance. I‟ll make him move with me, and feel him and I‟ll make him make me trust him. He said that he wouldn‟t let me fall on my face and I‟ll hold him to that, and hope that he sees how little trust is left between us because I know how that hurt the boy I did a pas de deux with in last year‟s show. I don‟t mean not to trust them. I don‟t mean not to give my body freely, but lately I have become very aware of gravity and I don‟t want to fall.
I don‟t want to fall further. It hurts too much on tired feet. But dancing a solo is so lonely.
I have somehow come to know a lot of lonely people, myself included. It seems somewhat strange to be lonely at my age, which is slightly older than that of my lonely friends, which makes their predicament worse or stranger. But there‟s more to the loneliness than just wanting an attachment and a warm body. There‟s a loneliness that comes with not wanting to be alone with one‟s craziness, neuroses, hopes, dreams, failures, wishes for a different life. And we all have that kind of loneliness, even though it manifests slightly differently within each of us. And somewhere along the line we found that in each other‟s company, we might not be as alone as we had thought. It took a while before any of us admitted to loneliness, or even the threat of loneliness that was driving us secretly insane. But we all ended up in the same place; like a kind of “- Anonymous” meeting, where admitting our state would lead to our eventual recovery.
My particular brand of loneliness and fear of silence strikes at 3 a.m. when I wake up alone. The confusing part of this is that I choose to sleep alone because I don‟t feel comfortable actually REM sleeping and dreaming (and drooling and snoring) in front of anyone else. Sleeping and crying offer up the same amount of vulnerability to an observer in my eyes. Sleeping and sex are apples and pears; I don‟t find it particularly distressing to send a boy on his way afterward, even though they might not always understand. Sleeping is probably
a person‟s most honest activity. There is no facade to hide an emotion; if they‟re frightened or sad they show it blatantly, and that is what I find so disconcerting about the process. I try so hard to be fine in front of everyone everyday that to know that I might not be fine and that somebody will see me like that puts me off. At night, I put on music, or a DVD set to repeat, so that I don‟t fully fall asleep and see myself in a less-than-fine state. For the most part I try to avoid sleeping altogether until my body gives out. My record is nine days, after which I slept for three days straight. I tend to average about four or five nights before I get tired enough to put my pride aside.
And this had worked for me for years until the boy who might as well be a girl came along one day. He was always on the periphery of my attention, until the day he also tried to step in and be my floor after the epic fuck out of the one before. It was reasonably late in the evening when we began our conversation and it lasted until sleep became a necessity. He got into his bed, and I followed, fully expecting to spend the night staring at him because I would have to listen to him breathe until he wakes up. That was not the case though, as I settled into his arms and slept for more than eight hours with no nightmares or fear of weaknesses showing. We slept in silence, and woke in silence. He told me that he might not be able to fix my problems, but that he could provide a good night‟s sleep which would give me a fresh perspective from which to approach my problems. When I was tense and aggressive, in a manic phase which we refer to as being “in the crazy,” he held my hands the entire time while I slept. Unfortunately, he is not around anymore, and that memory of sleeping quietly in his embrace makes me realise how alone I am every time I‟m in the crazy with nobody to hold my hand.
Where my loneliness is a physical manifestation, the girl whose innocence I am killing is more psychological. She told me that she is always on facebook and mxit so that she can stay connected, because when she‟s alone, it is as if the people in her life have just stopped existing. Her loneliness is a version of the Quantum Physics argument about the cat disappearing from the box when the lid is closed and the observer can no longer see it. When she closes the door to her room to be by herself, she no longer perceives the people in her life. Seeing the cat and whether or not the cat is actually around and willing to be around are apples and pears (flambéed). I understand that kind of loneliness. I can understand how people stop existing (as far as you‟re concerned) when they aren‟t around you because that‟s what happens: the person they are in your presence stops being there until they are around you again.
Everybody is someone to somebody, but not always the same someone to themselves. I am a floor to one boy, but not at all to someone else … I am someone‟s “big sister” and
someone else‟s submissive and another person‟s Domme; but I am never all of these things at once, and the things that I am are mutually exclusive in terms of the situation which calls for what I need to be for someone at that time. The girl whose innocence I am killing and I used spend a lot of time together to avoid being by ourselves. I don‟t think that either of have admitted that much, but we have spoken about the loneliness that we each have. Her loneliness, I think, also stems from being so far away from her loved ones. Her comfort zone is a long drive away from where she currently stays, and sometimes, when life happens in a bad way we miss the people that make us feel safe, and not having them around causes a sense of isolation. She had also lost a floor, a long time ago. The girl whose innocence I am killing and I have a mutual quasi-acquaintance-friend-of-a-friend-interesting-random boy type child, known as The Bait (because he is young) who is apples and pears all by himself. He has amnesia. He knows nothing of himself and his life prior to eight months before the present time. While he does not appear to be lonely, I think that he must be, because he does not even have himself to be around most of the time. The philosopher David Hume said that what constituted a person‟s selfhood is their memory, and if a person cannot remember who they are, they are no longer the self that has been forgotten. To not know yourself must be lonely, because the person staring back at you in the mirror has no self … no memories of hand-holding, no memories of family, no memories of what made him happy or sad, of whom he loved. He spends a lot of time intoxicated, probably to avoid not remembering, and to mask the loneliness that we all feel, since a drunken bunch of friends will easily profess love and hold hands and even cry, listen to stories … fill a void. And even though that scenario is temporary, it is more than being with the person you are without even being yourself. I feel a little less lonely when I think about this boy‟s predicament, because I choose my loneliness out of pride and fear. He does not have a choice. He is the cat in the Quantum box that nobody is observing.
He lives a life that is secret, even to himself. He can‟t help it. He is not complicit in it and it has no motive behind it. He is not broken in a dark way that makes him not tell what lies behind his face and his lips.
But I know that some secrets are kept by innocents. I know that the stories their bodies tell are secrets they wish nobody will see. Scars left by an abusive parent on a back that might have broken under the weight of the lashes rained down upon it. A wife with a fractured zygomatic arch wishes that the bruise under her eye will stop screaming her pain out loud to the world. The girl whose eyes shine tries to blink back secrets of heartbreak. The child whose innocence is stolen holds herself tightly from the secret that keeps opening her bedroom door at night. The heroin addict injects between her toes so that she has no secrets in the crooks of her arms.
A girl walks through a door into a reception area of a clinic. She knows that she should have asked him what he wanted to do, instead of forcing her own frightened will upon him and what was growing inside of her. She should have told him. But there she stands, all alone in that cold, clinical, sterile and unwelcoming waiting room, and while she wants to call him because she is scared, she does not touch her phone. The waiting room is quiet, but around her there are surreptitious glances and hushed whispers. The receptionist takes her name and asks her how she intends to pay. Cash. She fills in the Private Patient form, and in a moment, a confidential transaction has been completed. Murder for hire. A single tear rolls down her cheek as she sits down, stiff and uncomfortably in a hard green plastic chair in the corner of the room. Most of the women there have friends or lovers or spouses with them, but she is there all alone, in secret. He doesn‟t even know that she was doing it that day … that there was anything to be done at all. She tries to breathe but her chest feels heavy and tight, gripped by an unfamiliar fear. She feels cold. She feels nauseous. Her name is called out by an unfriendly voice and she rises to stand on unsteady legs.
Her feet move, but she does not recall following the voice into the procedure room. Her body stands in the doorway and the door soon shuts behind her. She feels the cold, metal handle under the palm of her hand. She is trapped, in secret, in that little room.
It happens in a moment. The anticipatory preparation feels like a lifetime passing by in slow motion, but the moment when the deed is done, it is only a moment, an instant. And following that moment, the stinging lingers and every movement serves as a reminder of the instant of infliction, every reminder bringing vivid sensory stimulated recollections … flashes of heightened memory, sights, sounds, scents, touch … the eyes of the doctor appear bright, his features are secretly masked. The smell of him becomes intermingled with the smell of disinfectant and latex and yet despite their abrasive odours, the smell of him reminds her of another smell. She feels his hands, but she looks away from them and their examination and their wielding of the instruments of their craft. She feels the blinding pain of the needle as it penetrates her skin and her womb, and the searing burn of the poisons that are being injected into her core. She feels the area of infliction coming alive with a throbbing, sharp cramp as the toxins started to take effect. She hears his voice, inquiring about her well- being and she opens her eyes to look into his eyes, and she did not want to see the cold eyes of the doctor. She does not want him looking into hers and sharing her secret. She closes her eyes as the tears come.
I am manic. The words flow too fast and my thoughts are scattered and I don‟t know why I am saying what I‟m saying but I need to get it out because I feel it rising like bile and it is bitter. The pills kicked in fast. They have a half life and my sporadic ingestion seems to not
have unbalanced me too much for them to swoop in and save me from something that I didn‟t know was happening. I need to go off them again so that I can hush. I apologise to the girl who reads faces for my crazy and she doesn‟t seem to care one way or the other. The girl whose innocence I am killing doesn‟t like me when I get like this. Neither does Jonathan. Neither do I.
Jonathan came along and was supposed to be over in a night and a morning and to get out of my system. And then I wanted more and I thought for a little while that I had gotten what I wanted. But …
I don‟t think that people generally wait around for their flavours of the week to get over their dirty days in order to return to a more promising relationship. In my experience they move on to their own dirty days and leave the flavours behind to find something deeper. It‟s a bit ass-about-face, but Nataniël speaks the truth when he says that “when you‟re done with your dirty days, you won‟t find me I‟ll be gone”. It‟s an unfortunate situation if the people involved are soulmates who end up becoming strangers.
I‟m not sure if they can ever reconnect, because they don‟t emerge from their dirty days as the same person who entered into them. I know this from experience. So ultimately, the line “I‟ll be gone” may very well refer to the self. I was definitely gone to all who knew me after getting involved with a boy who I can‟t remember but can‟t forget. And I took something of him with me when I left. (not his innocence). I guess that I‟m curious to see if I can find what I lost of myself if I were to see him again. That is, of course, if he would see me, since we did not part on particularly good terms.
Most of my dirty days are a blur. I remember some faces but very few names. What remains vividly imprinted in the memory of my skin is the touch of various people. When I see them now and we touch hands or hug hello, I remember the more intimate moments of skin touching skin. I have a creepily accurate recollection in my skin which occurred after I attended a workshop on Developmental Touch Therapy in what seems like a different life. There we were practically regressed to childhood through techniques of touch a nd movement that attune the body of the person being touched to their subconscious memories that they have suppressed over the years. I found it a little bit traumatising because (ironically) I have a bit of a trust issue regarding being touched in ways that I can‟t control. And this is not the type of therapy that you can stop halfway through due to discomfort because it is a process that needs to be seen through until the end. Anyway, I remember people through touch.
This boy‟s touch was surprisingly gentle. And his hands were surprisingly soft. With him, there was such a potent moment of anticipation before a kiss, drawn out when we were breathing as one, looking into each other‟s eyes, skin tingling and warm with quiet, knowing smiles. I‟m not generally a big fan of kissing, but with him the intimacy necessitated it. Even though our days were dirty, we had an intimate connection that went beyond trysts and silent embraces. He‟s a very quiet sleeper. He‟s also a silent fighter … he lowers his eyes and says very little, but what he says cuts deeper than any knife could. That‟s the unfortunate side effect of intimacy, becoming aware of the other‟s vulnerabilities because it provides powerful and destructive weapons. Words aren‟t even necessary to hurt the other, since a touch can become cold and distant, maliciously devoid of feeling, draining the life of the person it comes into contact with. In the end that is what happened between us.
There have been many other boys after him, nameless faces and faceless names, mostly momentary lapses of judgement, as dirty days seem to be filled with. But I remember him as clearly as if he never left. I remember the places we used to go, and I see an echo of him when I go to them now. Maybe if I see him now all he‟ll see is the ghost of me, gone after what we had, lost in the remembrance.
And then there was Jonathan. And it was morning and it was evening and it was eight months later.
There was a time before Jonathan and before the Others and before me when I thought I had learned something, and I thought I understood.
Cathartic moments often strike during the exposition of a tragedy when the protagonist realises his hubris and hamartia, and tries to atone for them. They break down the foundations upon which we build the idols of ourselves that stand tall in our imaginations. They make us human in our own eyes. In a tragic play, there‟s usually a tumultuous storm before these moments of clarity, and once the hero sees his flaw, order begins to be restored in nature. It‟s the pathetic fallacy that shows the observer the internal mechanisms of psychological processes. When these moments happen in real life, there‟s a different kind of pathetic fallacy involved; the actions and reactions of the people around the hero show signs of thunder and cloudiness. Sometimes their tears fall like rain.
Amidst the emotional storms left in the hero‟s wake, there will be an observer, who sees the effect that the hero has on the psychological balance inside of the people around him. Like the blind Tireseas, the observer has an intuitive vision and insight that lets him see the havoc caused by the deeds and emotions of the hero; that lets him see into the hero‟s pride and downfall without acknowledging the facade placed before him, because he couldn‟t see the mask even if he tried. Sometimes I think that there are these types of “blind guides” in everyone‟s life. But some are blinder than others. Sometimes somebody says or does something without knowing how it may affect another person, much in the same way as a butterfly flapping its wings in China and a hurricane being carried on its wings‟ wind all the way to Texas.
I also think that as the hero changes and grows, as his pride and flaws mutate and warp themselves into more destructive and malicious elements, he will encounter different blind guides throughout that process of transformation. Whether or not he recognises them is dependent on how open he is to his catharsis. The guide cannot show the hero flashing signs with big red letters that scream “Insert your life-changing aha moment here!” I think the blind guides to heroes must be the most frustrated people on the face of the earth, knowing what they know without being able share their knowledge because it is not their place to cut another‟s journey short.
The blind guide isn‟t only present in times of tragedy though. There is also an observer to life‟s comedy, but the hero tends to be blind to the observer when he takes on the role of the Fool. He speaks to the others in the hero‟s life whereas the observer in the form Tireseas speaks to the hero. That‟s probably why there are tragedies and comedies that play out in
each of our lives; to have the plot explained to both the characters and the audience so that the character development will make sense when the curtain has fallen and everybody leaves the theatre with only the memories of what they saw.
Two years ago I encountered a blind guide of my own. A blind guide who did not see me, and shared his knowledge with a crowd of people he did not see. This seems very paradoxical to the scenarios painted about Tireseas and the Fool at first glance, but his telos was not to be an observer, rather it is to be the pharmakos, the magician that enthrals and intrigues all of those who see him and more importantly, those who hear him. It is exactly because he is not the blind guide tearing his hair out at the hero‟s ignorance and his inability to slap the hero through the face into a realisation that he is able to say what a hero needs to hear. The magician can choose not to see those looking up at him, while the blind guide‟s blindness is imposed upon him, and so they stand in opposition to each others like apples and pears.
The magician doles out potions that the hero can choose to take or to ignore. The potion could be a poison or a cure or a narcotic. The potions are made up from an alchemical mixture of words and emotions and memories, so they are volatile. The magician takes no responsibility for what the potion will do once ingested by his audience, because his nature is to enthral and bedazzle. After all, who believes in magic without the power of a hallucinogen fuelling perception, and so his words, his magic, his volatile mixture of a little part of who he is fills its consumer with the feeling of weightlessness that morphine and opium provide in equal measures. It is only when the consumer awakes from the intoxicationthathewillknowwhetherornothehasbeenpoisonedorhealed. Andifhewas healed, his catharsis will shortly follow.
Two years ago I ingested a potion fromout of the mind, the mouth and the hand of a pharmakos. As the moisture streamed from my eyes I did not know if I had been poisoned or drugged, and I hoped for the latter because then at least I would be able to rest assured that the feelings would pass and that life would return back to normal. If I had been poisoned, at the time, I would not have felt too upset if my mind were to die. The pharmkon worked its way into my blood, into my mind, like heroin in the veins of my spirit, turning a part of me stone and bringing the rest of me to life.
I tried to erase the words from my thoughts as I watched him weave his spells, but in my mind, his poison was injected deeper … so deep inside my mind that I could taste it as it brought visions to life inside my mind‟s eye; painful, vivid imagery, unbalanced and indescribable. As I watched him towering over his audience, my mind raced through thoughts of seeing it, and I thanked god that I‟m not being it, because it cannot be real. But
the poison of the words that emanated from his chest and heart and mind collapsed my spirits veins as they passed through them, even as my mind tried to close off its hearing, straining to break free from the spell that had fallen on it, trapping it on the floor. The incantations of the spell stole my breath away.
The reason for the spell‟s powerful effect on me is simply that I recognised the poisons entering my body as the poison that was leaving his. A small part of him may have felt the same as I do, and if he could expel it, I would take it in, in an unconscious effort to connect with words that spoke my life in a few sentences. So I stopped trying to fight the effects of the poison, and I became its seeker. In the face of fear I decided to live and let the poison give me life. In that moment when I surrendered to the music, and listened with my soul, I had my catharsis.
I saw myself as nearly transparent, just a likeness of the reality that I used to believe in. I saw clouds of anger and hatred and resentment swirl in a hazy grey around my fragmented face wearing an upside-down smile. I saw the fragments coalesce into plaster masks of joy and sadness which disguised its abused insides. I reached out my fingertips, and touched my face, feeling it as I had never felt it before. Feeling those tears meant that my features were more than just part of a textured sculpture that had no right to show signs of wear. I looked down at the masks lying newly discarded at my bare feet; distorted masks of suffering that grin maniacally from ear to ear in the face of their new abandonment. I realised that I needed to forgive myself and to be more understanding of the people around me, because I cannot live in total isolation for fear of being hurt or misunderstood. I realised that I needed to atone for my sins that I had committed out of pride. I needed to accept that I was flawed and that other people were flawed too. I finally saw that flaws were forgivable.
Throughout my life I have had many blind guides and numerous Fools who walked beside me on my way to nowhere, and I always turned away from them, even when they were practically reaching enlightenment for me. Looking back at it now, they all helped me to get to the point where I would be willing to listen to the words that they had been saying all along. I just needed a more subtle approach. I needed inflections and expressions, lowered gazes and musical accompaniment to inferences of pain and joy all mixed into one note. Looking back, they mean more to me than I ever realised. And I am sorry for being blind to them for so long. But the poison killed off my blindness and restored my soul‟s sight.
Two years ago I became intoxicated with a remedy that I have been seeking for more than a decade. Three weeks ago I sat down and started writing all of this down because there was a creative energy in my mind that made my hands so restless that they itched. With every set of words that resonated within me, the remedy got absorbed deeper into me. With every
painful memory that I have been able to put down in black and white, some colour returned to the transparent face in my imagination. With every mistake that I have admitted to, I have begun to make reparations. I lie.
If my own words have the power to even momentarily intoxicate, I wish to send them out into the air around my pharmakos and to Jonathan … in order to pay a tribute to the wisdom and truth that intoxicated me through him. I want to tell him what it means to me that those words were ever spoken, because if he kept quiet, and did not enchant and enthral people, I would still be on a path to nowhere, unable to face myself every day in the mirror of my mind. I want to tell him what it means to me that through his words I found the strength to break, to cry, to pray and to raise my eyes from off the floor. Through his words I found forgiveness and in his face I found something to raise my eyes to, up off of the floor where my dull, transparent self was lying.
If my pharmakos would drink of my pharmakon, I would not need to tell him what he means to me … he would hear a part of me singing it from a place that has been newly built in my mind. And my song would thank him.
In a sacred space I found a voice, my voice, and remembered how to cry.
I sang a broken requiem as tears fell freely from the eyes which had not gazed, before, upon the hope that stood before me.
And the louder I sang, the more my voice was subdued by the choir of judges whose tongues spoke an unutterable truth which tore down my shrine stone by stone as each syllable stung in my flesh like a thousand slivers of sharpened ice, carving a statue out of me.
And lying wretchedly on the rubble, I accepted that the sacred could only be vilified in the sanctity of the tongue of the one who looked past the pathetic truth on offer before him, one who failed to be human when all my song needed was a harmony, instead of an aria in opposition to it.
In a sacred space I crawled back into an empty existence, devoid of sanctity, and whispered a confession which my judge could not hear, for his song rang so loudly in my ears that I could scarcely hear my thoughts.
And now, broken as the stones of my shrine, I raise a strangled cry. I offer up a prayer to any ear that listens to the music of my heart and I hope that an echo remains of it for my judge to hear, so that in that broken shrine, my voice will be the one to ring clear.
But that‟s all gone now.
Jonathan is deaf and dumb and blind to me. See no evil … what the eyes can‟t see … not that the eyes are even looking nor would they care.
Ow. I hurt.
This afternoon has been an afternoon of kinkiness. As I finished doing what my Master asked of me, she sent me a message asking me to help her take some naughty pictures for Jonathan. It‟s his way of starting conversation with her again.
“You owe me pictures and I owe you a fuck.”
I‟ll give him points for being straight forward.
She opened the door for me wearing crotchless panties, peek-a-boo bra and fuck off high heels. I giggle and walk to the freezer to put the ice cream away. (McFlurries after sex are amazing, just by the way). I love how I just find it funny rather than weird.
She blushes as she reads out his request for an arse shot. I hold out my hand for her phone. She hands it to me and leans forward on her hands and knees and sticks it out. Click goes the camera and the picture gets sent. She moves into the next position to be photographed: legs spread wide apart so all the piercings are on display. She rolls over again and spreads her arse cheeks. Click goes the camera and the picture is sent.
“Yum,” he says. He asks to see the whole outfit. I kick off my shoes and clamber up on to the bed to get a good shot of her stretched out. I laugh at how we both just automatically pander. Her face is two shades of red darker now. Click goes the camera and the picture is sent. She covers her face with her arms and starts laughing manically. His next request is one of her standing facing the wall. She sticks her bum out and strikes the pose. Click goes the camera and the picture is sent.
She tells him that this is the point where he thanks the friend who is taking these shots for him. He asks which friend and she replies the short, rude one (as that is how knows me). Weaddthepreemptive“andshewon‟tparticipateanyfurtherbeforeyougetanyideas.” He says he is wondering about my underwear and if it is as small as what I was wearing at the shoot. That was the day I met he who is now my Master, and he had made me strip for him so that he could put me in ropes. He had already put Jonathan in ropes. He, Jonathan, was on the other side of the room being photographed while I was being roped up; I hadn‟t realised that he had been looking closely enough to notice my underwear. She tells him that I am in fact wearing that exact underwear today.
“I want you to play with your clit and then put a finger inside and then two until you have cum running down to your ass.”
She cringes a little bit and thinks about how much this is going to hurt with her new piercing. I sympathetically cringe with her. She says that she doesn‟t want to do it and that she isn‟t turned on in the slightest. It is decided that this shall be faked. He wants process shots, thank god for stills and lube.
Fingers on clit. Click. Spreading lips. Click. Two fingers in. Click. Another finger. Click. And another. Click. All I can think is OOOOOWWWWWWWW MOTHERFUCKER!!!! Licking fingers clean. Click.
I‟ve taken all these pictures with a sort of “meh” attitude. I‟ve also been talking to Jonathan in between while she‟s been “busy.” He is pushing for us to “play” together. He has the Dom voice going on but it doesn‟t work on me. I don‟t like him so why would I want to pander to him? He wants ass shots now and she gets out her toy.
In it goes. Click. She yells as she pulls it out. We both think “fuck it.” He tells her to get creative and dirty for him and to send him more photos.
She opens up one of her capsules and pours the powder into a line over her pussy. Cocaine for the god king. A piecemeal offering. This is faked, so it is fitting that the cocaine is faked too.
She goes to shower and I continue my narrative of an imaginary masturbation to Jonathan.
I only realise now that Jonathan has seen me naked and I only now realise the significance of that. He says I get a star if I am telling the truth about wearing that underwear today. He also says that the underwear and hearing me cum at the shoot got quite the reaction. I blush at his kefi. I‟m not shy or innocent but this offends my sense of propriety. She is out of the shower and I hand the phone back to her. They talk for a few more minutes and she signs off.
The girl who reads faces looks at me and says that she doesn‟t like him. She says that she is sure he said dirty things to her because he knew I would see the messages. That stings, but this whole experience stings, actual pain aside, because our sex was always honest and now I lied. I didn‟t cum … I wasn‟t even wet. And it‟s not because of medication or the pain from the new piercing … it was him … usually the thought of him naked and hard is enough to send me streaming and hot and throbbing … but today, when he asked me to put on the lingerie and show myself to him I did it out of … obligation, I guess. I couldn‟t say no.
I feel dirty. I feel guilty. I feel like a whore. And I feel like a dirty, cheap whore because I had my friend take the pictures.
It was like a pornography shoot. And while she did it without flinching and said that she knows that I would do the same for her … it was wrong. Threesomes aside, sex and its constituents are not always for public display like this … I am an exhibitionist but I don‟t like my friends squinting down at my vagina trying to get a good angle for a photo.
Every now and then I tell him that I don‟t like doing porn. I don‟t always want to make it dirty.
I wonder what it would be like to make him masturbate until he came over and over and over until he was raw and then make him do it some more and telling him to make it dirty for me and make it hurt so that he couldn‟t touch himself for a good long while after that. Or pierce his cock and make him touch himself and then make him cum so he can feel the sting like I did today. I didn‟t tell him I had gotten the piercing, and asked him in an afterthought if he had noticed. He had. How nice. When I got it I told the boy with the heavy eyes that it was the first non-Jonathan-sanctioned piercing.
I call the boy with the heavy eyes and Jonathan by the same pet name.
It is neither sweet nor fitting but I do it and it is my little secret that they are so intimately tied together in my mind and in my loins, since they both know me more intimately than I know myself.
I want silence now.
I am annoyed and aggressive and I want to lash out and hurt something or someone and I know that what I would do is unforgivable. I hear how hard my fingers are striking the keys and I think that something will break at this rate but machinery isn‟t as sensitive as flesh and I want to hit someone‟s face until it mushes under my fist. I don‟t care who I hit. I don‟t fucking care who I hurt. I hurt and I hate myself right now.
I don‟t like feeling like a dirty whore. I know that I am and that I deserve to feel this way but I don‟t like it and I would scrub myself with a braai brush to get this out of my skin.
I have scrubbed myself raw before, when I felt like a whore deservedly and I can‟t believe that this had made me feel the same way. It‟s not as if he raped me. It‟s not as if I couldn‟t stop him and say no.
But I didn‟t. Of course I didn‟t.
I hate myself right now.
And I hate the noise and I hate the heat of my clothes and I hate that my feet are cold and I hate the pain in my vagina and I hate the taste in my mouth and I can hear the girl who reads faces breathing beside me and I don‟t like hearing other people breathe and I don‟t know what to do with myself.
Jonathan would say that I should walk on my grass. Fuck him. Fuck him. Fuck him.
I can‟t fucking do this. I want to scream and I want to bite something.
This is why I don‟t like my meds. They make me manic and then I get crazy like I mean it. My fuck-outs happen when I get like this.
I don‟t know what to do. I want to fucking break something. Break a face, I don‟t fucking care. I am burning up with anger.
And all I can feel is that dirtiness on my skin and I hear the sounds around me and it‟s fucking sensory over-fucking-load and I want it to stop.
I WANT IT TO STOP!
I have a friend once say to me that I am beautiful when I have an orgasm because I have such an expressive body. It bothered me that she watched as well but I kept silent and let her.
I hate that I am a whore. Jonathan probably only likes me because of it. And I am a whore he doesn‟t have to pay for and a whore who would do anything he wants.
No fucking wonder I got “taken advantage of” … no fucking wonder people don‟t believe me when I say no. No fucking wonder because I like it rough enough to bruise and bleed and send me off to the doctor with a BDSM indemnity form.
I deserve the treatment I get.
I deserve for it to hurt and I deserve for it to be scrubbed out of me until I bleed and scream and then get gagged and suffocate from lactic acidosis because my lungs gave up because nobody bothered to check that I actually liked what we were doing … but I don‟t matter … I will always fucking play along and then there‟s no problem because if you do what you will to me at least you are doing something to me and something is better than nothing and I hate rejection so I will do what you want me to do. I will be what you want me to be. Call me slut and I will strip. Call me dog and I will pant on my knees and drink from a bowl. Call me furniture and I will support your weight.
I am fucking pathetic.
I don‟t deserve the touches bestowed on my and I don‟t deserve Jonathan getting off on my images and what he thinks of me and that he knows that I think of him when I touch myself.
I don‟t deserve to touch myself. I don‟t deserve to say no. I am pathetic. I am dirty whore.
And the girl who reads faces is asleep beside me.
And I dream … I dream with my eyes open of an image I keep seeing and I know it isn‟t quite a memory but I can‟t shake it and I don‟t understand and I want it out of my mind. There‟s a baby crying … no, not a baby, a child … the sound is less natural than a baby‟s cry. There‟s a purpose behind it … a child‟s cry. There is a staircase. There is a dirty carpet under her, she can smell it. There‟s a child crying. She opens her eyes to a dimly lit room in a dimly lit house where she can see a wooden staircase. There is a couch next to her. She is on the floor. The sound drives nails through her head. There is a child crying. She tries to get up off the floor, but her arms shake and won‟t support her weight. Her breath is shaky as it leaves her mouth. Her nose is caked with dried blood and she can‟t breathe through it. Her eyes burn. There is a baby crying. No, not a baby, a child. There is a child crying … somewhere upstairs. She pushes herself forward on the floor with her legs, and manages to crawl in the direction of the staircase. She squints up at it, and tries to count the stairs. One two three … seven … twelve … fifteen. She makes out fifteen ascending lines. She raises her arms to the banister and sits up on the first step. She turns to face the direction the stairs are leading in and pulls herself up. One foot on one step. Then the other. One foot on the next step. Then the other. She counts as she climbs. There is a child crying. There are hands pulling her back from the stairs, grabbing her arms and wrenching them from her shoulder joints. She falls backwards, and hits the floor. The carpet burns her face and she feels her skin remain behind as she lifts her face. There is no one there … and I can feel the carpet burn on my face and I can‟t remember why I heard a child when I got it because there was no child unless it was me screaming and crying and I disassociated properly and … I don‟t fucking know.
I don‟t understand.
I‟m a whore with a cheek that holds a memory of something that is and isn‟t and that Jonathan touched so tenderly and that I want to bruise and throb and ache and swell and sting and burn and then I would smile and spit up blood over blood-stained teeth and then it would be okay because then at least my scarlet mouth would mark me as the whore that I am. Dulce et decorum est.
I want to tell you a story. In medias res …
… She got up off the bed, and took his shirt off, leaving her naked. She held it out to him, and when he just looked at her face, she put it down on the bed. She knelt down and picked up her own clothes, dressed, and walked past him. He turned, and watched her leaving, thinking to himself that she should never have been here in the first place.
By the time she was out of the flat, she leaned against the wall next to his door and tried to stop shaking. She drew her breath as slowly as she could, but the shaking made it hurt to breathe. She closed her eyes tightly and pressed her lips together. She breathed. In the pocket of her jeans, she found her phone. She dialled a number, spoke briefly, and within ten minutes, a white car stopped by the side of the road and she got into it.
The white car drove for half an hour, and came to a stop outside of an ill-maintained house, with a broken fence and a broken gate, and loose bricks lying around the driveway. The driver‟s door opened, and a pale young man in clothes that were too big for him walked awkwardly to the passenger side of the white car. She got out of the white car, and stood facing the young man eye to eye. “What do you have?” she asked.
“What would you like?” he replied. She smiled and led the way into the house, as if she had been here many times before … not even looking at the bricks that may trip her, but lifting her feet over them naturally.
The interior of the house was as worn as the exterior and it smelled of urine and vomit overlaid with household cleaner. In the living room there was a worn couch which was brown now but may have been of a different colour in a previous life. On the couch there was a man, an old man in stained white boxer shorts and a sleeveless vest. His feet were bare and his toenails were yellow. His knees were spread wide apart, and between them, on the coffee table in front of the couch was a pile of pills. He was counting them into small plastic bags. He looked up when he became aware of her presence, and he smiled a toothless smile, and his tongue ran over his dry lips. She smiled in return.
She should have been uneasy, being looked up and down by the old man in his underwear, but she saw the pills on the table and all she wanted was to get high, no matter that there was a dirty old man looking at her as if she were a hooker that had been hired to do his bidding, or a piece of meat that he could devour by sucking on it, as he had no teeth … The young man came into the house and locked the front door. He walked to the old man and said “give me four” and the old man said “cash on delivery”. She took out her purse from her handbag and took out the money. She handed it to the young man who gave her the four pills. She took a bottle of water out of her handbag and without looking at what she was about to ingest, put all the pills on her tongue and took a long draught from the bottle.
The old man was looking at her with a new intensity now. Nobody spoke. She smiled at the young man, as he took her purse from her and put it on the table. “Why don‟t you sit?” he said. She sat down, on the floor, in front of the coffee table and its pile of pills. The old man was leering at her now. Then her eyes grew heavy and her mouth grew dry and she smiled because she felt her blood become rich with narcotic infusions … and then she fell forward
with her head onto the table, hitting it on the corner and feeling thick infused blood run over her forehead into her eyebrow as she smiled once more and passed out.
“I thought Rohypnol worked faster than that” said the old man as he got up and scratched his crotch and walked to where she lay. He picked her head up by her hair and looked at her face. “Come on, she‟s no good on the floor.” The young man picked her up and carried her towards the old man‟s room, enveloped by the stronger stench of urine and old food. He dropped her onto the dirty brown bed with dirty yellow sheets and pulled off her shoes. Then he pulled off her pants and her panties. He took off her top and her bra and tied her hands together above her head with old, dirty, bloodstained rope. He took some cloth of unknown origin and stuffed it into her mouth, and bound it with masking tape that he took from the nightstand.
There‟s a baby crying … no, not a baby, a child … the sound is less natural than a baby‟s cry. There‟s a purpose behind it … a child‟s cry. There is a staircase. There is a dirty carpet under her, she can smell it. There‟s a child crying. She opens her eyes to a dimly lit room in a dimly lit house where she can see a wooden staircase. There is a couch next to her. She is on the floor. The sound drives nails through her head. There is a child crying. She tries to get up off the floor, but her arms shake and won‟t support her weight. Her breath is shaky as it leaves her mouth. Her nose is caked with dried blood and she can‟t breathe through it. Her eyes burn. There is a baby crying. No, not a baby, a child. There is a child crying … somewhere upstairs. She pushes herself forward on the floor with her legs, and manages to crawl in the direction of the staircase. She squints up at it, and tries to count the stairs. One two three … seven … twelve … fifteen. She makes out fifteen ascending lines. She raises her arms to the banister and sits up on the first step. She turns to face the direction the stairs are leading in and pulls herself up. One foot on one step. Then the other. One foot on the next step. Then the other. She counts as she climbs. There is a child crying. There are hands pulling her back from the stairs, grabbing her arms and wrenching them from her shoulder joints. She falls backwards, and hits the floor. The carpet burns her face and she feels her skin remain behind as she lifts her face. There is no one there … there is only light.
Her eyes opened and saw the blue eyes of the young man centimetres away from her face. She was naked. She was tied up. Her hips hurt. Her pelvis felt bruised and chafed. Her wrists felt bruised and chafed. She could smell them upon her. She gagged. She started to throw up but there was something in her mouth and she started to choke. A hand rips the tape off of her mouth and removes the cloth as she gasped for air. She started to scream, but his hand slapped her cheekbone and she kept quiet. “I‟m taking you back where I found you,” he said. He untied her from the bed, and rebound her hands together in front of her.
Then he tied her feet together. He wrapped her in a blanket. He left the room, and a little while later returned with her purse and her clothes. He put them in a black plastic bag, which he looped over his arm. Then he picked her up and walked through the house, and out the front door. She kept quiet. She breathed. She prayed for death. He put her in the backseat of the white car. He drove back to the flat. He got there exactly five hours after picking her up that morning. He stopped the car. He got out of the car. He pulled her out of the car and picked her up. He carried her to where he had found her earlier and dropped her in front of the door. He kicked her in the head until she lost consciousness. He walked away with a smile on his face. He cuts her ties. Her hands felt foreign as they touched her face. Her face felt foreign as her hands touched it. Her mouth was dry. Her lips were cracked and bloodied.
Onlopende Droë roes-rooi bloed Op vergete bene Roes „n roes-rooi roof Gekerf Onlopend Omlopende gestolde lug Wit poeier vlokkies Spoeg uitgedroog Suur vasgeklou aan roes-rooi lippe omring in blou en groen Wit strepe aan vel gegom Trane Op vrot wange Asseblief Moenie stop nie Hou net nie op nie
I just dreamt that my mother was going to do a hook suspension in a dingy BDSM brothel and that I was there and my grandmother was there … and that I wanted one but she wouldn‟t let me. I didn‟t dream of her actually going through with it, but she had stripped down and was waiting for the hooks to come in while I was asking her if she didn‟t want to start off her BDSM adventures with something more polite than that, like a caning … and I spoke to one of the ProDoms and said that I wanted to do a rape fantasy. Then I woke up.
And it was evening and it was morning … I am not manic anymore.
Hou aan loop Byt Vat Krap Brand Lek Verkrag
The girl who reads faces says that it looks as though she is obsessed with Jonathan because she has so many pictures of him. I smile. I only have one … well … one of his face … I delete them as I go along. They hurt too much to look at too closely now.
She asks me whose face she can read now. I think about people who make me feel like I feel now. Dirty and pathetic. There is a boy who said that to me outright … that I am pathetic and a bad person and a slut and that I don‟t deserve to live and that I am inconvenient. He gave me a bible.
The first big fuck-out happened shortly after that. Prior to the bible thing but shortly after he told me what he told me. We said sorry eventually, both of us, but there‟s an unfortunate sort of tension there, that the Dark Other picked up on a while back and the boy who gave me the bible apparently got very uncomfortable with talk of me.
We‟re reconciled to an extent.
He said that he can see that I have changed.
He was cruel. He hurt me as deeply as Jonathan has, if not more so … but I have forgiven him because I know that I was complicit in his cruelty. I didn‟t antagonise it, but I know that I was everything he hated and so by virtue of me being me, I upset him and he lashed out.
I got sober for a year and nine months because of him.
And then I gave up on him because he had given up on me and I went back to cocaine, which is always glad to see me and doesn‟t judge me for being pathetic.
I find her a picture of him, but his face isn‟t at rest. Nowhere is his face at rest. He has the same look of disdain that Jonathan wears and I see Jonathan‟s mouth for a second, transposed onto this face.
The girl who reads faces says that his ear is a bit wobbly and that it is probably just fights with siblings and stuff.
“His teenage years were fine, but his parents were a bit strict … he‟s quite intelligent, a bit boorish”.
He‟s very intelligent. He is someone who I can listen to for hours … I miss listening to him speak in Latin or talk about Eliot … but that was in the Before.
“He‟s not really into the whole pleasures of the flesh thing, he‟s probably quite tight fisted, those lines look more like he sneers a lot instead of having found his purpose, his mouth is downturned, so you know, built up negative feelings, quite a strong chin, so he goes for what he wants … and he‟ll probably end up with money later on and he‟s got the management earlobes, but he‟s quite firmly set in what he believes and he doesn‟t think he‟s right, he knows he is right”.
He is a god king in his own mind like Jonathan except for the fact that his convictions come from a higher power that makes him believe in what he says and what he believes and what he tells others. That‟s why I know that I will never be anything but pathetic in his eyes, because I can‟t redeem myself the way that he would regard as redemption. I am not sure that he would care one way or the other. He gave me the bible. He did his part. His hands are washed clean of me.
He could walk away and so could I.
“ … relatively fertile, it‟s really strange, I thought he would have had darker eyebrows to go with the whole I know who I am thing, but he is a fair haired person, so that‟s probably why his eyebrows are light, rather than it being any deficiency in knowing who he is. He‟s got „those‟ lines, he had to give over a lot of his energy at that stage, his earth and water are being depleted. He doesn‟t look like a very happy bunny.”
She pauses. “How do the temples look, does he have a tendency towards an addictive personality?” No, not at all. She can‟t tell at the angle that he is at in the picture. He has the cruel eyes.
“… and they turn down so he‟s not generally an optimistic bunny and he is private as well. He keeps his life private and he‟s not that interested in other people‟s lives either. He probably has the desire to over-indulge but he‟s so repressed he will not give into it. He doesn‟t need a lot of personal relationships.”
I am amazed at how she sees this. I know that she knows what she‟s talking about, but I actually know him, as opposed to Jonathan, and I know the events that led to the story that his face tells her. With Jonathan it is all speculation. With him … it‟s confirmation. I remember.
“Melissa, why do you like all these men that have this „meh‟ attitude to others?”
I don‟t know. I believe that natural victims find natural abusers. And he also never raised a hand to me, but he hurt me. And I believed him then and I believe him now. He said that I don‟t deserve to live and that I was a bad person and I don‟t think he‟s wrong. I was upset because someone other than me said it to me … but that‟s as far as my anger went. I know what I am.
I ask the girl who reads faces if she can see anything of the one in the other … and she says shesupposesthenosesarethesame,andthelips. Iseealotofresonancebetweenthem, but that might just be the cruel streak. She says the boy who gave me the bible also does the SMARM.
“They don‟t have faces that invite your confidence and it‟s both that „come into my lair‟”. … I would be curious to see them meeting each other.
The boy who holds my heart met the boy who gave me the bible. He didn‟t like him much. He didn‟t dislike him on principle, he knew nothing of what had transpired between us in the Before, but still he pulled a face.
There should be a screening test for men in my life.
I think about the lips that the girl who reads faces mentioned. The Dark Other has the same lips. Cruel lips. Lips that part slightly and show a red tongue that might as well be forked, peeking out and sniffing the air for a victim to slay with acid words.
The boy who gave me the bible would call me a whore. The Dark Other would lick my face and call me a whore. Both beyond redemption. The Dark Other was curious about the boy who gave me the bible. Jonathan, who knows the entanglement, doesn‟t encourage my relationships with either and every so often told me to just cut them out of my life.
Just like that … forget the lips and their words and their redness and their salivary sheen. I haven‟t forgotten the feel of Jonathan‟s lips on me.
I want them back. And I want them to ask me nicely. And I want to pull at them. And paint them red with their own blood and say to him “smile”.
The girl who reads faces comes into my office. The boy who would call himself my saviour is there with me. I didn‟t ask to see him. I generally don‟t. But he‟s known me for about five years, and he tells this to the girl who reads faces. He says that he‟s been around much longer than Jonathan … he remembers me saying to a lecturer that I would rather kill myself than be in that class, and he turned around and asked me why I said that and ever since then he has been trying to save, console, convert, understand … talk to me.
We say something to each other in possessed voices and he says that I have never let my voices out in front of him. He‟s not somebody I feel totally comfortable with to just be … I couldn‟t let him see my house unless it was clean and I wouldn‟t wear pyjamas in front of him and I would get up and brush my teeth early in the morning and then get back into bed and wake him.
He‟s seen me crazy and he has seen me angry, and we have had our big fight, although he says that we haven‟t had our proper fuck-out yet, to the girl who reads faces. He asked if she and I have slept together and I tell him about sending the pictures that she took to Jonathan. He knows that I do this. Last year I made him leave the office so I could take dirty pictures for Jonathan, and then let him back in … I can‟t remember if I asked him if he wanted to see them or not, but he might have been too curious to say yes … he is still a virgin. A virgin, who counsels prostitutes in the name of God.
The girl who reads faces says she can admire the perseverance but “dude, you‟re going to get stabbed and I‟m not even going to feel that bad afterwards” … she‟s nice about it …
And he tried to save me that way. He said to the girl who reads faces that I had thanked him afterwards.
We sit on my bed and I sing a little possessed-sounding song. She breathes audibly.
This afternoon we realised that Jonathan, the boy who gave me the bible and the boy who would call himself my saviour have one fundamental common denominator. They all “know that they‟re right, they‟re so set in their ways that you can‟t upset their reality because they are so firmly set in their beliefs” … and they all try to make me better … they all try to make me believe them and in what they are and in who they believe in … and Jonathan succeeded. I don‟t really care too much for God.
She asked the boy who would call himself my saviour if she could take a picture of his face. He asked her what she sees. I ramble off what I have learnt at him … and she looked at me. I am not the best student. I looked past the whole and delved too deep too quickly. Oops.
The first things I see when I look at him are his eyes and the bridge of his nose.
She breathes some more.
She says that the eyes are fire and the nose is metal. Fire energy. How fitting. That combination doesn‟t make him a good leader, but he‟s the take-charge type. That is indisputable, he likes to be followed like a messiah. A smarm messiah. The girl who reads faces says that she doesn‟t particularly like him. His eyes are set too far apart. He‟s also got that “I‟m going to watch you because you‟re a curiosity” thing going on.
“He‟s got a control bump, a very thin nose and a „bum‟ chin and a very thin upper lip that goes with the thin nose.” She says “this face annoys me, and he‟s going bald”.
He‟s got lines under his eyes, so there is grief or loss, as well as that darkening, so there are unshed tears.
“He‟s smart as well”.
I don‟t like my assholes stupid, that‟s for sure.
“He holds his eyes quite wide open, so he shares and wants to be shared with. So he‟s a genuinely caring person. Oh fuck! He genuinely cares. Now I feel bad for saying ugly things about him because his heart is in the right place, he just comes across as smarmy”.
I look at her. He can care all he likes, his hypocrisy makes me want to vomit on him and make him eat it.
“See! I was right about him having a younger brother or sister about the wobbly!” the girl who reads faces yells suddenly from under my duvet.
She means Jonathan. She‟s forgotten about the boy who would call himself my saviour. She says “he‟s not that interesting, that‟s why.”
Not that interesting … but he‟s been around long enough to have apparently warranted some of my interest … I don‟t know … I never really invited him to stay … Unfortunately, this boy cares deeply but is also deeply offensive to me, because he speaks without thinking what he
is saying. And he is curious about my feelings, but he chooses the most inopportune times to interrogate me as to why, for example, I would try to kill myself and how do I feel to still be alive, and why did I do what I did methodologically and why do I feel hurt by the behaviour of this or that person, and why do seem annoyed, and what happens when I‟m manic, and oooh, am I rapid-cycling right now, how does that feel? …
Once he told me that he has never actually been properly sad in his entire life. He has never thought about what it would be like to commit suicide. He‟s never been properly, viscerally angry either. My close friends know that there are certain events and people in my life that I don‟t like to talk about. The floor thing is one example, my father is another, and this boy just delves right in there, knowing that my hackles rise when those topics are broached by anyone other than me. I don‟t believe in pushing people‟s buttons to satisfy my curiosity and that is exactly what he does. The thing that annoys me is that he does not do it maliciously, just out of complete emotional ignorance.
He makes the monkey boy dance because he wants to see its dance, not to see it suffer for him … not that that redeems him really because I still put on my dancing shoes and twirl and I resent him for it but it‟s not Jonathan.
He was there when Jonathan happened for the first time. He remembers. He remembers telling me that Jonathan might not be such a good idea.
He judged Jonathan because I had gotten home at seven the next morning and I was tired and a little bit … chafed … and a lot hungover and coming down. He‟d wash my feet in oil and ask me to ask for forgiveness.
“His face is covered in fire points, though, the balding, that‟s fire. That‟s where the curiosity comes through”.
“The boy who gave you the bible is Jonathan‟s embers. The boy who would call himself your saviour is his ash.”
“So basically Jonathan is not like the sun, he‟s a star just like everybody else in your world, he‟s just the star that you sort of centred your focus on. It‟s like … the North Star is still a star.”
My thigh is completely healed. The stitches didn‟t even leave a proper scar like the others had, but it was done by a proper plastic surgeon person who makes imperfection disappear. And the fresh cuts are now flaking scabs that are dry and disappearing.
Jonathan owes me a fuck.
I owe him … something.
I owe him the pain of my pierced clit that I rubbed for him yesterday and I owe him the pain of being torn up roughly and sewn back together. I owe him the cramps and nausea and blood and hormones and tears and headaches and pale thighs with purple lines and white lines on backs being inhaled and discarded latex and discarded bodies and scrub brushes under industrial jets and peeling skin and suicide.
I owe him a hook suspension through his pectoral muscles and pulling him down until he tears open and I can see his muscles and insides and I can see that there is a heart in there and see if it is demonic and if he actually bleeds.
The girl who reads faces says that she would love to see him suspended, face up, with hooks through his chest, ribs and lines by his pelvis, through his quadriceps, shins and ankles … with no support by his arms … an inverted Christ, with a hand stroking his ribs with a talon and a soft voice talking into his ear that nobody else can hear … so all the spectators think “how lovely” without knowing what is going on inside. Maybe the pain of the hooks through his body will show in his face. And then a hook can slide in and through his cheek and make him grin. Smile for the camera. Swallow.
I owe him an overdose. I owe him blood streaming from nostrils and a stinging septum and a blinding searing stabbing pain. I owe him vomit and bile and piss and shit and spit that froths and dries like white powder on the chin. I owe him subcutaneous fat leaking from a cut through epidermis, dermis, endodermis and muscle that can‟t be glued back together andthatnoanaestheticwilldull. Iowehimscalptearingawayfromskullasafistgrabshair and slowly pulls backwards. I owe him needles under fingernails and through every nerve centre on his body done by the steady hands of the boy with the heavy eyes while I watch and tell him how pretty he looks with his jewellery in.
I owe him a face that he will recognise because it is not beautiful. It is abhorrent and cruel and ugly with bad skin and yellow sharp teeth and droopy eyes and pock marks and boils and veins.
I owe him ugliness.
The girl who reads faces asks what his face would look like if it reflected the truth. She says that the ears would be cauliflower, the hairline would be ragged, his forehead would be lined with crevasses and the hanging blade would cut deeper.
“Actually, his face does reflect who he is, because remember, your face reflects what‟s affected you and what you haven‟t gotten over and he‟s got that attitude of „nothing affects me because I am god king‟, so in his little world, there hasn‟t been the same tumult that there has been in yours.”
I still want him disfigured. I love him. I love you. I‟m sorry.