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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

THE BEAST WITHIN

Our rendez-vous was arranged one week in advance and coincidentally happened to be on the Valentine's Day. It may have seemed hilarious and awkward in the beginning, but I have spent a whole week worrying about what I would wear, say, do... I have devised a plan A, plan B and so on until I ran out of the letters in the alphabet.

Naturally, I would have hated to search for him in a room full of strangers. People's faces always made me anxious. I hardly ever recognised them, I'd remember someone's posture, voice, the gestures they make, the clothes they wear, instead of their face - a set of lines drawn to carry our emotions, yet I'd rather have them fixed and rigid in perfection of the emotionless display. The anger, the sadness, the disbelief, the fear, you name it and there's surely a facial expression forming at the back of your mind. But what facial expression does one make when he loves you? Is it a piercing stare, corners of the lips slightly tilted upwards, may be? I could never tell. Reading the emotions off people's faces reminded me of reading the ubiquitous advertisements in the metro so I've figured that I should leave the calvaire of recognising your date in a crowded cafe up to his experte - he's a photographer nonetheless, he must have some professional skill of reading in between the lines of facial expressions.

***
I couldn't decide what to wear today. I just stood in front of my closet, open like a mouth of a grave, and stared into the unknown. My indecisiveness did seem coherent though, as odd as it may sound. I was reluctant to consider the possibilities, I was gawking at the limitless amounts of phantasmagoric joy of my own possessions in the same way as I would stare into the screen at the blinking cursor mesmerized at my own possessiveness, awaiting a reply. The line was still blanc. And all I wanted was one comforting word from the man I may at times consider my prized possession. I was ready to grab him through the cellular phone lines, hold him tight like the air in this room, still scented of his flesh, never let go - hide him within the depths of me, within the creases and folds of the costume. I'd fold the cloth, I'd tie the knots a tad too tight.
Fully enrobed I'd take him to the sea, I'd poise him atop a cliff and let the salty winds dishevel his hair. I'd take him on a journey through the wilderness of the rocky beaches to watch the vegetation glisten like a fur of an unruly beast, basking in the coastal sun surprisingly tranquil, yet ready to break this ethereal silence any minute with an uproar and scramble the steep shore with gushes of wind, swirling upward. Then we'd head back past the shrubs riddled with thorns and branches like prongs that scratch the coastal winds and make the seagulls giggle.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

NOW HERE/NOWHERE

With every mouthful of snow the taste grew stronger, sharper and overwhelming, it melted dripping down my chin, but I could not name the ingredients. His taste was as familiar as a scene from the roadside picnic - a general occurence, as mundane as it is banal, yet leaving in its wake a number of mysterious artefacts all charged with hidden meanings and superpowers. And if I were to collect them all, I could complete a quest for the improbable and unobtainable happiness for everyone or be savagely dispatched by the meatgrinder, who knows. I would not blame him.
The mystery that lies beneath our companionship can be mapped out and decoded, studied and dissected like a peculiar unknown form of life, and with each artefact I collect along the way my every step is documented in photographs, captured and encaged in the frame of a black and white snapshot. I may feel a certain unease when the camera points in my direction, as if accused of my very presence here and now, being caught red-handed at the act of everyday. And as the air grows thicker around me, encompassing the mass of pale skinned limbs, I linger in awe of the instant when the flash would slid through the room like a light sabre and chop through the oxygen igniting my breath again, awakening something in me that has been lost within the labyrinth of my lungs, hibernating through the long winter. With every mouthful of snow the taste gets sweeter.
I may at times feel empowered holding onto his breath like it was all mine, like it was one of my own superpowers, yet admittingly I am the one intoxicated by the very taste of his, enchanted by the flashes and pinned to the dissection table for study or amusement or may be both. I am up for anything, really!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

04. THALYS SUNRISE


Pressing fingers against my lips, as I hauled my bicycle down the street I paused - his taste still lingered on, it flooded me with something sweet and sugary but just an inch away from toothache. And as I paused the street around me turned blanc - it could only exist in motion and be appreciated through the movement of the pavement under my feet, or so it seemed. I stared down and walked biting my lips, I shuffled rapidly as if in pursuit for that sweetness filled me up brimful, it appeared to fuel me from within creating a motor that just ran itself in a state of perpetual motion. Or was it the air? I paused again and remembered the air around him - it was so beautiful that the street lamps must surely flicker as he passes by. He had that aura, that luminescent glow.

I sat down to write, but paragraphs fell short and abrupt, the isles of narrative racing past me, gleaming in the morning flare of the new day being born. The horizon twitched and convulsed spewing the air with shades of peach and lilac until the sun bursted out of Earth and onto the fields beyond the Thalys window. Nothing stood still today, and I couldn't help but wonder whether yesterday's emotion has triggered the motion of the new dawn that painted the sky in myriad of colours for my mere entertainment aboard the high speed train, and whether the motivation I had today to kick start the week was due to some hidden motive of his, and whether it had anything to do with a locomotive that was dashing me off to Paris. The words have tied a knot around my neck - and if I were to stay on this train of thought any longer I would be soon tied up in the most explicit way of Kinbaku art and left there hanging.

There was nowhere to go - the train has slid the path through planes of somewhat even grassland in such precipitation that I could no longer follow the straight and solid storyline of my own. The thoughts ran errands - a murmur in the air-conditioned haze. Godspeed you, reason!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

03. Gold and Myrrh

Someone else lived in that white stone house. Someone has decorated the windows with wood cut patterns and painted them green, and in all its simplicity the house looked as welcoming as it was stone cold, at times blending in with the snowy landscapes so exquisitely that a mirage felt more straight and solid at a stranger's glance. At those times only the window frames stood out - green googly eyes, peaceful and poised in comic relief, always watching over me as I made my way down the birch wood to its front door where an oak tree stood in a welcoming gesture. The wide open green eyes of the house that peered from behind the oak could have been the eyes of the tree himself. Were they? Another rhetorical question I have been entertaining myself with for a while, but as long as he was watching over me, I never bothered to ask... and he never bothered to tell me.
Someone cleared the path to the house - the snow was pushed to either side taking up so much space that the road narrowed down in size dramatically - there was barely a passage enough for one person at a time. I wondered what will it be if the wall of ice and snow were to collapse encompassing me in a ring of gold and silver. Will I stay forever in a white stone house with green window frames - just the oak tree and I?  Will I ever settle down to make pizza crust out of acorns and collect Colorado beetles from the potato leaves?

A wind bursted through the tree tops bearing a whiff of melancholic notes of myrrh and jasmine, but soon turned yeasty and fermented like the inside of a pickling jar and sent shivers down my spine. I knew the recipe so well. Upon my grandfather's request I used go down to the garden and ask a leaf of every bush and tree - the dill, the maple, the black currant and an oak, and they all bended their branches and shed a leaf or two. I returned with this wild bouquet to my grandfather and he carefully rolled the leaves and stuffed them in a jar with pickles. And as he tightened the lids of each jar I wondered what it would smell like inside a coffin when they shut the lid and throw some earth atop. But what could a pickle tell me? It sat inside a glass jar, like an unfortunate foetus in a laboratory blessing me with a morbid stare, slowly growing pale and limp.
I stood by the tree for a while counting the number of leaves he still held and tried to approximate the number of pickling jars I would need, but the numbers resounded in a rattling noise as if I was throwing coins in each jar, or like when you hit a jackpot in one of those machines at the casino and the coins come spilling out, burying your body beneath that filthy brassy smell of money you cannot keep - a lucrative error, an illusion of happiness.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

02. Venus eyes

I remember the birch woods where the trees stood shivering, their roots buried deep down in snow. I found them gawky and uncomfortable at first sight - skeletal beings with ghostly expressions and deep black eyes, I knew they are looking down at me as they quietly sway their fleshless limbs almost in a warning, inwardly seething at a trespasser that I am. They stood tall above me, as tall as I could see tilting my head upwards to the milky light of the winter sky. The sky too was thin and pale, poised atop the needles of the tree branches, it quickly started to turn and swell, as if rattled by my presence. The mouthless faces of the birch trees were looking upwards now, throwing their arms in the air - bare bones, crooked fingers, loosing their last skin as the dried out leaves went dashing off into the air showing no signs of life yet forever bearing the scornful expression. They were off to a better place...but the birches still surrounded me, they just stood there itching and scratching the swollen sky until it bled a sunset and into a hollow night, peeling all that was left of its skin, revealing something alien, at once beautiful and grotesque. Her skin was shiny and black as if made of patent leather, her eyes gazed absently in a dim glow and could easily be mistaken for the outlines of Venus and Jupiter.

I always knew she was inside, under all that skin flushing of sunset corals and pinks, under the hilltops of her cheeks and beneath the hollow ditches of her collarbones framing the narrow path of her neck. I saw it in a movie! And now I saw her crouched and limp and cold alone out there as I looked up into the dark mirror of the sky. I thought I'd wave my hand at her and cheer - she almost simultaneously waved back, and as I moved - she moved, as I turned - she turned in a silent mime dance of just two of us.
- Was there ever two of us? I did not dare to ask, as she was quiet and mouthless just like the birch trees.
Our dance, as pagan as it was sublime, made me feel drowsy and tired. She begged for more, her fingers clutching my wrists and it turned my hands cold, numb even, but I wanted to run and never look back. I wanted to stuff my face with snow and feel it melting on my skin like a kiss. I wanted to run to that oak tree and hide myself within his hollow chest of a tree trunk like I used to when I wanted to enter him, I wanted to fill the void between his every heartbeat, but instead I ended up devouring his entire being, I feasted on his heart, his eyes, his tongue. I twisted him, I bended him until his branches made a wooing noise, until the gale winds left him quiver and shake at my sight and torn us apart.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

01. Bi-polar bears

Something fell in a thump sending the shivers across the sheets of my bed as if I were a boat amidst an ocean - some ocean unknown, formed overnight, flooded me as I lay in disbelief of a climate change.
Writing is slow. The time it takes to type in a paragraph - my body seems to let go of the anger and anxiety, it seems to unwind, even if for a short moment in time - that instant between hitting the key and a moment when the disparate thoughts come flooding in again. That instant is treasured and adored like a newborn child.
Something else resounded in a dull thump, ripples in my sheets and I'm floating away again, from the twilight of the dream to dawn of the new morning that brought snowflakes to my window sills. He was arranging something on the bed as I slowly woke up. I thought it would make more sense to pretend I'm asleep so I rolled over the sheets like a lazy cat, stretched myself while keeping my face covered and away out of his sight and pretended not to notice him shuffling the clothes around and stuffing them into a bag. Tears were welling at my eyes.
I actually loved how he ever so neatly fished all his socks out of the drying line as he was leaving, not touching anything that is mine, this maniacal precision still haunts me. He left a t-shirt, a sweater, a pair of pants, socks and a pair of shoes - a shell of himself .
***
I twisted and turned around my apartment, it felt like a whirlpool for a while, then I paused, prepared my breakfast and sat down to write. Sipping on coffee I could fold the words to my will and sentences came out smooth and enveloping like a hot bath, somewhat Sylvia Plath-esque, but nevertheless soothing. I remembered I used to do that all the time - I used to write every so often when I felt a compelling need to spit out some existentialist phrases into the cold world wide web. Whenever the need came I did so, knowing that if the myriad of thoughts were to remain spinning in my head it would soon become some alter form of motion sickness and the solid ground would escape from under my feet, it would flee.

The ground was fleeting. The cursor was giving me a wink, somewhat impatient, somewhat perverse.
Though the longer I peer into the depths of a blinking cursor the lesser word comes slipping off my tongue onto the keyboard, so the trick is to type as fast as my stream of consciousness flows - and it is a babbling brook indeed, I wonder sometimes if there's such a creature - human, animal or machine that is able to keep up with what's going on in my head. And yet at times I may feel empty, clean even, of any thought or reason ...or empathy...and that emptiness is bottomless.

As the days pass by and I get closer to the bottom of that emptiness I feel it begins to lure and beckon from the depths of itself. The journey to the bottom does no longer seem like falling into a well, but more like discovering fresh water in the desert of thoughts and ideas that I once believed have run dry, with only difference that the fresh water is not in some dreamy green oasis full of twisted pathways hidden from human sight, pathways to which only a beast isn't a stranger, pathways that lay beneath leaves of all shapes and sizes, hideous yet exquisite, so gorged with moisture they fume peculiar aromas of burnt coffee and cardamom. The fresh water is at the bottom of the emptiness, and it's so dark down below that even mosses don't grow here, but does it really matter? The journey is there to be taken, whether through the winding paths of leafy wilderness or to the mouth of the abyss.