It was one of those afternoons that she came to her end, so bright and sunny that the distant language of the cranes became muddled. Turning her back to the house she could see it coming from the edge of the world, from the sky...a sword.
Blinded by fire-rainbows, she breathed in the breeze that forgives everything, grinned and blissfully parted her lips as the outside cut right through her. “Look at her flying!” they said.
And the wind rushed to meet her body, gusts sneaked through the gaping fabric, loosening her garments, twirling around her armpits, circling her thighs, whispering in tongues and frostbiting her earlobes. Warm drafts permed her black fur and all the darkest corners in her started to swell, the friction made all her lips flap in a way he never did in twenty years; the building up as she came crushing down, five seconds of pure ecstasy before this varicose sack of bones made a dead sound.
And then nothing, nothing but a paddle for birds to bathe on a pavement that had just been repaved...her one big contribution.
“If there’s something worse than waking from sleep is waking from being awake”
In bed she slurs her thoughts, a whiff of sweat helps her regain consciousness and she manages to incorporate herself; deftly wiping dry saliva off the corner of her mouth with the tip of her tongue, she notices it tastes of carmine dye, she swallows, staring at her breasts inflating and deflating...eventually remaining deflated.
Morning greets with the buzzing routine of a brain boiled on Lexotan, she remembers those words like an echo pounding in her cranium “she is really something, you should hold her reins or she’ll be shooting up on any shit as if tomorrow’s never there”, but when she’s asleep she forgets, and from there on at ease she is, because when she dreams she dreams to sin and of aftermaths, she dreams of years and flesh laid bare, and when she awakes she leads a double life.
Then comes the diurnal staggering to the bathroom, the flick of the switch; the engine that starts reverberating, an image forms and deforms in the mirror, is that her mother staring back at her?, that dragon fly lady, she can clearly hear her voice saying: “Was that a dog’s bark? Or is it the incipient incontinence making your cunt fart? My costal baby mussel, always feral like the sun”...
...open is the faucet, water chimes in her head, its level rises then stops. She forms a cradle shape with her hands as if they were a receptacle flower and submerges them into water; it works as a magnifying glass. She inspects every line on her palms, mostly the new ones, trying to figure out where they are heading, and they all point towards such a lonely place.
But loneliness is in her mind and so are the basin dolphins, smooth and silky like antidepressants, not swimming but gliding, championing a state of despotic ecstasy, mauling her brain until she forgets her father and all those days at the hospital. But how they let him wilt and fade, that, she can’t forget.
Back then she never cried, she never had the time, she claimed someone else’s tears as her own. And now there’s no room in the bathroom’s cabinet for empathy, just flasks, crystal and plastic ones, opaque and transparent, all wrapped in labels. She reads the small print “Excipients: a placebo effect reversed, genetically predisposed, theoretically disposable, prematurely geriatric, pervasively arrhythmic, correctly apolitical, sexless and cystitical.”
Standing there by the pill dispenser the tv comes off sleeping mode spontaneously, she hasn’t quite yet; she can see through the corner of her eye a peroxide man on the screen saying: “I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe....” and the accuracy of this replicant feels like a pang to her solar plexus.
As the dove sets flight, she clenches a useless set of keys inside her bathrobe pocket, wrapping them in a nest-like bony fist, so both her and the house can feel protected. Her clutch on the metal keyring increases, so tight now a trickle of blood drips out of her hand all the way down her legs, something that recently happens less frequently and more irregularly. It tickles, but she remains motionless.
Still hand in pocket she maneuvers her fingers around every corner, working them like moles, like worms, searching for dry crumbs and pharmaceutical powder, but the moths beat her to it, she can feel the gaps in the fabric, blurring the difference between her home clothes and the rest of her wardrobe. Not that there was one to start with anyway. She pushes several fingers through one of the little holes, tearing it open, until they reach a bigger moister one, the bitter gift, the one that graded her socially second rate at birth; the one he doesn’t touch, the one that stinks to high heavens, the one she tried to plug up with money…but it never worked. Still supple, still reactive, it’s all there, not as dormant as it pretends to be; her hand trapped between her thighs, presses a little more, now one nail is buried, keratin and nervous endings.
Frittering the day away, it’s not just her scratching and moaning this time, but also that horrid dog. Woofing like gays online, demanding defecation; but she’s not afraid to bark back “I rather clean its curly turds than leaving the house! If only it was honey trained, if only those two little allies of this creature had never been born, if only I had contained my faecal waters from breaking...but it just got too sore”, thoughts she can’t sweep away.
Motherhood thwarted the plans she once hatched, when from her shoulders to her hips one could draw a straight line. She never wanted to be a breeder, when was she coerced? Was it the Brazilian girls with big butts and Amazonian mastectomies? For whatever reason, she gestated two:
The first one nicknamed after Tourettes, clipped hair, coprolalia and beautiful primeval beard, he introduced her to anal sex, vodka and stories of old. She was unsure about him having sex with rapists, but we all need to return to the crime scene. Once she walked into the loo, found him sticking his dick inside a shampoo bottle and caught glimpses of his time-honoured fur; “it happened all so soon” she thought.
A rich kid with two guns, he endured a life of provincial frustration, he was a flash of youth in his underwear amongst nothing, solely craving for a cuddle, for someone different to take him away, no matter where they’d go...like mother like son.
The sophomore was never supposed to be, post natal depression set in and she could never get over the fact that he brought vaginal prolapse onto her...but what does he do? And where does he go? And how does he feel when he lies on the floor? And what is he called? And who does he miss? And how does it feel when you don’t exist?
Only once between her legs never made it to her breasts, denaturalised mothers raise kids best.
And it’s a myth, times aren’t changing; first thing she learnt was that she always had to wait, first word she learnt was please...“You will never be a famous writer, you will never help anybody come” they said.
Her world, still spinning, was starting to slow down. Strapped to a silver chair, like the prudish wife that he always wanted her to be, she could only wish he would let her finger him. Would he feel differently if the lights were off and he had his briefs still on? Would it be better if she was a he? Such connotations on these loaded words, personal pronouns that abolish the word equality; replaced with an unfaithful servility, one that chases away the days when as little spoon in his arms she would shrivel and turn to dust. Now she doesn’t mean enough, spat away like chewed gum, yet sticking to the sole of his bare feet.
But menopausal aspirations will make a woman of her:
Rebranding home as a female asylum, with her jewish wig hairdo, she will permanently live inside a headline, because in every woman there’s a killer, in every Myra there’s hope. And so this glasshouse, erected in a shattered glass ceiling environment, will become her own universe.
Like Emily before a racing horse, her mind was set despite the fears, she will be a pioneer of a new wave of husbandry and the fearful ones will call her a parasite; like the insects in the kitchen, crawling over the surfaces and worktops, nocturnal, frugal and perpetual.
Is this mass hysteria that she longs to embrace but it always seems to escape her; scrapped is the idea of being human, she wants to understand insect behavior, become your parasite bride, your parasite mother, your parasite daughter. “Come exterminator take me, I’m yours; your parasite lover and my nickname is Beth”
Bound, enthralled and mesmerised by each and every one of these names, but still unable to lie to herself and pray to them, she just sits there triple cross-legged instead, her unique way of disguising a broken leg. In an act of patriarchy she spreads them wide open, in an angle acute enough to enable her labia to articulate psalm-like uterine verses such as:
“Tigress, tigress still burning bright, let your mane grow long for the first time in your life.
But what will you do with your life?
My life, your life.
Waiting for something to happen all through the night.”
Pealing words that silently float through inert appliances in a bleach scented kitchen; muted off-whiteness all around her and a clock, cheap and plastic, run with batteries, watching over her decay. She notices the slow hand pointing at her and how it never seems to move, she thinks: “is it going anywhere? am I going anywhere? are we going somewhere, you and I, or are we just going round in circles too? and what am I to do with an animalistic man like you?
Because I did fall in love with a swan, and I thought it was a different kind of love but it was just as demanding and as demeaning as my mother’s. Was falling my only delight? Was love me less but love me for a longer time something we seem to have agreed by grunt? And what’s a lifetime with a man?
Everything about this one is big and large, most of all his appetite, burps and farts; growling, sniffing, pushing all the clutter hoarded over the years out of the way, his morbid fascination with all things in extreme. In his uniform with his unithought his eyes lock on me; on tenterhooks, cornered against alabaster I lick my lips, my cerebellum races, nostrils flare, I feel his tender fist, I bend forward, blood rushes through, jaw locked and on the floor I’m turned over.
High ceilings for a high life they said, special occasions, anniversaries and times like this, when you are inside me, I never felt as lonely, as loaded. I hear a trigger inside my head, your saliva soaking my chest, I touch the throbbing ineptitude of what you call ours, your trophy once in a while pulled to bits, sandwiched between your happy trail and my stretch marks, as you spasm it retracts. Still on top of me, we fall asleep in shit stained sheets.
For it’s only when we are asleep that we could have rioted for romance, I could have taught you how to thrift, you could have taught me how to drink in drag and high heels, I could have absorbed your warmth and you could have absorbed mine even though I don’t generate as much, I could have enslaved you to my bed, read you books, show you my breasts and how to spell made up words, even though you would have nothing to share. I could have made you see the majesty of life outside four walls, the summer skies, the leaves, the ice; my thunder thighs reflected into your green European eyes, ethylic forests of peppermint; bruises and love bites left on each other like slogans on our skin, a testament to our codependency.
Every night I put you to bed, but tonight I’ve put you to sleep, and there’s no trouble, no harm, now you are merely here, laying rigid on your back, you’ve aged, and you know what? I like you better now.”