Reaching Climax


You travel through bookstores and look at the plethora of books which you know you will never have time to read, because the minute they’re published, they become ancient and long, not adhering anymore to the constantly shattered dimensions of time.

This is not an age for Victorian novels.

I washed my hands, varnished and painted with her (your) blood. The water gathered in the sink, turning from clear transparent liquid into pink, pink into red, and then it all went down the drain so quickly and I knew it was the last thing I’ll see of her (you).

Soon, novels will be mere words, not even sentences.

Every time I sat with you (her) to read, I felt like Sisyphus, condemned to serve eternally, and yet never reach an end. We (her, you, me) never could finish a book together. Every time you (she) put your head on my chest, sometimes a leg on my leg, a hand on my thigh, I read in the voice you (she) said you (she) liked, that voice which soothed you (her), calm and steady, the voice which your (her) ear demanded, but we (her, you and me) never reached the end, and the novels we read, the end came at the climax.

Building up, you (she) always made me stop in the middle, and then you (she) left me to disappear for the length of a bible. I promised myself a climax which never came.

I longed for the climax: Now it seems to me that everything that surrounds me is a part of me, that I have managed to become the whole, finally…

Such an ending, as if the novel is torn and you’re missing a couple of pages, maybe a whole section. The climax, the end, that which I never have.

Maybe you (she) never wanted an end, as sentimental as that sounds. The end declares all that has happened as official, immutable and immortal. Your (her) head on my chest, sometimes you (she) fondled my limbs, sometimes you (she) inhaled deep breaths next to my ear, sometimes you (she) squeezed my arms as the intensity was building up, but you (she) always let go just before the watershed, the climax, the ending.

You walked away and I saw your (her) wobbling, full ass tease me, your hair swaying from side to side trying to entrance me like a pendulum, hypnotize me until…telling me to read again, giving me a filthy potency to hope and expect something better.

I sensed at once that in the perfect order of the universe a breach had opened, an irreparable rent.

I thought erotic literature would help me, but that just pushed you (her) away. I thought something Metaphysical; I thought something Romantic. But nothing. We (you, her, me) never reached climax, you (she) squeezed and I felt impotent.

I climb the stairs, I enter a room in semidarkness. There is Marjorie, tied on a sofa, gagged. I release her. She vomits. She looks at me with contempt. “You’re a bastard,” she says to me.

Soon, we (all of us) will start reading dictionaries for pleasure.

But the patience wears out. Words, sentences, books cannot have a meaning unless there is an end to them, no matter how abrupt it may seem. An end promises fullness. An end promises closure and clarity. You (she) listened and your (her) ear commanded a story but refused its end, refused my end, refused our (all of us) end, refused our (all of us) whole existence. A book which is never read fully is never read. A book which is never read does not exist. 

I stand beyond the grave, I wrap my poncho around my left arm, I grasp my knife.

(The texts in italics are by Italo Calvino, found in his novel, If On A Winter’s Night A Traveller)


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