“To reach, not the point where one no longer says I, but the point where it is no longer of any importance whether one says I. We are no longer ourselves. Each will know his own. We have been aided, inspired, multiplied.” Deleuze & Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus
Nayla had just paid the first rent of her first apartment. She experienced the ultimate liberty money can grant people, a much needed sense of alienation and isolation. And with that isolation, she thought she can build a new self for herself, without any boundaries to limit her, no shackles to stop her. She immediately started decorating the small kitchenette, if only in her head. She imagined the embroidered curtain that will cover the only source of natural light in the room, the balcony door. She imagined the yellow couch in the centre and in front of it the ageometrical table covered with simple white table cloth. The desk would be facing the couch, and finally, the mattress would be placed upstairs, in the little open attic reserved for a bed. But why the need for a bed? A mattress would do.
And a mattress did just fine, for the first week.
The curtain had been installed just the way she imagined it. The yellow couch, the desk. She even had plants outside, flowers blossoming. The whole spring theme, a coming-back-to-life in full bloom. But a call can disrupt everything. A tone in a voice, a misplaced word can move mountains.
She contemplated that hallowed word; she blended it with every other thought that went through her head so that the whole spectrum of her consciousness was hued with the stain of that word. The kitchenette which for a week had been her place of her own personal liberty reminded her of the all-encompassing and eclipsing structure of a virulent reality.
She realized that whatever centre you create for yourself to dance around will eventually be a tangential point in a larger circle with a larger radius. The coming-back-to-life which she was prizing was only a further stage of an endless cycle of which she was being aware now. In hindsight, everything is narrow, even the broadly unjustified moments.
…And sometimes at night, corpse-like on the mattress she’d smell her absent hair and absent breath. She’d hear her scream in dreams. Unintelligible but sharp, and for the second week, that was all that mattered: a scream in the middle of the night, a rogue smell; or muscle memory reaching out to touch…
Inevitably, Nayla needed a grave, a dump, a shithole in which she could vomit without reserve.
Necessarily, Nayla needed a snakepit to shed her old skin completely, to let go of the performative act of the past and sneak her way to and through a new act of unreserved life, without the inhibitions of utility and pragmatism. She needed to slither into the labyrinth of an infinite collapse and annihilation; to be her own sun is what it means to be free, completely unreserved, holding the power of life and death in the same being; impossible made flesh. She needed to crawl like a spider without form towards the impossible.
But refusing to be vulnerable to change, she drowned in the deep waters of her own restrictions as a block, a complete form, measured, controlled, explained, exhausted; silently, her own ocean remained calm, no wave to harass the sands of time, for waves have no memory, they merely pass and wash over. They are a product, a reaction to the ebb and flow of the deep pulsation of becoming.
She had no fists to shake in front of the gates. She had no light to emanate. She was no sun.
At the end of the second week, she slept on the mattress and never fully awoke. Just another lifeless rhizome in a bigger mechanical system, not longing to live nor die, she monotonously sustains the subsistence of one plateau among thousands of others.
“The self is only a threshold, a door, a becoming between two multiplicities” Deleuze & Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus