Consolation

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[A quickie]

Consolation comes in many forms, but you must never get caught. Randa opened the newly-purchased novel, one about scissors that talk as they cut through the vital and inanimate. Next to her was a bottle of wine that would last her as long as the first four chapters, one glass for every chapter. The night was still young and she shared a relationship of indifference with the world outside her apartment. She considered herself sagacious and her isolation a sign of prudence – an elderly spirit if ever there was one. She did what she needed to do and never bothered with wants and desires; besides her daily work in the university library, time was available to be organized neatly and precisely into separate and repetitive past-times: a promenade along the coast line, a recipe from a cookbook of joy as she followed the fast hands of a chef on a cooking channel, or a visit to her mother, who, tip-toeing her way to senility, still treated Randa as a young girl, following her every step and remarking with sharp, old eyes the darkness beneath her eyes. She did all that, however, in the solitary confinement of a life trod with careful precision and all the right choices, mistaking freedom for conformity, comfort and safety. So as she gulped down the second glass of wine and closed the second chapter of the sadistic scissors, she felt secure in the empty calmness of her home. She was not in a hurry, but  it would be her mother that would wash her corpse and bury her.

The story of Randa’s death is in part my fault. Yet in the eyes of the law, partly at fault does not give you half an indictment or half an acquittal, and from where I’m writing these words, I feel closer to Randa than ever before; I feel her absence striking me and my hide hardens at this irrational proximity, and over all things tenderness spreads. I face the silence and calmness that she sought from a life trod with fatal inaccuracy and all the wrong choices, mistaking flouting for freedom, rebellion and independence. This apposite description of my life in contrast to hers may be the intentional wit of its author, yet our parallel lives makes it more the work of an undecidable nature sought to be conquered separately by Randa’s self-determining organization and the detrimental die in my fist.

“Now perforce in tears and sadness
Learn a mournful strain to raise.” The Consolation of Philosophy. Boethius 

“The proximity of things is poetry.” Levinas

[To be Continued]

Whisky From A Wine Glass

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The whisky is smoky inside the dusty tumbler glass. It keeps me from waking up.

She wraps herself with the bed sheets, but she is not a prize.

The whisky needs more respect from me. I promise myself and I promise it that I’ll drink it from a wine glass. Maybe we could drink it together sometime, and with us, angels and hairy Scotsmen.

Yes, I’d like that. Wouldn’t you? We’d cling our hands like newly-weds and drink whisky from the wine glass. We’d cringe at our first sip. We’d drink it without ice so the aroma won’t wane and the taste won’t fade. We’d give each other a kiss after the first sip. And then another before the second.

I’ll stop loving you after we finish the bottle. I’ll stop loving you; it’s as simple as that. I’ll stop loving you like someone simply decides to stop practicing.

It’s always this simple. I’ll drink the second bottle by myself from a tumbler.

The next day you’ll bring two bottles when you come over. You come over because I ask you to. You don’t hesitate because you want to. I manipulate your will because I know that I can.

We drink whisky in wine glasses because we can and we’re free. We sip slowly all night long, making a profession out of our drinking. We sip slowly sitting poles apart on the table, looking at each other, with each sip, our gaze becoming less severe, and our eyelids giving up to the temptation of giving in. But I know that I already have you in my clutch.

I’ll tell you to leave at the penultimate point. I’ll leave you hollow outside in the dry air while I fix the green hat on my head like a horn of humility.

The truth hurts. I know it all. I can decide to stop loving you. It’s as simple as that. You should’ve let me know from the beginning that you’ve broken your promise.

I’ll forget you. I’ll give you what you never wanted, but what you set in motion. I’ll forget you, and all my ships won’t set sail to you, and all my mantras will have no mention of you, and all my thoughts will be free from your tainted image. I will not allow you to give me any scars. I’ll drink whisky from a tumbler again.

I can decide to stop loving you. It’s as simple as that: love, a decision, a practice, not a feeling. You cold breath of ice. You rid the whisky of its taste and odour. Whisky turns into wine in your mouth and angels break their halos.

You’re manipulated. I manipulate. You’re swayed. I sway. Above all, while you allow your emotions to puppeteer your decisions, my decisions control my emotions. You break promises because you know no other way but to be meek and fickle in front of the capricious blowing of the wind. I keep them. I can decide to love you and decide to stop loving you. Your decision is not in your hands. You’re a female—at best. Your mouth, a glass of wine and from it the vapours of wounded pride, fallen hope and baffled desire rise.

You desire. I decide.

Unwrap yourself and come to me, naked, hiding nothing, and I’ll please you like you want me to. Let me respect my whisky. I’ve decided and now I can wake up.