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]

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I Want To Say I’m Through

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Close the curtains and do not let them see! Turn off the lights also if you have to, close the doors, do not let them hear you. More than anything, we’re overburdened by what other people see us do, by what other people hear us do, by what other people think we do.

You closed the curtains, closed the doors, turned off the light and amputated my innocence and confidence. Vertically you swung and hit me across the face. Blood poured out and I died. Horizontally you smacked and I went on a journey without a destination, Odysseus bound and Telemachus disappointed.

You danced with me on your birthday; you threw me a great big bash on mine. You tried to compensate, searching every corner for an opportunity which could guarantee my forgiveness, but I covered my ears in wax, I chained my body to a soulful will of resentment and hatred. You put me in the best school, the best university, tried to give me everything you could: smiles, frowns, experience, memories, fondness, knowledge, history, heritage and freedom, but all that came after you rid of me of a place I could call a home.

I am diverged, I am ruptured. You stroked my essence with your rod and I was split in two. You climbed all over me and with your wrath marked your rule on my skin. You took away from me and gave me as well: a doom and a moan, baleful, yet yearned for as hell.

…I stay silent.

I plucked my eyes, I became blind.
I stuffed my ears, I became deaf.

I hid behind your leather carving. I obeyed the rules and roamed silently. I lifted my white flag and followed you like an obedient sheep, until you held me with malice and lifted Abraham’s dagger to slaughter me.

You cut me vertically, I bled and I died. You cut me horizontally, and on this journey I died in Golgotha on a cross I shall forever bear. The cross, which you gave me with a hand of hatred and a mind at ease, stigmatizes me as the one who can only live as people devour, and every April they crucify me and plant me anew in their cultivated fields. They’d drink from my blood and forget my name. You forgave them, but I shall never forgive you.

You marched like a great Nazi soldier in front of me. You wore your suit and looked handsome as a devil in disguise. You marched and left me as the bombs fell overhead, and then you never returned. Odysseus bound.

I never did try to search for you. No need to search for a criminal unforgiven. But I saw a crack in the door and some light showed through. And I went through. And I saw you. And you had a little boy with you. And a woman too.

I held my long black hair and felt nothing. I cut it and felt nothing. I looked at the boy who looked like me too. And I cut more of my hair and I felt nothing, and then I looked like the boy next to you, but I remained far away. And soon they called me Tiresias, but I only prophesized for myself.

I wish I were homeward bound.

I continued my journey with an expected disappointment. April; I was in San Francisco and I saw devil people there, all of them walking proud and gay with flowers in their hair and boys in their arms. They all resembled you daddy.

In summer I went to Norway and I heard the people there chant: “Lo, there do I see my father, my mother and my sisters and my brothers. Lo, there do I see the line of my people, back to the beginning. Lo, they do call to me; they bid me take my place among them in the halls of Valhalla where the brave may live forever.”

Forever seemed like such a slow stagnant concept of unbearable frost, and I could not fathom why anyone would want to be with his father and mother and sister and brother forever. I saw the swarms of families gathered, standing together, like regimented battalions at the ready to die irrationally for each other. I remembered all the things you gave me, and I would give them all away.

I want to be a phoenix, returning home to burn and live again from ashes anew.

I want to be Adonis, loved to death and rebirth.

That cross I bear, it haunts me forever. Your uncanny Holy Ghost, father.

I want to say I’m through and I want to say I’m done with you, but your cross is seared on my skin, if only I could incinerate the rest and become solely soul.

I want to say that you do not matter to me anymore and I want to say I’m done with you, but you’ve made me a marble stone statue to flaunt your holiness. Look at me, sculpted by your steady hammering hand, a perfect statue from afar, but with crevices, dents, and imperfections from nearby. So close the curtains, turn off the lights and close the door to all.

Father, forever seems like a long time, so what shall I do to be freely over and above you?