Saturday, April 7, 2012

How to disappear completely.




Three white pills and they asked me if I knew my name. I told them. They asked me if I was okay. I asked for you. They looked at each other like they shared a secret. Like someone had died in a car accident but I knew there could be no accident because there was no car. No one said a word. I couldn't smell my own perfume but I could smell yours. Someone's blood dripped into my veins. Three white pills gave me more sleep. You would come when you could and that was okay because you were always gone and I was used to it. Then you were sitting on the side of my bed telling me how disappointed Gaudi would be.  But you were there and that meant everything would be okay.

We were in Hyde Park by the lake. People and swans were paddling like boats. You hated the sun and I loved it. Something hurt and you kissed it without permission. The blades of grass were fresh as the seasons. You said you had great perceptions but no expression when it came to telling me how much you loved me. You could destroy everyone and everything and this wouldn't change. You could hurt me all you wanted as long as you didn't let anyone else do it.

When I woke up they asked me to recite the alphabet and then recite it backwards. We never cared about alphabets so I didn't say a word. I thought about rehabs and about people who went to them. Low-life fools who lived off filthy habits. You were addicted but you weren't a low-life. You were a habit but you weren't filthy. Everything anyone did wrong you could do because you weren't everyone. You were everything. But this wasn't a rehab because I didn't overdose on anything because I wasn't you. They shone a torch in my eyes and I hated it so I screamed. You said it was okay to scream with everyone but it was not okay to smoke. It was only okay to smoke with you.

It was a cold winter afternoon and we were lying in bed. We were watching a documentary about something in the Amazon or life in Bismarckian Germany. We laughed at things that were not funny. An egg became a tadpole became a frog and it was you so I had to kiss you to turn you into a prince. Someone was bombing a city on the television and someone's wife was now his widow. I pulled the blanket closer. And you. You put the X-box on so we could kill all the bad guys in the world.

The sunshine was diffuse through the dull window. Outside was a large garden and a fountain. I tried to move but I couldn't. A woman who looked like a nurse walked in. There were dimples in her smile and her legs were tanned. I asked if I had been in an accident and she said no. I asked if I was pregnant and she laughed. I asked what was wrong with me and she said a doctor would be in shortly. Her voice was calm and clinical. Her breasts were too small. I asked if you had been in and the smile was gone. There was something turbulent about the world. I asked again. No clocks were ticking. Asked if you were okay. If you were alive. My voice became a scream became a wail. I was pulling my hair or hers. Off the bed. Angry. Dying to know more than I had ever wanted anything in my life. Someone screamed you were as alive as ever. My breath came back in tufts. He's okay. He's alive.  Maybe it was the tranquilizers.  Needles in arms don't feel like anything. No amount of physical pain could hurt me like the thought of losing you. There were three men in the room and none of them was you. You had to be okay. I had seen you sitting on the side of my bed and known that my heart was yours forever and ever. Time was still lurking in another room but not ours.  I moulted from one form into another. Pebble under a stranger's feet. Moult into  life as autumn's dying leaf or spring's first blossom. Then a magpie. Then a human. Then a phoenix. Then a stone again.

I found you in the middle of the night sitting in the centre of the road. Pulled over. You said you were grieving. That was all I needed to know. I sat next to you, your head in my lap. I found you lost and in need. Broken and hurt and betrayed. That was all I needed to know. A helicopter had killed your brother. Your grandfather had burned in your house. They gunned down half your family in front of your eyes. Everything needed fixing. Everything hurt. I sat with you in the middle of the road. Our bodies reacted like alchemy. I didn't know your name and I didn't need to. Nothing else seemed enough and you became my world. You said there was so much more but you couldn't talk about it. My lips wanted to shake hands with yours. And then it was seven years later. And I was more in love than I had ever been. I had called you by name, so you were mine. And when you finally crossed through the waters I would be with you and then nothing could come between us.

Don't you see, don't you see? 
You're just the torch to put the flame to all our guilt and shame 
And I'll rise like an ember in your name 

Someone was telling me a sad story when I woke up again. It was about a little girl whose father sold heroin. When her mother said it was illegal or unethical, he would hit her till she couldn't breathe. When she stopped saying it, he saw it in her eyes and hit her again. When he finally went to jail it was the happiest day of her life. Then they let him out and everything started going wrong again. His mouth was filthy and you could see that on his face. Her mother cooked and cleaned and then she was ruthlessly beaten up by her father and then raped. There was a time when the girl could hear her protesting but that stopped. It was worse that she never fought back. Then one day the mother died and a new mother came home. Then came her father's friends with their heroin and their cards and she burnt her hand making tea. The new mother was not cruel, but she wasn't a mother either. Then one day one of the heroin-men raped her. There was blood everywhere and pieces of her torn clothes. The blood was washed off her and the clothes were buried. The man was a good client so no one said a word. Life went on like it knew no shame. Her new mother said it was a good idea for her to be married so she was. Her husband was kind because he didn't sell heroin and he didn't hit her. Then he found out about the rape and he left her. He called her a fucking whore and that was not very kind. She had a baby in her stomach and he died of her grief. Something else  happened then but I didn't want to know.


It was a sad story, and it depressed me. I asked if the girl was alive and they said she was. I asked if she was okay and they said she would be. I asked who she was and they said it was me.

I felt a baby die inside of me and before I knew it I was sobbing like someone stubbed my heart out with their cold fingertips. I wailed like you had done in the middle of the night sitting in the centre of the road. I was scared and I wanted you. You were standing in the corner of the room, with a winsome smile on your fading lips. I called for you again and again and cried and screamed because it was okay to scream in front of everyone else but it was not okay to smoke. I could smoke in front of only you.

I thought my heart would explode. You disappeared like you always did and I couldn't trace you on a map. I asked them if you had been in to see me . I asked them where you were. They said you were alive and okay but you only existed inside my mind and that is why I had never known where I ended and you began. Gaudi would be so disappointed.