Sunday, 12 September 2010

Doing Death


I dreamed that I had died, or that I had had sex, I can't remember. It all started when I followed a girl in her early twenties, that I knew very well, followed her into a bathroom somewhere with the intention of doing one or the other. 

Long brown hair, a black leotard tucked into sky blue drainpipes, but in such a way that you can spy soft hips exposed above the jeans because of the shape of the leotard. Teasingly and paradoxically voyeuristic. The hair is swept round to fall only over one side of the neck and expose a milkily vulnerable nape, the coy frown is shaded by the perfectly curled eyebrows, pointing to a spotless forehead. Cute little black watch, big gold south london earrings and a gap in her teeth. Cute little black tennis shoes - how confrontational - and a bum that makes everyone's legs go like jelly.

She turned her back to me and pulled down each shoulder of the leotard so that it hung by her waist. She moved further away and pressed herself against the cold tiles - all white skin against shiny black faux marble.


‘I want to have conversations that mean something, relationships that mean something, meals, movies, walks in the park, sex that means something,’ she said. ‘But I can’t explain away my passionate distaste for that, that intrusive intimacy of it all.’ She said this while twirling a loose strand of cotton around her silkily feline fingers. And so this is where it begun, how she did it, with her back turned to everything. 'And I want all this before I die.'

I regret never being able to make any sense of this, fumbling about and stumbling over unidentifiable objects in the ambiguous dark she used to create when she spoke like she did.

'Sex and death are, in my opinion, the two most inherently and inextricably linked themes in art and literature. So why not in real life? I can pretend the intimacy is foregone as long as there is sex and death. Although you must remember, of course, this is a sweeping generalisation.' 

I considered this, but again gave up after a few minutes of painful silence, accepting that I was never going to be able to understand what she was going on about. Why should the two be linked so inherently and inextricably in real life? Because she says so, it seems. Ignore the wildly unlikely. She has not killed anyone she has made love to, nor has she made love to anyone she has killed for that matter. Does she think of death during sex? The martyrdom of virginity or the sacrificed cherry lying rotting next to the fruit bowl? Dying during childbirth, Judith and Holofernes, revenge, black widows, mantises, disease, erotic asphyxiation, or even something totally unrelated - a car accident, drowning, self-immolation? The list is endless, It could be anything, and none of these. And I must remember, of course, it was a sweeping generalisation.

But then she hates the intimacy of it all, she has her back turned, yet beckons me forward. Her skin is warm and the tiles cold. She will kick me, hit me, scream at me, and as I turn to leave she will wrap both arms around my neck and drag me to the ground. What is she thinking when we fuck on the floor? What will the cleaner find in the morning - an errant pair of underwear or an arm in the bath? 


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