Saturday, April 18, 2015

COMPLEXITY OF BEING

The  roaring wind rippled my trousers and gusts of my hair , fastened ineffectually by the pin, loosened themselves strand by strand. They got into my eyes and my mouth. The furry ticklish feel of curled hair was sharpened by my nail varnished ,lacquered  fingernails extricating it . All at once, the accoutrements of my femininity wafted up and subsumed me in a scent so overpowering that I  staggered  where I stood.  Soon order restored itself, the vertiginous feeling got over and I wended homewards.

My brother awaited me at home. He had already put the bread in the oven and peeled the potatoes. Today, more than on any other day, I felt a rush of gratitude that he was supportive enough to ease the onerous nature of domestic chores.   I just needed to do the bare minimum . As I went about preparing dinner I chatted desultorily, giving him tidbits and anecdotes from my day. As a freelance writer he works mostly from home. It is a sedentary job and he rarely ventures out to exercise or attenuate and imbue with motion his lazy limbs. He is also putting on weight. I really shouldn’t be cooking potatoes given the amount of starch they have. But jacket potatoes are his favorite food item and I haven’t the heart to refuse him. Whenever  I  watched  him tucking in, spearing the potato wedge within with fried butter and tuck in I feel a burst of protectiveness and love that is very intense. At the same time watching his bovine chewing makes me want to stab his eye with a pitchfork.

I am used to these tumultuous  tides of feeling. In my relationship with my brother I very much see myself as wavering on the brink and peeking over the precipice. It is not a particularly agreeable sight, the primal malodorous sludge that rots below. I suppose it is very useful metaphor for the primeval swamp of non being that gobbles us up, swallows us unceremoniously. It can take a lot of energy and effort just to resist such a submergence. My whole life has been a painstaking endeavour to keep myself afloat and not capsize or tip over. It can seem immeasurably  daunting, the sheer courage required to withstand this darkness. On most days I manage it. Some days, however are particularly cumbersome.

Days when I am laid low I jut sleep it off. I lie on the bed, staring at the ceiling. Immovability becomes my bulwark. At least I am not rushing to the bathroom with a blade or reaching for the pills. A few years back such would have been my course of action given the tempestuous emotional landscape I inhabited. I am much calmer now of course and more sensible. Suicide is fruitless or at least unprofitable because I lack the courage with which a successful suicide, with finality, irrevocably obliterates. My methodologies, though hazardous and imperiling me physically, are, though not equally inexorable, incontrovertibly traumatizing. I’ve had my stomach pumped a few times. My wrists are full of scars that are though fading, nevertheless conspicuously visible. I wear my scars with pride now. I no longer feel mortification  for the experiences I’ve been through. My experience seems more authentic to me than most others would feel theirs, specially if theirs was untainted by madness.

My brother’ s down for dinner. I glance at his bearded profile and suppress a gasp of desire that courses through, unbidden. I’ve had a few lovers, desiccated, clean shaven, insipid  men whose gentleness, though initially pleasurable, was wont to rouse in me the fiercest and most excoriating scorn. My brother and myself have fought, kicked, scratched, fucked and fucked up our way into this state of being we inhabit. After all the impetuosities of our childhood and adolescence we have settled into steady routines and  placid patterns. I used to hate my brother’s bookishness and now his freelancing seems a logical conclusion to that. Office life would never have suited him. He resents authority figures and being given orders. So do I but our parents left all their fortune to me when they discovered that, at 19, my brother had impregnated me. They cut him off and apportioned all blame on him. I did not disabuse them of their preconceptions but neither did I attempt to defy them or challenge their assumption. I was too shocked, I just played along and landed up rich.

I subsequently had an abortion and now that everything belonged to me I could have kicked my brother out. Alongside the freelancing writing was what my brother deeply desired to do and since our debacle with unintended procreation he has hardly written a word.  I feel pity but also a malicious satisfaction.  I never desired his child either but was, for some time, a bit careless and injudicious. My carelessness is no excuse for his inattentiveness but then, as now, he acts purely from self absorption , concerned with the gratification of his desires.  I enjoyed the sex and the primordial pattern of my commingling with my brother made all future intersections with other men seem purely makeshift.  My fantasy is of a really hairy, masculine man sweeping me off my feet and fucking me long and hard. What I get from my brother, even now, is not just physical sex but the attendant emotions that accompany them, emotions of narcissism, longing, love, lust, possessiveness that stud them.


Well I’ve got my brother where I want him.  The prima facie evidence clearly suggests incest. But it never seemed transgressive to me.  All I did was to give concrete embodiment to the nebulous and nameless desires that fomented within me. When I had my breakdown my brother discerned guilt. But to me it was a disintegration into the primal swamp from where we came. I am stronger now and he is weak. Finally he is the jaded lover whose only function is the providing of pleasure.  His growing stoutness envelops layers of flesh that diffuse when we make love. And I can bake potatoes endlessly if I have to keep him beside me. And indulge simultaneously, in my murderous fantasies. Such is life. 

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