Monday, August 17, 2015


He felt tranquil, infused with confidence and had been for quite some time.Six months back a major breakthrough had occurred in pychoanalysis. He didn't feel surprised at the nature of the pattern he discovered. What surprised was how , consciously, yet subterraneously, the knowledge of the pattern had lain latent, dormant, slumbering uneventfully. He had known yet not known. He had allowed the knowledge of his darkness to exist in a substratum of being where nothingness rendered it enervated. He had proceeded, with desultory indifference, to move through life . He was aware that this was not the right way to exist ,that there was, perhaps, a happier state of being his tenebrous consciousness debarred him from. The more sanguine , well meaning people interposed with platitudes and maxims of self help the more inadequate he felt, inadequate both for the precariousness of the bulwarks people shored themselves with and inadequate because his own authentic lugubriousness, perhaps a more genuine response to a mad world, was inaccessible to a self deluded majority. Sometimes he marvelled at the persistence with which people negotiated their daily life, the way in which moments of happiness did seep into self deceiving lives. His predicament was exacerbated by the fact that the world he saw around him proffered no salutary blueprints he could  appropriate , or at least not without an awareness of how provisional they might be . He didn't know a way out and he felt hemmed in. And the insights analysis offered him in no way prepared him to accept , with either resignation or a simulated cheerfulness, the state of the world. Amid all this gloom he was an optimist. He hoped fervently that things could get better but daily life, with its attrition and banality , made inconceivable even the contemplation of the very alternative of metamorphosis. The very patterns he deplored enmeshed him irretrievably. The pattern was the image he recoiled from with fascinated horror but then the image was all he had. All other nobility was nebulous,unformulated and because unarticulated therefore further adducement to the narrative of irrevocability.

Meanwhile there was sex, plenty of it. He tried to find, in the rhythms of his body in motion, in the flow of blood pounding through his frame, in the gasps of passion, in the gobs of sacrament he swallowed of other men, a remnant of vitality. But even sex proved incompensatory. Either he would efface himself in accordance to the impassioned lovemaking of his partner at that time or allow himself to be subsumed by primal possessiveness.Either a prick would pound away at him while he uttered pantomimes of orgasms or he would hold the prick of his lover, not just sucking it but consuming it,wresting the life out of it as though with each drop of semen he sucked off he incorporated the inner being of his lover. The oscillation between surrender and possession, he was told by his analyst ,was an unreconciled infant neediness and its irresolution disallowed breakthrough. And he , himself, as a self conscious person ,read all the literature around pathology. He could quote freud, winnicott chapter and verse and had indeed used these insights to cohere the formless patterns he listlessly succumbed to. But knowledge did not help, nothing did. If anything, the psychoanalytic literature circumscribed an experience he instinctively felt as being more nuanced and multifarious. He didn't want fancy theories that led nowhere nor did he desire unravelling those theories to augment his disenchantment with the human condition. He had lived and experienced the unconscious before promulgating its mnemonics.

Cutting helped sometimes. He would take anything, a blade, or a razor ,or a knife and begin by drawing gentle arcs of thin welts across his skin, on his wrist or leg. But a frenzy would seize him and would lacerate, lash away at his flesh in a full flow of madness, externalizing, through each violent gash, the tumult he felt within . Until the tempest would subside with the permeation of the steel and pin needle of blood,a scent which, though initially evoking a pavlovian lust , made him nauseous with its malodorous piquancy. The white scars of stitches attested to the journey he'd traversed but in no way gave form to the inner trauma of non being that nullified. But it was nullity that keep him alive . Its nothingness was the amniotic sea which kept him afloat. It was only by feeling nothing, in a limbo of no sensation could he continue the business of living. He discerned that somnambulism was a befitting response to an inchoate world. The blocking off of feeling helped him cope with the exigencies of quotidian disappointments but in the absence of restitution the unprocessed because unacknowledged distress smouldered ineffectually, folded in on itself. In stasis it simmered and conflagarated , turning into ashes at its own inward combustion and flickering in shafts of incendiarism that fitfully remained. But all this happened in a landscape of consciousness where consciousness itself had become nugatory. It intensified his torpor, deepened his depthlessness and thickened his burgeoning loss of hope in life.

But the benefit of depthlessness is that it creates a space for becoming. With him,however it became a hinterland of an unanchored anchoring , a way of subsisting in the midst of  non existent appurtenances of self sustenance. And if these appurtenances were meaningless then so was the existence he chose as defense and survival. And if an iridescent plumage of a robin or the silvered waves or the pungent tinge of roses brought forth momentary satisfaction it became anodyne by its sheer momentariness. It was the momentary that was momentous than the contingent cataclysms that surfaced unbidden in capricious life.

He had loved dressing up as a girl when young. When ten he had worn his mother's saree, with lipstick and bangles , gyrating seductively in suggestive poses. Barbie dolls than football were his playmates. As he grew up the propensity towards femininity, which he felt as an incontrovertible ontological reality, both wrought an internal fantasy system of overcompensation and an external dissembling wherein the accoutrements of masculinity, felt as inimical to inner being,became being. He passed off with a makeshift maleness but the querulous tilt to his voice, his self evident femininity made him a sitting duck for abuse , more often by the very homosexual men with whom he had felt a putative affinity . Even within homosexuality he discovered a wide spectrum of variegation and the more he sought a slot to fit himself onto the more his own existential, experiential unreality undermined the slot he might have chosen. He couldn't build up an edifice of life through an accumulation of luminous moments of being. Nor could he lose himself obliviously ,through both self abnegation and repression, into the world he lived in. Knowledge became an impediment, underscoring the inherent hopelessness of things. If there were no slots to fit in with, no sex that could be pleasurable, no paradigm that could be transcendental, no relationship that could be transformative and no structure that could ensure a wholesome engagement than a facsimile of  escapism , what was the point? Any route , either of enforced and enforcing faith,violence, spurious mindfulness, fatalistic psychoanalysis and a fallible world mediated by a self annihilating unconscious closed off possibilities.

But the point, which he felt pointedly, was something he wanted to point out, with all its attendant pointlessness, could only be enacted. He took a razor and shaved off his arm hair, pubic hair and hair from his legs, he put on lipstick, powdered ,perfumed, moisturized. He wore a silk blouse and a long, diaphonous skirt. He opened a bottle of sleeping pills and with calm deliberation took the pills one by one. He acted with grim determination, with a perverse pleasure, knowing that path he was choosing was the inevitable yet ultimately transcendental one. He had been living for this moment all his life. The moment,extracted from the compendium of other moments that constituted his life, assumed an overwhelming reality, was in fact, his only reality. As he sank into unconsciousness he slid away from the phantasmagoric reality of the everyday world and entered the phosphorescent reality of the underworld. It would be here, his mind , slumbering, reasoned , that he would find his true homecoming. In the midst of death he truly found life. 

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