Monday, October 26, 2015

FIRST LOVE

That night, when she stood with a gun over his head she let the silent tears flow unchecked. She was unsure as to what she was crying about. The tears blinded her, her eyes burned, the small cuts on her cheeks stung and throbbed with pain, the remembered pain ,the accumulated pain of a compendium of silent, unquestioning surrenders. She recalled his drunken, violent thrusts, his lacerating penetration, his brutal fucking . She had felt helpless then, confused, unsure of what to do, how to respond knowing that resistance was futile and capitulation pragmatic Once, amid his many violations, she had socked him in the groin and he had smashed her nose. And she had felt the bone crack and a searing pain render her insensible and insentient. He had carried on fucking her and the combined pain, blending with the barren trauma of nothingness, induced unconsciousness. She had been  a young girl. When she did push these painful experiences into the peripheries of memory she willed herself to believe that it was all a hallucination, a byproduct of her fevered, disordered nightmares. But her clitoris burned and bled even before she had had periods. The first gush of menstrual blood had seemed like a reprieve, as though the deluge spattering her panties betokened a logical culmination as well as a counterpoint to the bloodlessness of her emotionlessness. She had early learnt not to cry, not to display emotion because tears exacerbated his rage. It was almost as though her ineffectual weeping drove home to him his unconscionable folly. In  a less broken man compunction might have induced  stasis but in his case guilt impelled him to further excesses.When he raped her throughout her childhood he seemed to be desecrating something symbolic.Because,except for his inebriated bouts of violence he scarcely struck her,was solicitous, attentive, thoughtful. There was a schizoid split in him wherein alcohol both ameliorated certain primal miseries and induced violent action. Yet he was unstoppable. And his contrition on regaining consciousness was so self tormenting that he would gash at his wrists, thighs, stomach,watching the ribbons of blood trickle and then cascade in red globules and rivulets.He punished himself for punishing her and punishing her was the only way he could, in his contingent consciousness, seek exculpation through action.

Yet , over time she learnt to absorb these contradictions in him. The violence in him, both without and within , was burnt out. He had expended the energies that had driven him to frenzied acts of violence. By what process such a transformation occurred  was unknown to both her and him. He had become even more uncommunicative, sullen but never belligerent or truculent. In fact, surprisingly gentle , a return to an ontological tranquillity which harsh experience had obviated throughout her childhood years. As she settled into her teenage the violence he had visited on her seemed like an aberration and this kindness his perennial reality. Had she divined this self torture imperceptibly and had thus avoided talking of this to anyone? Had she sensed the substratum of misery that underlay the brutality? Had time anesthetized the crippling unbearable experience or had this interlude of his probity, protracting, seem redolent of some earlier probity? She had glimpses, in dreams,of him feeding her, changing her nappies while her mother had recuperated from post partum grief. He had, presumbly, done the best he could which intensified the anomalous fact of his raping his daughter through her young childhood.

But she had loved this man, loved him enough to endure his violence. And she had hated him equally, hated him for making her a conduit for his frustration and for the savage eviscerations he indented on her.As a teenager the dreams of fear and terror of violation had mingled with desire, sensuous desire for a commingling with him that had not the rough edges of violence but the piquancy of eroticism.She had winsomely approached him, seductively, only to be repelled. As her sense of herself as a woman grew she seemed to recede from him, become indistinct. Her therapist had helped in providing a space to vent out her anger and guilt. What therapy had failed to do was to obliterate the deep seated love, which transcended the sexual. When she sweated and yearned for him in her pubescent dreams she both sought restitution from harsh actuality and an actualization of a very primeval yet relational love. Sexual abuse was an indisputable fact but she had never ever felt entirely angry with him , knowing, within herself, a remnant of that same existential emptiness and a potentiality for violence. Once as he had lain asleep she had joined him in bed, provoking him,seeking to materialize an erection but the very violence of her own efforts, her mingled anger, resentment , frustration, helplessness, conflagarated in her memory as something deeply embarrassing. She had felt degraded by the virulence of her desire. That what he had done to her was unforgivable, unacceptable, however understandable, she clearly knew and there her moral certitude was watertight. It was the unconscious cornucopia of her own unawakened, unassimilated energies, finding  in him her own inchoate conduit, that had rendered her bitterly excoriating. But even that, in the heat of this moment, became irrelevant.

His wrinkled skin, sagging pouch, sour breath assailed her as he breathed raggedly. She could see his blue veined scrotum, shrunk, desiccated through the thin bedspread. She felt tenderness and awe, a vestigial consciousness of something irrevocable. She saw her symbol of emotional ambivalence in life in him. It was too late to sift through the myriad , interlocked configurations. He mind seethed with the chaos and clamour of clanging, discordant impulses. A white light exploded in her head. She squeezed her eyes shut, opened them and pulled the trigger.

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