Saturday, October 31, 2015

A SELF CONSCIOUS SELFIE- A NARRATIVE EXPERIMENT

I tilt my mobile camera, trying to take a shot that reveals the self i present in a manner that i seek to present it in, something spontaneous and effervescent yet something definite, an aspect of myself that has been mediated by a vestigial sense of who i feel i am. A selfie is, after all, both performance and veracious in that it functions chiefly, to my mind, as an aspect of my i choose to represent then, with all the zest and fun contained in it
Knowing somewhere that a selfie would be inadequate, would need a panoply of other selfies, captured and held at varying points of time, representing my myriad hues. But the problem is that even as my finger prepares to click my posture freezes with self consciousness, a consciousness not only of my unknowability to myself but of its funneling through a lens of imperceptible inner metamorphoses which emerge in a simpler form
Though even if i were to just take a snap of myself in complete unselfconsciousness i would have, unconsciously, chosen the form this naturalness of pose would evoke, in that split second before i click the picture and prepare the self that would be captured. The more i seek self control over which aspect of myself to present the more i am beset by a cavalcade of complexities within me , churning, roiling, necessitating a certain patterning that would resolve their precarious bulwark of self sufficiency amid undiscerned chaos. Even alacrity is no certitude for authenticity
As the very act of choosing which face to face the world with involves a certain defacement, with the fear that my selfie face, a symbol of my momentary self certainty might itself become indistinct and nugatory in the larger facelessness of facebook, of its vast anonymity , wherein , in order not to face up to the impulses of vulnerabilities i locate in myself , i seek comfort in facepalms and emoticons
Because words are shrinking into images which are funneling from the mosaic of untapped landscapes of the mind certain predetermined forms that are necessary to obviate, propitiate, circumvent the possibility of offending someone though what offends is being misapprehended or blocked and that is really an augmentation of being faceless nameless symbolically as though obliteration from the gaze of the other pushes into such existential anxiety that another set of selfies become necessary
Wherein what i am, on the wall which is supposed to be me, is a constellation of irreconcilable fragments and moods and beings,a distillation of splittings that does not cohere, that reveals guile, dissembling , neediness, fear, neuroses , love, all the paraphernalia of my unresolved identity. But there is still a me that has attenuated so, in me these vastnesses interlock and enmesh and then spawn, spiral, twist, distort, reconstitute.
Becoming on the fast track or being that which i can only be in the selfie instant.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

INNER FULCRUM

Reality has never fazed me although by reality i refer to the sense of a putative real in accordance to which i shape the self i present the world. It is insufficient to see this as dissembling because somewhere what is also involved is a practicality and artistry. However much ,in moments of mortification, self hatred may insinuate i feel comforted in the knowledge that i performed well .

When i first knew him i experienced an onrush of desire. The visceral response became the conduit for our future intersections. It was at a queer conference and his physicality imprinted itself in my consciousness. As far as the argument he was propounding in his research paper was concerned there wasn't great subtlety or nuance. His ideological position took comfort in abstractions, abstractions which seemed to possess an imprimatur of veracity and of being self evident. But any conception of the 'ideal' , unless mediated by an awareness of human complexity, can become parochial no matter how meritorious it might seem. His argument for 'commitment', 'a united stand' were uttered with impassioned fervour with the rationality of the jargon that underpinned it. His paper drew a thunderous applause and i had clapped my own hands complicitly, as also with a genuineness because , at a certain level, despite my misgivings,i was seduced by his argument as also by his own charisma , which exuded certainty, a firm belief in the right and a formulation of its dissemination.

Shaking hands afterwards i'm afraid i was rather fulsome and expostulatory. His own protestations of humility, which i intuited to be insincere, were accepted with good grace. Even as he stood in a group,conversing with desultory seriousness, about certain contumelious homophobic propensities around us, the atmosphere was of good cheer and optimism. Seeing all these people, consumed by conviction,mediating their ideas with the overlaying of  the incontrovertibly veracious , i had a sense of unreality as though i were enclosed in an integument of the perfection or the idea of perfection.

He took me aside, murmuring appreciative observations on the boldness of my poetry. I was gratified.And then he leaned over and kissed me and i tasted the raspiness of his beard. In that moment i saw him as a potential lover and the prospect of my annihilation, my submergence in his dark world, seemed irresistible. Contextually i recalled a lesbian friend telling me , with immense sarcasm of the many lovers he had and discarded, of his casual affairs. I experienced the flutter of decadence and a delicious thrill at the incongruity of this startling fact from his earlier avowals of the cause.

I went with him to his house, a three roomed apartment, tastefully done .The eclecticism of his taste was discernible as also the comfortable accoutrements of tasteful living, conspicuous in the eiderdown and carpets and sofa covers threaded with intricate ethnic patterns , with the convoluted whorls indicating an artistic sensibility i felt drawn to. His lovemaking was skilled but abrasive but all the more prepossessing for that. He invited me over for the next night and i made vague promises amid much prevarication and left. I sensed his implicit confidence that i'd return and i resented that insouciance partly because i knew that it was embedded in fact, the incontestable fact of my emotional vulnerability, observable despite my strenuous dissimulation, perhaps irradiated by it and thus redoubled in its self exposure.

I didn't return the next day and nothing cataclysmic supervened to precipitate it. Inveterately, the constellations of incertitudes , with their imminent accompaniment of stasis, waylaid me. I didn't want to commit to this casual affair because i sensed in myself a potentiality for recidivism, not just in the realm of brutal sex but of ideology. I had no desire to become implicated in the cause and the confidence with which i allude to the inevitability of this materializing is because i know myself all  too well. I am accustomed to witness my depredations and oscillations and to the strong tug of self loathing my willed capitulation induces. In this instance the amalgamation of sex and politics, a heady mix, betokens a regression i must resist, with utmost self awareness. I have left behind a vivacious message in his answering phone of my gushing admiration and gratitude. I think i have, though acting instinctively, affirmed his own preconception, a preconception i refuse to disregard as apocryphal, despite its amorphousness, of my ostensible fatuousness and efflorescence of emotion. Here, at this moment i am glad i protracted the performance to offset any contretemps. In one sense i have acted true to character as i anyway would but this truthfulness will, fortuitously, be recompense as an avoidance of heartbreak.

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.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

WORKING THROUGH

That summer was when i began experiencing misgivings about my friendship with him. We had gone along well, long enough, at any rate, for me to avoid self doubt from wrecking me within. He, presumably content to absorb my sincere self proclamations for what they were, with unperturbed gravity, with the occasional enlivening warmth, convinced me not only of his belief in me but of my belief in myself, of the version of myself i was presenting to him, both as a self i wanted to become and the self i felt myself, with the occasional flash of intuition , to be. But if i was manifesting the immanent then was not the stratum of authenticity a given despite surface aberrations? Or is it that i was working myself over into a work of art , a self , an artistic daubing of something inchoate with more sanguine brushstrokes. I was unwilling to relinquish my skepticism about myself but was equally unwilling to disregard the mnemonics of what i took to be the promptings of my inner self, whatever that was. So in a sense by both acceding to the impalpability of knowledge whilst placing faith in certain imperceptible currents of perception in me , i got lost.

None of this was immediately noticeable because i was enraptured by my being with him. But being with him also made me feel as though a part of me, never discerned but indwelling, had become irrecoverable. When he spoke to me kindly in my emotional tumult i both resented yet craved the gentleness of his solicitude. At one level i believed that he cared and at another i distrusted his ministrations, partly because i distrusted myself. I had begun this friendship on an ingenuous note whose underlying solipsism coloured everything with its garish tint, except the awareness of its own luridness. When the extremity of insecurity that underlay dissimulation surfaced i usually quashed it , disallowing submergence. But repressions accrete and atrophy.

At one layer of my personality i knew that this ceaseless dialectic of certitude and doubt was becoming indulgent. Deeper down i was discovering aspects of myself that were profoundly discomforting. I had, on a certain integument of our intersection, convinced myself that i could will things to work through restraint and adroitness, circumventing a misgiving here, offsetting a troubling recollection there. But that integument was overlain by a leap of faith which was as much suspension from my own neurotic underpinnings. That i labelled such dissembling spontaneous and organic didn't help. And yet there were moments when when i touched his cheek, hugged him, commiserated with him over his exhausting work day, prepared a meal for him , i discerned a sincere love and desire for his well being, healthfulness. I enjoyed his presence, our conversations.So was the paraphernalia of subterranean neuroses embedded both within me and without my more realistic cognizance of what lay beneath or was the very sincerity i discerned and revered so inconceivable a possibility that i needed to impose layers of unconscious intent on it. Was my preconception of our darker natures an admission of truth in all its multifariousness or an avoidance of the truth that i loved and cared too much? The polychromatic nature of psychological constructions,however unvaryingly monochrome within, can dazzle and distract with a kaleidoscope of shifting perceptions. With each refraction one can get lost in the interplay of interlocked forces. The array of shifting constellations, variations yet amplifications, ricochetings yet crystallizations inhabit a closed circularity. If between me and him , through our respective beings, lies a vast untapped, impenetrable gulf then should the play of surfaces consume me utterly? Or should constant self doubt and self loathing underscore the precariousness at the heart of it? Or a appropriation of him onto me or a surrender of myself both alternately abnegating and augmenting the self.

Ratiocinations of such a nature are unproductive and self important. With me and him there will always be the landscape of the known, felt, experienced with the unknown, the unknowable and the inapprehensible. All i have are the promptings of my heart, of their genuine waves on whose tides of probity, felt but incommunicable, the scaffolding of our relationship rests. The bulwark of an inward honesty in no way safeguards against any cataclysmic rupture that may or may not come. All it does is evince that one does one's best, with all truthfulness, to the feelings  of connection, love, empathy that throb within. It may be insufficient but is still, satisfying enough, for the moment.