Saturday, December 17, 2011

Intro to Disgrace (in K. Vonnegut style)

All this happened, more or less. I did sleep with someone half my age, who could have been my daughter. I did get fired from my job and did move to the countryside. My daughter was raped by three men. Her neighbours did pretend that they didn’t notice a thing.

When I can’t sleep at night I wonder if my daughter wonders if I am any different from those men who raped her. You need to know that I am different. Those men were full of hatred when they did what they did. I was full of love when I did what I did, or at least ’love’ is the word I could find in the Encyclopaedia Britannica that is the closest to what I felt. I still have my doubts though, but who hasn’t.

My daughter doesn’t talk much to me anymore. I don’t talk much to her either. It’s difficult to tell if it’s the pity or the relief that stops me talking to her. Then again, we still jolly well behave.

I live with my daughter in a place that would be God’s anus if God had a digestive system. God beyond doubt doesn’t have a digestive system, but had he had one, I would be living right at the end of it, with a red neon sign above my head, that would say: EXIT. You can’t get any further from here without stepping into outer space.

I’m not here because I like to be here. I’m here because I don’t have any other choice. I don’t have any other choice because I have difficulties with controlling the strongest drive mammals have on this planet, that requires them to match their genitals with the genitals of other mammals, regardless their age. If God had genitals (which he beyond doubt doesn’t) he wouldn’t ask us to control ours either.


My body is laying on the bed and Mark’s body is laying on my body. The two bodies are moving slowly, rhythmically. We could not possibly be closer to each other than we are now, and we couldn’t be more separate. I feel his warm, wine coloured breath on my face and his sweat tickles my skin. We are pretending and we both know it. I want to stroke Mark’s face and tell him that we don’t have to, but I don’t.
Our bodies are laying on the bed next to each other. Something uncomfortable is coming and maybe I could prevent it. I could say something comforting. I could ask him a question about how his day went or cuddle up to him and hug him. Our bodies are laying next to each other with the appropriate distance between them, with a distance that is right and suffocating in its rightness. I sense that Mark is looking at me, my closed eyelids serve as shields.
’You know,’ he says. ’You know.’
I know but I don’t let him know that I know.
I sense his cold hand on my shoulder for a second.
‘Hanna?’ he asks, ‘Are you up?’
Mmm. I say.
I hear him sighing. I open my eyes, and turn my head in his direction. He is looking at me in the dark. I look back at the ceiling.
The bed is slightly and rhythmically moving under me again, Mark is scratching himself. I want to ask him to stop scratching himself.
‘You know, Hanna,’ he says, ‘you know I was thinking about you, just now, and, and as I was thinking, all of a sudden I realized what you are. You are an inflatable doll.‘
I sit up in the dark. I guess he’s right.
‘That’s what your function is. That is what you are. So shouldn’t I treat you accordingly? Do you have any arguments why shouldn’t I?
I push the blanket off me.
’Of course you don’t have any. Because you are an inflatable doll.’
I stand up and I walk out of the bedroom. I walk through the dark living room, its darkness and silence is comforting, the cold floor makes my bare feet ache. I open the door of the toilet. The King is sitting on the toilet, his elbows are on his knees, his chin is in his palms, his crown is balancing insecurely on the top of his bald, shiny head. He wakes up as I switch on the light. He stands up slowly, like and old man, lets me take his place, and pats my shoulder before leaving. I sit down on the toilet and smile at him. He smiles back at me sleepily and closes the door behind him

In the restaurant

- I only have one question. It’s my birthday and you said you were gonna…. coz it’s my birthday. So one question. Help me understand it, ok? I need to… I need to understand. Will you help me understand it? Will you? Say that you will. God damn it.

- I will.

- What?

- I said I would. I will.

- What made you who you are? I want to know. I want to know what happened to you that made you… who you are.

- Mark, please.

- No, no, no, no, no ’please’, tonight. There is no ’please’ tonight, all right? Today is my day, you said so, you said that today was my day, ok? Did you say it or did you not say it? So stop saying ’please’. You said that you would do anything I asked from you today. You said that didn’t you?

- Yeah, I said that.

- There we go. There we go. So, I want you to tell me what happened to you that.. the thing that fucked you up.


- You’re not gonna tell me. I knew it. You’re not gonna tell me anything. You’re just gonna, you’re just gonna sit there in silence until I lose all my dignity and shut up. You’re just gonna do that. Coz you always do that. That’s what you do.

- That’s not what I do.

- Yeah, that’s what you do. Coz you’re evil. Aren’t you evil. Answer me, will you?

- I am not evil.

- It’s my day. It’s my goddamn birthday. Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you. I’m so happy, Hanna, I’m so happy. Look at me. Look at me how happy I am. Waiter! Waiter! Come here, please! Look at us we’re so happy.

- Mark…

- What? What’s wrong? I said please. Didn’t I say please? Didn’t I? I was a good boy. Waiter! Please, bring another bottle of champagne. We’re celebrating.

- Yes, sir. Anything else? Desert maybe?

- No. No desert maybe.

- For the lady?

- Don’t ask her. She’s not a lady. She’s a robot. A robowoman. Ro-bo-wo-man. She can’t speak poor thing.

- No, thank you. Hanna says. – I’m fine.

The waiter takes notes and leaves. The couple from the neighbouring table is staring at them.

- What are you looking at? She is really not a woman. She doesn’t have hair on her body. And she’s not getting old. She’s from another planet.

- Mark, stop this. – says Hanna.

- OK, I’ll stop. I’ll stop if you help me understand. I want clarity. (…) I’m so tired Hanna. I’m, I’m so tired. I wanna go home.

- You wanna go home?

- No. You gotta talk to me. Coz it’s my fuckin’ birthday. And then we’ll go home.

- OK.

- OK?

- OK.

- Did you say OK? Did you just say OK?

- Yeah, I said OK.

- So you’re gonna… what are you doing?

- What?

- Are you smiling?

- I’m not smiling.

- Yes you’re smiling. You’re laughing at me.

- I’m not laughing at you. I’m just nervous, OK? I’m sorry. I have to laugh when I’m nervous, you know that I have to laugh when I’m nervous.

- Fuck your nervousness. Fuck it. Let’s go home. I wanna sleep.

Friday, December 16, 2011

One syllable writing - afternoon in a park

I lie down in front of her, on the grass.
“Do you think we’ll go to hell, for what we did?”, she asks. She laughs.
I look up. The tree branch makes a shape on the sky which makes me think of a hand. My gran’s hand, as she helped me get up from a fall.
Pink blooms stick out from the hand. They speak of spring and life and light. I reach out, to touch her face. Her cheek and ear and nose. I trace out her lips. They are soft. Red. I can’t breathe – for a bit.
I say, “No, I don’t think so. It felt too good.”
Her hand finds mine, moves it back to her lips, to be met with a kiss.
A leaf falls.
The sky up there looks down. The sun shines through the branch. The pink buds bloom. I smile.