dinsdag, november 14, 2006

A Woman Young And Old

If I make the lashes dark
And the eyes more bright
And the lips more scarlet,
Or ask if all be right
From mirror after mirror,
No vanity's displayed:
I'm looking for the face I had
Before the world was made.
What if I look upon a man
As though upon my beloved,
And my blood be cold the while
And my heart unmoved?
Why should he think me cruel
Or that he is betrayed?
I'd have him love the thing that was
Before the world was made.

--WB Yeats

woensdag, november 08, 2006

There will be no cage over the Thames, as it turns out.

This is the last of my series this evening, the emptying of the bottles into the gullet ritual.

I will tell you one thing I've been keeping secret to myself now that I've run out of tricks.

I suppose some of you might remember my recounting of a girl and my being in love with her and her being selfish enough to fall off a balcony and dying. Frankly, even to this day, it's the source of all my cynical life but practically it's no excuse and I recognise that.

In any event, two weeks ago, I dreamt about her for the first time in ten years maybe. I dreamt about her so deeply that when I woke up she was there. Not there nor here of course, but in my fucking head, the same one I'd emptied specifically not to have such dreams or thoughts again.

So on a whim, I thought I'd google her. They didn't even have such a verb when she died.

Her name is not a common name. Why I googled her name anyway, knowing she is dead I dunno. The fucking dream was in my head and frankly, it's one of those repressed things that if one little bit comes out, the lid blows off. So I googled her name.

And I found a match.

Now I'm a rational man. I believe someone is dead, someone is dead and that's it, you can't even really google them back into existence.

But I did find a match and it was in the appropriate country and it is an uncommon name.

So what the FUCK do I think?

I know it's not possible. I know it of course, like any rational person.

Maybe it's that belief.

So google search finds the name which can't be and naturally what I have to do is find a number to connect it to. (Believe me, I tried the simple way, find an email, didn't exist, how easy to ask such question via email but no, there was none and so I searched)

I found a telephone number.

And imagine me, I'm a pretty stoic muthafuckah, really. Not much breaks my walls but man, when I saw there was a telephone number of this person with a name that isn't usual, all sorts of crazy shit I imagined. And that crazy shit was hope beyond reason, belief with no reason.

I really WANTED to believe.

And man, on the tail of that dream I'd had, I thought fuck anything's possible, isn't it? Dead people being alive, why not. It isn't the most incredible story I've ever read.

And so I rang the number the first night and got ringing and nothing more. Feckin ell, imagine the impatience!

Following night I rang again.

An auld woman answered and I knew it wasn't her but I thought maybe it was her mother and so I asked, ridiculously, is _____ there?

I am her, she said.

And she was. Another human with the same name in the same country.

And I was fucking gutted. Fucking gutted.

(and here is where I imagine myself almost being human in that I didn't just hang up, I carried on)

I talked to her, about her life. She's a neurological doctore, helpijng children with neurological handicaps. She was married, husband dead, three grandchildren, one daughter. Every word bled me. Reality, not reality. I told her about the person I'd been seeking, she made appropriate sympathies and I hung up after we'd had our spontaneous and unexpected chat, this woman with the same name of the woman I once loved who died.

And when I put down the phone, that was it. My last chance. I'd had one more thought of hope and it was beautifully beaten down but it was my last chance and there are no more after this not even if I dream of her again I won't be fooled.

But I was magically fooled by that need to believe just that once.

And I wish I could say I'm unshackled by it in a way I thought I was unshackled by it when she first died but I'm not. It will continue to haunt me over and over and I will have to recognise that for all my alleged intelligence, she will never live again, I will be happy in small moments and walk mostly in valleys and that will be the underlying current of my existence.

woensdag, november 01, 2006

Best Little Whorehouse in Pompeii

The frescoes are like a list of offerings -- with a sexual position to satisfy everyone's preferences. Now, after a year-long restoration, the brothel in the ancient city of Pompeii is once again open for visitors.