“Anyone whose goal is 'something higher' must expect someday to suffer vertigo. What is vertigo? Fear of falling? No, Vertigo is something other than fear of falling. It is the voice of the emptiness below us which tempts and lures us, it is the desire to fall, against which, terrified, we defend ourselves.”
― Milan Kundera
Why are we terrified because of the gravitation, pulling us down, seeming like a disgrace? It's not the fear of falling. It's the desire of falling. That desire, against which all our defenses are just lies, against which there are actually no defenses at all. We need that pull, that going down, that sense of doing wrong, that sense of getting tainted. She was serene. The way she looked about herself. She might not be everyone's idea of beauty. Some people might pass her off, and would look at me curiously if they were told of my obsession of her. The more I thought of her, on a daily basis, the more I saw her, the more she started to feel like a fetish; Why couldn't I just walk to her, and begin a conversation. It's not as if I hadn't done it before. I had; many a times. But it wasn't possible with her. I felt I would get tongue tied, and appear dumb. I felt I would do all the things, that I probably had never done. In her presence, I felt I was my worst. My fetish, the inanimate goddess, had made me a worshipper, and I had associated my desire with guilt, and buried it somewhere deep within; then again when I saw her, which was everyday, it came out of the grave, and pulled me down in the bottomless pit of desire; desire that did not have its own life.
Aren't we all supposed to be dirty, unfaithful and remarkably cleaver at hiding the truth? I wished the worst in her, just like I justified the worst in me. It had to be the worst in both of us, for us to be what I desired. Could I attract her if I told her of my worship of her? She might like listening of it but if she found it comic, I would look like an asshole. What is the relationship between possession and beauty. Why did I want to own her. Would she be like one of the objects, say a toy car, that I had, as a child, obsessively wanted to have; and could go to any extent to get it; and then, after a point, when I was done, throw it away, brutally?
She walked up the steps, and I was standing in front of her; we exchanged a glance. She looked at me as she would look at anyone else. I looked at her the way I could look at only her. Mad with lust, I stared at her until she disappeared. I wanted to fall; I wanted to fall so deep into that pulling force; I wanted her to fall too. I wanted us to fall right at this moment.
She looked for attention; she looked about herself in a vainly superior way. She was dressed to that effect as well. She wasn't beautiful; in her youth, a time behind her easily by a decade, she could have been attractive. She would have known the desire of her in people she was attracted to, the gift of the youth. It had passed now. There was no debris left of that time. Everything had left her face and body. Aging had transformed her. She had become someone else. It was this transformation that she was ending up emphasizing through this ridiculous dressing up. After some time, you took to her situation. You almost felt for her. Her glances, her longing for a stare at her body, her quick movements on the slippery floor, her constant setting up of her hair with raised hands, she was likable in her thirst for attention. But flesh had betrayed her. Bodies, bodies like hers seem to have been enslaved so many times that the scars of the passage of time cannot be hidden. It is beyond technology. Ugliness could be hidden well, unattractiveness is beyond hiding; it's pure tragedy. What would she want? Was her addition of attention swallowing her or did she feel restored to her previous self through this outrageous behaviour? I imagined her husband.
He had stopped feeling. He couldn't define a physical sensation if asked. He had become automated to a specific order, a repetition that swallowed his time ruthlessly every single day. When he found time, he didn't think. He smoked till his throat hurt. He woke up with a pain in the chest. He disliked everything about himself. On the road, he abused happy people. He looked at happiness in a sort of bored way; he thought it was an act put up with no objective. He felt happiness was a cover for embarrassment. Wasn't he embarrassed? To be of no consequence, to have limited one's powers, to have arrived at one's worst, and having to live, having to schedule a purposeless routine; having to find oneself at odds with one's desires; his desires were dying, he knew. His schedule, the everyday tasks he religiously did, were killing them; and he couldn't fly away. He felt tied. He felt powerless when he tried to think of a release. He tried to put on the mask of elongated lips, shining teeth, roaring laughter. But it evaporated because he found nothing funny; he found nothing to smile at. He saw forced limitations. Limitations imposed by mediocrity, limitations that had lived unchallenged and had now become immensely powerful; limitations that were swallowing him.
He sat and observed the people around him. He saw struggle. He saw the masks. He saw the abuse of "what should have been" by "what had become". He couldn't sleep; when he got drunk, it was harder to sleep. He lay motionless. He had become a motionless mass. When he saw himself he couldn't identify what he saw. His face had become heavy and lined. There was constant strain in his eyes. The skin had gotten dull and blotted. life was wrestling with him and knocking him out in every round; every single blow caught him unprepared. He accepted injury in meek disregard. He accepted everything in meek disregard. The world had closed in on him from all directions. There was no way out, there was never a way out, he thought. He looked down, almost always, and waited for the world, the masks, to crush him into in existence.
Where have you been? Missing you. Why don't you meet us? :)
The presence of a central theme could actually be found in the act of writing, often in the end; and then one begins anew, with the knowledge of the narrative, uncertainty diminished. It's a hard process though to continue to write while threatened with various aspects of creative misgivings. A masterpiece at the first glance is more often than not unremarkable: learning to cope with that is the mark of the true writer.
As soon as I entered the dark, low ceiling ed and confined room I felt a twinge of distaste. A few moments later I was left alone with her. The business for her had begun. I checked her. She stared at me. She sat in a particular way. She was waiting to be stripped, I felt. She was overweight and, what now dawned on me, aged. She seemed twice my age. The effort to look younger had gone in vain; while I felt cheated, helplessly standing there, she moved closer to me, hiding her body in that quick movement; and hugged me. She dragged me to bed and began kissing me. I felt uneasy. The intimacy, the closeness repelled me. I couldn't be rude; but I couldn't oblige either; I tried to find a way out. She knew it. She knew the limitations her body had arrived at; she knew now she couldn't hide them. Traumatized by flesh she offered the knowledge of flesh. She tried to be the aggressor. I lay on my back, elegantly pushing her away on her back. Hands behind my head, I looked at the ceiling. She started weeping, slowly, making no sound; then she rose and looked at me....I smiled at her and thought of a way out again.....flesh....the torments of flesh...I had arrived for flesh...I saw its abuse.