fiction. 1988. PART 4
The Birth of V
" E=mo_ioÐ_ _ must be stifled if you are to live in this fucking world and condemm yourself to mortality_" said Anna angrily and just a trifle coy, lowering her eyelids a fraction.
" thats where you get it wrong Anna," a character called Bob answered, indignant. "thats too easy an response. The thing is, that to make these things work out you've really got to work at them, you can't just get up and leave at the first sign of things not going your way."
"Fuck it. I hate this script. Don't look back! " she screamed as she hurled a salt shaker at another of the restaurant patrons who had, up to this point being quietly eating a piece of passionfruit gateaux, and upon impact was immediately transformed into a melancholic pillar of sodium chloride.
"Bravo! Bravo mon cherie! Bravo my little coconut swirl! The director walked toward her with a big fat kiss hanging from his lips. Artfully she ducked out of range. She was thinking: don't expect me to carry the emotional bundle. She was thinking this about the person on whom she'd hung up the phone on. Ended the conversation for good the night before.
Had it ever been a good conversation? A rapid fire repartee, rigorous reportage, a bang bang bang way to go, but problably never a good conversation. Not a real exchange. And with some sadness the little actress also turned into a pillar of salt.
In the crowded restaurant, no-one seemed even mildly suprised.
Always think twice before you look back Eddie V thought aloud.
"excuse me, did I hear you say something? For a long time now I thought I was alone here. I thought that I was in the middle of a joke that someone had told the punchline for a long time ago and either I didn't hear it or I wasn't there. Either way, its been very confusing."
Eddie turned to look at the woman speaking. She had a long black cape with stars and zodiac signs embroidered onto it. The blackness of its night sky covered a momentous girth. Eddie recognised her as the one they used to call the witch of Bondi when he'd catch the bus to school.
"Nein, ich did nicht sprechen" she answered in unified German and this made the witch cry.
Eddie V stood and left the desolate restaurant, still hungry.
So V came home, drunk on the thought of morte.
She held him, sweating bodies on bodies, what beauty his body taut over her, muscles tensed, fucking , had held him at once, forever, what bullshit she thought worse than mills and boone and so she made amends to get on with it. Just that. Plain simple. No time to waste.
No more psychic vampires. Keep herself to herself. Build a bridge to her own heart and let no-one traverse it. Sure, isn't it a lovely thought to allow someone over for tea and maybe cake but is it worth it, the empty pantry?
V booked herself onto a plane and set about organising the passport. Name, date of birth etc were faithfully constructed with the help of hired help. Isn't it curious the way people are so much more interested in a person who belongs to someone else V was thinking as she swatted her signature onto the passport application. Just think of M. so keen and now nothing. (there are many incidents in V's life that I haven't bothered to relate to you yet, and its likely I never will, but then the whole truth is rarely told). Sometimes, if you've a moment at the end of a long, or perhaps completely inconsequential day, try to remember IN DETAIL everything that happened. Not just a list of events, but textures. All that passed across your field. All that entered your life in the space from the morning to the evening, late, when the bells are tolling. Every detail. Do not pass go without it.
Ok from now on this is the story . A total control of one's own, forget the room. You live where you are, complete in your temple. Beware of short-haired sampsons bearing grudges!
At the dinner table, another one, he turned to V and shot arrows into their locked gaze telling her the verandah story - how his father lined all the children up on the verandah of the beach house and demanded the mother choose which one he would take with him with a bullet through their brains. Which One! Which One First? But then later he did it just to himself, alone "topped himself when I was fifteen", he'd said to the others while V got the full extended tragedy, locked into her eyes all his pain LISTEN TO ME I WANT YOUR ATTENTION I WANT IT ALL
Walking along the street she could feel him extended from his body to cover her with a cloak of himself. Curious when you can feel the force of another drawing you in - not an invitation, more a demand - demented desire. Earlier during the course of the evening on several occasions had their hands reason to meet, exchanging tobacco, lighters, change from the wine and every time the exchanges became moreso. Until at some point during the meal they were all together talking and the two of them moved towards each other with the force of the ideas, that railway track they were hurtling along, and their hands met and held together in emphasis of the climax of the journey of the wordstring of ideas which had something to do with chance in the life.
The others recognised this display and were left to wonder how this thing had occurred between these two. Why he turned to face her at specific moments and why she allowed him. However all was not roses.
As he was leaving he kissed her on both cheeks and went to walk away. V is not one to be content with the passive spectator position, she said kiss me and caught him up. He came back but he was not there, he was only there in theory. Not liking being told how to play his game their lips met without feeling like two porcelain masks. She looked at the side of his neck, glistening from the sweat of the dance. Running her fingers through the salt. Running her fingers through his short hair. Touching his shoulder (she could not resist! so strong like a rock) He would not be moved. He was impassive. He did not want her to challenge his right to call the shots.
Some writers give you juicy morsels of metaphor, so that when you read the review the critic can offer them up to you like pie on a plate. This story isn't like that. The details don't jump out and say BUY ME. No. Here you have a landscape rendered fluid, adrift and in need of a cigarrette. A landscape with a purpose. With you in it, and I, and all the others it is very sparse here. People would say that we could do with more, that we should have more. They say it with certainty, citing other locations full to the brim and doing very well thankyou ( half the size of Tasmania with the world's largest foreign capital reserves - the hide! ). but what you find as you live in this place for longer is that the people here, seperated by their endless deserts extend their spaces and put themselves on a veritable collision course with that other lone high-speeding vehicle burning through the ribbon of road cutting the hot sands at noon, or the dead of night. There is no peace of mind in the myth of distance, and little peace to be found.
V was beginning to see people as complex mathematical formulae. Some as simple as one plus one, some calculus, some trig, a few exponentials and many uncertainty principles.
construction of personality, emotion and a psychic self
life on an emotional plane, subject to movements and forces and all being relative, one movement to another
Of the time when V and Eddie V become as one and begin again
"how hard it is to keep a handle on the world when it shifts so" said Alice
Passport in order, V jumped on a plane and landed in order to arive. She asked the taxi driver how he felt about the country being handed over to the communists in 1997. "What can I do ? I can't leave. I would like to live in a place with clean air and space for my child but I am poor and cannot go. They are no good for doing this to us, but there is nothing to be done."
Recognising V had a cold he drove via a medicine store and ordered for her some medicines. When they were at the destination they shook hands and wished each other the best.
She walked inside the hotel and went straight to bed.
Dreaming about the compulsions of other madness. Of becoming caught in a madness not of your own making. Of being caught up. Snagged.
In a forest and then swimming free. V was swimming again, downriver with the current, luxuriously.
And sometimes on these nights in the arms of Morpheus she would wake up to herself being on the verge of joissance, on the crest of a hill, Venus mons. Coming to, finding the moon full in a clear night and being not surprised, she could almost remember the one she was longing for. Almost, that shadow behind a clouded history moving to reveal itself, enticing her to follow. "Trust me" was the the only sign on the dark road, full of pitfalls for the careless and cautious alike. V wore velvet, pre-crushed.
How did it happen that you ended up making love with his sister? In his apartment, in a strange city she'd come to visit. You were there in the room when she arrived. You'd met her before. She'd spent many years in Paris. How did you first touch her? In which room, by which bookcase, after which word or gesture did you put your hand to her hair and the seduction begin? Her mouth on your lips, delirious. With every movement closer to each other, feeling like you are losing ground in this high rise apartment building you are falling, cascading down with pleasure with your second sex.
And then he is there. A key turns in the lock and he is here, after work, after all. He comes into the room where we two are ruffled with the sheets, she is smoking a cigarrette, her hair falling casually over her face. She is cool, we together are fine. He is nervous. He asks nothing. He says 'So' and sits on the corner of the bed. I touch him, and want his skinny body. He kisses me. He touches his sister like never before, lightly, his fingers touch her face, her hair, then stroke her breasts. We take of his clothes, he kisses her full on the mouth. He is beside himself with pleasure and taboo. His baby sister. He nuzzles her stomach and licks her pleasure into rising again. She is holding him and touching him and inviting him to join her in something only ever dimly imagined, or entertained- their pleasure in this dark dance. He makes love to her with an excitement barely contained, and comes quickly.
The three lay their in the silence for some time, breathing in each others' light.
V awoke from the dreaming. Out the window was nothing but an extended metropolis. Windows looking out to other windows as far as the eye could see.
V had a steaming shower. There was a television screen built into the bathroom wall playing the nightly news. A woman singer, a former Australian, had been appointed as the United Nations Ambassador for the Environment. On tv she said she had become interested in the area when she realised that her daughter would inherit an earth she was no longer proud of. The singer looked very young. Although she was middle aged, she had the face and expression of a twelve year old girl. She had highlights dyed into her blond hair which made her appear to be in a permanent spotlight.
After dressing in cool wool V headed out onto the street. Certain of the destination she could have taken a taxi but chose instead to jump on a street car as it veered around a corner. It took off at lighting speed towards the other side of the island. Soon it was soaring above the clouds.
V was watching the city unfold when a white-haired white biddy started adressing whoever's attention she could catch. "I stopped smoking four years ago, couldn't have a cigarrette now, oh no..no.. " she shook her head and gazed watery blind blue eyes intently into V. V looked back at her and saw cancer. The poor old animal, airlifted from one situation to another, kept alive by stocks and bonds wisely invested at some other historic moment, hanging grimly onto life above the clouds.
The streetcar hit the earth with a thud, like a full bodybag in this life during wartime.
V walked on through an immense park, crossed with avenues of trees losing their leaves. In its centre was an elaborate building from another time, standing on its head. Resource efficient, the empty space filled with water when the precious rains came as well as doubling for a museum piece. A wordstring "The Victorian Era" was wrapped in laser-light around the base of the building 50 metres above sea level.
The structure's pure gold dome delicately supported the crushing weight like a supplicants hands.
This is my body I give unto you
My blood pours forth
the clear water piped from the bearer to a fountain symmetrically placed directly in front of the dome.
V had followed the path around as it circled the fountain.
In the long central avenue of trees leading to the city, she noticed a camera crew setting up a shot, waiting for the sun to receede ever so slightly so that the fountain in front of the dome would turn that particular shade of pink gold so loved by the postcard market.
She walked by them, and by an older man with white hair and a light blue cable knit jumper and navy trousers and a furtive look on his face with his hands down the front of his pants, sitting on a bench.
All the other benches that lined the tree-lined avenue leading to the city were empty, save for a woman in black some distance away with her back turned.
Something impossible was occuring. Immmeasurable grief.
V strayed from the path. The grass green with its sparse layer of dead leaves. The colours soft of the trees bare in lament. Slightly shivering.
V's body wandered aimlessly into the grassy field, hemmed by avenues and noise and relics of lost things. The camera crew clicked from her mind. She was utterly alone, stumbling and falling. Eventually falling somewhere onto the soft grass with such a wrenching grief. Unspeakable. Rivers of tears flowing to the grass and some sound, not human from her throat with her hand on her face's soft skin and the exhausted tears in her mouth and the trees bearing up, proudly.
Eventually crossing the road to the city, after some time, and noticing how grubby it all was, even though it had looked so shiney in the distance. Shabby. Her hand touched the dirt on the mantlepiece, and she wondered WHO HERE DOES THE HOUSEWORK?
A voice boomed out, we do WE do We have forever WE are the OPORESSED! We are oppressed by them! This was booming out of a megaphone from the mouth of a woman daubed in ochres.
'From the womb juice comes the rich mulch of the earth, regenerating and creating itself over and over in an endless cycle of WOMAN'
Oh God thought V, seventies performance art...
V comes from a world where 'womb juice' signifies faulty hardware.
how will the body become obsolete
what are the implications
what will we be
what is the direction of the narrative
back to what