Monday, 25 October 2010

An ordinary tale in one sentence

I'll write it for you. You said there was no way, no fucking way, you could tell your other friends, the ones you ride your days with. I'll tell it for you to take shocked load off your shoulders and make it just another narrative swinging loose across Sydney.

You said you marveled at the crassness of his gesture. He had crossed the floor and run a firm finger down your throat, answered your puzzled face with his lips, retreated at the footsteps of the others returning to the fray. He repeated variations of the gesture, when no one was watching, answered your objections about his girlfriend with a casual shrug, stepped close to push his hand up the back of your dress and as far between your legs as he could reach. He said, 'I like being rude'.

I know you are ordinarily won over with words, seduced by intellect and the stupid force of your respect and admiration. You weren't able to explain how a drunk and guttural man, with questionable morals, lead you so easily from your long and beloved celibacy to such a splayed place.

You said he pissed through a paling fence onto your favourite kind of flower, wanted you to watch the hard stream hurtling out the end of his already erect penis. I would have walked away but you paid for the taxi across town, let him push that finger back up your skirt while the taxi driver switched on his windscreen wipers.

He hesitated before he walked you drunk across the road. Wondered out loud whether his girlfriend would be waiting in the doorway. You blanched then, offered to shake hands and leave him in faithful slumber but he grasped your hand and you both tiptoed through the tall shrubs in his small square of a front garden. He was peering ahead and you were throwing empty pictures back up at the blank moon. Nobody was sitting in the doorway, nobody has an easy time finding the right key with a virtual stranger under one arm and cold beer running loose from knuckles to knees.

The floor was hard and covered in paint, the whole space stank of paint. You said you were wondering if you'd been poisoned by the fumes. I thought of all the centuries of women who walked willingly into the artists'  bare-floored urban hovel and survived the stink of linseed oil, turpentine and oil paint. It is usually the man himself who is a point of danger.

I remember every detail you spat out of your still bleeding mouth. His vigorous delight at your unforced ferocity. His ill-timed pauses to enquire after your level of comfort and well-being. The unexpected sensuality of a slow and standing undressing, how he took a whole step back to admire each newly revealed part of your form. I remember your explanation for each one of your swollen injuries but I still don't understand how you broke a one-hundred-year-old fireplace with the bare balls of your feet.

He sounds like the kind of man I'd walk around to get to a friend. I imagine him almost shorter than you, black-haired, crow-footed, awkward with dancing but laced with lean muscle.

Neither of us wasted time with manufactured shock. It was out of the ordinary, an unexpected deviation from the rutted path of your character but we do not lead an unexamined life. Not all of us could casually murder eleven men and sink their battered bodies in the nearest dam, but like you, I have been devious and selfish as well as kind. I have found cruelty and cracked it as a whip even after I saw red welts rising in alarm. Neither of us paused to think about her, the absent one who can be found some nights sitting in a doorway.

The strength of him reminded you not of your limits but how rare it is to be overpowered. One knee planted on the bed, the other moving apart your already splayed thighs. You tried, out of curiosity, to force a shift in positions but found yourself turned into a furious dough clinging round the steel edges of a machine. Even the subtle tilt of your pelvis, to make the most of his relentless strength and rhythm, was impossible until you worked out how to make your intentions known.

No embarrassment was found, not in the small moments where a long-term lover would have known the curve of you well enough to need no guided entry. Not in the rare minutes of repose, seven eighths submerged in sleep, he clung to you like a limpet and uttered her name. Whispered his shock and joy at how much, how far, how hard, this night, you had fucked.

I laughed at the thought of you popping up on to one elbow, all matter-of-fact to say 'no dude, you've got that wrong, you've been fucking me'. He apologised, blamed his momentary confusion on sleep, said something quite like the right sort of thing but he was already hard up inside you again, ramming home a new rhythm. Had you pneumatically pinned like a butterfly.

The smell of him was phenomenal, hard odours of a man spearheading a new movement and sparing no strength for tomorrow. Old piss wafting from the miniature tiled cupboard miraculously containing a bathroom. Paint fumes, jet fuel, car exhaust, clouds of alcohol rising off him like steam. How alien a man is when you allow yourself infrequent encounters. How sinewed, hard and unequally strong. This man, I imagine is slightly shorter than you, held your heels over your head with one arm. Countered the full push of your strength with an increase in speed. Held his calm eyes open over your exertions.

You were grateful for the consensual overpowering. Sure that never before has the rallying of every one of your fibres been so easily contained. Never been able to dash yourself against brute strength like storm waves breaking on rocks until everything was rip torn and leaking clean new blood.

You kept meeting his open eyes. Came back to his face watching over you constant as sky. Writhed under his watchfulness, became a maelstrom crushing lone ships at sea. He saw everything, swallowed whole every contorted grimace, rolled fold of bent flesh, mapped the longitude of your thrown back throat. You thought he was wearing the look of a landlocked man being shot out of a canon aimed straight at the ocean. His mouth came gloriously open, dropped words of admiration straight into your ear.

He answered in two words your long-held wonderings of why that woman delved six years deep into sound hoping to discover how some low-rumbled sounds have us ecstatically believing we are in the presence of god. Someone said a priest found her impaled on a pipe organ, the surgeon as shocked as anyone when her intestines dropped out of her vagina.

When you rose out of the rank pool of sweat, blood, beer, come and piss the sun was knocking like a debt collector on your eyelids. You crept across the cold floor, squat-pissed in the blacked out bathroom. Thanked the foresight that left all of your clothes in one pile by the door. Leaving him unconscious you ghosted to what passes for a kitchen, sucked Warragamba hard straight out of the tap. Blew foaming mouthfuls pink with blood down his plughole. Pulled his last bottle of beer out of your handbag and left it prominently positioned on an otherwise empty shelf. You were irritated by the politeness of this gesture.

Your feet were flashing like imaginary fish walking you home without navigation. As you stumbled towards Stanmore the Saturday joggers came crawling like cockroaches on to Enmore Rd. Someone said they saw you hailing a taxi, some said you were waiting for a bus but I saw you down by the roadside where even the whites of your eyes were trying not to cause too much of a fuss.

I took you home with me then, poured you bleeding and shaking under the warm jets of my shower. I wrapped you kindly in clean towels. Two thirds towards the bottom of the tea pot you stopped holding your face and spitting out blood. You said  you supposed it wasn't remarkable, from now on you could tell the whole tale in one sentence. I got drunk and had a one night stand.

Third paragraph from the bottom contains a conglomerate of stolen lines, used without permission, from Benito Di Fonzo, Trent Marden and me from something I thought of three weeks ago. In some other paragraph I have made free use of a dream Geoff Lemon once had about murdering a cricket team.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

if we were conscious of the violence we caused our most sensitive selves in the moment the violence occurred we would never get anything done
that is why sometimes i think i would like to be a meditating monk high in the clouds aspiring away from all that is this dirty mess of self and its manifestations.
for the record iam a constant reader:) but im quite sure that what i gain from your writing is for me and not you
lots a love leurf