I wanted to step outside of my usual style of writing and tell you a little bit more about myself. As many of you know, I am a follower of the teachings of Jesus. I wear His thorns on my chest out of pity for those who choose not to be guided. I carry Your burden, as I carry His burden. I am plagued by Your anguish as I am plagued by His anguish. But more than anything, I give and I believe in love. I believe in the Flesh. I have an ability to touch people. I am consumed with Pride. I rescue people from sadness, from their own perceived nothingness. I say: follow me, let me be your guide. I show them light.
Would you rather happiness? Would you submit your Spirit if I promised you fulfilment?
I have known intimately, three girls, maybe four. The first was fourteen. She hung on my every word. She believed all I said. But in her lazy ways, she made the ultimate mistake. She did not believe that Jesus is the route to Love. She did not believe that all acts of loving lead to Jesus. I can barely speak of this girl, her name fills me with many kinds of anxiety. She was the first I knew of intimately, we made love in her parent’s bed, with her parent’s dog breathing over my arse, it’s languid eyes watching us with some kind of dogged amusement. I would slap that dog on its snout with any opportunity that arose. I used my boot whenever it came near. I made it my subject. It soon knew when to leave us both in privacy. Fourteen years old. The worst kind of whore. A pretty girl with a chafing between her legs.
I rescued my second girl, a self confessed atheist, on her eighteenth birthday. She was filled with stubbornness and hatred. And, as with my pretty fourteen year old, she was filled with a certain juvenile sadness. It didn’t take long to break open her barriers and climb between her thighs. She thought I was delusional. But she was more open to fun than I was. I taught her that we both believed in the same thing – that I did not believe in a God in the same sense that she did not believe in a God. I had a love for Jesus, just as she could love anyone who gave her the attention. I taught her the teachings of Christ. I taught her the power and feeling of love – or, should I say – I gave her the attention she craved. Either way I taught her that her way of questioning things was the right way. I taught her all about the true meaning of life, its purpose. Sex was easy. If I mentioned Nietzsche I knew I could push my fingers that little bit further. She was no prude, but she was the most unintelligent of the three – she had no concept of irony.
My third girl, oh what can I say? She was a girl prone to intoxication – the first time we made love it was far too easy. I started by teaching her the evil in her ways. It is always easier to bed a girl who has a taste for alcohol. But bed is perhaps not the right word – we made love in a parking lot – her dress smeared with semen and oil. I began to pity her understanding of the world, her naïveté. Her passion for the drink. If only she had given herself to Jesus, she would no longer have had the thirst. She had no idea where my fingers had been. She was only sixteen.
They want me to write words. They want me to choose my words carefully. The first word I ever spoke was tractor.
They are calling me a rapist now. There isn’t any hope once the stigma becomes parasitic. I don’t know which word to call it. Belief is not even considered a true word. (For a description of true words, read my published essay: “I Sat Upon The Face Of Feminism.”) The truest words are ‘Culture’ and ‘Society,’ words that mean nothing and mean everything all at once.
I am Society. We are all of us Society. If you blame Society, you carry the blame on your own back. I don’t know who said that first.
This isn’t even a confession. They want to know how old I was when I had sex with that girl. I think it makes them happier in their own lives if they can find someone who has done something terribly bad. They can go home happier. They can drive their cars happier. They can bring up their children in a great cocoon of happiness, knowing that they will forever be consumed in secular righteousness.
The age of consent varies around the world. Sometimes America is the world. Other times America is not the world. It becomes a story when there is a tale to tell. I can stick my fingers between the legs of a girl in Spain. I can never remember what becomes of my hands after the deed. I become a mess.
Some people find this disgusting.
I consider blame the only evil. I am writing, and I will always write until I become a book. Where will you put your fingers if I lay upon your lap? Never judge. Are you the kind of girl who sticks her nose inside a book? Of course not. But I like the scent of heat on wild animals all the same.
They ask for words. They ponder – What does he mean by this? Why do his fingers twitch so?
There is shame to be found in splitting hairs between one crime and another. I am only full of sin as much as You or He. Where I put my fingers is no worse than where yours have forever been.
Have you seen Theresa in ecstasy? It is what every young girl craves to embody. I like nothing more than to rub my own spit into flushed cheeks. I know what I am, I don’t need reminding of what it is that I am. I carry the stigma with pride.
When confronted by men, I blame my twitching on cigarettes. I am no fool to swallow medication. The fool is he who blames Society and takes a step back to choke on his — or her — own innocence. (There is little difference even at fourteen. One anal canal is just as tight as another, medically speaking.)
All is easier with manicured hands. One thing is always more acceptable over another thing until we are told to think otherwise. Yes, I am aware of my own contradictions. I have never touched a young male. This does not make me homophobic until you tell me otherwise, until you shift my thinking either to the left or to the right, or until I persuade you to choose the path that God defines.
What words should one choose? You do not listen. I gave them all my notes yesterday. I gave them my photographs. I bought postcards with magpies on the facing side. I don’t get visitors. I twitch more often than I used to.
“Man is caught – on the one hand believing himself to have absolute freedom over his thoughts and decisions, and yet – on the other hand – needing to appear to be thinking the same thoughts as everybody else. The paradox being that there is an essential need in Man to conform in order to obtain freedom.”
If indeed I bruised a girl between her legs at fourteen – poetically or otherwise – it was simply an expression of my liberty. There are two sides to every story: you either choose God, or you choose against God. God forgives your sins no matter what they are. God already sees the absurdity of life and wipes the slate clean. That is why I pity those who do not believe in God – they have no control over life’s absurdities. They are forever lost inside the paradox of what’s right and what’s wrong. There is no right and wrong. There is only life, and in life there is God.
I have now gone seven months without sexual contact of any kind. Yes, there was a fourth girl. Oh, I find it increasingly difficult to feel empowered – even my hands have lost their touch. I began to notice the frailty of my decisions on my last encounter, the girl was struck dumb, I forget her age. What is age anyhow? I forget what they call them – tights or stockings – they seem to be interchangeable these days. I made her say yes. She nodded her head tenderly. She felt different.
New blog. A regurgitated version of this one, but without the photographs.
I’d been learning to objectify women. They – women – had become no more than flesh to be pressed and moulded and used. This was in contrast to my upbringing: a mother who used to take me to the park to feed the crows and rooks. I would feed them bread, and if one did not look well, I would feed it with paracetamol.
‘Why do we give them paracetamol, Mummy?’
My mother had tried to cook her own head inside the oven. We got rid of the oven but could not afford a new one. We were never allowed to tell anyone about what had happened to our oven. I did not know what had happened. It seemed ok to me.
My mother often took me to a cafe in town. I would pretend to be grown up and demand to drink my mother’s black coffee. I was sick in the toilets.
‘You should eat something to settle your stomach,’ my mother said.
She ordered for me, in her tender way, a plate of crumpets with ice.
‘No butter,’ she said. ‘Crumpets with ice on top.’
I smiled at the waitress and noticed a hole in her tights and before she had moved away from our table, I had stuck my finger inside her hole.
I am told that she knew about the toxicity of soda, but had decided to tell no one. This was our news on the day that we went to Saint Philip’s Cathedral. I knew nothing of Saint Philip. I promised I would dream about him that night. In Saint Philip’s Cathedral is a crucifix made of railway sleepers.
‘The only sin,’ my mother pointed out, ‘is life itself.’
I still sometimes ponder my mother’s words. I do not know how life can be sin, but my mother confessed to feeling awkward about being alive.
‘Feed that crow there,’ my mother would say in the park. ‘It deserves his bread just for being alive.’
‘What about the ducks?’
‘I would not scrape the muck from my feet.’
‘I like the starlings, Mummy.’
‘Yes,’ my mother would say. ‘Feed the starlings.’
We backed away from the imitation Christ. I imagined that every imitation Christ was made from the sleepers under the trains on the railway lines. I thought perhaps that whenever there was a train crash, the broken sleepers would become Christ because that is how Christianity works.
‘What does Jesus have to do with trains?’
‘Movement,’ she told me. ‘Imagine a train that enters a dark tunnel. And … and suddenly something comes out of the other side. This is the spirit of Jesus. He helps us all to the other side.’
‘Did Jesus help you to the other side?’
‘He will … he is giving me more time.’
One day we fed the crows and rooks with nails that my mother had pulled out of our walls. She said that pictures were no longer needed in our life. She said that we were living under a sky of pretence.
The crows and rooks did not eat the nails, but a magpie took interest for a long while. Soon a pair of ducks – male and female – came waddling over to eat nine or ten nails between them. I think the female was hungrier which pleased my mother.
When the ducks began to die, my mother said something about the last ounce of soda fizzing in a soda can. It was only natural of my mother to light a cigarette with her shaking hands. She only ever had shaking hands when she lit a cigarette.
‘Can I try one?’ I asked.
She pushed it inside my mouth. It had that tinge of pink or red lipstick on the end which seemed more powerful to me at the time than the actual smoke itself. Of course I did not inhale because I did not know that I should do this. I tried to look cool, but when my mother took the cigarette from my mouth, it dropped on the floor.
My mother quickly stamped on it. ‘Pigeons fly off with cigarettes and burn down churches.’
I could not see any pigeons, but from nowhere the sky became filled with them. First there was ten, and then there was twenty, and maybe forty or fifty before my mother and I started running.
Sometimes I would imagine someone across the ocean who I would fall in love with, but I decided that there was little gain from this dream. I began to objectify women out of a desire for classification. The water-colour dried. There was nothing left to depict except for the soul.
They had another sixteen to count. By then it would already be nightfall; the shadows would’ve swallowed the rest of the light. She padded her bare feet on the grass, left foot then right. It was cool and moist. She twisted the cigarette butt into the steady wall of the house, went back inside. On the stove boiled a pan of water and eggs.
‘We shouldn’t be doing this,’ she said. Her fingers were testing the water.
Everything outside had become glazed with a deepening red. She remembered the sheep in the field, the smell of corn, the rust in the old lake that would resurrect every Spring season. She poured cold water onto the eggs from the kitchen tap. Each egg cracked like a candy skull. The lamb in the basket by the stove began to stir as though it sensed it was feeding time. They fed it eggs and milk before they completed the day’s rounds. The lamb had been attacked by a fox. They found the lamb trying to suckle its mother’s teet, but the only milk the mother gave was from the gaping wound in her throat.
‘They defend to the death,’ their father said, dragging the old sheep by her hind legs to the barn. The scent that whole morning was stagnant and dry. Every meal tasted of carbolic soap. And they sensed a return to Religion whenever they used candles to sustain the level of oil in the outside drum. It wasn’t rare to have an aeroplane skim the trees out in the lower field at the base of the hill. But it was rare to mourn the death of an animal in these parts.
The lamb tempered the floor. It wasn’t steady on the tiles. It opened it’s mouth to make a noise, or to eat, it was never certain which. A coat like tufts of cotton across its back, eyes black like some kind of devil thing.
‘Hold him for me,’ she said. The lamb choked on the egg. ‘Everything’s so expensive …’ The lamb took hold of the teet on the bottle. The milk was only slightly warm. ‘I’m bored of this.’
The lamb broke free and made for its basket. There was a trail of phlegm across the kitchen floor.
‘You wouldn’t guess what goes into making bone china,’ the girl said. ‘Can one person be so … oh let’s leave that now.’ She petted the lamb on the top of its head. It closed its eyes.
The girl and her brother both put on their boots and thick woollen coats. It was cold out there now, the frost would already be settling like a veil discarded by the stars. They preferred the frost anyhow, it meant less chance of a breeze or rain. They were lucky in that respect. The land was unforgiving in the rain. They didn’t know that their grandmother had been hung in the rain for killing their six week old aunt. Their father hadn’t the means to tell them. He was twelve years old when his mother drowned his sister in the kitchen sink. They never understood their father’s fear of water.
The trees would be felled the following week. ‘Can we avoid Mr Cherlain’s tonight?’ The girl spoke as they took to the outside air. ‘I don’t like the way he invites us into his home. Father understands. He only makes fun.’
If there was a breeze it was insignificant. She lifted her leg over the gate and helped her brother down. Their hands were cold. They should have wore gloves she thought. Her brother pulled leaves off the hedge and ripped them into wet shreds that smelled of piss.
She’d held the snout of the eldest sow so that her father could bathe its bloodied nose. She was reminded of this whenever she looked at her brother. He was like a lame sow, a great hulking pig with a disfigured face. They knew he wouldn’t marry. She had to wipe his nose in the winter when influenza spread across the valley. And she kept her own scented handkerchief of lavender and bay leaves, ashamed of her brother’s sodden appearance. They’d count the sheep as they passed the middle field, her brother repeating her numbers in his own incoherent style. He didn’t understand any of it. Even so, she didn’t want the Lord to condemn him for his idleness.
‘Sixteen,’ she said. ‘Sixteen sheep. And-twenty three, and twenty-nine. Everything’s holding like it ought to.’ She pulled at the beads of her rosary. Counting sheep always made her feel for her rosary. They were walking back to the farm now, a sky like a page of Indian ink had descended to smother them whole and blot them out from the world.
"I threw up all over the coffee table, nobody else was home. I sat in bed with a headache that comes after retching out the innards of your stomach, I don’t even see the connection, I can’t keep paracetamol down. I was plucking out my eyebrows. A man must be forever condemned by the coarseness of the hair on his fingers, a woman may fair better, but not likely."
Health is measured by appearance. I am not well. My face feels bruised. Does this constitute meaning? Is this an excuse for my being - this anti-wellbeing? My toes stick out from rotten plimsoles. Where did this feeling come from? I will need a new pair of socks to make me feel better, and let us continue this decadence - a fresh packet of cigarettes. (I’ve never liked anything half opened/half used.) Sharing a packet of cigarettes is like sharing a girl, taking it in turns to feel inside, pulling out your selection, lighting up, laying back. Pride is a disease. I can’t share things like that. I might as well choke on discarded goods, or stick my tongue inside a stagnant canal.
Fortune has blessed me. I find it amusing that things can grow from something small and helpless into something pretty and usable. There is no irony intended when I exclaim ‘Gosh, how you’ve grown!’ into my conquest’s ear. There is no one easier to fool than the man who does not expect to be fooled, except perhaps for the gentler sex. A few words can go a very long way. A hand can contain hidden excitements, like the smile that hides the true intentions of its master. The facet may shine, but it says nothing of brilliance, that is why virginity is hopeless - it has the worst odour of all, and attracts those with the most sensitive nose.
We are all the same person. There is never any death, but a continuation of life, we are an unfunny mass tied together with elastic string, bits might fall away, but the whole thing is continuously renewed. The only death is found in extinction and/or clowns.
At around the close of office hours, she took herself to the park to feed the pigeons and the ducks. She wondered if ducks were nocturnal feeders, but she often saw them during the day. She knew that a paradox of this manner could exist, but she also knew that she could make up words. She understood that Man was barely more than an animal. She understood that Man had somehow had the unfortunate capacity to civilise himself. She did not know the History of Man, or indeed if History could exist in a tangible form. All trials were absurd. She knew that she must not use the phone (I must not even lift it from the receiver), she knew that it did not matter to anyone if she had a headache. (I must never contact my husband during the day.) She was fortunate to have a husband. She did not tell anyone about his premature ejaculation or where it was he would ejaculate, or that he would pick up girls too young to get inside nightclubs. She always knew that there would be a tomorrow. She had seen the 40 milligram packaging more often than she could remember. She knew that everything was her fault.
“All of this is illusion. Words aren’t real, words are only themselves of illusion. There is no future in the utterance of mere words. Ideas expressed with words appear like the mirror that can no longer reflect the world. God is the only word that comes close to apprehension. They say that to be your own God is the only way to live, but not even Man is worthy of the title of God.”
It has been sixteen months since I last stepped outside. I do not know what I miss the most - I do not know if I have the capacity to miss anything. When everything has been taken away from your reach, there is at first, a moment of intense relaxation. I had not expected this, but then of course it was something that could not last. I became panicked - I don’t believe I had ever experienced panic before. My thoughts raced through encounters. I recollected my sins. I had an overwhelming desire to show myself to the nurses, a complete shaming desire. I would redden in their presence. I could not control my urges. My medication was altered. I had consultation after consultation with men. Always men. I did not see a woman for nearly two months. I complained that it was a basic human right for a man to see a woman, but my complaints disappeared. My medication makes me sleepy. I no longer have desires. They allow me one book a week. I cannot read a single word. Words do not contain meanings for me. I have asked for help - for days I have asked for help. I try to skip my mealtime medication. They now inject me once every three months. I am no longer of a stable mind, but they tell me that my medication is to keep me of a stable mind. I can tell you when it is Thursday, every Thursday.
Last week, one of the patients passed away.
A male nurse helps to wash my body. They do not allow me to be washed by female nurses. I think the male nurse is homosexual, but I cannot tell. He does not try to touch me, but I have oftentimes caught him looking at me in disgust. I have urges when I see the male nurse, but I think they are a repressed hatred of all mankind or some kind of homophobia that I am unaware of. I no longer have my freedom. I can see the true condition: Futility. Boredom. It is better to repent your sins whilst you still have your freedom. I can only read picture books now. I have a book on St. Anthony that I renew once a week. Nobody else wants to look at pictures of St. Anthony. Everybody else wants to read The Catcher in the Rye, or The Bell Jar, but these books only contain words and nothing else. The only book of words worth reading is the Bible itself.
I have to be supervised when I am writing letters. I have nobody to write letters to, but I have complained that it is a basic human right to be able to write a letter, even if that letter is to remain unposted. This does not explain why I have to be supervised when I write letters - I drew pictures of St. Anthony upon the walls in biro when I was supposed to be writing my first letter. My medication was altered and now my hands feel lifeless. Sometimes a male nurse has to feed me. I have dreams of choking to death upon a cupful of semen, but I do not tell anybody this. I wake up coughing and trembling. I think I have a complex, but I no longer recall what the word means. Or its relevance. Everything has become sliced, and I am living out my existence one slice at a time and I hope it kills me.