Friday, 21 November 2014

18 11 14

It is North Wales. My lover and I are cycling through a town we pretend is unknown to him. We have begun the process of dressing up for a party, the remainder of our costume stashed in our rucksacks, alongside a veritable cabinet of drugs. I have some sort of clear liquid decanted into small [infant’s] medicine bottles; he has a white powder pressed into folded A4 paper, [that I know of].

We find ourselves in a space between alleyways/behind houses that is also a concrete architectural feature/garden for use by the residents [it is also a thoroughfare for pedestrians and cyclists – or perhaps a desire-line]. Lover strikes up a conversation with a manual labourer who is working the concrete land, re. directions, drug-taking etc. There is a mocking quality implicit in the former’s attitude to the latter that bothers me; the labourer seems flummoxed by my lover: he seems gentle and we are not. In the meantime the vicinity has filled up with elderly bodies moving mechanically with fixed expressions that trouble me. They don’t speak; they fix us with their gaze, which is empty, generalised and disturbing in its sameness. I urge my lover to stand beside me, to reinforce me somehow under the hypnosis of the gaze – their curiosity seems disproportionate. As the tension builds I make the decision to rather theatrically introduce myself, to demystify my self, but my utterance is marked with aggression. Haven’t you seen one of these [gesture to self] before? I am Lauren I am thirty-three I am from Preston, Lancashire, haven’t you heard if it? It’s a shitty town like this, it’s 4 hours north from here, on the west coast of England, it’s up there [gesture upwards], have you never left this place?

He has slipped away. He scoops me up mid-soliloquy [eliciting no response from my audience, their muteness escalating my diatribe, if anything]; we descend through the concrete passageways out into the world.

I am in the passenger seat of a car that is driving through treacherous conditions beyond any conceivable blizzard: snow falls, ice slabs are heaped up everywhere like icebergs, multi-layered sheets of ice around and beneath us. There is a woman in the backseat describing details of her sexual history. My lover is driving and talking to me ceaselessly, unperturbed by conditions I view as suicidal. I express this sentiment thus: I wouldn’t drive in this climate, to which he [nonchalantly] replies: one is safest when one is driving oneself [as opposed to ‘being driven’ on public transport, I presume].

I am silently capturing our situation, visually. My eyes remain fixed on the scenery that rushes towards us, eyes telescoping left to right, taking everything in [pre-emptively, like my driving instructor said: over-anticipating]. I notice that at a distance of about 100 feet a slip road to the right that joins this major road, which has 6 lanes crammed with vehicles travelling at speed: mostly juggernauts, articulated lorries etc [they loom large over this small car]. I notice that cars are joining this major road in the opposite direction, and skidding across the carriageway in a vain attempt to avoid multiple collisions, which occur but to which I purposefully turn a blind eye. Dusk light congeals with headlights and our vision is fuzzy, grey-amber. With calculated ease my lover manages the vehicle; he deftly manipulates the controls in order to drift, most casually, to the far left of the road/dividing us from the commotion, which continues ahead, repeatedly, to my horror. Slow down. keep left (cliff edge, M62, road most travelled as a child, a threshold, white rose of Yorkshire embedded in the rock, pass-over, liminality: “imaginary space of parents” into which we are born, place of perpetually angst-ridden return).

Monday, 17 November 2014

5 11 14

We sleep beside each other until he wakes and lights up a cigarette. The scent of tobacco floods a scene which frames him, my younger sister and me. The location is my childhood home. My daughter is asleep nearby. He is smoking and I ask him extinguish the cigarette, or go outside, in response to which he turns to my sister asking: should I go outside? From this gesture, the fluid substitution of authority, or else a substitution of confidence, I can tell he has yielded to her seduction. Before she can answer him I fly into a violent rage, I heave him across the threshold out of the house, maniacally exhorting him to get out in some sort of paroxysm that expresses my crushing sense of being totally undermined. Too close, too close. 

Thursday, 13 November 2014

22 9 14

A huddle of three men – one of them, my lover. One of the men exposes a huge tumescent cock, its spherical tip (like the cap of a mushroom) is swollen and crimson. [First response]. Notice the other two men (they may, or may not, share a name) seem unperturbed by this phallic display (and why should they be). I identify the three men: father, lover, daughter’s father [interchangeable gendered bodies]. Continue to lurk in the vicinity of these three men in spite of the fullness of the room [party, drinks, frocks and suits]. The huddle opens and one man (not my lover) is coated in semen that has ejaculated from the bulging tip of that massive penis that earlier disturbed me. Erotic-vibes but from me not towards me. The semen like a wave has crashed over the man: it seems to pour out from his face, colour and texture icing-like as it drips from his chin. I imagine it on me, in me: the taste and the smell [overpowering].

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

11 11 14

The first witnessing is only of bodies falling, quite abstracted, orange shadows passing across the field of vision, against a concrete backdrop punctuated with small opaque windows that reveal nothing.

In New York City I pace about, every now and again descending into the subway (like those photographs I rediscovered in my memory), riding trains. I have redesigned my hairstyle – my fringe is dyed platinum blond and from the crown to the tips is hot pink, saturation increasing as it reaches the tips. I <3 my hairstyle; I feel renewed and reawakened from a decade of cultural obscurity and decreasing circles of criticality that have effaced my potential. I am sitting on a train, anxiously, on my way to a ‘meeting’ with my father. I am not drugged. I project that he suspects me drugged, for which he blames my lover. I project this in the dream and it floods me with more anxiety. I am sweating profusely. I hold a pocket mirror to my face and glance at my reflection. I reflect [on] my appearance. My appearance is too much; my hairstyle is ridiculous. Something that ought to be youthful and sleek is actually a depressing masquerade which harks back to a time before even my own [youth]. I look like an amalgam of Rod Steward and Suzi Quatro: like a Jem doll from the 1980s who is trapped in the signifiers of 1970s rock, in spite of a sort of futuristic pinkness.

It is now that I begin to nestle into my ridiculousness and begin to ripen there, and as I do my defences drop, the fury that resides in me seeps out into the follicles and I feel emblazoned. Also I realise that I need my daughter with me, and call my own mother with whom she is staying whilst I attempt this (nonetheless abortive) encounter with my father, who gives me nothing and takes everything: who empties me. I dial the number incorrectly over and over again, my palms are sweating and my body is convulsing. I manage to speak to someone [male] who reports that he, my mother and my daughter are driving away from where I am, out of the city, for the afternoon. It is too much to take [that my daughter is diverging from where I am], so I return to the subway, only to find that my train has departed. I watch it snake out of the station, aghast, horrified and paralysed.

Somehow, simultaneously, when I am calling/speaking to my mother/her male companion (and not getting through) I am also engaged in the articulation of a tirade against my father (face to face). This messy entanglement causes my speech to become corrupted and the trajectories of these confrontations (with self and other) to be mutually engulfing. I have no verbal flow, only bile, which flows but is also produced out of retching. My face is contorted and my tears have abandoned their taut, salty pathways on my cheeks.

Return to the falling bodies. This time, excruciatingly, I accompany them in their descent (scopically: I am a disembodied witness). The expressions on the faces of these falling bodies, clad in orange jumpsuits in the manner of U.S. prisoners, are already fixed grimaces etching greyish flesh. As the ground closes in my view detaches by degrees. By the time they make contact with the sidewalk [this in New York City] paving slabs, this witness watches from a distance of 15 feet: close enough to discern the crumpled (bloodless) corpses atop one another in a lifeless pile of grey over grey. The ground is icy and the bodies too turn to ice: the misery of their lifetime of incarceration enshrined in their grimaces that frame gritted teeth. My stomach turns.