The world was viewed through the protrusion of her vulva. Her consciousness was nothing more than what has become known colloquially as a prick or a cock or a dick. Such brutal masculine words for the way she was feeling but she was not attempting to transform her desire into language, [E1] that would merely displace it. She sought to transform her desire into object. Language may not suffice but these phallic signifiers are the closest thing to portraying and satisfying the empty violence erupting inside of her.
It was burning between her legs but no one could touch it. No one would. No one cared to. And so it angered her and in turn she angered it. They entered into a game: ignoring one another whilst interfering with the way the other wished to lead its existence. In between the two extremes her body served as mediator desperately trying to assimilate conflicting messages; desperately trying not to pick sides. Her body adhered to the rules of her mind: keeping up appearances and maintaining social graces, yet was constantly roused by the sensation of her cunt; facilitator of her enjoyment. Fatigued by this act—this to-ing and fro-ing, misunderstanding everything and drawing further away from the intent of either mind or cunt—her body began to sway. One way then the other. Misrepresentation of cunt via mind as mediated by body; misrepresentation of mind via cunt as mediated by body. The situation aggravated. Neither knew what the other wanted and so consequently it came to a point wherein each tried to stifle the other's activity, when in fact it was true that their goals were quite similar, if not the same.
All this started with one person. Then, thanks the the intervention of her body, it was no longer him: it was them. And them wraps comfortably around both sexes. The more confusion grew, the more the two sexes became alike. Any. Exactly the same. Both capable of arousing and satisfying her. This confused her mind but made it all the more simple for her burning cunt. It made no difference so long as she was touched. Anyone. Lowering herself below the level of the great seducer; the aesthete [E2]. Indiscriminate. Incapable of attachment. No chase. Just touch. Touch alone. Them. Lower. All game.
But no one touched her.
Public transport was a joy. As more people brushed past her, she filled with excitement. Rush hour tube was particularly fulfilling. Crowded carriages. Contorting herself between armpits and breasts and torsos and legs. Her nose pressed up against the scent of stagnant body odour unwashed, soaps and sickly sweet perfumes; dizzying as her head tilted and shook from side to side. Her senses absorbed in her tight surroundings. Abandoning herself completely. Allowing others to share her weight; to carry her as she lifted all four limbs away from the ground in favour of gravity. But they wouldn’t hold her for very long. Momentarily hung. Then an arm a leg a body would shift: This is Oxford Circus. She would drop to the floor as they got off. There her head would rest against leather clad feet and her mouth would salivate and lick and suck until they had gotten off and she was left alone. Alone, her body found pleasure against the floor of the carriage and the vibrations of its shaft.
Them is a term that wraps as comfortably around both sexes as it does around people and objects. It really didn’t matter. Eventually the people were replaced by objects; they, being more willing to serve her pleasures, became totally desirable.
Mornings were always an effort but more so since the collusion of body and mind via the confounded body. Arms chose inappropriate length skirts and refused to participate in the putting on of underwear. This combination permitted intimate contact with the objects upon which the body sat. At work, a chair kept buttocks pressed tight against it. Hips would grind gently against its smutty sponge cushioning and stiff fabric, swiveling together in a slow act of passion, concealed only by the onlooking desk. The backseat of the bus, by the grunting heat of the engine, vibrating heavily under its own weight. Legs crossed. Head thrown back. Mimicking the groans of the bus as it threw the body about its rough interior. Anything with a surface. Anything other to the body.
And the mind became more and more concerned with the body’s devotion to the cunt. There grew a gradient between the two extremes of rational and animal; rising upwards and growing ever darker. Through the chest, burning at the breasts and heart: pounding, up to flushed cheeks, eventually silencing all rational. The mind too submitted. Finally, in a paroxysm of the body, it began to fold inwards on itself. The vulva then reached up and grasped hold of the belly button, pulling itself up into the stomach. The labia stretched itself out and folded over limbs, liberating its sticky warm interior.
The ending to this story is she literally became a walking cunt; which is perhaps little better than a prick.But language didn't matter and still, no one would touch her.
“He couldn’t get used to the way things were melting into each other”
8.04: The bus arrives. She boards. Same old. She sits at the front, right hand side.
8.05: Stares out of the window.
8.15: Contemplates buses slow progression. Growing anxiety due to impending tardiness. Male boards amongst others. Sits next to her.
8.16: He pulls out a book and opens it at chapter five. Rests book on lap. Girl recognises book as one she has not read but should have - this irritates her, adds to growing anxiety.
8.17: She reads the poignant opening line.[E3]
He stares out of the window, contemplates work load, spots the E5 bakery bike, gets job envy. Sighs.
8.19: Both stare out of the window. Eyes rest on glass. Thoughts stifle gaze. Nothing beyond glass.
8.23: Somewhere between Hackney Road and Bishopsgate. Her left arm, his right. Warmth emanating from each. She inhales, expanding her chest and raising her head then releasing with a sigh.
He inhales, opens out his chest and exhales simultaneous with her sigh.
Proximity tightens. Ever closer but without moving. Arms broach personal spaces and heat from respective arms burn and spreads across respective chests and breasts and inflame the heart.
Still facing forwards. Fighting any urge. Then pressing one against the other. Contact. A living body against a living body. Arms through fibres; shirt and then jacket. His of tweed, hers of wool. Beneath the surface of their clothes another layer; thinner and then skin with hairs poised and synchrony; the rising and falling and rising and falling. Air in circulation between them. Shoulder to shoulder. Inhale: rise. Exhale: fall. Together. Contact. Eyes forward unsettled and darting but unblinking. Moment stifles gaze. Together. They share.
8.25: He coughs. Synchrony broken; contact lost. Elevates his book. Chapter five. She rereads the first sentence and then looks out of the window to her right. Liverpool Street Station.
8.28: Was that a moment they both shared? She has no way of telling for sure. It was a moment she needed. A moment projected onto him. In the moment it was reciprocal. A moment of contact shared. A moment shifting the monotony of the journey. A moment belonging to the body as separate from her thoughts.
8.32: He closes the book and alights at Bank. Brown wavy hair. Short. Beard.
9.17: Thirty two minutes late for work.
8.08: She boards the bus. Late. Sits centre left hand side.
8.26: Him. Brown wavy hair. Short. Beard. Tweed Jacket. He boards. Walks past her. She reacts silently. Embarrassed and repulsed. As if waking the morning after next to someone she physically despised; full of regret. She doesn’t know him. She searches for a sign of recognition. He ignores her glances. Sits elsewhere. Saddened by the rejection of someone she finds so unattractive. She feels dumb to have imagined such a moment anyway.
8.29: Liverpool Street Station. Growing anxiety due to tardiness. Tight throat. Sighs.
8.38: He alights. She doesn’t notice.
8.04: She digs deep and buys a travel card.
8.10: She boards the London Overground.
8.47: Arrives at work on time-ish. She will not take the bus to work again until spring.
E1: None of these words will do. All are set undecided in meaning. Their indecision lies like a metaphorical fork in the road. Which route to take? Whichever you decide, the road will lead you on and on until you reach another fork which, in turn, will lead you on and on and on until you reach another fork which, in turn, will lead you on and on and on and on and then eventually you will arrive at a destination, or a conclusion that may or may not sit right. You can still go back, but by then again it maybe difficult and timely turn around and alter your route. Even then you may reach the same conclusion. Once the page has been laid out, the type set and printed, the words have made it outside of the body and into the physical real. Ink and paper. I can no longer edit-undo, shift-highlight-bckspce. Instead it remains out there. If it is uncertain or incorrect I can put it down to a failure of language, this failure does not belong to me. You as a reader must accept the bulk of the responsibility. I’ll probably return to it at a later date using different words.
E2: Keirkegaard’s three tiers of love: The aesthete as typified by repetition, vanity and the selfishness of pleasure; the ethical, wherein love is genuine and felt and displays its own seriousness; the religious, leads on from the ethical, it is spiritual and able to transcend the human body. “The ego plunges through its own transparency to meet the power that has created it.” (Keirkegaard himself dumped his one great love at the ethical level; being unable to transcend.) Here we encounter a fourth level, as typified by an indifference of pleasure, forgetting and the body’s descendence into object/s.
E3: I cannot remember the book he was reading, nor can I remember the sentence. I remember it seeming so relevant to my situation and sighing upon each reading of it - it escapes me but I read it over and over. I can assure you it was most certainly chapter five. As a compromise I decided to search through some favoured books and pull out a chapter five opener from one of those as substitute. I tried Satre’s Nausea, Keirkegaard’s The Seducer’s Diary - but both of these are epistolary novels. Chapter five occurs as a date; a detail difficult to determine in my position at the time. I tried Batille’s Story of the Eye, and Eroticism - although thematically relevant neither seemed appropriate. I tried Hamilton’s Hangover Square (perhaps my favourite novel), but the book is split into several sections and chapter five appears several times; difficult to choose and only one even remotely relevant to the commute: “The wheels and track clicked out the familiar and unmistakable rhythm - the sly, gentle, suggestive rhythm...”, hardly rousing. Nabokov’s Laughter in the Dark was the most fitting: “Their meeting that night was a tempestuous one.” So fitting. Fitting to the point I almost believed that this was the exact line I had read that day. But it couldn’t have been, because although I hadn’t read Laughter in the Dark at that point, I was pretty certain I would have remembered Nabokov as being the author. I also don’t believe that anyone could be so distracted whilst reading this book. Eventually I settled on the opening line from Trumbo’s Johnny Got His Gun: “He couldn’t get used to the way things were melting into each other.”