i don’t know how to begin but a story.
this past friday night my brother and i attended a poetry reading in berkeley. a class assignment in which he needed to write a paper on, instead of leaving me giddy at actually going, i balked. i balked at his snide comments, i threw fit in the middle of the bart station, but i went.
so sitting amidst all the yuppies in a bookstore called Gaia, my attention turned to a book called “the art of sexual magic” about tantra magic and how it is applied sexually. between that and inhaling the scent of the pink grapefruit candles that were situated on the stand to the left of us, i was thoroughly occupied.
it turned out not to be a poetry reading, but instead a “new age” author speaking about the “mozart effect”. This man claimed that due to mozart music, he was able to reduce the size of a clot inside his brain and has been studying the effects on what music has for us as a whole. he had us do simple exercises that required us to close our eyes while certain selections were playing. one particular piece he has been playing was a rather happy piece, prove to provoke dancing and merriment when listened to.
it wasn’t the case with me.
in my mind’s eye, i kept seeing “me” but it wasn’t really me, it was another version of me. this ‘lisa’ kept running through an open meadow. having long hair and a flowery loose dress, it would have looked like some happy scene out of a movie.but it wasn’t. something dark, almost demonic in its qualities was running after me, always catching me. and the faster and the more bouncy the music became, the tighter his hands came about my throat. i watched myself being strangled, and as the piece was being played over and over, and the author was speaking on how “happy” and “joyous” this music was, the more i saw the scene. me running. *it* running behind me. *it* catching me. *it* strangling me as i whithered beneath his grasp. over and over and over, i watched my death.
i can still see it now.
amidst the mummers of the crowd after that exercise, i fixated my attention to this woman in front of my brother. i studied her form, her manner, her clothing. i looked at her hair and longed to stroke it. i told my brother i had a headache and we needed to leave.
death has been playing this instrumental role in my life lately. the new kitten my roommate had gotten for me sits on my lap purring. marmalade in color, big grey/green eyes, he leaps off of whoever’s lap he is sitting on to greet me at the door when i come home from work. he is soo tiny, that when I sleep on my side he curls up on my thigh and purrs me to sleep.
for one brief instant i want to strangle him.
a passage from “journals of slyvia plath”-
“yes, i was infatuated with you (apparently emile); I still am. No one has ever heightened such a keen capacity of physical sensation in me. I cut you out because I couldn’t stand a passing fancy…Before I give my body, I must give my thoughts, my mind, my dreams. and you weren’t having any of those.
there is so much hurt in this game of searching for a mate, of testing, trying. and you realize suddenly that you forgot it was a game, and turn away in tears.
if I didn’t think, i’d be much happier; if i didn’t have any sex organs, i wouldn’t waver on the brink of nervous emotion and tears all the time.
after awhile i suppose i’ll get used to the idea of marriage and children. if only it doesnt’ swallow up my desire to express myself in a smug, sensuous haze. sure, marriage is a self-expression, but if only my art, my writing, isn’t just a mere sublimation of my sexual desires which will run dry once i get married. if only i can find him…the man who will be intelligent, yet physically magnetic and personable. if i can offer that combination, why shouldn’t i expect it in a man?
how complex and intricate are the workings of the nervous system. the electric shrill of the phone sends a tingle of expectancy along the uterine walls; the sound of his voice, rough brash and intimate across the wire tightens the intestinal tract. if they substituted the word “lust” for “love” in the popular songs it would come nearer the truth.
eddie, i thought. How ironic. you are a dream; I hope i never meet you. but your bracelet is the symbol of my composure…my division from the evening. I love you because you are me…my writing, my desire to be many lives. I will be a little god in my small way. at home on my desk is the best story i’ve ever written. how can i tell bob that my happiness streams from having wrenched a piece out of my life, a piece of hurt and beauty, and transformed it to typewritten words on paper? how can he know i am justifying my life, my keen emotion, my feeling by turning it into print?
tonight i am ugly. i have lost all faith in my ability to attract males, and in the female animal that is rather pathetic malady. my social contract is at the lowest ebb. my one link with saturday night life is gone, and i have no one left. no one at all. i don’t care about anyone, and the feeling is quite obviously mutual. what is it that makes one attract others? last year i had several boys who wanted me for various reason. i was sure of my looks, sure of my magnetism, and my ego was satiated. now, after my three blind dates-two…flopped utterly and completely, and the third has also deflated-i wonder how i ever though i was desirable. but inside, i know. i used to have sparkle, self-assurance. i didn’t turn green and serious and grave-eyed at first. Now i know that the girl meant in “Celia Amberley” when she said: “If he will kiss me, everything will be alright; i’ll be pretty again.” first i need some boy, any boy, to be captivated by my appearence -some boy like emile. then i need someone real, who will be right for me now, here, and soon. until then i’m lost. i think i am mad at times.”