Sunday, July 26, 2015

Brigitte Bardot: A pornographic exploration of the transformation of violence and love in our bodies

Parking lot, High School, 745 am: he shot himself for an audience. When I read Blood and Guts in High School, I think of this. Of his blood and guts all over the interior of his muscle car.

If Nietzsche and Anders Breivik are right to ask, what are we to live for? 

Any reasonable answer to this question is necessarily wrong, incomplete. It leads away from itself, hiding violence in its language; it's what we talk about when we talk about love. Any good answer would be also incomprehensible. Try saying anything to the kid in the parking lot, with a note taped to the steering wheel, addressed to his father, apologizing; try saying to him that life is beautiful, or that God loves him, or that some lie or another will make everything seem worthwhile. Surely he said as much to himself just before he shot himself in the head, spreading gore all over the interior of the windshield.

I learned about his suicide from cheerleaders' tears. His was a message written on us kids as much as on his cadaver.

So many of my friends from then never made it. Prison, murder, suicide, over-dose . . . Somehow I have lived. I'm not sure why. Maybe it's god's sick sense of humor, maybe. When I die I expect to find him laughing.  Next to BB's body, I feel that maybe I only lived to uncover her laugh of the Medusa.

I saw a card in an inspirational candle shop a few days after being released from the halfway house: the darkness is darkest right before the dawn. It brought tears to my eyes. I thought: this is so true.

I fall into an abandoned mine, in BB's arms -- a new lover full of promises --  and for a second it seems that I find the answer.

That card was idiotic. I was a pulpy mess. Any promise was good enough, any lie (I love you forever) was as good as any other.

The sun rises. The sun sets. The sleepless night follows the summer dress.

In the morning, we swim out of the old mine. When I wake up in her arms, I apologize for everything I might have said. In the clear light, the dream's panting-coyote-speech no longer makes sense. No matter how many chairs and ropes you still have with which to make meaning out of it.

August 6th, 1988 : In solitary confinement, I kept repeating the scene in my parents living room. Only in my cell it is just me. Only, instead of the adult hands around my throat, quashing my screams, it is a single, small, childish hand. My hand. With the other, I masturbate.

In my cell, the others pass too slowly. I meant to write hours. My fingers wrote others. It's true. I crave people, not more time. I still crave them. I'd walk into the path of a machine gun for them, even though their fingers are on the trigger.

When I was kid, mom read to me aloud every night as I tried to sleep. Now I read myself, one hand around my throat, the other smashed deep into her cunt, or mine. Each time I slip into unconsciousness, my cunt crushes my fingers. I wake up confused. With her lips around my neck, I would never wake.

Her too long, too white legs bend too far away away from her young cunt in bloom with menstrual blood. She bends and shifts and then goes perfectly still and tense, her head arches back into her ass. Her cunt is so strong it pushes my cock out of her, and she whimpers; it feels like loss. I grab her throat. I squeeze and squeeze. I tell her to come. She does, because I love her. Or because she loves me. Or simply because she is a monster waiting to be free and I am a conjurer summoning mutually demonic possession.

I eat her and spit her menstrual blood all over her face.  I ejaculate and her blood covers her body.

She screams and cries until panic and fear become too much. She moves her hand to my hand and I let go. And she screams and cries and goes deadly silent and convulses in waves until she slowly relaxes and we drown again in the deep water.

She says, sorry. I tried to let you choke me till I passed out. But I panicked.
Don't worry. There's a better way to do it. Wanna learn how?
Yes, she says.
I get behind her and I explain the physiology of asphyxiation. I show her on her too long neck where the arteries are, where to cut off the oxygen. I squeeze gently and inhale to close off the the air and blood. She panics immediately and I release her.

Don't worry. Try it on me, I say.

She is straddling me from behind. I lean back against her breasts. 

Make a V with your elbow. Put your hand here, just above my neck. Press down, squeeze in, inhale. I grab her legs with my hands. Almost immediately, I see green and grey mix into shadows. My legs are overcome.  My fingers dig into the tender skin of her thighs. I drift away, floating above me. And then darkness.

When I wake up, BB smiles. You were talking, she says. Her long pale arms cradle me. My head rests on her warm cheek.

Wanna do it again? I ask. Yes. This time I masturbate, even though I am so sore from fucking her that it hurts. With my other hand I reach a finger into her open cunt. She squeezes and inhales.

I feel like the night sky. And more and more slowly (or quickly) I fill up with stars and dissolve into her. The last thing remember is, we are God.

I am talking to a bureaucrat about love and fucking. I get more and more frustrated. I don't have the right forms and the trial is about to begin. I am charged in a language we don't understand. And the bureaucrat turns into a rattle-can and stencil. I run from the granaderos unleashed from his desk.  The radical punks spray-painting slogans around town join them and come after me -- I become a monster to everyone. A young liberal couple, on a first date in the waiting room, talk (without irony) about eugenics and how you should need to pass a basic intelligence test in order to breed, and how only some of us should be allowed to love and only in this way or that way. The charming man in the blue t-shirt says, “in the world” a lot. The chick laughs at all of his jokes. He pretends to listen, just enough so she feels respected, reflected in him; just enough to gain access to her ass and mouth. A Mexican punk girl with a Molotov in one hand says, please don't leave me. . . She is on a bed in a ocean in the house where she was raped for years and years. Only she is me. And it's the back of the station wagon where I am raped and confused. I like it. I want it. More and more. And then she says no, you can't have me.

I don't recognize where I am. I turn and see the most beautiful-to-you punk I've ever seen. She's naked and wet and terrified. She turns into a blue-bird and a thicket surrounding a castle.  Everyone hacks and hacks at her.  Tries to tear her down. The thorns give way.  The bird panics.  I am the dirt, the ground, on which it grows, but I cannot defend her.

I wake up and say something I don't understand to someone I can't see.

Then I say, Where am I? She doesn't answer. Then I remember her. Then I see her. How long was I out? I ask.

She starts crying. I say what's wrong? What happened. Through her tears she asks if I'm okay. If I remember? I say I do. I say the last thing I remember I was turning into you.

You were having a seizure, she pants. You wouldn't stop shaking. I didn't know what to do. Your eyes were open. I thought I killed you. I was so scared. I thought I killed you. I wanted to choke you. Your eyes were open and they couldn't see... I wanted and then ...

This panting-coyote-speech goes on and on. I hold her simply. I tell her it's okay and not to worry.

A second later we are standing naked in the kitchen. I am cooking. She sits across from me. She is calmer. It is scary, I say. It's awful to feel that something you wanted, that something that feels good to you might hurt someone you love. She looks confused.

I didn't want to do that, she says. You asked me to do that. I laugh. Are you being ironic? No, she says. I say, that's not what happened. She looks worried. You choked me once, and we both enjoyed it. And then I asked if you wanted to do it again. You were excited, too.

Suddenly her eyes go wide. She starts trembling and shaking. She begins to remember. And the tears don't stop. What if I've done that before. What if I invented a memory. And immediately I know what's coming. I recognize my own.

Halloween. Half-naked teenager. Drunk … I don't want to tell this story. It's only her story.  No one but her gets to decide.  And any 3 out of 5 of you know exactly what happened.

I cry with her. I tell her about my rapists. I tell her that she can tell this story however she chooses. I tell her I wish I had been there to protect her. We are naked in each other when I start to grab her roughly. She pants a little. I hold her more. And she whispers, can you just hold me?

Of course I can.  Let me just tell you one thing first. One thing that's important. You can take a moment now, whenever, to feel loved and safe in the arms of your lover without the violence of fucking. But you can do the exact opposite too. You can also fuck the pain away. You can make those decisions. You can tell any story about it that you want.


She is on top of me in a second. I start to penetrate her and she lifts her hips. No, she says. You don't get to do that.

I am being raped again. She knows this story. My childhood rapist would grab my kid cock. Rub and lick it and stroke it with her cunt. The moment I wanted it. She said gross, put that thing away.

The same hands that feed you, turn you black and blue.

Open your mouth BB says. She smashes her cunt into it. The girl who raped me used to sit on the edge of the bed and finger fuck herself while I watched. She would say, want to lick me. Then she wouldn't let me.  BB knows this too.

I am drowning in her cunt. She rubs it over my lips. Her lips split and swell up – butterflies and Rorschach tests. Don't move she says. Ask me to hurt you, she says. Beg me. Hurt me I say, please. She slaps me hard across the face. I start crying. Her cunt lips spread around my neck. She keeps hitting me. I keep crying. She hits me harder, in the ear. She punches me in the stomach.

I hate you, she says. I'm never going to fuck you again. You don't deserve me.

Now I am drowning in my own tears. I am swaddled in her cunt while she beats me and hurts me and tells me it is love. She rubs her cunt against me, as if to fuck me. She keeps telling me to ask for more. I do. I love her, I tell her. Hurt me, I beg her.

She is fucking me in the ass. She is so young, she has no idea what to do. And yet every little move makes my whole head scream and cry. She fucks like I fuck. Watching, enjoying the power she has over my body. She tells me to come, without ejaculating. I do. I scream and cry. She keeps hitting me. Now in the stomach. Now in the face. Now in the balls. Harder, I say.

Between my tears, she asks if I'm okay. If I want her to stop. I tell her I love her. And she hits me again and again.

And then she is going down on me, penetrating me with her tongue. And then her cunt smothers my face. And then I understand what we talk about when no longer talk about love.

Mouth to cunt, cunt to mouth, blood and guts, we understand: I love every part of you, you are my mother and father, my rapist, my child, my friend. You are my everything. I will never leave you and I will always protect you.

We're fucking some other morning and the blue bird veins on her jaw disappear with the light. And I say I am sorry. And I am scared. What if this so called love is only a way to construct a stage, a set and a plot that ends with the shotgun in my mouth.

I was only a child when I was carried into solitary confinement. Too young to learn about my cock and my cunt and the thrill of being killed by cops. But I learned anyway. And now, all I want is a strong man between my legs and his hands around my throat. BB is stronger and more dangerous than any man.

In solitary confinement, my eyes have turned into fruit, my breasts like a cluster of grapes, and my cunt pees red kool-aid all over me, all over my hand and onto my concrete bunk. I am a bleeding open wound, a rag and a bone and a hank of hair.

So I hold her just like that and never want to let her go.

BB could be anyone, Brooke Shields or Lolita. I hold her, woman-child, by her throat as she masturbates. I squeeze. She looks happy. At the same time I cradle her head like an infant. She comes quietly. No drama. No desperation. No death. A girl un-plucked and un-pierced by the inevitable violence of life.

This is why BB, standing erotically next to old men with their hands on her throat, is the only sensible way to understand civilization. She is a promise of a future not yet marred by a cop's hands squeezing the life out of me, as I dream of freedom (and the road) on the floor of a 1940s bungalow in 1988.

She is also a lie we tell about the future. There is no promise. It is impossible to be a woman and not know violence.

I dream about the girl in my hands, now or then, girl or road, it was all the same.

I love you. I tell her. Over and over. She laughs. I think I die a little death with each breath. But she doesn't laugh. And she doesn't leave. She smiles and looks happy. She says, I am not ready to say that.

I tell her it's okay, to lie to me. To love me forever for these three days.

She say she loves me. I believe her. She believes her. We tell ourselves stories in order to live.

Afterward, impossibly curled in her bed, BB sleeps at peace with the first person to ever treat her as a person, as an independent autonomous agent... I don't want to sleep.  I am too enthralled with the unfolding work of art between us.  I interrogate her about her dreams. I want her to dream of me.  But, she dreams of people becoming families and communities all protected by a single ever-growing tree. I am not making this up. These are the dreams before you discover the insidious brutality of a loving conversation.

I kept asking her about her dream. I looked for fault lines on the pavement. For strange fruit hanging.

I find none. So, I tie her to a chair to whip the meaning out of her. I look for darkness in creases and folds. It runs from the light. I look for any sign that slips away from her. I / her strip her dream down to nothing. And yet her dream insists that she is not Eugenie. That she will not sew her mother's cunt closed. That she is happy the way that she is.

In her dream, I say, what if you took all the people away? BB smiles. She says, there are a lot of happy animals under the tree.

BB is terribly thin and tall. A willow-the-wisp. Terrifying. She makes no sense, sways with the breeze. A body so supple it cannot break, yet. Others see this in her and bend her this way or that way, smash and hack at her with words of love. With me, her laugh unleashes snakes and vines.  With me, she rises against gravity. 

We are swimming, floating, in an abandoned mine after midnight. There is no moon. There are only dark greens on dark blacks. Her body is lit from the inside. We are naked. We are alone. Literally floating in the abyss. Slowly, we take each others hand and dive down into the dark.

We feel more than we see the depth: This is why you write.

With my eyes closed I can swim deeper. It's only when I expect to see and can't that I panic. BB says the same when we exit, breathless. We hold ourselves like this all night. The water in the mine turns cold.

I keep probing her dream. And if you take away all the animals, I ask. She says, the tree grows and shades the grass. I ask her the color of the sky? She says it's all colors. I ask her what if you take away the tree? Another grows and another. It's a forest.

Then I am whipping meaning out her body again. I talk and finger and choke her. She is asleep. She wakes up, panicked. I stop. I am half-asleep too. I say, what? She says, I don't know what my limits are with you. I want you. But I don't know . . .

I want to take this as an invitation to push her body. To find the tissue and bones that support it, that keep its shining skin from turning on itself, from making war against itself. I know that eventually, soon, she will dash herself against the rocks, against the walls. She will pulpify her body trying to escape the self constructed for and against her. She will believe this is the only way to fight. She will learn to be anxious and afraid. She will learn to hate what she wants.

I fuck her while she sleeps. I asked for consent first. But consent comes and goes. Her back arches; her ass opens. I can't resist. When she wakes, it's up to her to decide. I am at her mercy. Her lover, her friend, her rapist punk college roommate.

This is like walking into the desert and acting surprised or hurt when you can't find your eyes. This is why she became a woman, when inhuman voices woke us and we drowned.

I am driving alone through Tamaulipas, it's 2014. In 1988, I hitched-hiked these same roads. I almost died then. Now, it's a war zone. I am driving at a hundred miles an hour. I am following what is obviously two narco-trucks. I feel safer caravanning with them than risking the cops and the soldiers alone. These are the dreams of violence that Calderon's war and Peña Nieto's market have brought right into the daylight.

I was raped on this road, once many years ago. I was raped and raped and I called it love.

Once I fell asleep on my mother's lap, stroking her breasts, in a white station wagon on this same rapist road in 1984.

Last night, her cunt in the air, dripped in blood. I drank and drank. And drowned in the abandoned granite mine where I fell in love. 

Even at midday, under a scorching sun, the deep is primitively terrifying. You can see but not see into eternity. Open water distance swimming is rhythmic and meditative. It goes on and on with the same beat, breath, and pain. It usually builds towards the end. It's like fucking, looking for the ocean, only you do it alone.

It's also how to wage war with your body. When there are no weapons left; you throw yourself against the ramparts. Better to die than to live, like this. And yet somehow, you survive.

I swim and swim. The top few inches of water become very hot in the mid-summer sun. I wish I could just keep swimming, until I became the water, and then the rain and eventually the ocean.

A firefly lands on my shoulder. It's iridescent green and gold. (S)he looks at me. I sigh and sink under the surface. She flies away.

A group of young men walk across the desert. Boys really. Just boys, despite their years. They are all dead. This is the underworld of the United States. This is the land where our dreams and ecstasies come from. I am not being poetic. I mean this literally. Quite literally. Everything crosses these bridges – adolescent whores, psychedelics, speed, Gucci; whatever you might like: boy or girl, living or dead – even dying. You can have them however you like: fighting or kissing or working them fingers to the bone.

I don't want to grow up.

They walk. These boy-men victims of other boy-men, victims of other . . . and so on. They're wielding machetes against each other; they cry themselves to sleep at night. They have died. They still cry. Zombie tears. Not to be taken too seriously. In death they mean more (and mean it more forcefully) than they might ever have in life. They are a lion, a leopard and a bitch in a dark wood where the sun is silent and too bright. In life, they were already dead.

In the distance, the boys see a smoking charred body. She is not a dog.

I grab her by the throat. I squeeze and squeeze until she is worried and tries to push my hand away. It's a test of trust. Her eyes . . . her eyes, what? Nothing. I was going to try and imagine killing this young woman. . . I wanted to do it in order to tell you that we are just like them, these boy-men and their zombie tears. But this is a waste of time. You will not understand. You think you are talking about love.  You forget that you acquired language on the back of a tiger.

When they get to the corpse, she is still breathing.

It's pitiful, inhuman, breath.

She is not a metaphor. She is real:

They tortured her, raped her and set her on fire. She was alive when the neighbors found her, but so badly burned and mutilated that they thought she was the carcass of a dog. They would have cried more over a suffering dog than just another dead woman.

The machete boy-men gather around the dog-woman smoldering in the desert. She is also a metaphor. She is a seed and a gateway. She is no longer a secret, but a revelation. No one knows what to do. She is clearly alive and dead. She is so badly burned and mutilated that there is no rational possibility of recovery. This is what the soldiers said about Kim Phuc. She lived. Although perhaps she doesn't want to.

First she cries out, the tiniest cries. Only the ant can hear her. Still, breathing. Slowly she smoulders and dries and then she begins to crumble. Still, breathing. She is a woman; she knows how to suffer. And then she ashes over. The boy-men have long since quit moving. Their legs have grown together. Most have sprouted more arms and necks and heads to compensate, to better see or grasp the secret, the dead dust to dust.

I fuck BB until she looses consciousness. And then I keep fucking her. Her limbs and head flop around. I like this. It tastes like power. It makes my cock hard, huge. But what I want is inside her. I want her secrets. I am grooming her. To tie her to a chair. To kill her. To beat to the good stuff out of her.

When she wakes we hold one another in the way that only desperate lovers can: at peace, at rest, in flight; becoming the night sky and morning sun.

We dream together. She walks away, and becomes fixed in the roads and bridges and words of civilization. Or, she becomes an impenetrable and powerful thicket, pregnant with birds and snakes, overcoming the world of men and the meaning they will never want to find in her tangled body.

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