YOU CAN ONLY MAKE LOVE TO A STRANGER ONCE
When I woke I was alone in a tent untouched. The heat had returned from the cold. The photographer had finished off sleeping in the vehicle, to dream without caution. I climbed from my rest and was already considering the evolution of pain. What I needed was psychosomatic medicine to ease the symptoms of a life. My brain and body hurt, my lumbar at best poor. And just as water molecules evaporate in the icebox leaving the mystery of depleted cubes of ice, my liquid energy too had dissolved.
My companion had already brewed mint tea made out of what water there was. The tea sat on the engine part of the vehicle waiting for me. The fire of the night had gone out as if someone had thrown a dry black paint ball at a beautiful yellow canvas. I was not hungry, I was never hungry. Hungry reminds me of men, they are good at this and in feats of engineering. I lit the first and I was buzzed by it. I needed to pee. I had words but I was deprived of their meaning by the longitude of my fatigue. My companion messed around with the tent, folding it, lifting it and squeezing the life out of it. The breeze was already sweeping away the sand as if I had never been there at all. We were being rubbed out. Time was on the move. Today I would try and find the things I thought I had dreamt. The artist must entice the world to bend to their provocation, to its originality. We must never bow to the masses but lift them. Anything else is not art but sales. Learn that today. If you give people what they want you grow rich. If you give people what they don’t know, they grow richer.
Behind the tailpipe of the brute I squat and pee. I smell of asparagus. I walk a little, stretch, arch my soul and sip the tea. I remembered walking through a graveyard as a child, a child’s graveyard, and laying my head on a little bump of bunting covered earth. What must we go through to feel nothing? Some say more, some say less. I can still hear what I thought that tiny hill of ground was saying to me. ‘Life is no alternative.’ Later I spoke to my companion quietly through the window of the beast but he did not seem to hear me. His eyes were closed; I looked at his face as it rested while waiting for me; he was young, twenties, wore a jazzy little beard on his chin and it suited him should ever he take it off. Christmas last, when I met some King and Queen at their palace made of crystal, I had been introduced to their son. He had the same set beard but nothing in the eyes, he had tried to seduce me as if I were just more riches given. My brain makes connections of tenuous things. It is a tool to complicate the ordinary. I thought it was the worst job going being him, the pseudo-majestic. He was as pompous and empty as the education regime that had kept from him all life’s necessary gifts. He was like a mortal God, he knew we wanted to believe in him, but ultimately did not. As people, the King and Queen were culturally learned, and from fabulous things, but they were as unloved as me. They had met everybody and it seemed could do nothing with it to benefit mankind. I cupped my breasts in my hands; it was good to hold me.
You can get rich but you cannot get love in the same way. In my line of work love is what you keep in reserve to dance with.
The strain in her slender neck was the end of a leading career for the principal dancer and the beginning of mine. She would dance again but never in the same capacity. I, her understudy, had replaced the prima ballerina’s steps in the performance and from my success I continued to lead. They wrote of me as her natural successor and her suicide was assured. And even at such a simple age it began to appear, that I was instrumental in the fate of others. The effect of me touched people, sometimes as a cure, sometimes as a curse and sometimes just the art of a simple dancer.
The fuel station was the first sign of life we had seen all morning. I pulled in and slipped out to stretch my legs. There was stiffness in my eyes that had not occurred to me before. I bought toothpaste, cigarettes and a bottle of water. Ordered espresso but no one knew what it was. They said there was a diner a thousand miles away. I was sure there was.
I drank water heavily, leaned into the sun and closed those eyes behind my sunglasses. No more than a little moment mirage, to pepper the day in dreaming. And there I found myself a place to get lost in and entered it wholly. Around the waterfall, sumptuously carved people had been and left for me the froth of their lives to play in. I released my companion from the chains I held to see if he could fly, he took his camera and shot where light was compromised. As he disappeared I pulled off my clothes and dived in to the waterfall. Beneath the surface tension the acoustics of water heaved and mooed. Like amniotic fluid it calmed my sensors and blurred my perceptions and at its surface it lapped at my breast rivets. I came out of the water and swung my body to those glorious ghost rhythms inside of me. It was a seductive, a meditative instinct. I dried in the air without chill. I ached between my legs for his passion. I dropped back into my body and climbed into the driver’s seat and my companion said,
“Where are we heading?”
We were in the middle of a strangled heart where compliments were hard to believe; where we needed to change the way we make love.
“You can only make love to a stranger once,” I told him.
In my life I danced and things around me improved in the same way that some people take to working. Art makes people free; work is the parasitic form of this. All people looking for something are looking for art without knowing it; it is the only thing I am sure of. Money can only buy art, but it’s a poor comparison.
I did not like the music on the radio so I turned it off. Music engineered for people to dance to that has no grace is crude and purely mathematical. It is for people who do not actually enjoy music, but use it as a substance. The brute was a riot of power; such mechanical things are the way men add to the poetry of life on Earth. Beneath the sand I found a road that drove straight into the horizon. My companion had found a laptop and said someone had already hosted pages dedicated to my escape. I sensed he was being kind. He talked about the technology involved in receiving such information out there in the nowhere and my mind returned to the substance of living. People had become more fascinated with other people than with themselves and if they were not they were just selfish. Everything in the modern age is more interesting than you, even when it is not. Smile on it.
I was pregnant with a child so deadly that it could potentially kill everything that lives on the planet. I could let it go out here. Let the Earth begin a new evolution. It crossed my mind.
Let me spend the day eating bonbons.