kleaver

How can a naked man run past curfew the streets without living?

Tag: fear

part two – a recalcitrant disorder

Unfortunately no such thing happened. It was most ridiculous – almost against my will i swerved again, dodging him almost artfully after i crossed his path as he walked to the other side of the pool table. I had gotten, almost, right under his feet, and i am sad to say that he would have dodged me if only i had stayed strong upon my path for a second longer, instead of skipping away under his wolfish, knightly steps like a sheep forced into the dip. My recovery from failure this time was much shorter – it was just five minutes before i tried again, and even after that i ran from under his foot. I should not know if he was noticing me at all, for his face gave no hint of recognition, and for some reason this was worse than vile annoyance, or even anger. I seethed in the corner, a failed man. I could have hopped across the room on one leg, smashing the glass lanterns with my bare hands if i were not so afraid of upsetting somebody. I was left, alone, uNnoticed, submitting myself to the demon and control – not even talked to, not even shouted at. No fists were brandished at me, for no man brandishes fists at a dog. No, only kicks are good enough for dogs, and this branded entirely the superiority of the first man upon my heart. I shook from containing fury absolute, but i shook silently.

I tried again. I tried ten more times, but every time, just as he would either have dodged my lips -already preparing to lodge that gobble of spit at his face- or crashed solidly into my step, i would skid to the side and act his royal escort, letting him pass. And with each walk across the table he took, he was getting more and more florid, drunk to his toes along with his band of pool partners, until finally, on what must have been a break after my fiftieth try, he came crashing solidly into the coat-hanger, which feel upon me, upon which contact i left my meditative spot on the wall, turned, and spat right into his right eye with a great hacking cough. And then the beasts were set upon me.

I should not be surprised if i should somehow been raped in the ensuring struggle, counting even time for removing my layers and bringing a man (hopefully the first) to completion. As i find myself now, bruised and sore everywhere, i can hope safely that that is what happened. For five minutes i was proud of having aroused those five burly men into a full-fledged fistfight. To think that i was not below their notice, that i had made myself into a man, was brave, had erased my cowardice completely – it was a new world. For ten minutes i was immensely proud of dragging myself, from the compost heap where i was dumped, back to my slovenly cold-water apartment – I had felt up my warm and quivering biceps, with which the fat under quivered alongside, and seemed to have shrunk of a sudden. For fifteen minutes i managed to forget the accident that begun the violence – and the man precisely who started it. But the sick pride died after two-thirds of an hour, and now thirty minutes have passed and my gut is stone.

Brothers, you see before you a man betrayed. The world was a trick. There was no carp in my entrails, no demon in the first place. If there was it had solidified firmly by now, no more chalky fear but a solid, grainy tumour – undislodgeable. It calls me to reliving the wild disgrace – imagining man pushing coat-hanger falling down upon me – and that fatal spit. I cannot forgive myself, brothers. I think again of the poor, poor men whom i coaxed into violence, but most of all i think of myself – that strangely my assault seems empty and flightless, that i smoked them for pure pettiness, that i had to make them my voodoos in a quest to be strong. But i realise now – i am terrible in fistfights, and they renew nothing of the spice of life. I am even sicker now of the faint pride i felt at myself, can recollect it like a stranger’s dream, cannot believe i posses the same glands and nails as the heavy-set drunkard who gave like a coward to his demons an an hour ago. And because of this i am so ashamed, and for it was my fault i feel rockets of anger strapped to my feet – i owe nothing to that man whom i insulted and was pulverised by, that he failed as a compassionate brother of the human race, failed me even, was obliged to wipe the spit cleanly off his face and call his drunk companions to heel and, with a gentlemanly bow, apologise for having ignored by attempts to stagger into him, for insulting my faith and my pride. He had dropped instantly from knight to beggar – and now i feel my kidneys getting better, the foul blood of cowardice should have been bled out of them by now, i feel a strong thing stirring in my stomach, with simian faces and feline claws that stroke lines straight up my spine – i am refreshed, i am a new man, there is my coat on the coat-hanger, and there is a handy bottle of drink, and now i will leave this grubby apartment and find my friend the beggar, and his friends, and i shall remove his head, and crash into his fat soul a thousand times before i raise him to the guillotine, and if he should have scrammed – no matter, for there are other pubs, and other men, and i know, somehow, in my heart of hearts, that should i not step out of cowardice and insult my fellow men, i should be imprisoned all my life, ruled unfit to walk the streets, pure doggish fear, flesh.
––––––––––
First part can be read at https://nuchsty.wordpress.com/2015/01/02/part-one-faux-pas/ – please read to understand. This shameful tale ends probably here.

part one – faux pas

Brothers, I am quite dead. If i should suffer another indignity i would die of shame – that is to say – if my life hasn’t bled out from my kidneys already. It was a slick brawl i took -five smoking poolplayers i was convinced by myself to insult after an hour of entire fear.

I will admit, it was a horrible hour – i spent every second shambling along that innocuous red wall, half draped in shadow, inspecting the peeling frescoes to any clue of my tentative destiny. By these shapes i was aware of the notion, and more slowly became compelled towards, that if i did not insult these men, i would never again dare to insult anyone else, not in all my life. Their shadows – a clustered forest across the low table, chinks for the refracted light that ate through their beer – were thrown onto the wall, and there they took up their demonic shape. It was they who convinced me of my cowardice, they who whispered – That should i refuse to step out of cowardice and insult these men, i should be imprisoned all my life, ruled unfit to walk the streets, pure doggish fear, flesh. And following i stoked myself into the show, hating it terribly every minute, that i swear, even as i prepared my best insults (bless their mothers and aunts, for they were innocent, and i am feeling a terrible worming shame now, for besmirching their shining guts), i turned about every second and stared at their blinking yellow faces that seemed both to beckon and repel, and prayed for redemption.

The first attempt was a fiasco. My gloves i had stretched neatly at the fingertips, my hat i donned upon my bare crown, and finally i straightened the old valour badge – pinched from a comrade years ago – on my chest. As i approached the men i felt a sensation arise in my gut, like a terrible fish, and gnaw upon my kidneys. The man who i had been making a beeline towards and aimed to finish off with a well-aimed kick to the balls, hadn’t even deemed to notice me. As i looked upon his enlarging frame, strong chin turned slightly against my line of sight, chin hairs aflame by the light of the lanterns, i felt suddenly terribly disarmed. A resistance rose across my path like nausea and i swerved aside from him, sharply, spectacularly, and blundered for the umbrella-stand, making as though i was inspecting the wooden varnish. Beneath my coat my heart had began to flutter most throatily, like a rusted flute. My breath was quite fast, and on the wall before me i could see the shadow of the first man, shoulders shaking in laughter to a rude pass one of his meaty friends must have made. My ears had been blinded by a sudden thumping, and the blood drained from my legs as i raised a had to wipe the sweat off my upper lip, hopefully invisible in the low light. Again the terribly fish arose, and croaked mightily – Pick yourself up, crow. Pick up your feet, head right back to that man, spit into his proud, silly face, and you can call it a night. I felt my sweat trickle into a shallow puddle in my stomach, in which the carp thrashed and rippled with jouissance. I suddenly knew that i had eaten a demon, and was now being eaten from the inside by this horrror, bedded deep probably in my fillet of sole, uncooked and embedded in my cage of ribs i did not know how to open. But, to exorcise – yes, i had an idea. I would do exactly as the demon said, i would walk back to man one, and spit in his face, and he will leave me. I will tremble for a moment, and a black form will come rushing out of my throat, and i shall collapse, shakily, upon the pool table, and beg in a shaky voice (obviously the side effects of my bravery, as i try to keep my terrible intestinal pains hidden) – Forgive me, old chum, for the demon rises again, no matter where i try to keep it hidden. And he shall throw his face into the ceiling and laugh throatily, his body shaking harder than his shadow, and grab my arm, and scream into my ear, and we shall have a second dinner together, and live close to each other as good friends forever, and when i am upon my deathbed he shall draw his gleaming sword (being, of course, a knight of the queen), and skewer himself, being so distraught at the death of his best friend.
–––––––––––––––
Strongly inspired by Dostoevsky’s Notes from Underground – and the new year.