20 years since my first coming. Interesting how places never change. The anatomical reductionalism of the graffiti signs outside, the reductio ad absurdum of the body differences wrinkled in paint, still gathers audiences. People never change.
Strip it. Universals never change. The youth that painted those signs passed through life in the blink of an eye. A momentary attraction, the second it took for a whore to advertise her trade, and then she was annihilated. Deliciously eradicated.
We watched it from our window. There was no such thing as undecided innocence. ‘Do or die!’ That was the rules of graffiti.
Hell, that was the rules of war.
The world was a different place back then. Our Lady of Dissolution presided over the catastrophe of the city with her castratory heels, past the searing sirens and flashing lights of martyrdom. All was in order, even if an entropic kind of order.
20 years, and I still hear the echoes of my lust pacing the kitchen tiles, her floor-length robe scraping the ground like shackles. It forever dusted her glitter-moult - ensuring the metallic collision of her stilettos echoed like whip-cracks through the cold, buzzing silence of midnight - enticing, inviting; demanding her punishment. My caged-bird looked so like a raven with her dark skin and even blacker robes laced with the spectrums of twilight. Her soft receptive-flesh, smoother than the feathers that ruffled her neck, emitted that tantalizing scent of oranges and spice. She was my dark and ominous bird of yore, my night-raven, who sung herself to silence beneath the iron hand that choked her.
She bore my child with resignation and acceptance, lay back as I impregnated her; and made no protest when I left her seventeen year old person to fend for herself amongst the carnivorous rats of the apartment block. She had no use to me then, pregnancy had drained her of her witchery-glamour, just as motherhood would drain her sexuality. The young succubus she carried would suckle her vitality, before sampling a parasitic taste of her next benefactor.
Girl-children are like that, you know. Nymphets - succubae until sexualisation - when they chose to prey or be preyed upon, or have that decision thrust upon them.
She got away, of course, went back to the mother from whom she originally ran. I heard she become a whore, a scrubber woman - like mother like daughter - or so they say. Though I do express a tinge of regret for those supple hands that must be as coarse as sandpaper now.
The last time I watched her make herself up in this mirror, I rammed my knife into its centre in one of the incandescent rages she ceased to inspire in me. It didn’t shatter, just split in several places, and I watched a caricature of our multiple-selves reflected back at us. Coincidently, it was through this very same mirror that we watched the brutal gang-rape of that young whore.
I said nothing back then, but the girl’s death stirred something deeper than the languid flesh that loitered between my wavering thighs.
Not long after that, I decided to pay a visit to my grandmother, she was sick at the time. I was wearing a red-hoodie that zipped right up to my face to keep out the rain. It shielded my side-vision, but it did not bother me. I carried a knife in my pocket and was not afraid to use it.
It would not perhaps have been so bad, if the rain not had trickled so loudly from the tree-tops, or if my coarse-breath had not echoed as vociferously as the blood that pounded in my ears. If I had not been running, I might have heard it coming; might have pulled my knife from my pocket to defend myself. Damned wolf!
To run in the presence of a predator is to stimulate its darker impulses, the thrill of the chase, that deep insatiable blood-lust that can only be quenched by the sinking of one’s teeth into soft, receptive…
Anyway, by any means, she soon ran back into the forest as happy as a dog with a bone, and left me haemorrhaging in the middle of the woods with a wound that would henceforth bleed once a month, as regular as clockwork. My body became a lunar tide; a sadistic sport for Artemis’s, who sat back and watched in her leisurely passivity, as the hunter become the hunted in her savage-school of poetic justice.
My trousers were soaked through with blood, sealing my involuntary contract and a date with the surgeon’s knife.
I never understood the meaning of reductionalism until I lay there in a state of semi-consciousness, having to be rescued by a man who carried me to the hospital. Humility came as I swooned in his arms, and they extracted all evidence of myself. So that between my legs lay zero, the sign for nothing, which can only ever be something when the male principle fills it with meaning.
They explained I would be better off submitting myself as a woman. After all, I had lost my weapon of abuse. I had no choice but to yield to another’s, like the surgeon’s savage-scalpel, used to butcher the remaining remnants of my manhood. What delectable irony! To be swallowed by the dumb consumer-mouth of the she-wolf, my pound of flesh reduced to nothing more than fresh, digestible meat.
My path had changed along with my mentality and the indignant changes to my vivisected body, which was now pumped so full of hormones, it was beyond recognition. Beyond that infinite space inside of me into which I must always retreat, giving birth to a new self daily; for women never settle on one personality. They change under the gaze of others, and flicker between the channels of themselves like a T.V. screen. I could do nothing but cry. I was a victim-victim-victim!
I lay there in the cold, narrow, hospital bed feeling extremely sorry for myself. No-one had come to claim me, of course. I no longer had an identity; and I was far too ashamed to call my parents. Better they thought I died with dignity than to be vampirized into some metamorphic other.
There is no shame in being a woman, Dylan. Your pretty face will want for nothing…if you deny them nothing, said Lilith, my surgeon’s subordinate. At that moment, I felt as though I had plunged through the cracks of an hourglass which separated the spheres of gender. My body dangled in the degradary section, staunched by a head that ceased to filter the sand-grains of my shredded-masculinity, which weighed on my skull like a pressure-pump.
Even the female nurses looked down on me now, and why shouldn’t they? I had become even less that they were. It appeased their sadistic side to see me so powerless. I confess, I had never before released how much of a cold-bladed knife pity could be, until they used it to penetrate me repeatedly with notions of their own femininity.
But alas, fate intervened in the form of a night-visitor.
My surgeon entered the room with Lilith, her black binary, and introduced herself as Eve. Until that moment, I had never really known what it was to be stripped of every last vestige of myself. My previous suffering had no value now, no meaning like this addictive exhilarating-melancholy that emitted from this majestic Goddess.
Her body was timeless, such a grave and wonderful beauty composed of the world’s sorrows. It radiated like the moon, reducing the room to shadows of gloominess, grief and loss; a Pandora’s box of sadness. It consumed the surrounding world until all that remained was a glimmer of hope, this angel of mercy, who stood before me and showered me with her loveliness; her gracefulness, her baptising light that I would be forever inclined to bathe in. It subordinated Lilith to the shadows of nothingness, to that non-world beyond the malicious deceit-of-the-veil.
Eve explained that the secret of womanhood was solitude and melancholy, and her words echoed with a vague familiarity, somewhere deep inside the barren-space of my mind. Her words settled there, cleansed it of its impurities. So that the shell of Aphrodite could be implanted there, the divine seed of her sea-blue eyes, which I soon learned to nurture.
Our encounter passed in wing-beat, and I was allowed to see my new reflection for the very first time. It was then, in a moment of pure lucidity – only to be inspired by the muse of her presence - did I realise who I was, or rather, who I was to become.
Cleansed of my olive skin and pathological gender - I became Tristessa de St Ange - born-again from the ashes of my goddesses’ fire; and it is my destiny, my desire, my purpose in life, to follow in the footsteps of my soul-mate’s soul-mate so she can be mine-mine-mine forever in return!
So you see, unnatural daughter of Lauis, rejected daughter of Eve. Even with your stiletto blade pressed expertly into my bosom, a mere millimetre from my vital organ, you cannot recreate what she has created.
Both mother and father to you, you embody the fatal lack in him with your singularity of gender that will dissolve in your polluted-passivity. Though Tristessa may be your father, and I am but his humble reflection, that does not elevate me above the role of wicked stepmother who has poisoned your apples with sterility. Take care of my love, though with my dying breath I bequeath you a lifetime of misery and solitude for your oedipal-intentions, I wish Eve every happiness, so that she may rise from the ashes of gender and bring forth a new world in her own transcending-image.
In loving memory of Dylan de St Ange
Beloved daughter of Eve and Lilith