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Eros meets narcissism

I read your words.

I read your words. I see you have an image, too. I read your words once more.

The catechism that prompts my heart to indeed skip a beat. How many times have I read that expression, yet as a truism it is truer than true, no matter how many times it gets sullied by repetition.

All I have are your words, pouncing out of the screen. The text of you. Just words.

And yet-

So much more. So much more than I get in my day to day perambulations, staggering with docility to and from and around and within and outside work, a partially animated corpse. A simulacra of humanity, delivering robotic responses - always perfectly polite - with people I ultimately don't really know. People who hold little interest to me. I don't dislike them; nothing so intentional. They just are.

They can't do what you can do, I know that. You, who I don't know, but somehow do. For you gave me a series of freely given micro-transactions into your soul. Everything is apparently economic in this world we live in. Small piercing holes of light, sunshine penetrating through the designs etched into the curtain of separation. Those words. That story. It was a piece of fiction, but like all good fiction it betrayed its own honesty and nonfiction.

Plato spoke of love, of Eros, as the divine union of man and woman, of two souls conjoined. I recall the stifled laughs of those friends I might mention it to, back in those strange old days when we used to talk face to face, unmediated by a paralysis of screens and representation. Nowadays, what is Platonic love? It has been cheapened to a love devoid of passion, the fiery physical intoxication extinguished, as if the substance was no longer moved by essence. But Platonic love was never merely two minds in union, a gentle equilibrium of two souls in repose; this would be to deprive Plato of Mystery.

'As above, so below'; as the slight trickle of sweat down my forehead attests to. In more senses than one. What if she was that metaphysical One? The 'one' that fills ten million memes with their banal repetition. So ridiculous. A daft feat of self-delusion. ...But sometimes banality was the shepherd to the half-truth buried deeper.

I was writing the fiction in my head. I read her, and she became my piece of fiction to myself. Surely I simply read her as I wanted her to be. It wasn't her, it was just me. I read myself when I read her.


The tantalising photo, the image behind (or in front?) of the more important image I found in her words. Underexposed, her hair draped across her face. I liked that. Words forever had to mediate towards their own utmost subject, they never simply showed their face.

I could almost see the sensational titles, patrolling the blogosphere, metering their way across the Internet, endless fodder for a sheer infinity of spectators to draw their amusement at. "Fake love in the blogosphere". "Man falls in love with a delusion". "Crazy stalker blocked". I felt myself ludicrous. I couldn't even take myself seriously. How would she ever take me seriously, as a whole and actual human being? Or worse, she would emit a pure fury, a disgust that I could be so self-indulgent, so haplessly bold as to think I knew anything of her. I remember drinking my coffee, tracing the spoon around the cup, nodding at her for having said this in the conversation of my mind. Any mode of communication felt like an impossible impregnable fortress. Facebook. Snapchat. Tinder. WhatsApp. E-mail (how prosaic!). Social media really meant we could all be antisocial together, and occupy our own personal space of individual alienation, yet on public display for all.  I would place myself in front of the screen, and type, then close it in disgust at myself. What could I offer but words? Would my words ever be enough for her? I imagined her eyes languorously rolling across the screen, my words making some meandering diffraction into her soul. Would they leave an impression? Or would they simply disappear, crushed under the ignominy of the backspace. I couldn't pretend to be Dostoevsky or Bolaño or Derrida or Murakami or Russell or Hegel or Baudelaire or Nabokov, after all.

Then the worst punishment of all.

The tribunal of silence.



Better a violent protestation of denial, or a disgusted utterance for me to disappear. I could do that, my words now reduced to mere staccato echoes. Or simply a more muted disdain, a few words offered as consolation. No Philosophy could offer Consolations here. Not in this irascible void that had opened up within me.

The hair draped across her face. I fancied I could brush it aside with my fingertips, slowing tracing the cartography of her jawline, melting the milk chocolate of her skin. The gaze, the eyes that could cause the irruption of my words, the material of her soul. Stirring the magma within me, right down to the base of my spine. I fancied, then, that she would inch forth, just a touch, proffering her lips for appraisal by mine.

I already knew the electrical discharge that would occur. I knew, because I'd read it. I'd seen it. If I knew nothing else in the entire universe, even if every bit of knowledge I had was but poison to be sprinkled on the despoiling of Eden, this I knew. It came from before knowledge, it came from me because I saw semblance. I saw something I knew. Something I knew because without that, everything else I'd ever known prior to my life would disappear as ashes blown away up the great chimney of despair.

Our lips, connecting. That gestalt gravity that held that moment outside time. Hungry for more I wanted to devour her. So I gave her my all, my everything. I disappeared into her, the throb of our hips a collusion into our own personal emptiness. Here, I found form. I became logos, she became the waters. The rhythmical melting, the trickle of my sweat that found its way into the valley of her king as I felt myself gently folding over her bosom, her softness everything I'd ever wanted or needed in the universe, my opportunity to go supernova whilst she remained the encompassing black night that folded itself around my spectral emissions. She was fecundity, I was mere solicitation; I needed to hear the voice of her affirmation in the moans that slowly spilled forth from her lips.

But all I had was image.

Twelve thousand possible conversations wormed my way through my head, each no more than a few sentences; many a one sided utterance without her replying. I needed to offer a suitable blank space with which she could print her words. It was torture.

I retreated back, fearing my own dissolution. How could the movement be perceived as something other than insanity?

I tried to assure her of my truth. I tried to make my words burrow there way into her, as her's had into me. Because those words needed a subject. I so desperately wanted to be her topic I spread myself out, paper thin, an empty book waiting for her inscriptions. Like an abstruse God, emptied out of all ontology; I felt so close to disintegration, as if one word from her would be enough to complete me. Or end me. Would she simply issue a full stop? She. Me. Virtual. Concrete.

I wanted her words to flow like soft rain across my naked body; in return my every utterance a delicate whip to drive her into a stronger frenzy.

I would reflect on the real woman I'd loved and been with in the past. Encounters governed mainly by happenstance. Though they'd offered me the world, sometimes even for several happy years, here was someone who offered the possibility of the universe. In a strange sense she seemed more real than they did, despite the absurdity of the logic. But knowing always surpasses material.

Yet the great cosmic divide separated us. Paltry geography was nothing; a few miles here or there. This was the separation of privacy; of personal invasion. I wrote in my isolation, I wrote my story of love and lust in isolation, past and present; mere torchlight in the dim cavern of memory. She too wrote in her isolation. How could I breach that whilst remaining in her trust? And yet behind that wall, tantalising, I sensed perhaps there was a shared garden of delights, both earthly and of the sky. The tension of lovers was always like two fearsome armies ready to go to war, one moment, or make truce (make love!) the next. The war was always absolute, for at stake was one's very existence. Does a man really want to become his own island, if that island is simply Atlantis disappearing under the sea of the Ordinary?

What was I, a stalker? I shuddered. Was I but a vestige of myself, reduced to this alienated state?

Are we all not stalkers of dreams, in the end?

Tactics. Contrivance. A supposedly 'accidental' encounter. None of this would do. I would have no desire to offer her my fraudulence when she'd offered herself unfettered. She deserved so much more. Brazen words, anxious, probing. I would have to make of our fiction a reality; a slip of the tongue, a few words spilled, find the nonchalance of nonfiction.

At what point do lovers dance. Does not the dance begin as soon as she consents to smile, and offer the assent of words from her lips? Foolhardy I might be, but at least I burned with true erotic passion. Passion that didn't see an artificial distinction between sex and love, between the physical and the non-physical. All were rivers retracing their way back up the mountain, their resistance to time that would separate us, distinguish us, and do the violence of our very silence to each other. Passion that cared little for the trivial performances of everyday life when here was authentic simple being.

Delusion held its great own truth. Perhaps love was always a delusion, two people creating their own fiction together. Still, as my mouse traced the cursor across her image, as I slid down her words, here was finally someone, some woman who made sense to me.

I wondered whether, deprived of any real radical subjectivity in this world, as we all created ourselves as a series of impenetrable rectilinear edges, objects built from a giant play-box of assembled and partisan shapes, we could see past the consumption of our own product and see the human beyond.

I had to believe so.  Word and will. I would begin to construct my world, one word at a time. As the biblical God had done, only in this age of the death of God, I would have to take His place, and author my own reality.

The trace of our lips...

I let the last words drift out, leaving the prospect of silence.

Would she write the next sentence? Would she smile and laugh, and let me hear?

Would my words find purchase, in brazen crazy hope that perhaps our fingertips would one day meet, finding a mutual response that no series of key presses could ever hope to write down?


  1. This certainly doesn't deserve a tribunal of silence. Part of me reads it as a sand castle of words. The other part sees a truth fretting to undress.

  2. Truth rightly fears to undress, lest in her nakedness she faces ridicule, outright rejection, or worst of all, the empty parabola of disinterest. Is life itself frequently anything but the eloquent construction of sand castles, destined to be slowly washed away by the tides of mundanity; an endless rebuilding, heraldic symbols of finitude held aloft waiting for the warm embrace of their supernal Queen.

    The infinite present is a potentiality of now, if we would but seize it.

    Platonic philosophy aside - coffee & conversation Anji? I live equidistant of Newcastle and Durham. If the answer is no, I guess I shall just remain in the solitude of the sand castles of my own mind, preoccupied with the logocentric gravity well of my own words, whither they be a mirror or simply an empty well to Nothingness :-)

    . . .

    aren.o.tyr AT

    . . .


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