Thursday, March 31, 2011



“Do you feel better?” Clare asked me. “My God, for such a seemingly robust man you do get sick an awful lot.”

“No, not sick, just accident-prone,” I said, sitting up in bed.

“I don’t think any of your calamities since coming here are an accident. You want to be in harms way, I think” she said in an astute tone.

“Why?” I wrapped my arms around her slender boy-like waist.

“Some sort of childish death-wish,” she said sternly.

“Then how come I feel so alive, so virile?” My hands roved over her body.

“That proves nothing,” she said with evident bile, “even sick men are randy. Even wounded boys can furiously desire sex. You satisfy the drive to perpetuate the species, and then with nothing to fill the void you leap over the precipice. Its animalistic --- primitive and not to your credit at all. It doesn’t show that you are robust. Just that you have animal desires that you share with slugs.”

I moved a hand to the small cleft between her legs.

“I think I have finally figured you out,” she said analytically. I momentarily stopped my groping and looked at her curiously, “you’re some sort of binary freak. There is no one Langley Vandemark, there’s two.”

“That’s not incredibly profound,” I started to pull down her short skirt, my massive digits fumbling with the tiny bird beak clasps.

“Maybe so, but it means everything to an understanding of your psychology…. one moment you are completely full of yourself, in absolute self-possession. And then something happens that deflates that expansive ego, and you are shrunken, defeated….”

The dress was off. I had her bent over a dresser. Her pale body was shimmering in the darkness.

“Langley,” she bent back and whispered huskily in my ear, “you can do a lot in this world but you can never hide from yourself.”

We copulated furiously.

When it was over, I lay spent next to her in the cold manor bedroom. Her bird hands were resting on my chest. The black clouds had finally arrived and a steady rain was pelting against the smeared, wet window. Clare turned away from me to sleep. I wrapped her nude body in a blanket. I stood up and looked out at the darkening landscape. The undulating hills were as black as coal, as black as the storm sky. In the distance, far in the moors, I heard the baying of a hound.

This was what I need, I thought to myself and then thought it again, harder, deeper than I thought possible. I peeled the layers of cognition back again and again: here it presents itself, a rough, tempestuous scene to tear myself asunder. Nothing else had worked. My body had proven to be too vigorous a vessel for my soul. It was bulging and the pressure was unbearable. It seemed destined to propel me from one nonsensical venture to another. I obviously needed a destruction cinematic in its scope to end this escapade… to clip it before someone beside myself actually was harmed.

I looked back at Clare’s sleeping form. Her rib cage rose and fell. She didn’t seem quite human, but small, detached, insignificantly reduced. How did I even become involved with this world? I took a few steps toward her and looked down. I loomed over her. Somehow, through a thousand series of minute and discrete stages, so miniscule in their shifts I never noticed it occurring I had become something essentially non-human. I had an urge to destroy the room, myself, the manor… but instead I picked up my cape from the coat rack and calmly walked out of the room…

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