Saturday, November 30, 2013

Adjusting to the Dark

Opening your eyes to the dark and the slight creak of the wind bowing the trees outside your widow. Something outside. A sense of it and your eyes still adjusting to the shadows.  Something moving out there. A glimpse of it. Standing and checking the window because there is a sudden chill and ice through veins. The rattle of a pane ajar. Locking it. Out. Peering into a garden of light and shadow, shuddering. Sound of it. A pattering like one leg after another. Insectile. And the skin set to caterpillar crawling. Where? In the dark? Where? Eyes adjusting and readjusting and the sound of it, a running or a footfall from a many legged thing. Outside. No. Turning. Adjusting to a greater shade of dark. An expanse of lightless floor. Empty. And the pat pat patter, closer, stealing breath. And then. Look up. Look up.

Too late. For there is the stretch and then the drop.


How can you time the fear to the rhythm of sex. Heart beating in time to your fear and lust all at once, capillaries filling with blood, the swell in your loins or the swell of blood to the chest, the shortness of breath, the breathing, breathing, trying to metre out the experience. Trying not to lose it one way or the other.

He tells me I need to time my fear to my sex. Your sex scenes are by far the longest, most physically engaging of all the scenes. The fear needs to find it's rhythm in the same way, delaying, stepping forward, overtaking the flesh.

I am back to you Bataille. Sex/death all of life in the heartbeat too loud in your skull. The end and the beginning overlapping, the craft both things at once.  So we go back to it. We time it. We find a way to lure ourselves into the trap of our own fear. We immerse ourselves. Scared. Full body scared. And then, when the time is right, we come.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Knowing it is there

So you smell it and you know it is there. Under the bed. A cliche, but really in this tiny room room there is no other place to hide.

There are two options open to you now.  Back away. Close the door. Leave the room to return - when? Each time you return now you will not know what it was or where it will be hiding next. There will be a fear of every opening drawer, curtains, sheets, dreams.

It is here now. You know because of the smell of it. That wild armpit of sweat and fight and urine, that loamy brew of mould and gut and egg. So from its smell you know it is here now and it is bad. A smell like running, fast, away, and yet you take one step closer, another.

The bedspread is cold and harsh on the fingertips, cheap fibres, a whore's curtain. And to know you will have to lift it. You will have to see.

Thursday, November 28, 2013


Lying in bed. Breathing. The throb of your own heart in your temple, a chill in the air. Colder than it should be and even when you pull the blankets up to your chin there is no warmth in them. Your breathing is loud. Perhaps your sinuses are blocked. A cold coming on. You sniff. Clear, cold air, but when you breath again you are out of sync, a double breath. It is as if someone were in bed beside you. You pull the blanket back and it is cold, cold but no one there and nothing but the strange syncopation. You hold your breath, stop the sound of the air wheezing through your own lungs. Your pulse throbs and yes, there is still the intake, the exhale, breath, not yours but someone else in the room. You turn your head toward the sound. Your heartbeat is so loud it almost obliterates it but it is there. Where. You squint in the almost dark and it is then that you notice that the wall beside the bed is unquiet. A tiny movement, in, a shift and swelling out.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Things that scare you. Shadows

Once when I was younger I drank the punch that did not have alcohol in it. I was trying not to mix my drinks. I drank the fruit punch which I didn't realise had mushrooms in it. Later that night.

The shadow followed me. My shadow I thought, but then when I stopped and turned I saw it hovering on a nearby hedge. I was between my shadow and a streetlight. I did not move, but it did. It saw me watching. It darted away. My heart was beating too loudly. My skin was clammy. I was afraid and yet here was a thing that couldn't be imagined. Here was a piece of night torn free and running  through the puddles of light. Fight or flight. After a moment of hesitation I followed, running through the streets of the suburb running, just a tiny bit behind the echo of myself, running until the dark shape turned to me and melted into the first traces of morning. A moment when all the warmth is sucked out of the night by a hungry sun.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Horrors, beginning, arousal, bees

My next book looks at horror. The things that really frighten us. So here is a space to explore this for a while. Nightmares, fears, the things that truly reach down into the darkness of the soul.

Last night in a fevered wakefulness I understood that sex and fear were the same. It wasn't about them being similar. It was an understanding of how the two states were the same thing differently interpreted. I was frightened by an image that was there every time I closed my eyes and yet when I opened my eyes the same state could be interpreted as arousal. It was a simple looking and un-looking. Still unable to sleep I wrote down the image that continued to disturb me.

There is a man swaying outside her window covered in bees. His whole head is alive with them. He shivers with wings. He moves and some of them, fat, sated, fall off him and land with a soft wet sound like spilled honey on the floor. When she opens her eyes there is just the sound of the ocean and the sway of shadow as a tree is taken by a str.ay breeze. When she closes them the man is back. Even wakeful, closed eyed, he is there and so she must not close her eyes or he will climb through the half closed window and the bees will drip onto the floor inside. She lies as still as she can and listens to a thousand wings beat, light and fast as her heart.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Sex Positive / Negative

I am not a good person.

There are good people in this industry. They are often talked about. She is the nicest writer in Australia. He is the loveliest writer and therefore he deserves this accolade or that. I like them too. I like the nice writers and I try to find time to have dinner with them, breakfast, hang with them at the bar. To be near them is to make myself like them in some way. If I am seen in their company I will become a nice person too.

I am not a nice person.  I am furious. I burn. I can feel my anger eating away at the lining of my stomach, it forms a hard knot in my shoulders and stops the blood flow and gives me a migraine. The anger feeds my flesh and I swell to furious proportions. This is who I am. I look at the shiny happy people and I feel tarnished.

These are the facts: I am from a poor family, from a bad school, from the kind of mad genetic pool that has a tendency to lock themselves away from the rest of the world. I am destined to return to the place I have come from and because of this I am angry.

I have just read Happy Baby by Stephen Elliott and I know that my sex bookclub will hate it.  Here we have a cause and effect. Abuse leads to a longing for self abuse. Abuse as a key to one man's need to be hit, to be told he is nothing. The strong smart women in my bookclub will say that S & M has nothing to do with abuse. Rope play and smacking are a choice, and a positive choice that is all about the line between pain and pleasure. I understand this. I can see how a person from a good home and a good school can lay out their choices and make informed decisions. I am educated. I am married to a man who has always been comfortably middle class. I am protected from my own nature. I am free to chose.

Yet on those nights when my agitation turns to self-loathing, when my natural inclination towards entropy eclipses all the things I have learned since I have been free, I wonder about my decisions, my cravings for sex which suddenly, inexplicably tip over from the pleasurable to the self-destructive. My first reaction is that of suspicion. I think badly of people. I long to lash out. I want to take that person who doesn't want me and force them to look at me naked. Want me. I want to smash their face into my flesh till they know they are mistaken. Want me. Want me. Want me now.

So I let the urge pass because I am educated. Because I know better. Because I am settled and have some of the things that a safe middle-class life can gift to a person. But I do not fit in this life, in this skin, in this class. When I run out of distractions I remember who I am. I remember where I have come from and where I will return to when I let go of my safe nice partner and am reclaimed by the wilderness of my childhood.

I remember the kind of fucking that was meant to unsettle my safe foothold on the world. I remember the drug of sex, the dangerous pit of it filled with joy and poison and harm and the extremes of pleasure. I open that snake pit and peer inside and I wonder if one day I will unbalance again and fall.