No ghost of terminal illness or chronic disease have they. Their blood is clean like the head of an exile child. They are not wounded in any way. They do not speak with their hands, with that slight tremor that comes with the taking of Epilizine. There were men in her family who drank and women in her family who drink and how they all bordered on the wilderness history, us women with our cold hands, our cold feet and their madness. It is our men, our people, women who have taught us to discard our values like the emperor's new clothes and to drink (to drink as they do, to drink them under the table). She thought to herself.
Iris's Journal entry
Was I not the best little girl in the world? Spoilt yes but why do we have to grow up so fast? I really have let myself go in a dream sequence. I eat thirds of everything. Beautiful girls were his great enduring love. My great enduring love's love. Once you, you bright eyes, were my muse, texture like sun and what a precious cargo you were. Only you fell among the stars never to return. My frankincense and myrrh. Therefore, I am left in mourning while you pass me by, a fragile beauty. I am left with my dope-smoking addict of a brother, with his cigarettes, stale smoke and moustache for male company. Ashtray filled with cigarette ends. The years have changed us into people we do not find familiar in any way. Brothers and sisters. Our lives are defined by whom we are, memories, marked by trials, mine promiscuity.
The pulse is a parachute opening and closing, shutting its mouth. The practical magic of it all. I will always remember the memory of love. It will never shut me out. I love my brother like I love my great enduring love, the pursuit of him was always bordering on wilderness and madness. There is darkness even in an echo. A movement of the creator in solitude that lingers and in that moment I am holding onto nothing. There is blues in a cold street. If I trace its breaking point, I come across the eternity of the primitive impulse. The sea river is a cold impasse. Will I find secrets there? In my dream, I am standing on a frozen lake, the second sex and I can hear female voices all around me. Some are comforting just like a prayer as if to give me the courage of my convictions.
In addition, I get the feeling that they are teaching me the elementary wisdom of survival skills. Nevertheless, the voice of my one true love is no longer heard. No longer golden. No longer the voice of a male writer. As foe or beautiful it is not just enough to exist anymore. I have to find a way out of this celestial madness. However, trust me it can be good for the bones like Paris. I wish I had a dress that I could go anywhere with but I am not one of those girls who purge their unhappiness like that. All I want is a childhood continued swarming, magnetic, like spiritual children attracting like. What has become of me, what will become of me in this ghost nation? The child comes to me. His mother gives him to me. I do not know why they trust me with him. I feel I can hurt him the way I was hurt as a child. Edward.
He is precious, innocent. I gave him that name. He sits on my lap. My brother's son. He is sucking his fingers. He has long lashes and dark brown eyes like his father. He is pretty. He is as pretty as a girl is. He has eczema on his neck. Every night and morning after his bath, his mother rubs aqueous cream into the inflamed parts of his peeling skin. His face is white-pale like snow, a moon, a cloud with a silver lining. You can see he has Germanic ancestry. He is two months old. Edward smiles at me. There is a supernatural energy from his unyielding gaze. Love changes everything for the sinner, the return comes with it, the immortal, and so does bright fame. Fish. Fish and chips. The survival kit for life is eating, in food, food for thought, food that nurtures the body. I breathe in the lemon wedge, white fish and the vinegar.
I want to be normal like Alice in her electronica trippy wonderland. I grace. Daddy bows his head. The bones of this year have left us with much breathing lessons. I want to swim away from the tigers. In the morning daddy exercises while I drink my lukewarm coffee. Sometimes tea. Sometimes coffee. I have to watch him now. I have to watch over him now. He could double over. He could fall. He could wet himself. Yesterday we laughed-and-laughed-and-laughed at Marc Lottering this famous South African comedian and that is what we do as a family these days. We laugh, we smile, we hug Edward, and we breathe in. We watch sex, lies and videotape. What are we trying to forget, trying to forgive, where do we go from here? We eat sleeping pills, medication that can be bought over the counter.
Melatonin, Pax and Ativan, multivitamins like layers of wedding cake and I hope that God forgives us. God has given us Edward, a blessing-in-disguise, isn't a child always the first wave of consciousness? I am reminded of Jesus and the Pharisees when I look at him. The blood orange sky that I wrote about once in a poem about me and my brother, Auschwitz, Bergen-Belsen (what the experiment of evil was once in Nazi-Germany (their-guinea-pigs-white-mice-in-a-maze), SS soldiers saluting Hitler, his moustache, German youth and what they're still capable of). Edward reminds me of Roman Polanski of all people, Woody Allen's films (vignettes of my life), his love affair and muse Mia Farrow. There are so many paths that are open to Edward, our little prince. I pray that all the love letters that roll from my heart can help navigate his journey a little bit more as he grows older. In his eyes, I forget time, burnt diaries, midnight, and Rilke's Paris.
I forget that I am growing older. One day I will be an old woman.
She has now taught her son to be a constant gardener. My mother has sacrificed. The world has given me her back. Every Technicolor, flawed, hallucinogenic, schizophrenic muscle in modern society has given her back to me. She is my sun, my heat, my pouring rain, my high, my low. I must not give up because this siren is the one who sustains me, pulls me through.
Even in the heightened realities of nucleic acid, bodily fluids, human stains, case studies, identity theories what it all comes down to is this really. Family is family, and we all belong to the human race, a human family. Now we come to love again and we approach it from a different angle. It can give us so much glory, pleasure; it can take us from the paradise of heaven to the stairways and wards of hell.
I am at the gates, the city streets behind me, the history of violence, silence, loneliness is a shell like suffering, sanity, the bittersweet aftertaste of alcoholism, my brother 'locked' behind the gates in rehab, the passing death of someone close in the family. Magda, Magda, Magda shining star that I am still addicted to like gravity, halo above the lost tug of an ocean sea of emotions wherever you are now. I will never let go completely of you.
I am home. I am flying. I am dreaming. I am a vessel and even though in some of my dreams there is an accumulation of emptiness housed there. So this year Christmas was not completely ruined. I was not torn. There were not raised voices behind closed bedroom doors.
Now we come to exploring the form of the memoir. However, perhaps this is not the flowery exit you have come to expect because when love is up for discussion then so is the plan of departure, chemistry. A book a year is not enough for me anymore. The bite of a story with a human face a week is what I live on.
I have lived even though you do not believe it. I have loved even though you do not believe it. Think of my love life, my life so far as tragedy speeded up if you will. Do not pause. Do not think. The weight of water was never the enemy in the sea or swimming pool with the chlorine burning my eyes. Every stroke towards the wall (whether it is the wall of the horizon in the distance or the opposite wall of the pool is a small goal achieved). It is a leap of faith. I pour my roots into a feast. The stems of me.
Say you remember. I think of him. My winter's sadness. My heart is suffering. We have not even kissed yet. However, I remember how alive I felt with his arms around my waist. His dark hair wet at the nape of his neck means more to me than sensuous imagery. He is dangerous. He can ruin me, my reputation and he has and so have I. I am an intern. He is something else. With him, I am a goddess, desired and beautiful. Bitterness no longer cuts through me hot and blistering. Without him, I am a god, a little female impersonation of the Buddha. He is a dream. He is a memory. Silence has grown between us all through these years. I would not be here if it were not for you. Writing to reach American you. I do not have a Christmas party dress. I see to my father. His needs and not 'the man-about in the office'. His medication, his pharmacy, his meals, making his coffee, helping him dress in the morning, evening, and I have found a newer, brighter shape of love. I have discovered its elements are more authentic than sometimes the dryness of writing, and the sensuality of the therapy of cooking. To some thirty-year-old me this means motherhood.
He (the-man-about-the-ice) has never looked more beautiful in the pictures of my mind. I needed him to forget about childhood, adolescence, every past Christmas. He makes my mind and heart race. He makes me think international. I need to win. I need him now. He is my first love and as I grow older and sense I will never meet him in my future-men he is my only love. Now his eyes, his laugh, his smile, the dimensions of his clothes, his wuthering height strikes me thin. This is my life now. The past becomes fresh, the present mean and the future does not seem to build up to a future of the rewards of big dreams.
Here are the elegant questions. Where is the connection? What is love when it occurs in humanity's first catalyst? It is merely a survival instinct shooting straight from the first spirited heartbeat after falling. Even a hard man with his cunning and his brutal ways can win a 'sexual transaction', and a woman with her pretty ways, even a silly woman can win a man if she is feminine. Now we look at the prostitute, the promiscuous, the socialite and what do all of them have in common. Everyone is lonely. Everybody hurts. Everybody is fighting from the con man and con woman is fiercely intelligent because everybody has to live. Are we all truly born equal, is freedom in our land nothing more than a psychological construct, what separates the rich and the poor, the talented in their own right, the introverted leader and the gifted and savant from the ordinary? Those with an equal share of darkness, the criminal in them have to fight for the dark world, those forces to overcome their authentic godliness. Their goodness. The voluptuous light within them.
It is Christmas. Everyone is home. I remember my first love as we sit down to eat. He lives in another world filled with normal, sanity, convenience, discretion, a wife and a child who has a horse. I am no longer afraid, ashamed of walking away instead of towards the brilliant eye of the storm (sleeping with the enemy). I do not orbit the world of powerful men, star people anymore. My mind has changed. It is charged, wired with calculations about what other people are doing, thinking and the harmonic cultures that exist outside of my own. It has been years since I have entertained, left those playing fields. Less than a golden decade has passed, and my feelings for most of them. I am a woman now.
My ministry has changed, opinion, point of view. I sit with my mother, my sister, my brother, his pregnant girlfriend and my father I feel blessed. I have a journey, a Plan B, a mission, love, family. Another year. Look at all of us. Some of us have become more introspective than others. We are all soldiers every one of us. We each have our own psychological makeup that cuts us deep seriously, political ideas, and philosophy about life.
There is something about the monk in all of us.