It has always been a matter of getting started and then to go. The first line of this text will make you crash into everything because you can't accept that Bessie is in love with George. In fact you only learn this a few lines later on, but time is different here. So you start to read this page and find out that I don't really agree and so you will learn that George has fallen in love with Bessie, but maybe that is not it, you aren't ready yet (nor the text) because George is already my lover, Me I'm not here yet either, like the cheshire cat which is perpetually a virtual cat. But this is only peripherally the them of the text and I have very little to do with what happens when George goes to the National Theatre to see The Alchemist and discovers the lonely legs of Bessie beside him and in the same way Durrell describes it a strange fusion begins. (Durrell describes it as passion and desire but George is just a fetishist). Anyway project this text; Steve feels trapped and annoyed, because Steve is not even the person who is constructing and writing this text. I would state that George is putting us all on as well, its clearly implied.
So you are being teased and misdirected as well since you are reading this page and if this is not enough for you Bessie who doesn't know that George is Steve's' lover or even (yet) that he knows nothing about women although in the National he appears to know everything a man should and indeed appears even as one may simpatico How can one accept that as they leave and in before that even, in the interval when they are talking about Johnson, Bunuel and of women. (They have both recently read Bunuels' memoirs and of course spend some minutes discuss with the barman the theme of making the perfect martini . And the great libidinal-aesthetic mixing it about. "So easy to be a male artist" she complains "No drama of the woman who wants to be a mother and remain an artist whilst prototyping with fantastic sons of bitches on the procreatal frame " All this of course goes on close to midnight, then about to part and travel their separate wwwwaaaayyyyssss after exchanging their phone numbers, email addresses, pager numbers and finally fax numbers (so difficult to contact people these days ) Then no not like that. She says "I've got to go home, I've had a really nice time Thanks." "I'll take you" Says George "I've got my car parked off Upper Ground on the Rue du Pommes." "O.K." The warm naked arms of Bessie in her sleeveless Agnes B. little black summer dress she stole from her flatmate Juliet. Yes thats what it says just three little words that signify so little but are so important, 'warm naked arms'. Just that. So they get into the Volkswagen Golf which has so many qualities (like Robert Musil's hero), but most important of all its Mine, Steve's. So George drives from the left bank to Ladbroke Grove, not a suburban woman Bessie, wasting my petrol, the louse, Bessie introduces him to Juliet who looks daggers at Bessies' dress, the removal of which is beginning to fixate George, who is not sure if its the bare arms or the breasts moving beneath the oh so perfect black cloth. The flat is a duplex really, stairs rising up to bedrooms that call to George. Her flat mate is mousy with a flat chest, George mis-describes her. But she knows Joan Miro, vodka and coffee.
It is obvious that one cannot modify the deepest realities. Neither you nor I can deny the facts surrounding the inevitability of the George and Bessie clash in the night. Nor can we deny that they are waiting even now to speak on the phone, about what ? when ? where ? and so on. Even though this is a text that is still feverish with the events of the day the text is still trying assure me that everything is going to be alright. But Steve cannot believe this. Must Steve accept a text simply because it is a text ? I can accept what part of me considers to be ambiguous (because, well yes, like a movie) but the phrase take George to east or west London where he leaves the car double parked coming up the art deco lift at the end of this sentence, that is obviously far too long for a short attention span world, as is the time Steve has taken waiting for him and then after he returns and has a bath washing off her scent, then re-emerges dressed in the Japanese robe I brought him from Tokyo last year for his birthday. He leans back against the divan and avoids looking at her breasts as her robe falls open as she, Steve bends over to kiss him and then sits down her head on his chest and asks him about his evening. Then a glass of Grand Marnier and the last cigarette of the day, his naked thigh on which I play my fingers bringing out that soft dreamy moan, without Bessie or the Alchemist (how nice to see it as without) until that point where I untie my robe, hands running over his body, the first convulsion and together we go off to the bedroom and fall together onto the duvet and then as I move towards those parts of the body that demand attention he says wait, just a moment I've got to make a call, send a fax, post an email. To Bessie of course I'm back of course it was fine, I'll see you tomorrow, lunch yes, no it was wonderful I feel as if we have known each other for ever. They talk some more I get off the bed and put on my robe, go past him into the other room and scan CDs, stroke the cat, the text says 'stroke the cat' dream of heroic acts killing terrorists in the office, causing him pain, the text says go past him still on the phone to her, there is no point in re-reading it making sure, that is what it says, I go back to look at CDs stroking the cat whilst he is on the phone to her. Instead I go into the kitchen and make tea turn on the radio, it's so late now that the jazz concert has finished and they are playing some well tempered Bach on radio three. I know longer feel like bed, sleep or anything else. Though the text wants me to stay still drink Grand Marnier and return eventually to the bedroom for want of anything else to do, but I don't see how that is possible as I drink tea instead the robe falling open as the pours and I turn and stare at my body in the hall mirror. He has returned to the bedroom. I turn the music up a little and lie down on the sofa thinking of the Francis Bacon paintings I'd seen yesterday.
Steve de Vos - London 02/13/98
Steve, Friends (1)
Introduction to the Hypertext Novel
Back to Outwork 1