Well it may be OK for some of the family to get on my nerves until I've had it up to here ! But I've been waiting for ages to go out walking and then Zofia arrives soaked to the skin and finds me in a bad mood. She with a face somewhere between the back end of a bus and a computer graphic of crossness, an expression that I've seen on her so many times. There is no way we can comprehend what is going on between us, you realize.
What kind of walk will be possible ? When looking at you I can see that I'm going to get drenched along with you, water seeping through my teflon coat and soaking my back and arms. And then sitting in some bar/cafe with the horrible smell of dampness and the impossibility of reading because the pages got sodden during the walk and the coffees not hot enough because the espresso machines making more coffee than it was designed for, and the the music is load enough to be heard but not loud enough to be listenned to. In the moisture the smell of bodies gradually swamping the wet air - and is that a fly in my red wine or is it a bit of cork ?
Making a date those first times was no good because I could never get rid of the apparitions of your previous lovers who hung around in the sentences you spoke. Somehow I need to lock them out of the date but don't know how or why they enter into it through the words she says. Like physicists who seek a unified theory of the universe and everything - but the galaxies continue to fly apart at enormous velocities, whilst semioticians seek a theory of the linguistic field, but languages, signs and meaning move apart like the galaxies, the remnents of a linguistic big bang, connected by strings of semiotic dark matter. The apparitions are the dark matter in our relationship. They do everything possible to bore me into submission making me almost lose the desire for you to bring me a little sunshine, some fresh air, the sound of children playing in the park, a cat walking across the grass to sit in the sunlight beneath a laural hedge. Altogether they'll do anything possible to distract me from the present. Destroying me - abusing me through email, the telephone, in meetings. That way they have of disrupting a perfectly nice event in some cafe on the Bois de Boulogne where we were eating mergez sausages and haricot beans and then some shadow of `A' or that Christian guy from Wimbledon Common - they appeared like old people queuing up for the charity gifts at the harvest festival. I was not rude to the dark matter, never despatched it to the depths, instead I made great attempts to be genial pretending that I did not notice how drastic an affect they were having upon us, but the discomfort must have been plain to see as you threw them like darts into me, connected by the dark threads you reeled me in.
Perhaps though the dark matter was just envious, testing, wanting to tarnish you, attempting to establish a reluctance to continue going out with you. And then you change sides and instead of being on my side against them I see you as on their side - especially now in the grey dampness with water dripping off you, onto the wooden tiled floor, small puddles appearing at the end of the rivlets. A grey negation that is you and not you, for as I was gradually getting used to the dark matter and planning on (maybe) going down to the restaurant in Soho that did, in those days long before BSE and CJD, the perfect steak and French fries, you were beginning to drift into the state of desiring the dark matter again. Whereas I had not even begun to work out how to desire you properly.
Sorry that I have to tell you that I think you are disgusting. For now I have to convince myself that it's all to do with the apprations from the past, that you are not really different from what I'd suppsed you'd be, the exception to the rule. The one who would bring lightness and end the unbearable heaviness of the everyday. The joy of speaking and the turning of corners - from one side to the next. Really it is even worse because you seem to represent the opposite of my hopes, cynically rapping on mywindow and then waiting for me to put on my raincoat and tak out my umbrella. The conspirator with the apparitions, and I who thought you were the personification of difference, loved you for that, you have done this so many times, three or four at least, what kind of good is it going to be for you to continue to attempt to answer my desires occasionally if this is how we end up, me looking at you bedraggled face, wet hair in your eyes, fingers grey with the wet cold water, staring at me without speaking. In the end your apparitions are probably better for at least I can fight against them and they are attempting to fight back, this at least passes the time. Doesn't hope spring eternal whilst one fights against ones oppressors ? But you, with you I am just stuck in this house engaged in the eternal struggle of the static nature of our lives, desire swamped by the water dripping off your nose, whilst everything else is drowned in the roar of hostility. The night will arrive soon like the horrible drive round the M25 on the Monday after GMT arrives on the autumnal equinox and its pitch black and you're driving in the outside lane, too fast, with tired eyes glitching in halogen headlights of the opposing lane, but it will only arrive after too much tea, too many news reports on the TV about some election that will be arriving soon from somewhere or other. And behind the door the apparition A is standing waiting to surprise me, with his maniac drawn clock face and the iguana will step out tongue flashing attempting in its slow fashion to stalk the kitten, not seeing the other cat thinking about jumping down on her from out of the sun.....
Steve de Vos - London November 1996
Steve, The uncertainties of music (2)
Introduction to the Hypertext Novel
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