Water Babies in the City
Sometimes I feel like the woods are breathing on me, advancing like Great Burnam, trying to get in at the doors and the windows, clamorous and rude like uninvited guests.
She took another swig of house red.
There are dirty stories to be told, but they are all the same. This one is the understory, the one they didn’t print, the seamless way of language, the misunderstood dialectic of the dispossessed.
She had cleaned her nails of the polish that stained them and kept them hard and neat.
He stared at them fixedly as though they were honest.
There is a sifting system for stories. They are a bit like sewage initially. They seep down tubes and gulleys into a giant steaming vat of intentions. This is where things start to rot and bubble.
Then the whole mess is put through a filtration system; layers and layers and months later some nice new clear water is produced, clear of stain and suffering.
It may be slightly tainted, of course. Hormones cannot be removed from water and neither can some ideas.
The water has a memory, except it doesn’t. It has a figurative memory like mirrors.
What she actually said was ‘ I don’t know how I got into it. I just started sleeping around for money.’
But that is very uninteresting to the spirit; that is merely printable and saleable.
She was trying to save herself by selling herself one more time.
The man smiled sympathetically. He probably was thinking of getting her coat.
I can hold so many thoughts at once I am a bubbling stream of thought.
He would sell her story, exposing her ridiculous lifestyle to a public composed of choirboys and commandoes.
I wonder what she felt? I mean, when she did it? That’s what the public would wish to know.
I don’t believe people can go into autopilot. Suicide bombers have some activating force inside them but somewhere inside is a small babbling child kicking its feet in a pool of warm water, hoping to get to the other side.
Humanity does not always recognise its own substance. It sees a mechanised world of androids and alternative intelligence and starts to emulate the actions of robotic forces.
It wants to be dirty, then clean, then dirty. It’s a child without a mother, a mother without a child.
She slept with famous athletes, politicians and her trade name was the name of an Egyptian goddess.
She felt the simulacrum of pleasure. She was a white winged bird, a gazelle, a fern on a windowsill, a white bed full of bullfrogs.
She loved her children.
Wearily, the newspaper magnate stubbed out his cigar and bid her adieu.
He didn’t care for her favours, she was blackened by printing ink already, thumbed and folded and put out for recycling.
No, what he really loved was fishing.
She drifted out and night’s cloak enfolded her, raising her beyond the level of the commonplace crowds, setting her somewhere amongst the moons of Io. Her children would find out soon enough.
Veronica Aldous 2016 All Rights reserved