After I fell asleep last night, I slept for several hours more than I should have, and woke with an aching body. In my dream, I had been an unemployed bohemian musician in the 19th century. I lived with my sickly grandmother, my brother, and his wife, in a single room flat laid with grey wooden slats. I always wore a favourite dark violet frockcoat -- purple being an historically self-important colour -- and there were silvery hairs in my brown curls. I never wrote anything; he wrote all sorts of dreary things, and even more criminally in my eyes, was content with such. His work at once repulsed me for its lack of ingenuity and musical purity, and reproved my own impotency.
He was far from angelic, but the magnitude of hatred was undeserved him. He was mean with money, proud for a man with no social stature, but committed no great crimes, an entirely ordinary human being, completely engrossed in his own insignificance, and I nearly pitied him if his existence, as ordinary as it was (I mentally spat the word, it was so filthy to me), had not caused me to resent myself so. In fact, his very ordinary quality only increased my animosity, that I could be driven so mad by someone so plain. I was meant to be remarkable. I had the capacity. He had no right. As anyone would logically react to this thought, I fucked his wife.
One overcast day, when my brother had gone out, his wife and I furiously copulated by the window. We stayed fully clothed, I in my frockcoat and neckcloth, she in her linen petticoats and bits of worn rose silk, a clue to her finer tastes but inadequate resources. Dark-eyed and dark-haired, she had high, arching cheekbones, and a fine, doll-like mouth. Internally, I had almost been afraid to touch her up to that moment, and when I had, it so destroyed the ideal I had carefully built around her person that I was filled with disgust.
It was unerotic, an expression of spite for both of us. I hated my brother because he used all he possessed, even what little it was, while as much as I did have, I used none. She hated her husband because she wanted much more and he did not. In truth, I feel we were both deeply aware that whom we loathed was ourselves, how unhappy we were, the waste we had made of our lives.
Ours was a poor mockery of the lovemaking act, violent and in every way unsatisfactory. And though we were not related by blood, because it was my brother's wife, it felt mildly incestuous, somehow.
When he threw me out, I tore apart a fat sheaf of his carefully copied out compositions -- he cried out -- and left with all the blank paper of good quality in my satchel, a final empty childish grasp at feeling triumph, justification, righteousness. It didn't work.
I woke up even before I had gone out the door, but I sense I must've died in the smelly streets of some unsavoury pestilential disease, and my clothes stripped to be sold to a flea-ridden dealer and then clothe some pimply poorman.
posted at 9:58:21 pm
2. As "Americana" defines itself as artefacts of American culture, "Gloriana" consists of the artefacts of my culture.
home | contact | profile
art blogging body childhood consumerism dream durr family fashion film history humour internet language lit nerd people poetry rant romance school sex social relations toronto ttc work