Academic journal article Hecate

Sometimes I Have a Craving

Academic journal article Hecate

Sometimes I Have a Craving

Article excerpt

'sometimes I have a craving to be engulfed. This morning ... the weather is mild, overcast. I am suffering.'1

i

I woke early and drifted back into sleep. I dreamt that I woke again, beside you, not knowing how. Everything was drenched in gold light, honeyed, like a kitsch vision of heaven. You were my religion. I intertwined my legs in yours, rested my cheek against your chest, bare and warm. You leaned in and kissed my lips until I was thirsty for more. In my dream, my disbelief. I said 'I thought that we would never kiss again' Silently, you took each of my arms in turn and, cradling them to your lips, kissed along their smooth underside from the wrist to the shoulder. I wake alone. Tears find me easily, 'my language trembles with desire'.2

I was in love with you the day the war started. There was a rally in the streets and all the trams stopped. The chill thrill of winter spread pink like a blush into my cheeks and my lips burned. Later that night, you would tell me about how you had seen the footage of the announcement over Times Square, about how everything had fallen silent. I had to walk home through our stunned city, against the vicious wind. I was thinking of how you had kissed me. It took me probably an hour to walk, but thoughts kept my mouth in a vacant private smile. I see that glazed look on others sometimes too. There is a woman I see occasionally on the streets who has a mysterious smile, as if about something only she knows, and it has always struck me that she must be either perpetually in love or mad, or mad because of love. And I cursed the war and the protestors for making me walk into that wind in the gathering dark. And just wanting so urgently to see you. The same thought that had woken me at 3am, staring into the darkness alone, and with you only two floors below. Restless, I imagined my warm breath passing through you, spiralling down to the foundations.

We met in a stairwell, almost by accident. I was waiting there for something, still unknown to me then. A few days earlier I had been woken by the tune of Kim Carnes' Bette Davis Eyes, drifting up through my open window. An ambiguous feeling of anticipation had haunted me that whole week. I was fidgeting with my empty letterbox. It was a Sunday. Really I was listening to sounds from beneath the closed doors. I could hear men laughing behind blank white walls. I didn't know who they were, yet, I wanted them. Then the shining handle on a door turned. A man, whose face I do not recall, stepped out and, seeing me there, he hesitated. You came up beside him from the dark interior. Suddenly silence, the faint hum of eyes on skin. I smiled and introduced myself to the static air. We shook hands I remember. That unnecessary formality. When I met you, I thought 'it is not every day that you encounter what is so constituted as to give you precisely the image of your desire.'3 Two flights of stairs had never left me so breathless.

I wonder now, should I provide a warning in the future? A gleaming tag around my neck that reads: 'I am the obsessional type ... you will never forgive my intensity.'4

For weeks later, I am standing beneath you. Outside dark is falling, faster than before. Inside me is the cold seed of an end beginning, so it seems more like doom than simply a chilly twilight. I'm waiting all alone in a deserted car park for you. But you don't know this. Ι am waiting, and everything around my waiting is stricken with unreality.'s The oil stains thicken around me on the frozen concrete, reaching out with wet fingers toward my feet. All these empty corrals, like a grey cave. Like a tomb, lit with the tired flicker of fading fluorescent tubes. Through the wire meshing above; the skid of rain and traffic. People eager to greet the weekend; lose themselves at bars, behind eyes, in someone's arms. And I'm losing my mind because you're holding me at arm's length. With tears in my eyes, I wait behind bars. Below the apartments, and I know that you are home. …

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