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No high school diploma, and no university degree No high school diploma, and no university degree
by Abigail George
2019-08-24 09:36:00
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My father called me Desire in bed, my father called me Love until my mind was diseased, and my mother called me Wanda. My father plucked my virginal-innocence until there was nothing left of it, and youth is always wasted on the young. I had a baby sister, a twin, but our father never had it in for her, he only ever had it in for me. He’d slap my mother, and she’d glare at me as if it was somehow my fault. He’d buy me chocolate milk, he’d buy my love, all I was, was a girl.

“What is desire, and forgiveness anyway? All I want to do is cry.” Said the bone-thin woman.

“No, don’t cry.” Said her friend.

“What else am I supposed to do? I mean we’re in love, and he’s got better things to do with his time than to be with me, loving me.” The bone-thin woman played with her gold bangles.

“You’re beautiful.” Said her friend. “Look around you. Everywhere you see a beautiful woman, dressed to kill, dressed to fuck, dressed to have sex for money.”

nohigh01“You of all people think that I’m beautiful. Now, what do you suppose I do with that information.” The bone-thin woman took a sip of her merlot.

“Wanda, spend the night with me. Dance with me, kiss me, make out a little with me.”

“And if I do, Nicola, you’ll only fall in love with me, because that is my fate. To fall in love with anyone I make love to.”

I like him. I like the cute barman. I’d like him to come all over my face, and my nude breasts. I’d love to recite poetry to him, while he paints my toenails red, but tonight I’ll be going home with Nicola, and not the cute barman. Nobody does it better than a woman scorned by the man that she loves, the man that she has fallen hard for. Nicola is full of grace, but the barman is all man. I know what real darkness is, cover me with a shroud, and I’ll tell you what a shroud is. Sexuality is rooted in darkness.

“I don’t know. I’ve never been with a woman before. Suppose I disappoint you, and then.”

“Spend the night with me. Your mind is a wonderland, a requiem for a dream, be mine, be mine.”

“The spiritual explodes in my head, and my neck when I think about you with him. He doesn’t deserve you. Give me one night. I’ll make you forget all about him.”

“Take me home with you then. I’m drunk. Play Joy Division in the background. Remember when we worked as waitresses in that cocktail bar? You love me. More red wine then.”

“Red wine, please.” Said her friend to the cute barman.

“More wine for the sexiest ladies at the bar.” Said the cute barman to no one in particular.

Afterwards they went outside to smoke, and Wanda, the bone-thin woman kissed her friend hard on the lips until she opened her cigarette-mouth, stroked her inner thigh, lifted her skirt up, up and pulled her panties down. The bone-thin woman began to moan softly. Nicola stroked Wanda’s face, kissed her cheek, fondled her right breast, until Wanda began to breathe more heavily. Sex is much like terror, confidence is much like anxiety, to love is to fight, to fight is to love.

“Are you man or woman?” Said the bone-thin woman, Wanda, to her friend.

“I am man. I am man. You are woman. You are woman.” Said Nicky.

“Are you happy? Does this give you pleasure?” Said the bone-thin woman. “Wouldn’t you rather be with a man? I was molested when I was a child. Did I ever tell you that, Nicola?”

“No, you never told me that. Has a man ever made you happy Wanda?”

“Yes and no, and no and yes, all at the same time. I just want to be happy. Death is preferable.”

“You make me happy, Wanda. You make me happy, but what is happiness anyway, right?”

“I don’t want to make anyone happy. I want people to leave me alone. My mother called me Wanda.”

I’m thinking of all the men I’ve been with, and all the beautiful, and outspoken, and sophisticated, and classy women. I know the cry of a man when he orgasms, and the cries of a woman. I know what insomnia and sleeplessness is, restless nights, nightmares. I think of the only woman that I was ever in love with. Alba, Alba, Alba, was she mine to hold, and cherish, and embrace, or did she always belong to Ezra Pound. I feel like steak. I feel like meat and potatoes whenever I feel broken.

Alba, who is holding you tonight in her arms? I don’t know what to do with myself anymore. A voice inside my head tells me to do what I’ve always been good at. I think of your music, Alba dancing to Coldplay, Alba singing along to the Manic Street Preachers, Alba playing air guitar to Ash, Alba headbanging along to the Stereophonics, but I’ve devoted myself to something else now. Do you remember when you had confidence, waited for the dust to settle, your visions will return and you will write again, even marry. I’ve been living life with desire, tenderness and forgiveness. Nobody loves me. I try and ignore Alba’s presence in the house. I only have this to say. I only have to say please and thank you. I’m the girl who knows not how to make a scene in front of your beautiful wife. Don’t think of me, don’t think of me, don’t think of me, Wolf with your advertising empire that you’ve built. Don’t write, don’t write, don’t write, Sussex-man, poet, researcher, lecturer, or do you prefer the word educationalist.

I am dead, dead, dead. I am dead inside. The world is a cruel world, and I want everything, and I want man, and I want woman, but nothing is ever quite enough. Love and the love affair are never quite enough for me. I want to die. Perhaps then I will have the peace of mind I’ve been searching for my entire life. I think of you, I think of your lovely bones, and your enigmatic smile, and I think of the brave Rimbaud from supernatural memory and desire, and I think of the all the woman I’ve slept with in order to forget you, forget you, forget you. I think of Paris and Mishka, and her husband making love in Paris, making a baby, but I have nothing to say to this. I don’t feel good anymore. Spare me this heartache, of the married woman I am madly, madly in love with, but she does not feel the same for me. And the men are married. The men are married with children, and they never wear their wedding-band anyway. And they love me.

Well, they say that they love me to my face, and sometimes they kiss my sweet face, and then they kiss my hand as if they are in love with me, as if it means something to me. And I watch them shower, wash their hair, soap their bodies, shave their beards, and to me it is the most natural thing in the world to understand what it means to be a man, to make love to a man, to have sexual relations with a man, and then, and then, and then to watch them leave in the mornings. They sometimes ask if there is anything I need, well they have money, and I have no money, and all I want to do is for them to tell me that they love me, and all I want them to do is to stay, but they never do. They never, never do. I tell them about my Afrikaner psychiatrist sometimes. I want them to get to feel sorry for me. In those days, when I was still in my twenties, and oh so desirable, and loving, and sweet, and so willing to please, but now that I’m in my late thirties all I want to do is death. To my art, to my Alba I give everything.

I give everything, everything, but I know Alba so well because I desire her pale skin, and her prize flesh, and her righteous bone, and her body, and her inimitable psyche, and the breakthrough of her intellect. I kiss her sweet lips, and she becomes like a daughter to me. I stick my tongue in her mouth, and she becomes lover, pariah, outsider. And all the pain, suffering and sorrow that I have ever felt becomes like a thin needle when my hand touches the nape of her neck, her shoulder-blades, her milk-fed inner thighs. I think of her bones in this beautiful world. I think of how fetching she is in her black mini-dress, how she comes undone in my hands, but it is not her that I want to touch, or hold, or caress, or kiss, it is the Sussex-man, the Nottingham-man, the Canadian, but they’re too old for me, don’t care for me, don’t love me. That’s the thing. They don’t love me for me. So, my eyes fill up with tears, and Alba licks my eyelashes, and holds me for what seems like an eternity before she falls asleep.

Alba is a psychiatric nurse. Alba knows what sleeping pill will work for me, what won’t. Alba knows what anti-depressant will work for me, what won’t. And all I want her to do is make me food. I’m hungry around her for some reason. And she very happily goes into the kitchen and makes me a pasta dish, or a wholesome bowl of soup, and then I get to thinking about William. Sweet, sweet William, who is with another woman when he isn’t with his wife. I’m horrible. I’m terrible. I’m tetchy. And all Alba wants to do is make me happy, turn my frown upside down, put a radiant smile on my face, and all I want is Nottingham-William, but Alba has only been in love with women all her life, she’ll never understand for the life of her my attraction to men, to older men, to older and unavailable men. I kiss her the way William kissed me for the first time, and I touch her the way that William touched me for the first time, and I make love to her the way that William made love to me for the first time. He was tall, and strong and able.

Me and Alba go swimming. We go to the sea. The sand is hot, and it burns my bare feet, but Alba is laughing, and smiling, so I feel I must play along with this sham, and forget that I’m a hot mess, figuratively-speaking. Look at the way we live, aren’t you happy, her laughing eyes will say to me. Alba is a kind of woman who speaks with her eyes, and her mouth, and her entire being. She’s desire, and tenderness, and forgiveness. Sometimes she is too forgiving, sometimes she loves me too much, sometimes I don’t deserve her, but Nottingham-William has someone else in the picture, and the Sussex-man is in meetings, and he never takes my calls anymore, and the cowboy is a cowboy is a cowboy, an urban sir in the asphalt city jungle of award-winning advertising. They don’t want me because of the stigma, and the clinical depression, and the suicidal thoughts, and the attempts I’ve made to take my own life, and anyways they make me cry, the men reject me. Alba is wearing a white bikini. She looks sexy.

She looks sexy. You kiss her lips. I kiss Alba’s lips. You run your fingers through the dark waterfall of her hair. I run my fingers through Alba’s dark waterfall of her hair. William, you’re not thinking of me anymore. You don’t think of kissing my lips, or running your hands through my bed-hair. And nobody loves Eloise for Eloise. And nobody loves me for me. And all the men, the wretched, the dominant and interfering alpha-males in my atmosphere, in my Patmos, in my Patagonia, in my Argentina don’t love me anymore, because I’m old. Old before my time, wisdom doesn’t count for shit, you know at the end of the day, and men don’t want to marry a woman who is cleverer than he is. And you don’t love me anymore. And you don’t want to make love to me anymore. I’m not suitable, or attractive. I don’t want to change, so, so I’ll say goodbye now. A storm can happen, you have to be with someone that you love, right? The shadow-man comes at night, drives me to play with madness, to find my love.

And then the separation became a divorce. You forgot all about me and moved on to teach English in China. Here it comes. The smoke is gone. The fog never comes. The house is made of prayer. The karma has come and gone. I get out of bed, but you don’t love me anymore. Tell it all. Tell the world about the scandal. That I was in love with two men, and neither of them loved me. I’m losing my head again. I left cold and aloof winter behind me, but the men followed me around until I was an old woman with a potbelly, and a philosophy, and stretchmarks, and cellulite. You don’t care, Sussex-man. You don’t care, Columbia-cowboy. There’s a different woman in your bed in a single afternoon, you paid for an abortion, then there’s your wife, your gin and tonic, your bottle of scotch hidden in your bottom drawer in your study. You’re not making love to me anymore river deep, mountain high, completely nude under motel sheets. I long for the Prague of my Rilke, the France, Key West of my Hemingway.

Wanda was a bitch to love, but she was beautiful, and kind, a gifted photographer, generous with her time. I see her from time to time. From time to time, we end up in bed. She plays the man in the relationship, and I play the woman. She kisses my breasts as if we see each other all the time. She brings me fig preserve and haloumi cheese. She cooks and cleans if it is necessary. She buys me vitamins. She buys me sexy lingerie. She buys me stockings and underwear. She buys me matching panty and brassiere sets. What is wrong with this woman, I ask myself. I don’t love her. I don’t need her in my life. Her nipples are as hard as walnuts. She remembers Mother’s Day, a day I’d rather forget. I don’t know why I told her about the abortion. Wanda is childlike, and noble. I am not childlike. I am not noble. I need direction, and whenever I need direction, I telephone Wanda, and I tell her not to forget the cocaine, not to forget the joint we’ll smoke after we eat, after we make love, after I make her sing showtunes.


   
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