Very much just another blog

Men’s room

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I am in a white room. It is clean and clinical. It feels like a chime, like some weird shot from the sixties. In the middle, there is a desk but, until half way through this story, it is not clear why.

Stories are sometimes beyond our control, and always beyond mine. I write the words as I catch them: fragmented pieces from a thousand different moments in time, brought together, in this case, into a cold white room that is about to be populated by eight rowdy men.

I’m watching them crowd in now. They are loud: shouting and laughing, calling over each other’s voices, unaware and uninhibited by my presence. It’s no surprise: I am sitting in the corner with my legs curled up towards me and my arms wrapped ’round to keep them there. I am watching each and I know many. Strange that they should be here together because they really have nothing in common at all. Except, I think suddenly, except for me. And I uncurl from the floor.


Silence. They stop, like that moment when the music stops in a child’s party, then they shudder from their positions: we’ve been looking for you, they say.

This is a turn in the story that I did not expect, my friends, so I am writing my way forwards and along it. I vaguely know what two of them will to say to my ‘I’, but that is all. I let more into the room because I need more than two things to get to the other side, but how this  journey will take shape, I do not know.

Let’s go back in:

The first man I recognise immediately because he is so much bigger than the rest. A huge frame, like a charging warrior, or something of the sort. I know little of his origin but I feel he could pick me up in the palm of his hand, one scoop and he holds me against his deep breathing chest. He widens his eyes to make sure we are connected, his giant hands touch every part of my skin and I let my shoulders drop. Now I need to be held because if he lets go there are a thousand miles to fall. He begins to laugh and he says deep into me: once you captivated me with your skin and those eyes and that mind and now I am forever entangled. I don’t want you to think about the man who does not love you because we, here in this room, are the men who do and did. And we would like to keep you. Like a ring master he bows, lets me down and, with a swoop of his arm, presents his first guest:

A man walks forward. He is tall with boy blue eyes and his legs, double jointed, seem to swing back slightly at the hip and the knee. He smiles at me. You are from a hundred years ago, I say.

Yes. I’m here to play the music.

There is no piano.

He shrugs. Then I shall sing. Look at this: he holds out a ball of string. At the end is a loop, tied to fit my finger. I gave it to him in some tormented and backward poetic gesture once, so he could find his way back to me. In fact, I left him, but as we moved away from each other I began to want him back. I discovered later that he was wrecked for months with torturous imaginings of me fucking other men. Jealously he would picture people taking his place as he walked secretly passed the door of my work and peered in. But even with my desperate tears he didn’t let me back because my heart was not his and he knew it better than I. He missed my skin, he said, but what torture to be tied to someone who does not love you.

I remember this as I take him by his piano fingers and  push them against my face. I used to smoke in secret, I say, I would lean out of the kitchen window while you played the piano and smoke. You never seemed to notice.

You know how I feel about smoking, he says, and: I’m back now.

The warrior man smiles over at me and widens his eyes in that way he does. He is pouring drinks, handing them out and he gives one to me. Then he turns and introduces me to someone who is a stranger. This man stares at me, black pupils dilating into black oil eyes. I know you, he says, so softly I can barely hear. I read you like a book. He puts his hand heavy on my hip and I am afraid to move somehow. He pauses. Seems to catch his breath. Then he looks back into me. I have been following you in the many ways I have found to do so for months now: do you remember me from a crowded room; from a bar last year?

Yes. I do. I can see now.

I leant towards you to kiss you and you raised you face towards me with your lips apart, but you scuffed them across my cheek and you said: don’t make the same mistake as the others.

I remember that.

His hand tightens up and around my waist.

Even without a kiss, even having just offered your lips so briefly and then taken them away again, you have owned me now for nearly a year.

He leans in, his breath hot against my face. I am shaking. I have all the power and none of it.

I look towards the warrior man, reach out and he lifts me away, let’s me curl around him for a moment while I gather myself. Do you hate me? I ask into him.

No, my love, I don’t hate you.

These men hate me.

These men are caught by you.

What’s next?

He nods towards a silent trio. They were loud when they came into the room, now, close to me, they are hollowing and grey. They look at me, through me.

I don’t know these men, I say. They are like zombies. Asleep.

You hurt these men. They blame you very much for what you have done to them.

I look back at the warrior man. My throat is tightening but there is anger from somewhere. In which case, I say, there should be more. There should be five. There should be six. More.

Outside, he says. Maybe they will come in.

I have tears from nowhere rushing down my face. I’m sorry, I try to say to them. I’m sorry. I didn’t know how to keep you and I thought love would come if I willed it.

One the men begins to colour. I know him and I catch my breath: it’s you. I raise my hand to his face. You were different, I say. You I loved with a passion right through me. I lift up towards his face, open my mouth because I want him back, but he pushes me down and he is the first to leave the room.  I lift again to offer a kiss to the grey souls – some apology by kissing – but truly this is fucked up now and they part, like curtains to a show and – oh this is what the desk is for – a man in shorts cutting fat lines of cocaine along the table. You’ll be a success, he says as turns to me. I lean down and he removes my purse. He chops my hair short and makes tears in my clothes, he pulls the skin tight against my ribs and then he whispers into me and I say: you haven’t killed me yet.

The warrior is watching this unfold. He lifts my flinching frame against him: we’re worried about you, my darling, you’re caught up in your head with something that’s not real. And here all of us are left behind. Let them be happy, they are perfectly designed for one another. You’re shaped for something else; you know that, deep down, you know. You only need courage.

You are wrong! And I will not find it here, I say, but the words are disappearing as they leave my mouth and, dizzy now, I think I am beginning to need this man. He lies me across the desk and moves heavy over me . When I wake there is just one man left in the room.

He lies down beside me and I am crying hard, he lifts the strands of hair matted against my hot face. I won’t let you go, he says. I promise. I will never, ever let you go. I’ll hold on to you. And then he rolls away and he disappears.


Written by elikafm

March 13, 2010 at 12:10 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. You are amazing. Keep going.


    March 13, 2010 at 9:22 pm

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