Party Headquarters - EXCERPT
Chapter 1: His Daughter
The strangest part is when I see she’s starting to cry. With us, tears often lead to unexpected consequences.
Even without the tears I still want to hit her, painfully hard. But when she cries it just gets out of control. The victim’s magnetic attraction inflames the perpetrator. I’m driven to tears myself—out of frustration that I can’t force myself to finish it off, to do absolutely everything I want to her. In exactly the order I would like.
If anyone were to see us at this moment, bawling, locked in this torture chamber at opposite ends of the bed—in the middle the bloody sheets are stained with wet spots, but not from blood, lymph, vaginal secretions, sperm or who knows what else—could it be that some other beings are copulating here with us?—at that moment the shocked outside observer would think we are crying for each other, for ourselves.
Wrong. An incorrect judgment, a faulty interpretation of ambiguous facts. I’m not sorry. What can I say? Regret is most certainly far beyond the boundaries within which I would torment her. Tears are just one more weapon in this battle, nothing more. I must be very careful now; tears, like all water, temper freshly forged metal. Her blue zirconium glare blazes out twice as pliant, resilient, like eyes on a rifle sight, eyes like bullet tips—and I am the bull’s-eye.
On the very first day, or afternoon, rather, when we met, on that fatally happy day of our acquaintance, she explained to me that she didn’t have a father. She stubbornly insisted that her father did not exist. He was alive, you see, but as soon as she spoke his name and sharply declared it’s as if I don’t have a father—then I understood, it was all clear.
His name is K-shev.
I never imagined that I would get mixed up with the daughter of one of them. But fatal meetings are always marked by signs from the very beginning. I’m talking about fleeting clues. But no one tells you “watch out!,” you don’t hear any voice yelling “stop!” And the fact that at that very moment the angels fall silent most likely means they’re egging you on. That the meeting is divinely inspired; the meeting is the beginning of the collision of love.
So his name is K-shev.
Everyone remembers their names, they’re strange. And they get that way because of the people they belong to, and not the other way around. Yet it somehow seems like fate also chooses them by the sounds of their names.
Who is this person, completely anonymous behind his name? Later I began to understand, things started to become clear. But by then it was too late to save myself, I was already caught in the trap. So why bother trying to go back now to fix things? There’s no point. I can only return as an observer, as remote and nonchalant as if I’m watching a stranger and not myself.
You are the reason words exist—I want to pause on this thought. That is, I want to pause precisely here to make this absolutely clear. It’s doubtful I’ll succeed in getting any relief or satisfaction, as much as I would like to. Perhaps I suspect there is some higher purpose or calling in pornography, when you watch and somebody shows you everything.
The moment I took my eyes from the screen, the last thing lingering in my pupils was the image of naked bodies. Everything about it screams scam, despite the originality of the moans and the excitement in the voice of the nude, sweat-drenched woman. It’s a scam because of the presumed viewer, because of my gaze. This is also the source of the shame.
I leave the colorful barn, its booths with their blue doors and neon lights. The dark room and the screen overhead reflected in the mirror. Next to the armchair are buttons to select the channel, a box of Kleenex, a wastebasket with a plastic liner. The silver slit that swallows coins, black speakers that spit out sound.
I go outside. It would be frightening if it weren’t night. But now there’s no light, just electric sparks from the street. I light a cigarette to dull the arousal. I don’t want it to stay with me, I have to separate it from myself, from my body. If I had come inside like I wanted to, I most likely would’ve failed all the same. But I didn’t make the move, I froze up, I couldn’t do it. A naked woman—pretty, by the way. And another one, looking very much the same. Nice full breasts, one with long fake fingernails, the other with girlish almost infantile fingers, navel rings. I shouldn’t feel bad about it, yet there was some kind of anxious beauty in that shot of frantically jumping bodies. That’s exactly what should’ve relaxed me—the precision and obvious professionalism of the action. Even to the point of seeming to give them pleasure—paid for in advance by me or someone like me. These two golden-skinned bodies impatiently jostling on top of each another, with no man in between, of course—precisely because I wouldn’t be able to stand anyone else besides myself here.
I got up and left before the final minutes, leaving behind a part of myself, my hotly beating pulse—I didn’t run, but somehow, despite the tension, casually and masterfully made my way to the exit. With the professional gait of a smoker waiting for intermission to give himself over to an older and more acceptable vice, one that can be shared on the street.