Thursday, December 30, 2010

Jotting down a dream...

To M., K., J.

"Quietly work through the night and advance in the direction of your purest white dreams..." -M.

"You're the Coco Chanel of homosexuals, I think. Coco Chanel was a master, the only thing that could unnerve her... was love..." -M.

"A hundred-and-thirty five years ago Rahel Varnhagen jotted down the following dream: she had died and gone to heaven, together with her friends Bettina von Arnim and Caroline von Humboldt. To relieve themselves of the burdens they had acquired in their lives, the three friends assigned themselves the task of inquiring into the worst things they had experienced. Rahel thus asked: Did you know disappointed love? The two other women broke into tears, and all three thus relieved this burden from their hearts. Rahel asked further: Did you know disloyalty? Sickness? Worry? Anxiousness? Each time the women said yes, they cried, and again all the three were relieved of their burdens. Finally Rahel asked: Did you know disgrace? As soon as this word had been spoken, there was a hushed silence, and the two friends took their distance from Rahel and looked at her in a strange and disturbed manner. Then did Rahel know that she was entirely alone and that this burden could not be taken away from her heart. And then she awoke". -Hannah Arendt, "Juden in der Welt von Gestern: Anlaesslich Stefan Zweig", in "Sechs Essays", 1948

As I awoke from that only night of undisappointed love, a stench I don't remember of what, hovered over my lips and my eyes, it could have been a dream, had it not been repeated twice and with the same consequences; a maddening intoxication of the senses that danced with a tune of beauty and loss, of its own accord, so that in spite of myself, the night had not been the dream and the dream had not been the morning that followed from the merciless command of time and solitude, to board a train on your own armed with nothing but images that only vaguely fit the splattered light casted by the stars above along the timid drops of tears falling as black rain into the transparent asphalt that grew faster than the distance and with the same slow movement of abandonment, a musical chiaroscuro, perhaps dotted on a piano in the absence of a possible spectator, other than the good God, picking up from the stacks of hay, the sins committed that day and bringing them back to heaven to cleanse them from conceitedness and throw them back into the world, the morning after that, fresh as a breeze, into the hands of the waiters, in the train station and the bus stops, so that nothing gets lost, everything is returned to us, even the worst evil. It had not been a dream because otherwise I wouldn't have seen Godot placing the most gentle kiss in the forehead of the man that stole away from the night, in the embrace of the young men, clad with scarves and glasses in the hand and smiles at the height of the chin, as if living out of the scrapbook of an infamous painter rising to prominence on account of the shameless indiscretion of his work. The images moved not like shadows in a printed glass but more like ink dissolving unto water, running back and forth chasing the object of his most intimate yet untimely and unfulfilled affections, in between the cruelty of dancing and the silent imprecations of faces that bore price tags in lieu of a mouth that could for once devour an instant of love with the zeal of Cronos swallowing up his children, just like a lover, whose moment of justice is achieved when the whole world is consumed under the shortest glance into the fresh and naked skin of a neck or a wrist visible through the trenchcoat letting itself fall from the shoulders at the request of a turbulent hurricane rising from the belly up to the height of an eyelid being inspected carefully from across the table behind a pair of spectacles and a cup of coffee already cold. There was no disgrace in those perfect moments, there was no indiscretion, nothing to relieve or to release, then it could not have been a dream, because he was not entirely alone, in fact, he was not alone.

That the morning had been the dream and not the night is something that I could only accept over the course of the week following from that, and it was only then, that I told Godot my dream, before I jotted it down; he listened to me with paucity but hinted that he was being awaited elsewhere and couldn't spend the whole morning with me trying to separate the images of the night from the dream of the morning, trying to dissect through the exasperation and the glee; had I been a painter, I would have changed the music and the scenery, I wouldn't have cried then, I wouldn't have angered, I wouldn't have shamed. He pointed to me in his wisdom that my problem in separating the dream from the image, it was something that clearly had to do with the public; just like it was in the past when often I felt unable to write because of the cruel and scholarly inspecting eye of philosophers and readers, dead and alive, standing behind me in my desk, in the city of Jerusalem, hiding the trees at the church behind an ugly and humongous supermarket window, I felt often unable to write in the morning as well as in the night, because I felt observed, observed by other writers. Now the day had become a weak epiphany, a weak celebration of passion, as if the feeling of being observed by the lover in the most private and intimate moments of the day would save your soul from being debilitated, deranged and splattered on a glass for public view in a laboratory. The thought in itself was absurd but it was only the confirmatio of my obsession, the starvation from proper nourishment and the overflow of possible scenarions in which one craved to be seen by the other, and to no avail, perpetuating the uselessness of the day hours and the endless craving not for the other or his lips or his arms, the craving of being watched by him over and over, through the day, in the most immaculate and sinless perfection that no god in his right senses would have tolerated. One has to realize, that aestheticism nonwithstanding (and there's no aestheticism without cruelty being inflicted on oneself), no perfection can be loved by human heart, unless it's that of the tragic hero, as dead as he is unreachable, or instead, that of a pagan god alone. So unbefitting for people who grew up in Jerusalem, trained since childhood in the adoration of the most absolute, lonely and imperfect gods. The kind of gods that created the world on their own, at best an angel chattering here and there, how desperate and guilty is that!

But all in all, small talk or not, because of Jerusalem, I remembered the particulars of the dream, since it had taken place there in one morning of the summer, and I remembered I was weeping, but I can't recall why, perhaps during that part of the dream in which I broke in tears, I was still trapped in the frenzy of the night or counting the lights in the train trying to reverse all the hours, in a solemn attempt to deny everything, trying to run away from an evil seven-legged monster not without offering him my own leg to be chained in advance. There were precisely three people in the dream, three people that in themselves had been dreamt once, they had never been friends as much as they had traveled with me to places more dangerous than comfortable, where people had nothing to offer but the things that sheltered them from the perils of the world, such as laughter and a certain unsuitable sincerity of mind and I wonder why they would have liked to strand in Jerusalem that morning; perhaps to try and find with me again the grave of Else Lasker-Schueler that I sought after for six years and then at last got to know because of a postcard? I feel a bit sorry that there's nothing else about the dream that I can recall, maybe that was the whole point, that not even the present can be conquered so completely as if it were a prize delivered on account of glorious deeds, nothing ever remains, we're ought to respond even though we will be changed. Perhaps the only difference between the dream and the night, it is that the dream would be easier to achieve, and that the night, half-way distant, is already mixed with the blood.

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