Saturday, May 17, 2008

Subfusc

Have you shut your eyes to a coffee shop and heard the clack of ceramic to glass top or the shy giggling glass - holding a honeyed iced-tea perhaps? - walking on stilettos between conversations which serve little entertainment when compared to the rather delightfully brusque tones of crockery and glassware on the archipelago of table tops? I wouldn't do that often - but enough to speak at length about it - as I might miss the looks I came here to collect. I am, as people are unaware unless I let them know, a collector of gazes, stares and shots flung askance when I suddenly, but intentionally, twist my wetted lips into a rather would-they-ever-find-out smile. Is it strange that given my quaint predilection towards garnering frozen images of strange faces hanging over contained liquids, in the singular vault of memory, unable to paste them in rows sorted by countries as in a philatelist's scrapbook, makes me more of a painter than any other occupation that I can decently claim on a 3"x2" piece of card? I am also a keeper of mistresses.
Would they ever know that about me? I let my fingers grip the rim where the waitress presses her mound to lean over and refill my glass. Would she then suspect that I try mistresses in the hope that one of them will leave a mark on me - not the sadly misleading mark of a nibble which leaves the onlooker smiling warm in the consolation that there is at least one man blessed with a tigress or at least a kitten for a wife - a real mark of a man with a secret life, a life filled with elaborate plans in order to throw his wife off guard, a life of bathing once again at the studio - the bath being constructed there under the pretext of ensuring clean models - before returning home in order to discourage any suspicion in the wife, sometimes walking through fish markets in order to drown the scent of her vigorous voluptuous rub against my torso and pelvic girdle - such marks, too, are indecently counter-indicative - the life where I plan gallery shows (and now I lift a finger to ensure that it does force the waitress to take conscious note) in distant towns with well laid beds in shadowy recesses of streets unknown or frowned upon by the native who swears by everything that is of that city, a life filled with mood swings which disallow anyone to allot precious seconds to the intention to know about my life outside of the house, spending nearly all of it in ensuring that nothing stokes the stoves of volatile spirits and temperaments, a life spent creating a secret and more effort spent in the hope that someone will notice the craftily assembled impossibility to detect the secret, a life spent hoping whether odd waitresses and insouciant barmaids would ever know like this one here... would she? Several years into this exercise gleefully spent in the warm caresses of success now gnaw at my sensibilities and personal pride. Have I wasted my cleverness in matters which wouldn't excite a soul? Would a confession of adultery evoke nothing more than a sigh or a quick shift to sealing matters about the pending commission for a painting? I feel cheated that my cunning hasn't warranted a stern glance or a couple of clicks of moral tongues. Restless nights have been spent in the hope that some stray conversation in my sleep might wake me to my wife's quivering back sobbing in the absolute dejection of having her husband of few decades stoop to the level of a common man-animal, but it has always the quivering rear under the throes of frothy toothbrush strokes. Such futile excursions into sin have taxed me as vain claims to deviltry shunned with a hurtful wave of an opisthenar casting such frivolous possibilities to the roster of more infamous gents whose single aberrations spawns a million rumours of ever-increasing proportions - and often, on matters of exaggerated physicality - aching my heart with failed imploring into their innocence. Why do they get blessed with blasted-ness without any effort?
Today, I search the bevelled sea of faces for that one glance which shall absolve me of all wasted sin. One glance which is stitched closely to a muted moral cavil of how old men lose their sanity first to the tender flesh of young female groin. One glance that would hurtle me down the chaste towers of senior propriety. One glance to help me breathe in unbroken joy of having raised the Devil in my ways. One glance that would paint invisible shades of gossip on my paintings and raise their value three-fold - is this brown patch amidst glowing red an indication of the painter's affair with a brunette? One glance to pay salary to all my sweaty clandestine effort of years. One glance. That is all I ask. One glance.
The cafe slowly purges itself of customers and coffee bean stock. The possibility of reprieve abates with the growing prominence of incandescent artificiality, lights which have been the only other witness to my segue into sin. Pointless sin. Wasted sin. Isn't it the most painfully detestable act of man to indulge in invisible sin? Why sin at all if there is no one to grab your fleeing collar and pillory you?
"Like my grandfather, you know... Trembling hands, forgetting where he is and finally remembering enough to take him back home to his equally wrinkled wife."
I turned around and hissed, "Mistress! Mistress!"
"Yes sir, may I take your order. My name is Tess and Miss Tess is fine too. Do you want me to help you with something? Hail a cab, perhaps?"

Some stains are easier to get...

4 comments:

  1. Parvati11:50 PM

    .......annnnnnd...we are back, aren't we, and how!

    Finally, after what seems centuries, I see a glimmer of the Eroteme of yester greatness - at least where his prose goes.

    I am trying to decipher the meaning of this word and that, but have instead enjoyed deciphering the post completely, not that it is a cipher to be de-ed.

    Quite intriguing and quite beautifully written. But adultery in itself is so passe` in this time and age, and doesn't shock as much as the protagonist would have wanted it to.

    Many lines captivate while more words tantalise - but I am too sleepy to write more tonight.

    Keep it up! Am glad that you are truly back with this typically Eroteme post of yours :-).

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  2. Parvati11:57 PM

    After another 24 hours, I get the time to come back here -

    #
    Highly intriguing thought and description of the protagonist! - I enjoyed this collector of gazes and keeper of mistresses very much.
    "I am, as people are unaware unless I let them know, a collector of gazes, stares and shots flung askance when I suddenly, but intentionally, twist my wetted lips into a rather would-they-ever-find-out smile. Is it strange that given my quaint predilection towards garnering frozen images of strange faces hanging over contained liquids, in the singular vault of memory, unable to paste them in rows sorted by countries as in a philatelist's scrapbook, makes me more of a painter than any other occupation that I can decently claim on a 3"x2" piece of card? I am also a keeper of mistresses."

    # Beautiful is this too -
    "Today, I search the bevelled sea of faces for that one glance which shall absolve me of all wasted sin. One glance which is stitched closely to a muted moral cavil of how old men lose their sanity first to the tender flesh of young female groin. One glance that would hurtle me down the chaste towers of senior propriety. One glance to help me breathe in unbroken joy of having raised the Devil in my ways. One glance that would paint invisible shades of gossip on my paintings and raise their value three-fold - is this brown patch amidst glowing red an indication of the painter's affair with a brunette? One glance to pay salary to all my sweaty clandestine effort of years. One glance. That is all I ask. One glance."

    # I know that I am quoting you as my comment; but truly this post is perfect for what you intended to say in it and I enjoyed it extremely well.

    # The end is sort of predictable though I wouldnt have predicted it ;-).

    Very nice. Dont stop short with this, and come back to your blog after ages. Hoping to see the next one next week at the latest---

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  3. Parvati8:01 AM

    Now for the master stroke of a middle paragraph -
    splendid images in every sentence; and again the thought of wanting a mark of the secret life led from some mistress or the other is interesting. The other thought that the protagonist dislikes that he may have expended his energies on an insipid project of hiding his adulterous ways when they neednt have been hidden is also new. "Why do they get blessed with blasted-ness without any effort?" is lovely.

    It is very queer the way you the need here is for public condemnation of a sin, just to justify all his efforts to commit and hide the sin, and not a public absolution and pardon of a sin committed! You are like a man who commits the perfect crime and just for the pride and joy of the intellect behind that great crime wants to make a clean breast of it to even the Masters in Crime analyses - the law and the police and Sherlock Holmes and Scotland Yard!

    # I like the way your mind is extraordinary in its thoughts; the beauty and the literary value are par for the course, when one comes to Eroteme's blog. But the thought in it and the originality of it are what always draw me here, and in this post too they refresh me and invigorate me.

    Keep it up!

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  4. Dear P, P and P,
    Glad you like it. Not sure about whether I can continue like this or not, but I just managed to put this post together. No, I didn't sit at it for hours or anything like that. Nor did I have to search for words, but I undertook the herculean task of actually clicking on "Create New Post" and type it down. Dunno why I feel so tired doing just that much... Anyway, thanks for the comments and I am glad you liked the part of him collecting gazes though I personally loved the part of when he says: Is it strange that given my quaint predilection towards garnering frozen images of strange faces hanging over contained liquids, in the singular vault of memory, unable to paste them in rows sorted by countries as in a philatelist's scrapbook, makes me more of a painter than any other occupation that I can decently claim on a 3"x2" piece of card? The fact that he can't stick them in a scrapbook made me laugh a lot when I later read this piece. As in, how could he (want that as well as recognise the fact that he can't stick them in)? Neat, naa?

    ReplyDelete