Red lady, black sea.

“I thought you were one, who didn’t want to hear how beautiful she was. Everyone wants to hear it, so every guy says it, even if he doesn’t mean it. I said it to dozens of women before you, sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t, sometimes I meant it, sometimes I didn’t, and after I met you, I can’t honestly do it anymore – that’s all you need to know. I will only say it when there are moments when you are even more beautiful than what I am used to, thanks to you”.
She leaned down to me in bed. She laid down next to me and looked me in the eyes.
“I make you sick”; “I make myself sick with you”; “sailors sail along lakes and you like to row by misfortune. What does that make you?”; “A rower?”; “An idiot”; “Oh shut your mouth”; “What do you think life does while you’re rotting away as if there’s no sudden death?”; “Let yourself be made happy… hopefully”; “Not that again”; “We’re going round in circles”; “We always have”; “I don’t have to dance anymore”; “I don’t want you to dance”; “Me neither”; “Then why are you talking to me?”; “I don’t know – why don’t you feel alone?”; “Because I do have him”; “And I don’t have anyone”; “Then take someone”; “One I like, who I can listen to, who asks me a about my words, who understands me, who doesn’t hate me when I hear the cuckoo knock again, but doesn’t hide it from me to be considered strong when she also hears it”; “Then go out, find it. Tomorrow the world may look different again”; “I could call you again”; “Leave it alone. You don’t love me, you’re just alone”; “And you just can’t stand the abyss”.
She laughed out loud. The walls trembled, the only picture I had shaken, knocked against the plaster and I looked at her annoyed. Her tears came with laughter. I sighed. She got serious again. She wiped her face with her hand as she gasped for air after laughing. It came out of me more broken than I wanted:
“I don’t want to be your abyss. I want you to find him yourself, accept him. I know, then you’ll be at my door cultivating madness. We will sit in our four walls and we will tear them down without moving. No one will enter our bubble, and we will only come out if we want to”
“And if I never find the abyss?”
“Then don’t look for me”
“Talk about your desires as if they were as far away from you as the hunger in the third world”
She threw her head back, laughed amusedly, but did not burst into laughter. She stroked a strand from her face and the laughter stopped.
“Am I too cold for you?” I asked her.
“Are you too cold?”
“Untouchable as a fish in a goldfish bowl“
“As always, you speak in riddles”
“Some feelings are more difficult to describe than in one sentence”
“Just say it openly and directly. You feel lonely”
“Sure, I do. Who doesn’t?”
“Not me”
“You’re lying to yourself”
“That’s what you wish for”
“And if I did, what do you know about your loneliness?” I accused her.
“As much as you, and what do I mean now – you’re the one with the developing agoraphobia”
“You know that’s not true. Sometimes this world seems to make me want to puke less and sometimes not at all”
“Is that why you talk to me at night when you’re alone in your room?”
She blew out in the blink of an eye. I was alone again. I drank from a bottle of Jack and looked up at the ceiling as if I could see something there. The white that turned gray. From cigarette smoke or just time. The cracks like veins, roots, weaves that ran through the ceiling. They formed teeth, claws, tusks, mouths, eyes, muzzles. My eyelids got heavy. My mind quietly. The gray turned blue. The water sloshed down the walls. A lonely red woman swam in all directions and nowhere at the water level was death lurking for her. She was death and then she became one with the water and it turned black.
“Don’t do this” she whispered to me before she went under. It was I, who drowned.
I woke up. A thread of saliva hung out of my mouth. Its end had fallen over my fingers. My hand was full of it. I wiped the slobber off the sheets. I straightened up in bed.
The last drop of whiskey woke me up. That stuff burned my open gums. I rolled off the mattress and into the bathroom. In front of the mirror, I wrinkled my nose – what an ugly person – I took out a tube of toothpaste. The old tube was pressed out. I took the liberty of smiling. I brushed my teeth. The mint taste strangled me. My eyes were shredded by red threads. I opened the cupboard under the sink, pulled out a towel and jumped into the shower.
Half an hour later, I was freshly washed and trimmed and ready to go. I turned the key in the lock and drove away, went to a bar where I suspected women from outside.
As a hermit, something had happened to me: I’ve lost interest in women. I haven’t had sex in a year, not even the desire. I blamed her. I couldn’t get the brown steppe eyes out of my head. They burned two peepholes in the back of my head. In the midst of her deep ocean, I floated on the surface. I felt the suction of the water clapping at me and somehow, I only paddled myself out when I felt like it. The lifeboats that drove by, I flirted with those who controlled them; with the pretty ones, the ugly ones, the wrinkly ones, the clever ones, the educated ones, the artists, the mothers, the name-them. Everything was the same, and nothing made my blood boil.
I grabbed their lifebelts and they pulled me aboard and I stood on the deck of the boats, I looked around. As soon as my body was used to going ashore, I missed the water again. It was always my element. Without the feeling of going under, I couldn’t get along.
So, I stood at the railing, mumbled something about “not the right one”; or on brisk days “boredom”; and plunged into the icy waters. In death, I will find her, for I saw her only when death stared at me. The desire for women kept me afloat. Now the urge was gone, and I got scared surrounded by the black wet. I was swallowed.
I sat there all night and so many beautiful women passed me by. Their bodies no longer excited me. I masturbated a lot. It was easier to bear than to talk to them. Even the light, tipsy talking girls at the bar with the big eyes and the constant touches – even the alcohol that whispered courage into my ear – didn’t let me believe in “the others/next ones”; anymore.
I did it myself, at home. Pornography on the Internet is infinite. I numbed the associated feelings in vitamin W for whiskey, world, choice and repetition.
I was ready to give up, and then this woman came through the door. I had only been sitting around for a year and she sat down next to me on the chair. I bought her the next cocktail. It wasn’t her first that night, and I told her: “You’re exactly my type, the most beautiful woman in the bar” and she was the most beautiful and not looking for something serious.
Under normal circumstances, she wouldn’t have wanted me. It was the hatred that burned, and it was only directed at me – at an adventure and nothing more than an experience. And she looked at me and I looked in her eyes. I saw life and I started talking about death and she didn’t care.
“Have a drink with me” and that’s all I wanted to hear.
I stood in front of her and we were us. How I managed to keep these long legs in the thin nylon stockings; this silky, shimmering brown hair; this body shaped in clay and burned in the sun; interested in me? If I still believed in a god and saw in this body a proof for a gracious creator? In her face, it was just the makeup that shone. She was beautiful without question. But beauty is a face to me.
Facing subjective imperfection, I turned again to atheism. Sometimes I doubted my religious philosophy – I was only an agnostic when I was hungover, there I liked to beg God to come and get me. Right now, I was just begging myself not to screw it up and not to think too much.
We went to her and I sat next to her, planted my butt close to her on the sofa, and after a while she put her head in my lap and I brought out no sound. The flagpole didn’t stand up either, and my limb didn’t touch her cheek. And Stacey talked, and I talked, and I digressed, and life wanted me, and I chose death.
Damn – her face, I saw it in Stacey’s and I saw her lying there and she didn’t talk to me and the brown eyes weren’t blue anymore. She just laid there, and I stroked her hair. I tried to distract myself, listened to her until she spoke of the potential of herself and I spoke just to say something and get the other woman out of my own head.
“I like women who know what they want, not who they want to be with. A woman with a purpose to sit around with and work towards. Who one can be advisor, employee, inspiration, critic and stress valve. A team always, even when it gets hard. Even if you’re mad and could strangle each other”
She smiled. I took a strand of hair from her face.
“I once knew a woman I’d have loved to look at painting. Not at the picture, just at her and then my thoughts would have floated away. I would have written, and she would have painted, and we would have been a team. Sure, we wouldn’t have had much at first. But we would have fought together for every inch until we had left miles and all the others behind. Yes… anyway didn’t want me to.”
“Why wouldn’t she?” she asked me with big eyes.
“I don’t know if I was ready to lead another man’s life, and I think she noticed. She’s happy now. But you do, you know it. Just go the way, one step at a time. People are strongest when they know what they want; when they know how to get there, and you know it, don’t you?”
“What happened to her?”
“She fell in love”
“And it doesn’t eat you that it’s not you?”
“Maybe I could have made her happy, but I was never a quick decision-maker. I made her feel disgusting and misunderstood. If she just had followed my gaze, not my deceptive words. But she didn’t, because she didn’t know any better. Had she known that I couldn’t stand to look people in the eye, she would have understood that I found the thought of not looking her in the eye unbearable. The fact that I couldn’t mean, I wasn’t the man for her. I just wanted her to be happy. So, it turned out the way I wanted it to. But if you really want to know, yes, I wish him to be killed by a car bomb”
“You’re too honest, you’re a deterrent,” she said to me.
I wiped the strands of hair off her face. She leaned up to me. Stacey kissed me, and I kissed her. I stroked her between her thighs. She moaned, put her tongue in my mouth. But nothing moved – nothing excited me. It felt wrong to touch her and think of someone else. I apologized to her. I drove home to my one-room apartment. I could hear the others in the bar thinking when I told them. Schradinski, that faggot doesn’t want to have sex anymore. What a pussy. Afraid to close the sack. He’s young. Let him live his life.
Back in my apartment, I took off all my clothes and threw the dress on the floor. I looked up at the ceiling and thought. At the window She stood and looked out, at the streetlights or the cars or the passers-by or the moon. What does a thought look at? I insisted on looked over at her.
“You learned something, didn’t you?” She asked me and didn’t turn her eyes away from the outside world.
“Yes, I don’t want to be alone in my head”
“It’s only your fear that speaks for you”
“No, I didn’t respect many women like you, just as I don’t respect most men at all. You have to earn my respect, I’m not going to give it to just anyone, standing on the street. If it’s true what you told me, you’ve been through as much as I did and haven’t ticked off and lost your mind on the way. Clearly on the way you haven’t always had the best words left for the others when you were feeling bad, but you don’t dish them in their faces, even holding yourself back out of decency, even if you have to bite your tongue until it bleeds. You don’t do that; for someone you don’t lose control over yourself – no, I don’t see that you could lose it”.
I would have invited her to dance on our first real date. Not like all the others. I didn’t just want to rub until she was wet enough to stick my dick in her. There was a dance machine in an arcade where I went to pass the time. Children’s birthdays were celebrated there, and you could play Laser Tag. Romantic, isn’t it?
I’ve never dared to ride a machine like this alone. There was this Schradinski, who did what he wanted and proclaimed himself not to be afraid to fall over dead tomorrow but does not dare to fall on the printing surfaces of a Japanese dance video game. I would have done it with her. I would have stood on it with her and would have known what I would have had and would have forgotten where I and who I was. There shouldn’t have been anything to it, but I’m a coward. Schradinski with a stick in his ass can’t have any fun alone and doesn’t dare to dance on a dance mat without a girl. I take it back. It wasn’t about some girl. Without her, I didn’t dare to take this machine.
Before I fell asleep I decided to let the search for the next one rest for a while and indulged in somewhat-could-have-been’s. What is to come will come, but one thing was clear: In the end, I didn’t want to pluck daisies over her anymore.


1500x500_bg_white < Previous Chapter: A ringing tune for a coin; and I am not gonna support that.
> Next Chapter: From the ruins, I laid into and slept my drunkenness off; where are we heading now?

– First Chapter: The Romans Would Have Eaten Fries


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