Essay

Wire Hangers or Curtain Rods; Queers and Guns

Wire Hangers or Curtain Rods; Queers and Guns

by jay V. Ruvolo

I looked to the clouds gathering on the horizon . . .

–Thomas Sarebbononnato

Prologue

To tell a story of woe, which story of woe? Whose? To write down what has been suffered, yet to choose by whom might be another mis-step. I trip myself up as I walk through. To see what is afoot; to see where I am going, maybe where I have been; I have always imagined that there should be a twelve step program for people addicted to their former selves. I used to be swept up by nostalgia when I was young, how is it that I can present this as if I might not still be swept away by nostalgia?

To understand what has been—only, of course, if standing under is recommended—holding yourself up can give you a different kind of hernia. These and more—what more, how much more—are what we are going to uncover here in the ensuing pages. I have included you—you do know who you are, don’t you? You are a fictional you the narrator is talking to in spite of you knowing yourself differently. I just referred to me in the third person, which is the writer in the persona of author of this story writing a narrator, an expositor? Itself? Themselves?  A multi-faceted something what? Multi-valent being, to be or not to be a narrator, an expositor–how so the author becomes what else?

What am I saying here? About authorship? I cannot declare the death of the Author. The Author is not dead, no less dead than God? But so many have declared the death of God. What death? Dead how? I will let these go for now.

A narrator/expositor in the first-person who then refers to himself as other narrator selves or narrators independent of his authorial/writerly connections . . . what then must I say conclude build as a trope?

What follows is what has been put to paper by pen in hand, my hand, I used to say from brain though arm into hand through pen onto page . . . or something like that, I think. How I found what words in a journal I had written how long ago is irrelevant, the howling I have done on paper, the more than fifteen thousand pages of journals I have kept for decades now growing by the thousands of pages as the years mount? For you is not much of a consideration. I am not writing for your entertainment here. I do not wish to set you back, turn you away, push you away?

What could it do for you to know when I have written anything? All time is one. Past, present and future are persistent illusions we cling to out of vanity and hope. But hope is useless, isn’t it? I mean to hope or not to hope has been how many person’s last line of defense before madness? And to wish. I wish I may, I wish I might?

I ask the questions I ask of my readers—I always have readers whether there is an actual person reading or not. Know your audience is every writer’s mantra. What I imagine to be your expectations, how I will or will not meet them, I couldn’t say for certain. I am most likely not going to try . . . another interesting turn here in the narrative? in the exposition? To try is essayer in French; yes, to essay is to try; an essay is a trial, of ideas, of thoughts—how do thoughts differ from ideas. Where do they go when they finish running their course? Thoughts like electric currents, run. Current is running; what then do we mean when we mean running current? A bit redundant, don’t you think? To think or not to think; it seems to me.

Facts, facts, nothing but the facts; we are labored by facts, inundated with facts; facts are avalanches waiting to bury us. I have used this image before in another context. We have been burdened by book-keeping for several centuries. Defoe began writing with the ledger present in the subtext; a court stenographer’s pen and paper, perhaps? Who then do you imagine you are as the reader of any text? What then do I imagine for me as I set pen to paper? To write or not to write; who knows what he thinks unless he writes?

The layers, you know—you have seen those Russian dolls in stores, haven’t you? Matryoishka, a set of brightly painted hollow wooden dolls of varying sizes, designed to nest inside one another. I hope, not really hoping, you get what I mean, what I wish my words to say. Hoping and wishing are utterly useless though; to hope; to wish, perhaps to daydream my life away . . . I was considering Moll Flanders more than Crusoe.  

I love onions fried in olive oil with garlic in peas in pasta, shells.

I

I remember hearing, I forget where, cannot see now, a woman’s voice then, my incredulity clearly understood, Who shoves a wire hanger up her cunt? Yes, she said this. Words, words, more words could have been said, other words were probably said, these words might have been said . . . if I were put to it and had to say exactly what was said–but, truly, who does shove–who ever shoved–a curtain rod up her cunt? It’s easier to shove the latter than it is the former? She got a Q-tip swab stuck in her ear . . . I knew a girl who tried to give herself a miscarriage—she had taken an extremely hot bath. She said her skin was red for hours.

Have you ever read the words of Les Marsellaise? You haven’t read what they say in English translation? Read it; read them. Valence? Veracity? Necessity? The guillotine was a machine for democracy.You know this, right? Mon droit . . . let it flow. You can’t imagine that the further the French get from the convictions of Les Jacobins that they will continue to maintain their freedom.

Almost everything is hazy in recollection; I recall this, but vaguely—what did I just say about being hazy—Manhattan skies mid August in one of those sub-tropical summers we loathe. Yet, Why vaguely? I hear asked. I do not ask myself. Perhaps I do not want it to remain anything other than hazy in mind? Most of our desires are backward looking. Ah! The glass darkly. All of you named Paul should take note. What is that supposed to mean, and to whom? Recollection is something willful and more certain in its search, to look for is sometimes what we have already found, to find a need expressed by the kind of search we engage. To recall, to recollect, to remember are all not exactly the same things, are they? You should know. Memory is not going back to the video tape. Memory is mostly fiction, don’t you know that. Even old photographs are cropped; there is a choice, a framing, a focus or an out-of -focus. History is by consensus. Legend is something else. Most people remember out of their assholes because they talk mostly out of their assholes. Bad story tellers. But where’s the compassion . . . and it’s compassion, not commotion. Passion and emotion are not the same.It’s thePassion of Christ, not the emotion of Christ. Today we got a bunch emotional assholes looking to give women crosses to bear on their way to some miscarriage Cavalry; but that’s okay because that is what will make America great.

We were in Washington one July 4th and it was impossible, horrendously humid, impossible to breathe. You could not see down the block through the humidity. The air was white, like talcum powder sprinkled instead of rain. Heat, humidity, walking as if through wet fog at the ocean in the fall, only nothing cool about it.

How is it that I am supposed to imagine that I need to explain to you what living with your eyes opened should have taught you? Anymore questions? You know the fool of all proverbs asks questions to avoid learning anything. There is a way for this. But curtain rods? You don’t remember Godard’s Masculin et Femminin, do you? What is it that we are thinking or not thinking when we imagine that we should repeal Roe versus Wade? Ten thousand words . . .

I recall myself having said something like this, words, what is this, what are these, where are they now, more and more I am convinced that what we see in the mind is as much a creation . . . what do I recall, to call again, where, in the mind, what about voices and vision? How can I imagine that I have not filled in the gaps where there are large swaths of empty or black. I do not exactly recall where or to whom, saying what has been said—let it go, the not knowing. This is what is meant by recreating yourself. it begins with memory—not delusions or . . . what would the problem be with complete fabrications. You trust the people you know who have formed their own consensus they call the history, they insist are the facts, the facts, nothing but the facts . . . what is it that factories do?

I must have said something like, Who shoves a curtain rod up her cunt? And I have to imagine the correct curtain rods for vaginal insertion. It is interesting to note that the manufacture of unwindable clothes hangers has dramatically decreased since the days of Roe versus Wade. Need I see correlation whether one exists or not? How we met is unimportant. Most people imagine that it is, clinging to former selves the ways junkies cling to their works. Was she or wasn’t she; did she or didn’t she; could she have or shouldn’t she have? I knew she couldn’t have. I knew she was not adverse to saying what I have so far herein said, in these and like other words, she and I together writing essays for our journal, our review, what was it when we were back as undergraduates, I think I can see, I cannot, who are any of us as we look through the glasses darkly.

We can make all hangers plastic because there’s no need today to shove a wire hanger up the cunt, is there? Yes, if girls do not need to unwind a clothes hanger to shove up the cunt to give themselves an abortion, we can make them from unwindable plastic. Spare me your fucking working class moralizing; you wouldn’t know your best interests if they fucked you in the ass . . .alway one or another thing to shove up someone’s ass;put my foot up your ass;someone should shove a foot up his ass, up her ass. It’s got to be uncomfortable for someone to have something shoved up his ass by someone sans invitation.

I also forget where or when I did—did what? I remember a lot; I remember a lot I must have already altered in the mind. I cannot locate the soul, cannot locate the mind,where then is memory? What place in the brain . . .   I say what I said after having heard that girls used to shove curtain rods up their cunts to induce miscarriage. How the fuck . . .? I did not understand how they could do so–I did not ask her if she had ever done so. It was how long then after Roe and Wade? Girls I knew were inclined to say You can’t understand, whether they themselves did or not. Just let the air in.Yes, that’ll do it. Push it against the cervix and let in some air. What does a man say to his sister, to his daughter, to his wife?

On the beach at the shore at Land’s End, the South Fork . . . coming here to relax, to unwind . . . what is wound is winding, the wind blows in turns and swirls, spiraling out of control off the waves that repeatedly batter the shore.

I still do not understand what most people I have known think, believe, know . . . I had no cunt. I have never wanted a cunt. I have never imagined what it would be like, or might be like, to have a cunt. I did, though, have an asshole, and I knew that I would never shove a curtain rod up my ass. I have had suppositories shoved up my ass when I was a young boy and had, however infrequently, constipation–prescribed by my GP. I just can’t get with the Republican assholes who want to send us back to some punitive theocracy which will be a Christian version of a Muslim theocracy—assholes! Not yours and mine—I wish they would shove curtain rods up their asses—I have assumed that you could not get this far in the narrative with extended exposition without having some affinity for what I also think, believe, hold to be self-evident and true. If you vehemently disagreed, where would you be now but someplace else?

I have used wire hangers unraveled at the hook to clear clogged drains; I could not imagine being able to imagine shoving that up my ass. A wire hanger? How desperate would a girl have to be to shove a curtain rod or a wire hanger up the cunt–and I still do not understand the kind of morality that functions on the level of punishment as a means of instruction. I do understand Nietzsche’s observations, his thesis, in The Geneology of Morals, but I am confused by a society of Judaeo-Christian moralizers who are against abortion and use pregnancy as a form of punishment, perhaps because they can no longer get away with stoning the girl who gets pregnant, mostly from a lack of foresight or caution, as they would say of her as she engages in the most natural of all our inclinations. To fuck or not to fuck was my to be for some protracted period of time. Let us drop a millstone on her head. I remember something about how Edward II was buggered to death with a red hot iron poker by his wife’s lover Mortimer; Edward had a preference for men over his wife. She took a lover and then conspired for the throne. Of course, there are many who see this as justice for Edward’s homosexuality alone.

We have lost or have yet to develop the idea that the desire to fuck is in itself love, and that from the choice to act on this inclination of love, we can do a whole lot of messing things up, denying, refusing, corrupting by other choices. Has anyone ever shoved a wire hanger up his ass to rid himself constipation? Recall the clogged drain. She would not have done it herself. She would not have used a wire hanger if she were to do it herself, if she had to do it herself. There’s a pill now that makes abortion do-it-yourself?

The waves in one after another after yet another continuously continuing repetition of rising curling turning falling crashing thunderously tumult. . . 

I remember walking on the beach  . . .plastic hangers today, and as they have been made now for a few decades, cannot be shoved up the cunt, can they? You can’t use one of today’s plastic hangers to shove up the cunt, nor can you unravel one and use it to unclog a drain, or your constipated asshole if you were a Sado-masochistic bastard, or unlock your car . . . so when you do get one of those old-fashioned wire hangers from the cleaners, keep it, save it–you never know when you might need it in a Republican future. Plastic bags on the beaches in New York piss me off. The litter; the poor and tired motherfuckers who probably need to be beaten with a stick before they will not leave their trash everywhere around them on the public beaches . . . I do not understand anyone I have ever known not getting just how satirical I was in many of things I said, how much critique there was in a lot of what I did, how much Dionysian revel there was in drinking with abandon . . . I am not sure those who actually said they liked Jim Morrison had any fucking ides what they were saying they liked or understood when it is clear in hindsight that they did not have a clue.

Does anyone recall pink hangers on buttons? Am I imagining this. But then I couldn’t pull the plug on my mother although I knew there was no hope. Induced miscarriage does sound softer than ‘abortion.’ That’s the reason, you know. Scare the shit out of girls. She had had a bleeder; her brain was stuffed by blood, I saw the MRIs of my mother’s brain, a hemisphere pushed aside. Held her hand until her heart stopped when finally she was declared brain dead, nine months almost to the day my father died. Slept at his feet like a Viking dog the night before the morning he went–more euphemisms. Don’t know why I asked the Doctor to resuscitate when I was asked—I had to leave the room. Should have, would have and could have are three fools wandering the world; got that from an old drunk in a bar. Left the room. The doctor came out to say I’m sorry. I no longer wish I stayed or am glad I left; resuscitate? I knew somewhere it was an exercise in futility. How could it not be, there was an ethicist who came to my mother’s room to talk to me in the hospital, and I told hm to leave with his fucking pablum constructs–he only meant well. But I could have been teaching the courses he had taken to get him in the position he was in to speak about ethics and loss and human psychology, all of it a bunch of bullshit dripping over his lips, and I do not mean to trivialize what he was trying, only his failed attempt, but who would have succeeded with me that day?

What more do I need to say, to say or not to slay–everyone today wants you to say something if you see something–what am I supposed to be seeing, anyway–I have always mistrusted most of what most people see, but I do not want to retreat into an overbearing subjectivity or solipsism. I mistrust what most people think they recollect, a recall that should be recalled … leave people to what they think they think, what they imagine they know. No one knows you, especially all the impossibly ignorant fuckers who couldn’t see you if they had the Saints, the Arch-angels, Christ and Tiresias to help them. Sticks and stones are not words, are they?

There is a collective unconscious fear of sex and sexuality (not identical) in the U.S., and this has left us diametrically opposed not only on issues like gay marriage but also on abortion. Unlike the issue of gay marriage, though, life is jeopardized if we do not maintain the law that insures safe and antiseptic procedures are part of a woman’s choice. However, if historical memory as well as recent memory serves me correctly, this is reactionary America, so we must punish women who have sex and do not wish to submit to marriage as the sole means to manage their potential bastards. No, America is not still Puritanical?

White clouds up and over the horizon, East, East-South-East . . . look at those clouds. What do you see? What do they look like?

Most of the abortion debate–really ping-pong or rhetorical hop-scotch–pivots on this ethical and retributive hinge: do we want to punish women for having sex or do we not want to punish them for expressing themselves sexually. What are we saying–and do we say anything, or do we continue to shout badger scream respond to one or another stimulus . . . when we want to deny women access to safe, antiseptic medical procedures when they want to choose an induced miscarriage instead of going forward with a pregnancy we are taking giant steps backward . . . and it is an induced miscarriage, not a fucking abortion—tongues stuck up the ass; tongues up the ass in taste in wine, tongues up the ass in the way we eat, tongues up the ass in our love of language. Be fruitful and multiply—yes, big words from a desert God. Like the Statue of Liberty who asks for the world’s tired and poor . . .

We systematically under-educate, she used to say, and how can you disagree. We have allowed semi-literate to masquerade as literate enough for too long for anyone in pedagogy to recall any other standard for literacy than the alphabetics we enforce, I say. Alphabetics; the ability to spell your name correctly, to fill out standard application forms, address a letter, write a check, read the tabloid press, although I am beginning to include the NY Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal. We the members of America’s liberal establishment are astonished by the conservatives and the popularity of Donald Trump. I would say for shame, but it’s not in my nature, not part of my idiolect, I have no f-in’ desire to say what I think I can hear an old Great Aunt saying at the kitchen table in the Berkshires for what reason I couldn’t even guess and won’t for a moment make up..

I never questioned my desire to fuck–I understood it to be a natural inclination. She felt the same way. It is nature–and I am not here to debate the merits of Nature over Civilization or vice-versa. No. I wish I had answers—I do have them. But the desire to fuck as a natural inclination is not identical with the Homo-sapiens natural inclination toward violence and aggression, is it? Ninety-eight percent identical in DNA with a chimpanzee; examine chimp behavior. It is looking in a species mirror. I like girls who read. Reading is sexy.

If you do see identicalness there between our desire for love and the homo-sapiens’s need for violence then perhaps you should re-examine your ability to think because thinking has nothing to do with  randomly passing images in the mind or playing hop-scotch with words. No, neither of these is what thinking is, in the human sense, which must always be measured by the humane, how humane, when humane, why humane you must know. There is no human without the humane.

Do not even try to give me something that says you can vote for Trump and think he’s a viable candidate because this is a free country because then I know you’d be deluded, perhaps insane, but most of what I have gone through to get where I am intellectually cannot even be imagined by most of anyone I have ever known; and do not think that I will debate anything with you, as if, again,playing ping-pong with ideas or simian constructed political slogan-policies–I guess I am so pissed that I am getting my tongue tied up in knots. But there is no clearer example of someone being an idiot than that someone, who is not rich, supporting Trump. Being white and stupid is not enough. Troglodytes should not be allowed to vote; but then I recoil from this reflex in me. But twice the number of African-Americans who voted for Romney, voted for Trump, and African-American turnout for Hilary was not as high as it was for Obama; so, African Americans have to stop blaming White People for Trump when black people who voted for Trump were not going to tell it like it is, which is the assumption for African-Americans, that they still tell it like it is, which is bull shit, I mean, African-Americ an criticism of closet Trump supporters among White America is some reflexively racist sour grapes.

The Homo-sapiens cognition is not in itself what I call thinking–it might be, but there are certainly other processes in that mode of cognition we really should not call thinking. Why would she do what she did? I would have asked, would have liked to ask . . . liked–what the fuck does this have to do with liking or not liking anything? No one knows anyone, knows another person, not really, not entirely, not in that persons deepest darkest places, not in the continuum that is was will be this person’s living. Stop deluding yourselves. And people who go on and on about friends and friendship probably have the least idea what it is. More out the ass. How could it be otherwise, as full of shit as we are, all of us. And that’s the truth. I just cannot tolerate a man or a woman taking pride in remaining not only remotely recognizable to their former selves or others who were once in their life, but taking excessive pride in fixing himself in a spot and staying loyal, as he must imagine, to a former self he either imagines he must remain, or others others around him enforce through their own pettiness, resentment and fear. No change?

There is a thick vein of punitive retribution present in the minds of those in the anti-abortion camp; just say no to sex is what some say women should say when they do not want to appear punitive. I cannot understand this desire to inflict punishment finding support among civilized people. Most of the anti-abortion position hinges on coercing women’s chastity. It seems ridiculous–I almost imagine fathers, or mothers, even, locking up their teenaged daughters in iron belts around their pelvises–and it does not seem a stretch when one listens carefully to the vehemence and sees the violence of the people today who voice their opinions against women who seek to exercise their rights when seeking to have an abortion. She was so far from uptight. You know what is amazing is that most of the parents of the people I once knew would be very hesitant to vote for Trump; too many of our grandparents would know he’s an idiot and should be feared. This is what I mean about our regression. As conservative as my dad could seem to be sometimes; voting for Trump would be beyond him.

The rhetoric of anti-abortion in America is paradigmatically similar to that of Jim Crow rhetoric levied against the civil and human rights of black Americans during the years of segregation, poll taxes and miscegenation laws. We are not forgetting the years pf lynching anymore than we are forgetting that abortion clinics have been bombed. But then we forget many things without forgiving anything; we do prefer to forget than to forgive, and the latter is as different from the former as giving is from getting. Some of the political opinions I hear from too many people, and even people I know, is frightening. State administered proctology exams are what our administrative politics have become, no?

We cannot hope to have normal relationships between men and women, between any partner and another he or she chooses mutually and reciprocally, if we still want to criminalize sex out-of-wedlock, which is what we would be doing if we were to criminalize abortion. This is also what the opposition to Gay Marriage fears; legitimacy of homosexual sex–but homosexual sex is the flip-side of heterosexual sex–it is of one minting in human sexuality–heterosexual and homosexual are heads and tails–no puns intended. We do live in fear, i trepidation when the fear is not overt.

We are not talking about fucking animals, or children or the dead when we talk about homosexual sex, are we? No. And I do have to say it because I can’t assume you are not simian in your attitudes toward other humans—and this is not a simian pose or posture . . . human is not human without the humane—period. The French have one word for both; humaine. It’s clear what is contingent with humanity in the French language. English has two words; we keep them separate for some reason unfathomable and non-locatable. We think we can have human without the humane, as if humane were something separate, different, distinct–why the string?

Midday, before lunch, going to IGA to pick up what we need to eat, strawberries, yogurt, a rotisserie chicken, beer, olives, chips, tomatoes, cucumbers . . . I once saw Julianne Moore passing as she was coming out of the IGA and I was walking toward the front door. I nodded and smiled and and she smiled and we continued in our contrary directions. She was smaller than she appears on screen, but still a big actress—loved her work in The Hours. Also better looking in person coming out of the supermarket than on the screen . . .

The problem with many from the anti-abortion side of the argument presented in a woman’s right to choose a safe and antiseptic medical procedure in the course of induced miscarriage is that perhaps too many of them are also anti-sodomy; therefore, the idea of fellatio as birth control may never get addressed. Blow jobs do reduce the need for abortion; yes, sucking instead of fucking–but the Puritans still rule America’s unconscious. We still stigmatize oral sex because we are still sexually repressed if not simply sexually uptight, and that’s as a nation, a culture–you cannot imagine that even America’s liberals are not stupid. If it were not for the stupidity and lumpen minds of America’s Totalitarian Bourgeois Capitalist Liberals, our conservatives might not be so criminally mentally debilitated and dangerous. We used to criminalize homosexuality–we should criminalize how we teach. We even used to criminalize sodomy–I do not know why we cannot criminalize semi-literacy among our teachers and professors . . .

The acts of sodomy themselves labelled after the ancient biblical city of Sodom. It doesn’t matter what the popular culture thinks its saying or doing; pop culture actions are reactions to the core belief; they are reactions similar to how pornography, and the proliferation of porn and its availability, reveal our true attitudes about sex. We have no healthy notions about sex or sexuality, and that’s heterosexuality. But please let us not look to the Old Testament—the Jewish Bible—as a means of instruction of how to live democratically and free, with respect for women, because Leviticus alone is enough to disqualify Torah as a document any feminist should look to today. Leviticus is the greatest testament to misogyny in the history of the world and is only page after page on how to terrorize, brutalize, torture, maim and execute women in the most agonizing ways for being women. It’s a serial-killers handbook. How do we expect to handle the idea that homosexuality is normal when we still fear heterosexual sex. But it is necessary that we step out of the norms of our social behavior and atttitues about sex . . . what was it she had said? The issues raised by gay marriage and abortion are contingent with all discussions of basic Human Rights, the fundamentals of human sexuality and sexual expression. All of this seems beside the point? Is it beside the point? Why does it have to be beside the point?

Imagine how backward we were even in the fifties and the sixties–and I mean really monkey-minded backward–simians all. What more do I need to say, could I say, should I–what? Say what? Say when? Say where? More than enough. Enough is always enough, but just what is enough–when is it? I am genuinely asking because we certainly do not do enough when we think we have educated enough; surely what we call literacy is no longer literate enough, but then that has a much longer legacy than we might want to investigate. During the eighteenth century the rise of the novel gave rise to questions about proletarians and peasants reading and what that would do to upset the class hierarchy. Looking back on what it was she had decided she was going to do; it is a woman’s decision and not mine. That can become a convenience, can’t it?

II

Gay Marriage and Abortion are both pro-choice issues–how you do not know this is beyond me? And if you do know this, how you are unable to defend this articulately only speaks to how we under-educate, and we do—I don’t want to insult anyone, but if the brogan fits, wear it, please do not put it into your mouth.

The above are both issues of freedom or the lack thereof, whether it be sexual freedom, which both of them do address, or what I choose to do with my body, which both of them also address, albeit from different angles of approach (no puns intended; any position two humans choose when they fuck is normal, is natural).

The matter of gay marriage is a part of the pro-choice issue in a larger sense, and you have to get this, and if you do not, maybe you should have someone smack you in the back of the head, and I am not a particularly violent person, I just do not have any of the received reflexes we are supposed to mimic to prove we abhor violence, more out of our society’s desire to control the people, or lessen their weight against the state, that is, make them less likely to aim their rifles at the power or monied elites who keep raping them in the economic ass–and herein lies the difference. Of course, we still have nuts who aim them at children in schools and I still cannot help but fear that it is the government doing so with an operative so they can take our guns away . . . so, I am not entirely apart from being a Libertine.

Homosexual men most often fuck each other in the ass out of love, but we cannot understand that because our government keeps fucking us in the ass when we don’t want them to, I think I remember her saying. To say what or not to say what, when and where would be a consideration; to whom is important.Know your audience.

Not hungry yet, breakfast was enough, almond croissants and coffee, a long walk along the shore afterwards and then a late morning pre-lunch beer from yesterday . . .

We have to know that we are not talking about a society’s obligation to ensure someone gets the appropriate psychiatric treatment who might actually be mentally defective to a point where he is a danger to himself and others. Homosexuality is not a mental illness, nor is it another kind of sickness from which someone can be cured, nor is it an incurable illness. It is normality in variegation. I am not trying to say that some Gay men are not crazy–or that lesbians are also immune to forms of insanity.

What more do I have to tell you?

I wish she had said what it was she knew, what it was she understood, could say, could have said, might have said, but did not . . . not or not-not; I am X, and if I am X, I am also not-not X, right? True, I think we are supposed to say.  Do you see the clouds coming up over the horizon . . . why did I say “up over?” Why not just “over?”

Abortion rights and the rights of same-sex partners to marry are contingent on the law recognizing that gay marriage is not an affront to opposite sex unions, and that the legal right to choose a safe, medically induced miscarriage is not an affront to having children. Having a gay teacher does not make your children gay; allowing same sex unions does not cheapen heterosexual marriage. Allowing for same sex unions does not lessen the integrity of marriage in general. Allowing that safe medical procedures are performed when a woman has an induced miscarriage does not devalue children, nor will it lead to a significant drop in birthrates, which itself is a separate issue. But the woefully ignorant cannot be told this; and any one of them picking up a book is not likely to happen.

Haven’t you wondered why I am doing what I am going to do? She asked.

Most arguments against gay marriage are absurd; most of the arguments levied against pro-choice in the matter of abortion are beside the point. (I never hear anyone from the anti-abortion camp encouraging anal intercourse among heterosexual teenagers as a way to reduce teen pregnancy, but then we are not supposed to be having unprotected sex, unless two partners decide to get tested and re-tested six months later and then joyfully fuck each other anally without threat of pregnancy [and I know that there is no one reading this who can get to the question, are you sure you cannot get pregnant by fucking in the ass?)

I think I am going to get ready to go and get stuff for lunch . . . should have something else in mind to pick up in place of what they might not have that we want, what about having bar-be-cue for dinner, what to get, steaks for the grill, a bottle of Margaux with that . . .

Let us not set up straw dogs. Another one of our favorite past times. There are some who come from a religiously informed position, a place where their religious views and beliefs are confronted by even the idea of gay marriage or the notion that a woman should be afforded the legal right to choose an abortion, who are not zealous lunatics looking to lynch women for having an abortion or simply for supporting the right to choose one; they certainly wouldn’t nail a young gay man to a tree or a barbed wire fence post or drag him from behind their car . . . the way I hear some talk,beating their chests in simian pride that a buffoon like Trump has become the Republican Party nominee for President, one or more grunts given in the belief that he speaks for them, finally, as they would say, someone speaks for us. One religiously informed position is the missionary position–but then this is also the chimpanzee position; yes, chimps fuck face-to-face. Yes, missionaries advocating the monkey way to natives who were most likely not uptight about sex, which is not to say that they did not have a metaphysics that was centered on patriarchy and patriarchal control of women. Not always, but . . . and I cannot listen to anyone, with any seriousness, who dismisses this, what is said, has been said, might be said at any point in the argument, without having considered any of them, thought about them, read anything related to them, anything at all that would allow one to raise literacy . . .

I do not want us here to get sidetracked into a debate about the merits and demerits of religion or the religious when it weds itself with politics–always a bad idea. The focus here is on the rights a woman has independent of any metaphysical system, and whether the laws of her society are going to get behind her right to choose, stand behind her, remain behind her or not. I know that this has become a non-debatable issue, and that these remain truths self-evident for anyone on either side; that is, the pros and cons are not part of a debate only a ping pong match of slurs and slogans and vehemence and violence. (I afterwards thought of saying “slurs and vehemence and slogans and violence,” but no; I could have said, “slurs and vehemence and violence and slogans,” but no; I chose what I did more out of expediency, which has here and now been spent—it was the first thing that came to mind, what I wrote before this parenthetical insert.)

Legislation that insures a woman’s right to choose an abortion can be safe is of course the crux of any rational argument supporting pro-choice for women who are so inclined, she would say. I know to my horror that there are many, many women oppositely inclined, she said, but then how many of us see how easily we ourselves act and vote contrary to our interests politically? She said she had been inclined in the past . . . induced miscarriage is what the procedure is, not abortion, which has been chosen for sensational effect. She could not avoid feeling guilty, it seemed, sounded by how she talked about it—what the hell do I know?

. .. steak. The steaks we got. The strip steaks. The long part of a Porterhouse.

There are no religious beliefs that can be used to justify or support violence against a woman or clinics, not unless we live in or want to live in Muslim Theocracies–and we have to be clear about what we mean about honoring diversity in America. There is no place for Sharia Law here in America—she was one of them, and I recall her passion for women’s rights, whatever that means to you or to the next the guy or woman, from wherever you come, whatever decade you came of age in, whatever class, level of education, degree of superstition, ignorance, or . . . and do not tell me that there are not many who are outraged by police officers being ambushed, as I am, who did not say good when Omar shot up that nightclub in Orlando.

Pro-choice is, in the specific sense of choosing to have a safe abortion, part of the larger more encompassing Human Right to choose–how do any of us who imagine us thinking persons, any of us with children or sisters certainly all of us with mothers and maybe aunts, and grandmothers and girlfriends and wives . . . daughters . . .  very person, man or woman, heterosexual or homosexual, married or unmarried, has an unalienable right to choose the life he or she wishes to live, and if they do not, what does that say about anybody’s freedom, anywhere at any time . . . . what did you imagine the Founders meant when they said constant vigilance.

The right of gay men and lesbians to choose whether or not to get married in a same-sex union is on par with a woman’s legally sanctioned choice to have an abortion if she should want one. They are each a part of the Pro-Choice argument that is essential to any Pro-Freedom position in any society. And I do know face-to-face just what kind of idiocy there is in this country on matters like these. I do not want to be disrespectful or hurtful when it’s people I might have once had affection or friendship for, but when I listen to some people say things I know have come from a dangerously dark place in the mind I have to recoil, run for cover, hide and hope never to be found.

I do suspect that most Muslims who are here in America want to live in peace as Muslims, although I am not so sure that they would prefer no longer in some confused and confusing Islamic medievalism . . . or so I have come to think, say as I would in other contexts, as it seems to me I have. And do not tell me that there are not a mass of Muslim women living in the middle ages today because they are, they do, we could see it if we weren’t so clouded by our desire to see something else in what our eyes tell us we see. It is easy to be prejudiced against Muslims; I do have to say that even she was to the extent that she was vehemently opposed to any kind of theocratic construct for government or social control, which of course is exactly what the right wing fundamentalists believe, want, desire, look to accomplish.

The croissants were especially good this morning, they are never stale, but on some days they certainly fresher than on other days, a fresh batch of almond croissants, I do not think the baker makes them every day, which baker would?

Nonetheless, there is no pit and the pendulum looming if gay marriage is not supported by law. There is, though, something out of Edgar Allan Poe for girls in the foreseeable future without a law that protects their Human Right to choose to have an abortion, and I remind us herein again that a woman has the right to choose to have an abortion whether the laws in her society support that right, protect that right–I do not know how anyone can be against providing women with a law that upholds her right to decide for herself how she wishes to use her body, a law that insures medicine is practiced and not something out of a chamber of horrors when she decides to have an abortion, and it is a chamber of horrors we are subjecting her to when we put her between social rocks and medical hard places. But of course she should never be in a place to get one, to have one, to choose one, right? (Imagining what I must be thinking by what I have said is not a bad place to start; nothing outside the text, could be your guide.)

Abortion before the law got behind it in the 1970s was appalling–most anti-abortion people would be shocked if they saw what had transpired or does transpire in some places in the world. Of course, this would then be used against the right to choose, assuming that the horror of illegal abortion is endemic to all abortions. There are no other ways to express what illegal abortion represented: terrible, shocking, appalling, horrible, frightening; what else do we have in words to say what is intended here: butchery, something out of the slaughterhouse–woman as carcass? You think this is too much? She did not. She liked it. She liked my essays; we were attracted to each other, her mind was sexy.

What all of the ramifications were when a girl needed to get an abortion for whatever reason convinced her she needed one–how many women still die yearly worldwide from unsafe abortions is staggering. There is something downright gothic horror. You know, we are talking curtain rods and all that went along with less than antiseptic surgery. The question for me is why should induced miscarriage be less safe and less anti-septic than operations performed at Mobile Army Surgical Hospitals during war? This has changed here in the United States, we imagine, at least we imagine it has changed for the better and that that change for the better is permanent, as if no vigilance were necessary. Nonetheless, more women die annually from medical malpractice in America than from breast cancer. Maybe women are still the second sex in America’s mind–perhaps this second sex status crosses over to second class in other ways as well–how could it not. Is woman the nigger of the world? If so, what then are black women in the world? Think about it–I mean think, not reflex from it. I know that there are still too many people who are exclusive about the use of the word ‘nigger,’ even downright snobbish, as ironic and paradoxical as that becomes.

What do those white clouds look like, they are big, puffy, voluptuous white cumulus coming up over the horizon . . .

The idea that we cannot take giant steps backwards is naive. There is really no low that people cannot descend to; there is no limit really to how bad things can get in a society; there is no condition that people cannot get used to, none. We were shown the documentaries made with the footage taken from the liberated camps by the U.S. Armed Forces. We did not have access to any of the footage the Soviet Armed forces took in their liberation of some of the Nazis camps at the close of World War II. Don’t imagine that we could not make things any worse because we could.

The United States only sometimes an exception, there are nearly a hundred thousand women worldwide who die in the process of having an illegal and/or unsafe abortion. Nearly half of all abortions worldwide are not safe medical procedures and this has to stop. But then why should it when most of us are convinced we should be grateful that more women do not die annually from illegal or unsafe abortions. There is something uncivilized about a society that cannot protect a woman’s right to choose, or provide safe and antiseptic medical procedures when she does exercise her rights–just as there is something uncivilized about a society that systematically under-educates even most of its university graduates . . . I cannot see her sometimes; other times I have a clear picture of her; yet other times I see her and hear her as if she were in the room with me, walking with me, talking with me, sitting next to me or lying down next to me. Women of the world unite? You have nothing to lose but your chains–or maybe your life, as Pakistani women might if raped or if they elope–there is always some brother lurking about ready to kill a woman because she has brought shame upon the family through the violent actions of another man through the act of rape. Yeah, that’s the world we want to go back to, you fucking idiots–and now I am talking to the assholes who I once called friends who support Trump.

I can imagine that semi-literate is literate enough has been an unspoken mantra on Wall Street for a long time . . . and please do not imagine that I do not believe that I know that guillotines are not the solution for our problems economically; the Power and the Money have no fear; that’s what Bush senior meant when he said he envisioned a kinder and gentler nation, a nation where sheep are gentle and power and money wolves are left to ravage un-accosted . . . the impure blood must flow!  You know this, right?

A society that upholds those rights by law is a civilized society, I’ve said this and I say it again as I will do so again. Of course, any society that does not is less than possessing an advanced level of social, cultural and moral development–and it is not a morally developed society that moralizes and punishes the way . . . you know that I hold these truths to be self evident. I wish I could make this clearer–make something here I am trying to say . . . to choose to have an abortion or to choose to have the baby; these are the flip sides of the pro-choice issue. And so, a woman’s right to choose must also include her right to have a child. I thought I had said we could have the baby; I was sure that I had said we would have the child, that we could have the child–they’re not the same thing, are they? Any pressure from either extreme in the diametric of the abortion issue is unacceptable in a civilized society. What is civilized about letting her choose when letting her choose means leaving her alone when leaving her alone means to abandon her? is that what it was? To oppose pro-choice is to support pro-horror, whether one supplies the curtain rods or not. No it was not.

You do remember the final scene in Godard’s Masculin et Feminin, when the girlfriend (played by Chantal Goya) of the chief protagonist (played by Pierre Leaud of Truffaut’s Les Quatres Cent Coups fame) is asked what she is going to do now that she is pregnant and her boyfriend is dead, and she says something to the effect of not knowing, but that perhaps she’ll use a curtain rod? I still do not know what happened. I’m still not sure.

There are donuts left from this morning if anyone wants a snack before lunch, some yogurt, maybe . . . get more for lunch, the strawberries were good from yesterday, for lunch and again before dinner last night . . .

The words from a young girl’s mouth, particularly flippantly expressed, a curtain rod–again, how could any girl shove a curtain rod up her cunt, but then I have never met a woman who thinks her cunt is beautiful. I mean, I have never met a woman who has looked at her vagina in a mirror and said, That’s beautiful. How could girls not shove curtain rods up the cunt?She did not, I know.

I bought some IPA to have today with lunch and dinner.

I knew that she did not like the word cunt as much as she liked the word pussy when she talked about the vagina when she wasn’t using the word vagina. The last time we were in Paris I remembered the opening montage sequence of Truffaut’s The 400 Blows . . . we were staying around the corner from L’Ecole Militaire and the park that opened its vista on La Tour Eiffel. I touched the walls, rubbed the wooden doors and held the handles of the doors Napoleon might have touched . . . fucking in the city of lights. We had a bottle of Gigondas in a small bistro after La Tour Eiffel one night. The next day I took a bottle Vacqueyras to Baudelaire’s grave.

To shove a curtain rod up the cunt or not to shove a curtain rod up the cunt, this is the question, whether it is nobler to carry a pregnancy to term, or on the other hand, shove a curtain rod up the cunt and end it. I still do not know exactly what happened; no one explained anything, said anything, talked around everything, the questions . . . decisions, decisions, decisions creeping in their petty pace to the last syllable of recorded arguments over whether a woman has the right or whether or not she should be allowed by law to pursue her unalienable rights.

III

I do not think women have been carefully handled by their mothers, certainly not society, in thinking they are beautiful . . . too many times I have been with women who have never really looked at their cunts, never looked with admiration at their pussies, the vagina for them was not beautiful. Sad, really.

They’re further up now . . . looking like something, not elephants, no . . .

When Chantal Goya said what she said about the curtain rod, the scene immediately faded to black, and everyone was shocked. There were many who were outraged, of course; but then people are always easily collectively outraged. An individual standing up against many to do the righteous thing is difficult and almost a sure futility in anyone’s expectation. But joining a mob to do anything inhuman is easy.

Misunderstanding is many times dis-understanding, and that is also very easy to accomplish. All of the outrage about Godard’s film, though, was in 1966 Paris . . . it is 2016 and in the name of democracy we have to endure the hopelessly stupid and the criminally ignorant . . . I guess this is what we mean by honoring diversity–what did you liberal twits think you were doing when you sought to erase boundaries, blur the lines, abandon Truth, question the validity of knowledge in perpetuity and raise doubt to the highest form of wisdom? America’s contemporary liberals are so fucking stupid, they might be more stupid as liberals than contemporary conservatives are stupid as conservatives, if you could get real thinking around that . . . and I am sorry that if in a story you must be inundated with wave after wave of ideas and thoughts and critical responses and diatribes and tirades and lamentations and irony and wit and viscera, venting my spleen asI do have done will keep on doing.

Wire hangers when curtain rods were not available . . . I still can only say, What the fuck? Some took scalding hot baths, others, like Kate Winslet’s character in Revolutionary Road, used a variety of tubes and hoses and forceps, what else had we then in the fifties for middle class suburban women to have the do-it-yourself abortions. Just add water . . . we want everything instant. There was no pill when she–what did she do? Why do I ask this question? I ask it because . . .there is no because. There are only implications and inferences. Stop looking for prior contingencies. (What passes for thinking in this country is the problem.)

We wonder about torture of suspected terrorists, and yet we want to send women backward historically and subject them to the horrors of illegal abortions, what some 20,000,000 women worldwide get annually–but those who want to send women backward are not the ones wondering about or worrying about torture at Guantanamo. . . but then most people who are or who pretend to be anti-abortion are vehement supporters of capital punishment. I know people who are pro-choice who are against capital punishment.

Fuck me, really, what are we talking about here when we actually entertain going back to the fifties, the forties, the nineteenth century–where are we going, where have we been . . . I did know girls who induced miscarriage with nearly scalding baths, how many of them I never asked . . . talk about torture. Look at what we have been doing politically for the last quarter century or more. The Oval Office is a TV studio and everything is a joke or sensational entertainment, yes politco-mercials? (I’ll get it. I’ll find the word, the other words to express what I am trying for here.) How many girls have we known, the men I know and have known, have had abortions and have told none of you? Division of labor is one set of unnecessary proscriptions we used to try to cling to as if it were a fact of nature, but then nature is red in tooth and claw, and a woman not telling any man about her abortion is telling.

These are all of piece? The pieces of embryo that do and do not come out–how do we know if all of the pieces of what was up there have come out . . . just let the air in, you know, you remember, you have to, just push the curtain rod against the cervix, how does one sterilize it, can you use rubbing alcohol or would it be better to use what for up the cunt . . . five hundred women a day commit suicide in China; there are more men than women because forced abortions, especially when the fetus is female is the rule in China. Doctors have to reassemble the placenta to make certain that there are no pieces left inside, after birth. To birth is to carry.

What is all of piece? What then must we do? Let us add our light to sum of light . . . each of us adds this, can add this, should add this . . . let us still hope that light will win over darkness. I do not know why that sounds so trite–it should not, but we do wonder if it does or does not. We suspect anyone with convictions that cannot be packaged with the correct bows and ribbons . . . and just because gun nuts will use as a excuse to keep automatic weapons available the fact that someone shoots an anti-abortion nut is no reason I should not shoot anti-abortion nuts . . . which side are you on–yes, which side are you on? What are we willing to do in the name of civilization, democracy, freedom, Human Rights? What? Would you let the Nazis win? I am not saying Trump is a Nazis, although he is another kind of Fascist, and he might have a lot more in common with Mussolini or Franco or Pinochet than you will want to imagine–it hurts to imagine what Trump is really like, what he is really capable of doing or not doing, what he will be unable to handle.

Maybe hippos, yes, white hippos, the clouds up and over the horizon now have taken shape looking a lot like a group of white hippos wading there on the horizon . . .

I ask the question, More? How often? I ask it rhetorically; I ask it genuinely; sometimes I am doing both at once. Sometimes I am not aware that I am doing neither when I ask; only reflex. Reflection is what we try to call remembering? To reflect is just what it is, casting the light of memory or experience in a different direction.

Epilogue

I got a Matryoishka as a gift, one year. I do not know what this means or what kind of story you want out of it . . . I have lost touch with readers, I have lost touch with friends, with family, with teachers, with classmates, with colleagues, with everyone or anyone I have ever loved . . . what does this mean, prodigal me . . .the journey, my boy, the journey. It would haveto be the journey; I have no idea what the destination is. How many incarnations of me have I gone through?

I picked it up the other day and took it apart and put it back together, one inside the other and so on until complete, the wooden doll . . . did I put anything inside of it? I have asked me the same questions; the psyche, memory, who am I; the many selves Self, and how is it that you do not see this, this fictional you reader you are here in my mind as I write put to paper or is it screen?

Holding onto who you used to be is a malady, is a neurosis in some, psychotic in others. Let them go; let them die when they have to. Sleeping with the corpses of former selves is really fucked up. I have seen them displayed in stores and in homes with all the inside-each-other dolls of smaller and smaller sizes, if in one direction this one you choose, set next to one another. I am talking about those Russian dolls—the degree of bigotry and racism and reactionary politics and polemics from Irishmen, Italians, Jews and African-Americans is frightening, and a little bit ironic—no, a lot of irony is there in these reactionary responses. Humans will always do something that is completely contrary to what is best for them. My drinking three too many pints of IPA the other night is just a minor example. But to get drunk on Trump and reactionary politics because it gives vent to your Spleen and not your mind, which you have turned into a knee–reflexive politics–knee-jerk conservatives and knee-jerk liberals, is so monstrously stupid, which again is why there are so many fascist responses from everywhere because intelligent people know there is no talking to anyone with how simian everything and everyone has become–a stick; taking a stick to everyone, slapping every body.

What anything has to do with anything we often only know after the facts of occurrence or happenstance; it is all about interpretation, all in the interpreting. Or so I like to say sometimes, not really knowing what I am saying, just as too many I know work with love talk straight out of their asses. The older I get, the fewer people I listen to; I sometimes do not listen to myself, growing weary of what I say to me in the mirror.

I just feel sorry for all the poor bastards who think the superficial skimming of pages they do is reading.

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