The electric gate opens leisurely, like a backwards embrace. As soon as there is sufficient space, the car slowly passes through it, and parks a few meters ahead. The woman at the wheel grabs her bag and house keys, gets out of the car and reaches the entrance of the apartment building. She fights the urge to take the lift and climbs the two flights of stairs that separate her from the apartment, stomping over each step as she goes.
She opens the door and turns on the lights in the entrance with automatic gestures. Her bag slips on the floor, and she leaves it where it lands. With her head hanging down and her eyes half-closed, she abandons her jacket on a chair, seemingly there for precisely this purpose. She stumbles between one step and the next while getting rid of her shoes along the dimly lit corridor. She takes off her cardigan, shirt and undershirt as if they were sewn together, and leaves them on the floor in a shapeless pile. In a precarious balance, she opens the door to her room, her trousers down to her ankles, while her feet irritably try to get rid of the socks at the same time. Her underwear is quickly engulfed by the room’s shadows, and in no time she crawls under the covers.
The duvet under her chin and her eyes closed, she sighs with relief, as if she managed to run away from something that was chasing her. Slowly, the heat from her body warms up the sheets, and the ensuing microclimate turns it into the best place on Earth. Thoughts quiet down, the heartbeat becomes gentler, the breath barely perceptible. Darkness filters every sound and hides all shapes. The chaotic, frantic outside world softly wanes, and time slows down. This dimension, unmoored, detached from the rest, almost feels like peace, like an accomplishment, but that is not the case. Four walls are not enough to make you feel like you have made it, not enough to comfort you. The goal is still far away and thus, motionless on the bed, after a moment of thought, she begins to undress again.
With unexpected relief, the weary skin opens: from neck to groin, the rosy and dead shell reveals the muscles’ vivid red. She pushes it down with a look of discomfort, carelessly rolling it down on itself like a wetsuit. The exposed muscle tissue’s pulse matches her heartbeat. She looks at it, its surface smooth and restless. With careful patience, her fingers slip through the soft gaps and search for the tendons. Once found, she begins to untie them like shoelaces, from her collarbone, her elbow, her knee. She then grabs the muscles and peels them off one by one: biceps, triceps, the obliques on her hips, the abdominal chessboard, and then down. Down to the hamstring, the vastus medialis and vastus lateralis, and the four gastrocnemii. They slump on the floor around her like sad, deflated balloons reminiscent of a past joy. She arches what’s left of her body, achingly grabbing her cerebellum and its long spinal cord, and hurls it in a corner of the room. There lies the corpse of a jellyfish, her still quivering tentacles traversed by the last electric discharges. Stomach, liver, heart, lungs, intestines, pancreas and kidneys, she gets rid of everything she does not need. She unscrews the collarbones from the shoulder blades, separates the vertebrae, humerus, ulna and radius, femur, shin and fibula on both sides and at once the bearing structure comes down like an imploding building. She breathes in. Weakly, her blood drips down the side of the bed, trickles on the floor and the work is done.
She gladly massages the calluses of a day spent in an oppressing body, closes her eyes and breathes in a deep feeling of freedom that almost moves her. Unbound by a body, the energy is no longer constrained by biology and cheerfully expands in the emptiness. Thoughts stretch out and take shape, fill the space. The room has ceased to exist, yet it is still there, as the figurative outpost of a world that never existed in the first place. Finally disconnected from her own body, she ascends to a dimension in which nobody believes, but this isn’t relevant. She expands, contracts, becomes immense and then minuscule. She looks like a pulse which changes with every note. The surrounding world is no longer a victim of the five senses’ sick habit of trying to translate it into something predictable and measurable. The tangible becomes abstract, and objects become the very reflection of their perception. The complex fortress of logic and deductive thought crumbles, definitions reveal themselves to be little more than annoying labels to be cut, and names, oh! Names are but empty vessels. The bond between action and reaction breaks quietly, and every instinct, emotion or feeling can grow in harmony with itself, freed from the mediocre expectations of a corrupt civilisation. Willpower surrenders to the flattery of intuition, pain and pleasure embrace each other without shame, victory kneels at the feet of thousands of defeats, goals pay homage to each first, hard-fought step. Everything is both beginning and end, everything is scheduled, and yet has already been performed: past and future blend in a romantic waltz on the chords of a present which plays for them only. Ideas ripe with enthusiasm flow like swollen rivers in unexplored lands in which the seeds of independent expression feed off the remains of an ordinary that is stale and trivial. In this place that is nowhere, in this time that has always been, yet never was, life erupts in a manifestation unknown and compelling, alluring and inexorable. Here, life finds space, lymph. Here life destroys and creates itself.
A light illuminates the room. A rhythmic, urgent and nauseating sound breaks into the silence and calls persistently. The atmosphere is spoiled, a string screeches, the mind is called back to order from a now almost-unfamiliar place. But she can’t, and she doesn’t want to. She no longer feels herself in that body, lying dismissed and hidden, which ties her to the laws of everyday life. She is far, too far removed to go back where someone expects her to be.
I reach out to my phone and turn it off.
I beg your forgiveness, not today.