Widerhall Meister

A friend, whom I shall call N., not a female friend this time, but, to his credit, a homosexual (i.e. we’re not erotically invested in our relationship), and black, poor and a Christian (all of which, being white, entitled, inveterately heterosexual, and a fanatical hater of religion, creeds and, generally, anything that isn’t proven fact or cannot be falsified, I merely mention to show off my humanity), this person, N., who I’ve let in on this blog, asked me yesterday, point blank: “Ding, can’t you write a single story which has a beginning and an end to overarch a plot?

N.,” I said, “most assuredly I canI’m a writer. A writer can do such things. But bear with me. First, I’m going to republish a short story. It is called Widerhall Meister. It’s the first that I got published. You may find it boring. You’re a man.”


Widerhall Meister

I wrote this because, at the time, you asked me to, rather imperatively as I’m sure you will remember. I think you meant it as therapy, although I knew even then you didn’t think I had a mind to deliberately ski into a ravine. I’m not much of a skier. Aiming for a ravine I might miss it. I started too late in life to allow for hope of becoming anywhere near accomplished.

___

I broke off less than halfway through the day yesterday, feeling cold and miserable. I returned to the hotel. I wrote, I read, I slept. I woke up feeling hungry. I went out. I’m in a little town, at a one and a half hour drive from the capital. I ordered a coffee and pastry in a bakery.  A section was fitted out as a café. A man walked into the shop. Our eyes locked. He walked up to my table. We had been travelling up the slopes in the same cable car this morning. I had been struck with the beauty of his face. His hair, I had noticed, was not thick. It would be very easy to comb through. But it was planted densely in places men are most worried about. It had occurred to me that he would probably not start losing his hair at the age most men do, if ever.
– I saw you in the cable car this morning.
A foreigner looks it. The signs may be subtle, but they are always multiple and unmistakable. Of course he would address me in English.
– Ich Sie auch. He smiled. He extended his hand. I shook it, careful not to press. Widerhall Meister, he said. The strangest of names.
– Dingenom Potter. Playfulness on my father’s part, the family name a given.
Sie waren mit einer Frau. Ihr Weib?
– Freundin, he said. Your German is good.
– I get by. You speak English well.
– I use it in my work often. Where did you pick up German?
– What work do you do?, I asked him, not allowing the moment for the obvious question to pass unused.
– Balls, he said.
– Balls?
– I dance at balls.
– You dance at balls?
– Professionally. I’m a professional ballroom dancer. I get paid to dance at balls, in the capital mainly.
– Who do you dance with?
– Women, obviously, ladies.”
– Women pay you to dance with them at balls?
– No, the organizer of a ball pays me. I appear as a guest. I invite ladies for a dance… ladies who look like they need a dancing partner… In fact, I am often the one to kick-start a ball, or prevent it from collapsing halfway, or to resurrect it. There have been instances when I was hurried into a car and taken to a ball at high speed, like an emergency doctor, to revive it. I dance in shows, too, sometimes. But they’re not my main line of business. I thought this over for a while. If I didn’t suspect him of engaging in anything unseemly I cannot deny I was rather disappointed.
– That is interesting. How does it involve you speaking English a lot? Even if he danced with English speaking ladies mostly, he surely would not dance with them every night, even during the ballroom season?
– Contracts and contacts are usually in English. I’m managed by an agency. They’re British. And, then, somehow, it’s mostly women visiting from abroad who find themselves stranded at balls they thought would be interesting to attend… as a tourist attraction… Balls are that in our capital, you know? Plus, I travel a lot. Would that be enough for an explanation? He smiled again.
– It seems I should have praised you for still having command of your native tongue.
– You just did. Thank you. So, your German? Where did you learn it, or how?
– Oh, nothing bohemian, I’m afraid. Junior high, books, visits, and love of language.
– Language? The language, German? Or languages? I had deliberately left out the article and yet not used the plural. If I was already impressed with the fluency of his English, I was quite surprised that this had not escaped his attention and that he had rightly surmised that I must have had a reason to express myself the way I had.
– No, not German in particular, or languages in general. I love language, not any particular tongue. Because I love language so much I want to make the most of what I have learned of a language, too.
– By extending and deepening what you’ve been taught of a language? I nodded. I was much too impatient to allow a question I could not have thrown in earlier to be brought at the risk of being interfered with by a further exchange on the topic.
– Widerhall Meister… is that your artist’s name?
– I’m not an artist… No, my parents gave me Widerhall as a first name. I don’t know why, or whose idea it was. It’s hardly likely they thought of it both at the same time. A smile had passed over his face again. It doesn’t run in my family; as a matter of fact, it’s not a first name that a research I carried out has established to have been given to anyone else, ever. I would have been much surprised if a result to the contrary should have turned up.
– But it must have occurred to you, surely, that the reason that name was given to you is because of its absolute beauty in combination with your family name? Absolute, I mean, as opposed to in relation to a meaning, motive or reason?
– You’re very kind. But the person growing up with a name is the last to whom the beauty of it might occur.
I liked his unimposing brightness. He would not easily allow mere words to force a conversation off the mooring of its substance.
– I am a tourist, you know?
– I do, now… I guessed as much before… Do you dance?
– Only if I would be stranded at a ball that sees you produced as a guest by your agency. Is there a ball you would recommend my getting stranded at?
My words having facetiously abstracted some of the information which our conversation had yielded, this could, to the embarrassment of neither of us, still pass off as a joke if he chose to blind-eye the obvious flirtation. I didn’t really care which direction my words would take me to. In my situation, I would resign to either.
– Don’t you agree that it would be very impolite of me to make a suggestion to you?
– For a ball?
– Oh, I would be honored to suggest a ball to you! I would just hate to advise you getting stranded at even the best.
– But if you would show up and save me from that predicament?
– I’m here now. I would rather prevent the predicament from occurring. He produced a pen, then took a coaster from the table, tore it to pieces and scribbled something on one of them. He handed it to me.
– For tomorrow night. An address and a time. If you wish. Don’t say. I will be there anyway.
My hand resting in the hand he had extended, his fingers folded over it, we said goodbye. He walked up to the counter, bought something and left. That night I danced with him. During our second dance I clasped my arm around his waist a little harder. Then I allowed my head to rest itself against his chest.

Widerhall Meister. Liebe Freundin, ich war sprachlos.

Eyes Not Open

I stopped using make-up three years ago. First, I stopped using facial creams, foundation and compact powder. No matter how reticently applied, they resulted in my face to start looking like a death mask as the day progressed. Then I stopped using eye make-up. The eye make-up began to accentuate the deadness of my eyes even as my eyes’ deadness increased. Then I stopped looking at myself in the mirror so as to avoid being incredulous and losing all hope. Then I stopped looking at other people so as to avoid seeing the shock of disgust in their eyes. Then I stopped seeing people, making friends, and speaking more than the situation strictly requires. I had stopped exposing myself to the risk of being taken pictures of quite some time before all that. I’m flaunting my body silently from a distance these days.

Wendy Sutter

On Sundays a decent woman buys fresh flowers, arranges the same in a vase she keeps for such things, and plays Wendy Sutter performing Philip Glass, Songs and Poems for Solo Cello, on her soundlink system.

After that, anything may happen. She (i) may mark up the direct agreement and guarantees sent for review, and then prepare Monday’s board meeting, and hate to have to be doing the one and the other. Or (ii) she may (if she hadn’t been overdoing it somewhat on Saturday and her clit were not all raw and sore), sneak up to her room and procure the Womanizer and Foxy to perform their team effort on herself. Or (iii) she may do the sensible thing, stretch out on the freshly made bed, start reading from any of the three novels sitting on her nightstand, doze off within 5 minutes, wake up healthy and invigorated 30 minutes later, and double back to option (ii).

American Made

Now for a very good film: American Made, featuring Tom Cruise. The film is based on a sequence of “real events”, reacquainting us in an incredibly funny fashion with hoodlums and douchebags such as Manuel Noriega, Pablo Escobar, Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush (“George W.”) and Oliver (“Ollie”) North, to name the best known crooks and numbskulls brought back to life. I hate films based on real life. I mentioned this in an earlier post. I stand by the position. But this is one of the exceptions. To except the film is warranted, because it is better than the historical events it takes for an excuse. History is re-scripted and re-sequenced, and, most of all, re-centered towards the main character, Barry Seal, played by Tom Cruise, who in fact never plays anyone but himself.

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5′ 10.8″

Tom Cruise is a very good actor. I stand 5.9 ft. Tom is therefore obviously too short for me (or I’m too tall for Tom’s perfect build; fine) to want to have sex with him (for the avoidance of doubt, Tom has never asked me to). But in movies his height doesn’t show, just that he is very handsome, very sexy, very, very funny and a very good actor. Tom Cruise is the kind of actor that makes even the action movies he stars in palatable, because he cannot but play tongue-in-cheek.

Do watch and sit out the closing credits of American Made. They’re among the best you are ever going to see.

Joaquin Phoenix

Ref. previous post, and earlier posts for this introductory para. I started with the Womanizer. I finished with the Foxy. Ladies are encouraged to emulate the sequence. I orgasmed like seldom before. At roughly USD 300 in machine investment, the orgasm was well worth the expenditure.

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Dress by Alberta Ferretti

I watched a movie, Joker, starring Joaquin Phoenix. I had never heard of him. He is very good. The film is not good. It’s very good in a superficial kind of way. There’s very good acting across the cast, which includes Robert de Niro as a supporting actor. But the film is over-the-top. The darkness of the general atmosphere is over-the-top. The eschatological theme is over-the-top. So is the narrative. But not the acting. Despite the intensity of the character played by Phoenix, there is no overacting. There are no takeaways from the film. Joker is a very intense bullshit movie, with a very good cast.

I searched for another movie with Phoenix. I came across You Were Never Really Here.

??

??

But I like Joaquin Phoenix a lot.

The Surrendered Wife And Sex (And Me)

It’s a Saturday in the country of my exile. I slept poorly. There had been a lot of noise outside, loud music, a boy slugging a girl (as I found reported in the building’s WhatsApp group this morning). It seems a call was made to 911 (it’s a different 3-digit number in the country of my exile; I don’t know the number). I’m not bothered by such things. I fall asleep within 15 minutes under any circumstance. And I often wake up three hours later, for no reason but what’s going on in my own head.

I did my errands. I paid a visit to my father. I found him in his room, slumped forward in his wheelchair, wide awake, forehead resting on the shelf of a bookcase. Drool from his mouth had gathered into a small puddle on the floor. He said he couldn’t straighten himself. I helped him sit up, but I couldn’t keep him straight and he doubled up again. I alerted personnel busy in the common area. They said it wasn’t their business. They said this wasn’t the kind of thing that they were around for. I proceeded to the nurses’ station. They looked in on my father. They called another nurse who measured my father’s blood pressure and took his temperature. They said they’d be back, but they weren’t. If people could kill with a mere heartfelt mental effort, or by indifference, we would be reduced to ten million in a matter of days, and extinct one week later.

Ding ironing

I’ve got work to do. I have to clean up the place. I’m not sure why or how, but cleaning makes me horny. Years ago I bought The Surrendered Wife by Laura Doyle with nought but prurience in mind. It’s by far the most idiotic book I’ve ever purchased. Turned out the author was a trifle too serious about her ‘woman as a subordinate being’ ideology to make the book a turn-on for a masochist like me. Anyway house-cleaning is a stimulus, and I have a feeling that the Womanizer Premium will be air-pulsing between my legs before I’ve finished a single room.

Are TV Shows For Old Fogies? – An Essay

Are TV shows for old people?

Yes, and for helots, and for the prematurely aged with shriveled up brains.

Is this true for just any TV show?

Afraid so, yes.

Really?

Yes.

A Rather Famous Writer’s Public Reading

On tour to promote her new novel, a rather famous writer gave a public reading in the country of my exile. I was in the audience. Questioned about literary criticism the rather famous writer posited that she only accepts criticism from those who have themselves ventured into the “arena”, i.e. have published work of their own.

This position is untenable for two reasons.

First, every reader is also a critic. One cannot read a novel and not form an opinion of it even as one reads. Why would the opinion of a critic be worth less if it is published as literary criticism? And should the private reader hold her own opinion of what she has read in contempt because, as ardent (and perhaps accomplished) as she may be as a reader, she does not have a talent for writing? In other words, would it be ill-advised for a reader to reflect on what she has read, since, in the rather famous writer’s view, she should distrust her reflections because she is not a writer? It would be the end of literature, of art in general, its essence (and its most gratifying aspect) being that it opens up one’s room to views, in the privacy of one’s own mind, on one’s life, that of certain others, on life in general.

Second, if only writers of literature were allowed to criticize literary works, would this not inevitably introduce a permanent state of bitterest conflict and bloodiest competition within the literary community? This demonstrates how sadly apt the rather famous writer’s arena metaphor is. Who, having a heart for literature, and art in general, can suffer the idea of their creators being pitted against each other as if they were gladiators in an arena?

I think the photo was taken by my daughter in the very charming Maison de Balzac, 16th arrondissement 47, Rue Raynouard, Paris (France). We happened upon it returning from the Bois de Boulogne. The photo shows me sitting at what was said to be Balzac’s writing desk. I was wearing glasses. I have stopped wearing glasses altogether. There’s quite a lot one can do without wearing glasses. E.g. one can forego looking at one’s reflection in a shop window.

The Artist

A career is a death trap. I ought to be drowning instead, swimming in the endless lake of composition. A life lived to its potential ends in the drifting away on one’s senseless musings, one’s unread writings, one’s unrequited love.

On an uncommonly bright and warm early-autumn day a friend of mine and I visited a Marlene Dumas retrospective at a museum in the capital of the country of my exile. I greatly admire my friend, who is a trained and exhibiting visual artist herself, not for her work though, which I have simply not seen enough of to warrant my forming an opinion on it, but for her power of judgment and distinction. It was she who acquainted me with the minimalist art of Dutch artist Jan Schoonhoven and others (mostly non-Dutch) commonly associated with the so-called Zero Movement. My favorable response to their work had encouraged my friend to suggest joint excursions to exhibitions or art events with greater frequency. Until then each of us had pretty much considered such affairs as pertaining to the privacy of her own predilection.

After we had seen the exhibition my friend suggested that we walk across the park to another museum (as renowned as the museum with the Dumas retrospective) and pass by an exhibition of sculptural art by the American artist-engineer Alexander Calder (1898-1976), which for the main part unfolded in that museum’s freely accessible gardens and for a smaller part in its newly built atrium, before the toll gates, i.e. free of charge as well.

Once in the gardens we first sauntered by a number of standing mobiles. My friend elaborated on the layout of the gardens and pointed to the patches of lawn which could be uprooted for specific purposes and turned back to virgin lawn in a matter of days. When we got to the next segment of the gardens, exhibiting stationary sculptures (“stabiles”), my friend said: “And now on to my favorite.” It was at this juncture that she volunteered that she was all but partial to the standing mobiles, the loose (“mobile”) elements in her opinion having a minifying effect on overall structure, subverting it. This was typical for my friend. She would explain what she liked and captured her interest, and simply not comment on things she disliked, or not bring those up until an occasion presented itself where comment was apposite. Her tepid reaction to the standing mobiles echoed what I felt about them, and not just aesthetically; in those days a lot seemed to have become unhinged within me. My senses could well dispense with the jading stimulus of stout structures impaired by dangling elements. If anything, I needed stabiles! I had kept my feelings to myself though, immensely enjoying the stroll and very much inclined to be over- or underwhelmed, as the case might be, by whatever we would run into.

My friend’s proclaimed “favorite” was Le Tamanoir (the anteater), which struck a note with me, too, that note being the impression it gave of unfettered massiveness and unquestionable presence, played down, as if effortlessly, to elegance of form (the particular form of this sculpture) and of balance, a balance, however, not precarious but sturdy. Other stabiles equally appealed, and for similar reasons, to my aestheticism. We left the gardens and entered the museum’s magnificent atrium. Here we found a reduced-size, if still quite sizable, version of the 60-ton Homage to Jerusalem on Mount Herzl, Israel. This stabile, which we observed for a while from a raised partition of the atrium, then, having descended to the floor it was standing on, circled a few times, and finally (rather uselessly) sallied right into, is – well, beautiful, and as we left the museum to head back in the direction of the former museum I carried inside me the reddish-and-burnt-orange glow of the warming and comforting bulk of Homage to Jerusalem.

On our way to the Calder exhibition, engrossed in the inconsistent rippling of my D&G S/S 14 polka dot skirt (fitted through the thighs and knees, but flouncing at the calves), I had nearly bumped into a golden statue standing right in the middle of the walkway. My friend jerked me back by my arm just in time or I might have knocked it clean off its base. The statue was a man of flesh and blood, a living statue – a standing mobile! Everything of him, his face, his hands, and on him, his attire, the palette and brush he was holding, was painted in gold. Even his hair, if most likely a wig affixed to his plumed hat, gold painted of course, was golden. This man, as I immediately grasped, intended to impersonate a Dutch/Flemish painter in the so-called Golden Age, or, rather, the statue of such a painter. I think, more specifically, that the reference was to Rembrandt, the gold paint again being a giveaway (how smart, too!).

To my enormous relief the artist showed far greater liberty with his self-imposed role than is often seen in living statues, whose rigorous rigor seldom failed to revive in me the memory of various obsessive-compulsive disorders I had suffered from as a young girl. This was a personable living statue! He leaned over to us from his pedestal and asked, rhetorically I should say (I was carrying a transparent signature bag of the museum through which a catalogue I had bought was visible), if we had visited the Dumas retrospective. My friend confirmed this and added that we were on our way to the Calder exhibition at the museum across the park. The latter piece of information he acknowledged, appeared to vet even, with a slight nod.

Unsure whether it was quite comme-il-faut to address a living statue I didn’t say a word, but merely smiled at him. He smiled back, doffed his hat, and made obeisance. One has to be careful with a face thickly smeared with gold paint, but I found myself very much warmed to his smile, his traits, and his gallantry. I chose to ignore the modest bowl at his feet. The truth is I felt awkward at the idea of giving this peddler of personal statuesque qualities his meed. I think I felt it would be condescending, almost a debasement (even if I were to use the gold-color coins which were plentiful among the country of my exile’s legal tender) – and one doesn’t want to debase a statue.

As we turned to continue our way I muttered something about perhaps having to have given the artist his due, which my friend met with that sibylline smile of hers which I always thought of as indicating that she wished one to come to one’s own conclusion. But if I had, and if it would have been favorable to the artist, it was useless, because we had moved on and to return would definitely be impossible. Yet, I turned my head and saw that the man-statue had turned his head too and smiled at me, and made obeisance, despite the risk of marring his act (and, by implication, all he had for a business case) with other strollers approaching him in our wake. This living statue was as unstinting as it was personable.

We followed the same path back to the museum where we had started our cultural jaunt. And, sure enough, there he was again, the living statue, the artist, the golden Rembrandt, right in the middle of the walkway! My friend nudged me and said “Now make up for it!”, and I took out my wallet, culled out all gold colored coins and dropped them in the bowl. The artist smiled at me and made obeisance. I didn’t know what to say. We walked on. When I felt we were at a remove which for any gold paint in the world we would not go back on I turned my head. I could still see his golden face gather into a handsome smile and his body then fold into a courtly bow.

Back On!

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Ding, you corporate bitch!

Turned out there was a slight misunderstanding between the company and me. They meant to appoint me to the board. I’ve withdrawn the resignation and accepted the position: CLO, Chief Legal Officer. In the C-suite, at last. In a tech company. Another one down, ladies, or should I say up.

I called my friend to break the news. And before she could say so much as Not you again! (and possibly worse), I told her that I’m on the Board now. “Well played!“, she said.

She’s a tough cookie, my friend on Union Square. But I hadn’t been playing anything or anyone. I had rather passed through the eye of a needle.

A Note On The Perfect Bond

The Perfect Bond is based on as much fact, emotion and fiction as a story requires and tolerates. I’m in love with it for the way it carries me back to a certain dream, and a certain summer’s day when I had tea with a friend in the sprawling gardens of the seaside mansion where I lived with my two children. My husband had died about a year ago. It was the worst death that I had ever experienced to happen to someone. Because it broke me.

Yes, I could still outline the dreamt face on paper if I wanted to. I wasn’t 22 in the photo that I posted with the story. That photo dates back to the time which the story at the beginning of the second part (this being its mild peripeteia) reveals to be the actual time (in the story’s setting) all along. I estimate this to be about six years ago, 2014/2015. This is one of the photos when sorrow and pain had set in but hope still doggedly pushed back on decline and decay. This must have been when I had just come out of the shower. I wasn’t wearing make-up. A woman can dispense with make-up when she has just stepped out of the shower. The molten flesh on the face hardly shows.

The Perfect Bond

The first time I met him was in a dream. He was standing near the back door, preparing to leave. My dream suggested I had met him earlier at the party which served it as a backdrop.
The man was in casual dress, wearing a light-colored jacket with a faint check pattern, no tie. He would be in his late thirties. His hair was blond, his head balding. He had a short-trimmed beard on a smooth, well-groomed face. He was of medium length, slim, well-proportioned. He was homeless. He said he was going to look for a place to sleep, under a bridge, in a street, a shelter maybe. He was beautiful. He was clean and fresh. Only a dream, in mere seconds, can hand you other facts which an entire life does not suffice to establish: his soul was untainted; capacity for evil, dishonesty or dissimulation he did not possess; he was unambiguous; he was safe for me.
Taken with a deep love for him, which the dream suggested had announced itself earlier during the party, I kissed him. I kissed him once, on his right cheek. His perfection made my kiss the purest act, an act of purest love. A kiss more chaste, no one, dreaming or awake, may ever have given. Oh, I felt the giving of it was fundamental and in giving it I felt my being pour out in my love for him, so that nothing was left of me but the love I had given him.
I wanted to explain how ridiculous the idea of his going out on the streets was, that surely I could find a solution. That is where my dream ended. This man, whose face I could have drawn on a sheet of paper, his pureness and the pureness of my love for him, my kissing him, it all felt so real that, awake, I just could not, did not want to, believe that he was not with me.

– The second time we met, I said to my friend of recent times with whom I was having afternoon tea in the splendid gardens around my house,
– Ah, give me a break! she half-laughingly cut in.
– and every next time, I continued unperturbed, was in my recollection of that dream. I remember him as he was in my dream. Remembering his dreamt image, I feel love for him as I had felt love for him in my dream. The image of him does not fade. The feeling of love does not wear off. The enduring image and the feeling that comes with it, they are not a dream.
– How long ago did you have the dream?
– I was 22.
– I don’t believe you!
– Wait, I said, I’ll not be ten minutes. I walked up to the house. Inside I collected a sketchbook, a soft pencil, chalk, charcoal.
– I have done this so often, I murmured sitting down with my friend again. Less than 10 minutes later I showed her the drawing.
She looked at it uncommenting.
– I only started doing these sketches after his decease. I never told him of the dream of course.
– How could you suffer such love and love your husband?
– I couldn’t. I used him as a vessel in which I poured out my love for the dreamt and never-forgotten image. Never has a woman filled a man’s life with truer love. Never has a man been made to feel deeper love. It didn´t matter what created the love, whether to me, knowing, or to him, blind to it. That is the essence of its purity.

My eyes went out over the gardens stretching out before us. The slightest haze had intervened to soften the brilliant sun’s hold on the land.

– Our marriage was perfect.

Nancy Huston, Nelly Arcan (and a Katie Ward Footnote)

In her study “Reflets dans un oeil d’homme” (recommended reading) the Canadian writer Nancy Huston quotes Nelly Arcan (alias for Isabelle Fortier), who wrote “Je pourrais vous décrire la beauté du monde si je savais la voir, raconter comment la foi et le courage peuvent venir à bout des plus grands malheurs, mais je suis trop occupée à mourir. Il faut aller droit à l’essentiel, à ce qui me tue.” (Nelly Arcan, Putain, a fictionalized autobiography that I have not read, so I will not add a picture of the book cover). Arcan took her own life. I have been there, the constant preoccupation with “what is killing me[1] not just day in day out, but every minute of every day, for years and years. As Arcan represents in those two powerful, inimitable sentences cited above, it drains one not just of the energy, not just of the inspiration and creativity, but of the very time to celebrate, to encourage, to thank, to gratify, to praise, to welcome.

For now, I’m a woman writing.[2] And the writing, specially the multifariousness of the aspects of me and my frenzy, of what I observe, experience and reason about, shall document not the beauty of life, if I were capable of discerning that, but that there is nothing but life.

[1] Non-authenticated English translation.

[2] A reverential take on Girl Reading by Katie Ward http://www.katieward.co.uk/?page_id=44 The Woman Writing concept just got stuck in my head since I read that novel shortly after it was published I think about ten years ago.


Adult Conversation

Many years ago I dined out with my daughter, who was 12 years old at the time. My children and I have been dining out a lot, since when they were quite young. But at this occasion I suddenly found myself in an adult conversation with her for the first time. This must explain why I had kept notes, which this post is based on. The photo, by the way, is not of my daughter. It’s me in the diner we were at. It was taken before my eyes started to lose their sparkle. This was some years before they started to die. I was wearing my hair shorter then. Now it drops all the way to the small of my back.

My daughter broached the subject of reincarnation, which she said she liked to believe in. Oh, there are so many things I like to believe in, I said (leaving open whether reincarnation was among them). But to actually believe in something is a different thing altogether. You can believe in a person’s goodness, her wisdom, her sense of responsibility. It means you have reason to assume she is good, or wise, or responsible. You can believe a person telling you a story. It means you have reasons to believe the story, or that you are willing to accept its veracity, let’s say because you trust that person, or because whether or not the story is true is irrelevant to you. You can even believe in a theory, on the ground (subject to falsification) that, in your estimation, the indications that it is correct outweigh indications that it is false. But believing as an act of faith is destructive. Every religion, every creed, every penchant for the super- or preternatural, is horribly nihilistic in its contempt of reason and human potential, its contempt of humanity.

We went on to talk about the importance of Popper’s falsification principle, the hilarious if rather abundant argumentation Dawkins stacks up in The God Delusion to refute the existence of a god or other such ‘higher entities’, Darwin’s evolution theory, the Alma Witthaker character in the Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert, and Gilbert’ s elegant playfulness in dealing with 19th century natural science.

We had a pleasant time and a very good 3-course dinner. My notes said it set me back $ 135.

Interview With Bob Mould

I listen to Bob Mould a lot. Everything written and/or performed by him or the bands he fronted (Hüsker Dü and Sugar) was on my iPod. Now it’s in a Spotify playlist named “All Bob“. I met Bob in New York. He’ll tell you no if you’d ask him. He’ll tell you he has never heard of me. So what? If it is true we never met, you bet he wished that we had. Anyway, this is my conversation with Bob, to whom I had introduced myself as Dingenom, which he forthwith pared back to Ding (only intimate friends use that!).

– Bob, do you believe me when I tell you that I have been playing Again and Again again and again and again, and yet again? That I’ve had it on repeat for an entire day once?
– You like the song.
– I do, Bob. I like it tremendously. This may be the best song ever written in pop music.
– Ding, do you know that I’m gay?
– I do, Bob. Why mention it? Because I look at you so longingly? It’s true, I’m a little disappointed. I read about your sexual orientation right after I had blogged that I liked you so much with the beard and the spectacles. You look so on top, so good-natured and so wise on the cover of District Line. That photo made me fall right in love with you. I mean you, Bob. Your music I had fallen in love with the first time I heard it on the radio, a long time ago, a Hüsker Dü song. I think I recall it was a track from Warehouse: Songs and Stories. So many times I have imagined myself in your arms, Bob…

– I once woke up from a dream where we had wonderful sex. I mean safe, Bob. I mean where I felt warm and safe and protected. It’s only feeling safe and protected that I get off on. I woke up on the verge of an orgasm. The longing to be back with you, in the dream, was liable to keep me awake through what remained of the night, a considerable part of the night still, Bob. That could only be resolved by finishing the job. If you get me. (Bob nodded understandingly). Are you quite positive that you’re gay? Are you sure you want to be gay?

– ?

– It’s a thing, Ding. Don’t you like gay people?
– Or course not! Straight people either. One cannot go about just liking ‘people’! Don’t you like me? I have been listening to everything you did since I was 18. The Girl on Heaven Hill is a Hüsker Dü favorite of mine.
– Ah, yes, The Girl on Heaven Hill.
– And Hoover Dam.
– That was Sugar.
– Did I say it wasn’t? Of course it was Sugar. I know my classics. Life and Times; there goes another one. A classic I mean.
– I can make it with a girl though.
– Gosh, Bob, I’m sorry if I gave you the wrong impression, but this interview is about your music, not sex. Why did you flaunt your one time association with Nirvana? They may have become more famous than you, but artistically they cannot stand in your shadow, or Hüsker Dü’s for that matter, or Sugar’s. In fact, they were rather middle of the road. Can you imagine them doing a song like Egøverride?
– You mean the references to Nirvana in the booklet that came with Silver Age? Oh, I think it was an idea of the commercial people.
– You ought not to have had let them do it to you, Bob. You are very much your own man. That is one of the things I like about you.
– What other things do you like about me?
– You caught me out, Bob! I don’t know anything about you. Everything I feel or think about you is the fruit of my imagination. Some will say this very conversation is!
– Well, how long have you got, Ding?
– How long do you want me to have, Bob?
– As long as I want you deep.
– Is that an innuendo?
– No, it’s the title of a song.
– I don’t know that song.
– It just came to my mind.
– You mean the song, or just the title?
– Both.

He played the outline of the song on one of the acoustic guitars in the room, humming along with it. That song will be on Bob’s next album. I’m not sure about the title though, which sounded like bad English to me. I mean, it’s all true of course, but you might just not recognize that song.

Things Past

A while back I had lunch with someone I am too close with to call her an acquaintance, but far from close enough to call her a friend. The lunch was at an upscale restaurant that she had suggested. This was in the country of my exile, her country of birth. We were seated next to a group of about ten people, gathered around a large table. Lawyers, I would have guessed, had someone asked me to. After all, I had been one myself. A very handsome man seemed to be presiding over the get-together. He threw side glances at me. I was wearing pants by Maison Martin Margiela (now called Maison Margiela, the unique quality of its fashion, following the appointment, at the time, of Gallinano as creative designer, having suffered a far greater reduction than the one third that the brand name conceded in number of words), a Dolce Gabbana embossed sweater, Michael Kors pumps. I wore my hair in a bun. I had not slept too poorly and my make-up had turned out well. Back then suicide of the calculated kind was on my mind constantly. I mentioned to my table companion that the situation was such that the rational option would be to off myself. The topic threw her. She left. I footed the bill. I drew $ 225 on my AMEX Gold. The table next to us had been vacated about an hour ago.

This may have been years ago. The photos in this post are from back then. I was living in a 2.7 mil mansion. I’m much stronger now, and my wealth is in a good place. The face has deteriorated, and the eyes’ deadness, spreading like a black fungus infection, grown more profound.

The Pleasure Tools Have Arrived

Well, my lady friends, the Womanizer Premium and the Foxy arrived today in a prettily wrapped box with some complimentary extras. Ignoring latter items I immediately set the pleasure tools charging on the countertop right next to the table where I was hammering away on two laptops, the one displaying some energy draining legal document I was meant to be working on, the other showing my investment portfolio, the managing of which I was devoting most of my time and acuteness of mind to. Three hours later I absconded to an upstairs bathroom, clutching the foxy little lilac Foxy vibrator in my slightly damp hands. The cats, if nonplussed by my dreamstate eraticness, related to what was going on at the level of animal instinct that they felt, as per cat’s perspective, I had risen to. Anyway, I put the newly charged Foxy to work on the inside and the outside of me (yes, gentlemen, the clit is on the outside. No need to go in all the way to find it). It delivered in mere minutes.

I will report on the Womanizer Premium a next time. It is presently still sitting on the countertop downstairs. Given its design I’m confident that someone visiting me unexpectedly will be none the wiser if I tell them it’s the newest in ear thermometers.

Lessons Learned

Forced by events to give a lot of thought to life – and I mean a lot – I think I have some first takeaways to share.

1. By definition, one is one’s own, hence anyone else’s, mistress (@males: fine, master).

2. Death doesn’t happen to one; it only happens to others.

3. There’s only life; the dead cannot be mourned, revered or bid farewell to – they don’t exist.

4. One cannot grieve but for oneself; collective grieving is spurious.

5. The purpose of our existence cannot possibly be to procure a better future for our children; if it were, what in the name of heaven would our children’s life’s purpose be?

6. Reasons never run out; just stop arguing, and deal with it.

7. For those who do not sleep very well: there are mental buttons to press (I have found two).

8. No, we do not have hidden superpowers in our brains waiting to be uncovered (the famous 90-odd percent or so of unused brain capacity); it simply wouldn’t make any sense from an evolutionary point of view.

The list, even if it is work in progress, may strike one as disappointingly short, coarse and shallow. I’m sorry to have to be so blunt and unwavering about some of the issues on it.

My sincerest apologies.

Note To Blog

People I share this blog with have asked me how a self-proclaimed lunatic can boast (i) a successful career in law, (ii) being in the management of a company and (iii) having the resources to make substantial investments and buy expensive cars. Well, I can separate doing my job and succumbing to the Sirenic call of my liberating madness. Not always, however, which accounts for the astonishing and spectacular turns of my life. In general, people’s lives collapse onto themselves, thicken, become more and more impenetrable, even as time progresses and the world around them evolves. Then they sink, and they die. People try not to, but that is what happens to them. I, on the contrary, cannot get my own life to gain weight on me, and, displacing time and circumstance, wedge itself snug and secure (and lethal). I’m nothing if not sea foam that the little mermaid turns into after her own lifechanging acts of madness. I’m that featherweight of a person.

The Handsomest Movie Man

I have to add this: the handsomest man I can think of is the actor Denzel Washington. If Denzel in real life were a mere 10% of the man on screen, which most likely he isn’t, I would give my left arm (if that wouldn’t make me a turnoff) just to know being caught in the corner of his eye. It’s a shame and a sorry waste of time to have to watch so many boring and incomprehensible formula action movies (Safe House is the latest I had to sit through) to drool over his face, his body, and the all but absent inflections of his voice…

Things to blog off one’s chest

I’m pretty content with having a blog going again. It helps one to get one’s mind off things. It helps to focus on the things that matter.

One’s Father

Take my father. He’s 96. He’s in a care home in the country of my exile. I got him in there, moved him from the one side of the country to the other, near to me, where he wanted to be, rather than near to my elder brother (whom he likes) and (particularly) my eldest sister (whom he hates as much as she hates him). His mind is doing alright. His musculature isn’t and that includes the parts he needs for speech. I go to him every weekend, on Saturday and on Sunday. I help him urinate. I watch horrible right-wing TV shows with him (I would write him down right of center), volume way up. I wipe his mouth. I clean his electric shaver (thank heavens one can tap-rinse these things nowadays). I read the financial paper or a book or do some work on my laptop, as he nods off with the TV show blasting full throttle.

They have a care home physician of course. They are always trainees or something, or former substance-abusing doctors being reintegrated into the profession for all I know. No one does this for a permanent calling; I wouldn’t, and I’m an upstanding human being, a woman no less. The latest croaker in the fast-moving line of succession called me last week. He mentioned something about my Dad’s mental capacity. He sounded offensive about it, aggressive even. This man was being aggressive even before I would have thought of saying anything in my father’s defense. This accusatory medico wanted to lay down the law on my father and on me, even before we had time to put in a word of remonstration that he was old and, yes, needy, a bastard occasionally, but mentally fighting fit. And I thought, if you hate old people so much as to be aggressive in advance in discussing anything about them with their folk, then just POQ and leave said folk to take care of their own.

Artificial Intelligence. Stupid, Really

Who hasn’t noticed that AI is artificial, yes, very much so, but seldom intelligent, far from? It’s because its root algorithms have to originate someplace, and more often than not that is in the flaccid minds of uninteresting and unimaginative people, lacking laterality. I’m a big fan of Sheryl Crow. That’s not just because she wrote and performs Soak Up The Sun. It’s because I have the impossible sexual fantasy of being a woman as beautiful and acccomplished as Sheryl Crow, singing Sweet Child O’ Mine and being fucked while at it or promptly after it. This is very much the fantasy of a troubled mind. Contrary to what Spotify AI seems to think, loving Sheryl Crow does not mean that I’m an old fogey doting on 90s pop, Alanis Morissette, John Mellencamp, and Carole King. In this very specific case it just means that I’m a lunatic. My madness aside I always only want what’s newest or what I get off on. And yes, there’s some old stuff I get off on. I get off on The Girl Who Lives on Heaven Hill by Hüsker Dü, and on a live version of Twist And Shout by the Beatles, with their young boys’ voices crushed by the uninterrupted screaming of even younger women. I orgasm spontaneously on that.

AI refuses to factor in madness. If it started doing that, they would kill it.

Masturbate Don’t Degradate

Many women’s series are quite open about female masturbation. Fleabag, Grace & Frankie, The Bold Type, to name a few. When I masturbate I take the male perspective to look at myself as a woman and what I would do to myself. I doubt that men when they jerk off picture themselves as a woman and fantasize about what they would have themselves being done to by themselves. They’d risk instant impotence. Men are alien to me. A good and solid man is warm and reassuring though. I need the stubble. Just writing this I get very horny. I immediately order a deluxe air pressure clit stimulator online, the Womanizer Premium. It has autopilot capability. I throw in a sweet little purse vibrator, with a good press, the Foxy. They come with chargers. I like new things, I like innovation. Even my seat-heated bidet toilets are on an app. I’m panicky about degradation. I think that’s why I avoid non-rechargeable battery powered appliances as much as I can.

WordPress vs. WordPress

Quite some years ago I had a blog on WordPress. It was called WordPress then (spelled here with a capital “W” and lower cast “p”, which doesn’t show on the public version of this blog; kind of the point I’m making, isn’t it), but Word now punishes use of that name with the hateful squiggly red line – Evil Five do not accept random spelling of brands; they’re invested. As a lawyer I can appreciate that, but part of the way only. At least 50 percent of me is not a lawyer but an outcast, a woman, a writer, a rebel, a misfit, a volcano. All of these hate it for the remainder of the way.

Anyway, I killed the blog. I unsubscribed. I thought I didn’t need writing daily blogs any longer. I’ve kept the content somewhere, in the Cloud I mean. I cannot find it presently but I re-read some of it a couple of months back, little over a year perhaps. The content must still be there. Some of the posts were quite nice. Anyway, my point is, WordPress has become so commercial! I paid USD 96 on AMEX and then another USD 22 on AMEX, which, even though there’s two mil sitting in investments and a 60k balance dispersed in various accounts, I have asked their “engineer” a question about, because I’m totally in the dark here. And even if I’ve always been very good with computers and stuff (I have an Apple smartphone and an Android smartphone and two laptops and every home appliance is connected to WIFI and apps, as applicable, and I thumb all my texts), I don’t really understand WordPress. I don’t know what I’m doing. I don’t even know what people get to see or do not see.

Let’s wait and see what the engineer will answer to my queries.

I do structuring of renewable energy projects. I do bond loans, shareholder agreements. I do FIDIC contracts, project finance. What not. I’m a very commercial person. But I would have preferred being Alice Munro, or Susan Sontag, without the cig, writing The Benefactor.

Laurel & Hardy

I watched the 2019 British movie Stan & Ollie on Amazon Prime tonight. I had seen a small part of it inflight on a trip to NYC. Crew preparing for landing I was forced to abort it. I thought if only I can trace the movie and see the rest of it when I’m back home in the country of my exile. Well, tonight I did, almost two years later. I cried after it had ended. Crying when one is alone is unnatural. That’s how alone I am. Not lonely though. Crying is a social thing. One cannot take crying people too seriously. People crying unseen, unheard, and not feeling sorry for themselves, now that is serious. I had planned to stay in NYC for three weeks. My mother died unexpectedly. I flew out after a week.

Being in management

I think this was in moma NYC. May have been Guggenheim though. It was a special exhibition anyway. Topfloor, that much I’m certain of. And I think this was an Armani piece, or YSL; Armani most likely. Anyway, it’s gorgeous. Even a man would see that – and men are extremely imperceptive. I think I remember it was designed in the Sixties, but Seventies seems more likely. I would wear this suit at any time in any year of any era. I have a lot of pant suits. I have a slew of skirt suits. I have impossible amounts of designer clothing. I’m a sucker for couture. It’s one of my many weaknesses, or should I say vices. I would never hurt anyone. I hate people who do, or don’t care. These are my sole good streaks, and that I love children, mine included, and that I do not want anything bad to befall them, ever. I am a failure at everything else.

I shared that picture in my company’s grapevine app. The company does wind energy projects. Sent it with the caption ‘Considerable effort notwithstanding not seen any wind mills’. Just the picture and those words. Not the kind of humor to waste on my dear colleagues. Someone replied: ‘I think you mean wind turbines’.

They are the people I’m supposed to manage. They evidence superb humor at table soccer though. They don’t allow me to partake. I used to be very good at table soccer.