An excerpt from my Autobiography “BETWEEN TWO LINES” (Book within the BOOK): I feel strangled, suffocated, erotically aroused and attracted, disgusted.

 

BETWEEN TWO LINES

CHAPTER 84

GERALD THOMAS

A child divided up into loving days

By being of a small stature, you’re closer to the asphalt and notice the texture caused by car tires’ sudden breaks and little defects, such as tiny holes and imperfections. You are simply fascinated by the fragility of things, all things, things in general, by the weight of buildings, by the alignment of lampposts and all lights at all and, even, by trees. Yes, this immenseness of things does frighten you while you’re cross- ing the street. You’re frightened of the universe and how huge it is, how organized it is and how you might lose it all. But how? What’s worse, you don’t have “how to say it.” You simply feel all of this, but don’t know “how to say it.” And as you’re about the rehearse a ques- tion, you receive no answer that satisfies you, it does seem as though you don’t feel well, or at least not as well as the others seem to feel.

Maybe this has to do with the paleness or whiteness of your skin or the language spoken at home which makes you feel different from all other. Yes, people pass you by, while crossing the street and, seem happily talkative, singing, even screaming at times – all these to which you aspire but have no idea how, or even understand why. So, you take all this in, as if it were smoke from Pluto or some other world, swallow or inhale as if it were some vegetation from Jupiter. Yes, of course: you do understand every word they say. But you cannot put them together as you can in your own language, so you listen but it all seems as if these words are understood as symbolic sounds of a distant music which creates shapes in you mind.

Does this make any sense? Does it?

All of them seem to know the tapping to the dance, the beat, but you look at it all geometrically and float. Yes, they seem to fracture even further who you are by the eyeglasses they planted on your face. They don’t understand what you saw. They all look at you and tell you something in a language you simply cannot follow. Yes, and the glasses fracturing the images of what is seen in this torrid cli- mate! Sometimes ice cold inside to the shiver of a bone chill. It’s all so clear that you fail to see, such is the incidence and the intensity of LIGHT, or SUCH is the DARKNESS that not even merely using your touch or touching the walls would help, since all the angles are right angles, all degree angles, all done with such improbable perfection that…! You’re still halfway through crossing the street holding your mother by the hand.

And continuing the walk across you notice a tiny bird, a tiny dead bird, already dry, all bones and feathers, probably run over by a car and imprinted into the asphalt, smashed right into the asphalt with the tire marks quite visible still. You get the chills in your belly, a spooky image that was. One of those chills that climbs up your leg all the way to an area you cannot describe but all you feel upon seeing all that is the need to SCREAM. No, what you feel is not normal. It’s as if the spirit of that bird was still alive waiting to jump right into you or onto you. And kill you over and over with a sensation of terror. Its tiny little dry face is somewhat still recognizable and your eyes are fixed on his. Finally, you reach the other side of the street (the side- walk seems a relief to you), and you see a scene that you’ve been see- ing and longing to see again: it’s a scene which leaves you confused, a mess: people lining up, queuing up in order to buy pastries which are not within their reach. Divided by a glass partition, you see these people exchanging money for these pastries, which are put in paper bags by uniformed maids. Yet, whilst looking through the store win- dow, you make an incredible discovery! A discovery that frightens you terribly. You notice an old bag lady, a homeless lady, an old bum, with her breast showing and her son on her lap.

You feel strangled, suffocated, erotically aroused and attracted, disgusted… because you’ve realized that you were able to see her without her seeing you. She lives in some kind of soliloquy, a repeti- tive and endless monologue and longings, like all crazy people laugh while sitting in the street, in the filth, in their stench, away from our world of perfection. Dirty and with a crust built around her, her son hanging by her neck, the only thing you notice is her breast, her huge black breast, her nipple, her son – your age – the chill in your stomach, the comfort of holding your mother’s hand and a sense of profound sadness. This may have been the first day in your life when sadness has played such a role, coming from the outside world, no relation- ship to your toys, your vegetable soup or a scolding from your parents.

You and your mother adopt a faster pace but still the images don’t disappear from your head. You have questions; yet, have no way of asking them. You walk for another two or three blocks, but as of that moment you don’t notice the street and its details any longer and nothing distracts you – no people, their expressions, nothing, you’ve suddenly become an introvert and look hypnotically at the same of street textures without giving a damn. All you can think about is that old woman with her breast apparent and apparent nipple and hanging son and the little corner of the world she has found for her- self right in the middle of the crosswalk – where she is invisible and ignored right there, by the footstep of where people line up to stuff themselves with fat and sugar and creamy pastries, she sits in a pool of filth, erotically ignored.

And that huge breast, that extraordinary breast, juicy, wrinkled but with a firm hard nipple! Something has happened to you. You’ve become a ball of fire. To call it fear would be to undermine it. To call it repugnant would be to subvert it. You were feeling blinded by the extraordinary noise of the emotional cards playing in your imagina- tion and the scorching heat of the sun, the sweat, your loneliness. What would all that be in your solitude? Your solitude, yes. There was no doubt.

You were falling in … LOVE.

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