04 Aug
47094:10 Just How Many Dictator's Wives Do You See At Harrods In a Single Day?

Where she had once sprawled there’s now nothing left but a confused darkness and an abandoned space, like what you’d have to call an abandoned absence. She was making her way to her door, like a poem written in foreign and shaken to the core, and there’s the angry thought about dead and dying corpses by roads all over the world that she’s read about and seen and knows are real as useless conquests or thin layers of ice on oceans of chaos. The rain was now thick and fat. She wondered about the exoticism of America and its madness, and then about a zone of the world that had not had water for years where all the farmers in it had been forced into the cities without adequate images. This had torn the cities apart, had left all concerned with fucked principles that were grilled and obscene like cooked babies or some horror that erased memories. This was a morning for dictators, those drably banal, unconscious leaders who desperately flail around in the face of impossible chaos and absorb themselves in futility, overseeing the deaths of thousands , hurrying souls along to heaven , unwilling to let any fate slip away but rather taking care to push them off. Shortened destinies were peculiarly important, as if to miss even one would be proof of imminent disaster and cause that dark euphoria no one else could possibly understand unless also facing the demise of entire generations with perfect clarity and dryness. 

Wrong decisions marry others. It is an endless procession, where in dignity at first, there is a descent into madness and then that moment when everything has hurtled over a precipice, so to speak, and all that’s left to do is to wait in a terrifying falling stuckness for annihilation. 

'If the farmers had stayed on their land there would have been no civil war in Syria, for example,' she mutters to fathomless space, to confiding plagues that were taking everyone by surprise, which didn’t surprise her considering how everything – war, lynching, rape and catastrophes with oceans, heat, biospheres, and nuclear power - had been predicted. Everyone behaved as if they were really shocked and couldn’t believe what the fuck was happening. But none of it was surprising to anyone not indifferent to the world and open to the idea that the powerful lie . The rain is orange-coloured in the street lights like the end of the world or an unimaginable stellar catastrophe. She thought about the dictator Assad’s weirdly long, thick neck, as wide as his head, and his wife, a Londoner, who liked to shop at Harrods buying endless shoes, handbags, jewels and lived in the numbness of afternoon tea where her insominia was no better than endless sleeping and who saw the stolid goodness of the ordinary as a crushing accusation that in her deepest heart offended and outraged her. To find the real human requires getting used to the most inhuman seductions. No one talked about how the farmers had come to the cities looking for work and had to fight for a space with the others already there, a common enough story, one that repeated itself time and again and would never be something to be dismissed lightly because, after all, some things from the past can be helpful even if some other things aren’t. It’s always difficult however to follow the trail through to the bitter end. At some point the storyteller veers away. Most prefer significance to truth. Everyone thinks they deserve the shoes they actually have. Most succumb to virile irony.

Throngs in markets are both cruel and sad. They are the perfect antidote for standing still. To see clearly there has to be a point. Markets are where everyone else’s story jumbles up your own. It’s where we become masks on stilts and the temptation is to steal someone else’s. There is a sense of a tragedy here, the tragedy that knows the betrayer is inside you. The madding crowd reveals this as a contrast. The vast social sea does little more than test the limits of vanity. You sell out to whatever’s inside, not outside. Vanity and social control over whichever tiny particle of the crowd bothers you. Even if you stole someone else’s mask, you’d still have this unlovable betrayer inside you. That’s your enemy. Always was. Always will be. It’s not you but an archaic mythic brother or sister. They’ll devastate the kingdom. Your mutilation is their chance. Each climbing sorrow starts here. Each murder too. Egotism locks out the region of the heart that loves and usurps with lies. What we’re left with is the need, like hunger, to kill the usurper. Of course – she pulled her rueful face, a cross between mystery and hieroglyph – that’s the sort of killing that’s suicidal.


Read 47094 from the beginning here.

Read the complete novel  'The Ecstatic Silence' here.