Saturday, December 20, 2008

Mythological pornography

So it was a vampire who waited outside in the cold and the snow for me. But I wouldn't go to him, I wouldn't answer his siren song. I knew better than that. I knew his kiss would awaken the dark forces inside of me, the forces of lust and desire. It really wasn't even a struggle, I just said, no thanks, not tonight, and so he left. He spread his vampire wings and he flew away. That was the end of the dream. But not the end of the story. Because back inside of my warm apartment, now lit up with Christmas lights, I had other work to do. I had to finish the story I started about the professor who sought his Eurydice in a strip joint and found her, or at least this is what he thinks. He descends further and further beneath the bowels of the earth, chasing after the ideal woman. He's still there. He's still convinced he can find her. I won't disabuse him of this notion, but I can talk about his struggle.

He's looking for a pin-up, a luscious femme, an avatar that only exists in his head. He's looking for the myth of the perfect woman--- but does she exist? I contemplated this question as I cooked up dinner for the little white goddess. In my kitchen with the music playing, I realized that he is a bastardized version of Orpheus. And this is where men and women get hurt. Because we see the myth of each other, but not the reality. We don't see the individual but the archetype. And its hard work maintaining this illusion, but for awhile we really do try to make it work. She cooks and cleans and combs her long lustrous hair. He buys her perfume and roses, she rolls his socks out of the dryer. He is a good provider and his shoulders are strong and his hands are capable. They laugh at the sterile relationships of their parents and swear they will never end up like that, but they do. It happens when they least suspect it.

It happens one night when both of them are snug and cozy on the couch together watching a movie. She smiles sweetly at him, but inside she is railing over the fact that love making has become a ritual, a choreographed dance of their bodies, that has now become stale and boring. She has asked for more kissing, more touching, more foreplay. She has asked for conversation, emotional intimacy. She no longer wants to play the "girl" in the psycho-drama of their marriage, and he no longer wants to be the knight in shining armor, because now he feels trapped. Now he sees other woman on the street and he thinks; with her I can be transformed, I can remake my manhood in her arms. She won't see the imperfect creature I really am, he is terrified he is not the man he thought he was, he is terrified his wife now knows this. And it can't continue.

The male point of view is what I have captured in my short story, The Dancing Girl. Because the professor is convinced he has found the perfect woman, but what he has really found is just another version of the archetype. It may be laughable to imagine that this woman could be found in a strip club, but why not? Men seek this in magazines, in movies, online and expect to find a version of this in real life. So do women for that matter. But I am not talking about her story right now, I am talking about his story. His Eurydice is pure performance, all woman, her tits and her ass and her legs. Her glistening sex. Go right to the source, forget the wedding gown, and the flowers and the gifts, the box of designer chocolates on the designated holidays. Forget all that. What he really seeks doesn't exist. And what she seeks also doesn't exist.

But we still try to make it work. I want to live in a world where I am not identified with this archetype. Yes, I can be soft and pliant, compassionate and tender. But just as equally I can be a raving bitch, hard and intractable. This is true of all women--- if the illusion was shattered. Initially this might be terrifying, but in the end, more empowering, more true. So this is why I don't answer the siren song of the vampire, even if he is there tonight, outside my window. Even if he sings to me until the sun comes up, and is there when I go out with my doggie for my Red Bull and cheese danish. I will ignore him. I know what I want, and if I can't get it, I will do without.

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