To the Artist's Page To our home page
To Andrew O'Donnell's previous piece To Andrew O'Donnell's next piece
The Eighth Day
‘I’ve got a fresh screwdriver,
so what if I’m dying?
M’s Birthday, blowing up balloons for three hours with special plastic pumps. S wants at least 200 and I’m getting sick of seeing her face, all pumped up, ready to explode. Everything must be documented, it seems. She gets out the video camera and films my sullenness. R comes round and acts the goat, taping the pumps to his feet and dancing around the room. The mood lightens.
Still- I just want to get out of here or at least drink enough to blot all of this out. It’s kind of surreal, waiting in a tatami mat room full of balloons in the hope that a stranger will come into the house –just so we can all say ‘Surprise!’
I’ve lost all sense of pity or shame. R says “Crazy fuckin’ bitches” and I don’t even flinch. He may be right and, although I sometimes don’t altogether agree with the vehemence he displays on the subject, there does seem to be something to it... that they are crazy.
I know that whatever I saw in her has vanished, ...and after only seven days I want to be alone but I’m scared of being alone because I know I will end up my evenings with old photographs and never really leaving the place that I, perhaps naively, named ‘happiness.’
But, in fact- no longer happy, no sense of what I like or do not like or want or do not want or expect or do not expect- functioning on pure, immediate need alone, ...as if fucking could account for every form of communication that there is. In fact- I do not even want to communicate, even, ...just fuck and pretend that there are real people in this room and not just craziness sweating on itself in the humidity.
Some days I refuse to continue- I just sit still and try not to think of anything. Still- the clock ticks.
‘Skinnydipping’ ...the word itself sounds strange, childlike- as if free of consequence, like children in the dark. So the four of us go up to the waterfall and lake and get naked like kids in the dark, the difference being the champagne and brandy and pubic hair. So we splash around and try to swim. She says she can’t swim. I try and help her but get bored of her fears and wade off on my own. I tread water by the water fall and listen to it crashing next to me. There is nothing in the water fall, only the sound of water against water. I ask for nothing and I get it ...and I listen to the sound of nothing and take of my glasses to intensify the sense of nothing.
The naked bodies drunkenly dancing on the shale seem like ghosts. I am the same- a ghost in the water. But I am not crazy- I stick to that.
We attempt reconciliations the whole night but we never get there, not even before, during, or after we fuck against the cold rock- not even when I spill out onto the shale, not even tomorrow or yesterday.
I just seem to be exploiting the energy that, in some way, continues to prove to me that I am still alive... why I’m thankful for this, I don’t know.
“You still love your old girlfriend, desho?”
“Ask me no questions and…”
“I fuck to change somebody, after you’ve fucked them you know they’ll never be quite the same again” ...perhaps only because you can never change yourself, it’s a release- to leave her fucked, to escape the challenge of changing yourself. Or perhaps you have changed.
And who has been left fucked in all of this? All four of us? I suppose so... and people always stay fucked.
“Yokata, yokata desuyo!” ...yeah, yeah- whatever you say. I still can’t believe it. But I’m glad I did it- at least it gives me something a little different to think about.
R points the camera at me.
“It seems there has been some consistency in your answers so far, Luke.”
“What’s that then?”
“You’ve really only answered with ‘I don’t know.’ ...what do you have to say about that?”
“I don’t know what to say about that."
The Q&A is over.
I can’t stop dreaming about death. Everything seems like a premonition, I would call every time to check out the consequences but I’ve been wrong before and do not want to find out if I’m correct this time. I would rather not know.
Do you know how many times I and my ex-girlfriend have died in my dreams? It must be getting up into the teens, now. I’ve been trying to kill us off for a long time but we keep re-emerging, it seems- with numerous faces, problems and fears. If I sleep long enough I imagine I could kill all of them off.
The problem, maybe, is that I want to be God and it’s the eighth day and I’m bored of everything but still feel that I must do something.
I want to continue.
To the top of this page