An Expression of the Absolute

Mon, 10/18/2004 — Sak

Sprawled across my couch, cigarette dangling out of my fingers; Luigi Nono's performance of Mahler's Kindertotenlieder plays in the background.

...Von keinem Sturm erschrecket,
Von Gottes Hand bedecket...

It takes me back. 1985. I was studying in Gottingen then; the humanities division. I read Moliere and Holderlin with a fervent passion, the kind of passion that can only burn deep inside that of a young person. The candle was set aflame, the fire spread to every portion of my body, fueling my appetitive spirit with a deep-seeded ambition, the conviction that the world was my playground. The conviction that I could do no wrong. The horizons of my world were about to be shattered, however; my world would soon come crashing down.

I took a brief holiday during the Winter of that year to Paris; I was doing research at the Sorbonne on German Idealism -- a former student of Hippolyte's was to give a lecture there. Being a young man, however, I was easily sidetracked. I met a lass in at a local pub, aged no more than sixteen. Her eyes shimmered like a sea of diamonds, her lips caressed her face in a manner inwhich would make Klimt's Kissed face glow with embarassment, her figure -- her figure. Her figure was an expression of the absolute.

...Sie ruh'n, sie ruh'n
Wie in der Mutter Haus,
Wie in der Mutter Haus.

I leaned close to her, brushed the tangles of hair away from her ear, and invoked the spirit of Valéry;

Tes pas, enfants de mon silence,
Saintement, lentement placés,
Vers le lit de ma vigilance
Procèdent muets et glacés.

She started into my eyes and uttered, "So, uh. Hey. You wanna go to the arcade or something?" The temptation was far too much; academia be damned, I must possess her. The master-slave dialectic would come into fruition here and now; I need not a lecture to understand the realization. And so I followed. A certain disconnection occured; my soul drifted apart from my body. Somehow I had managed to drift apart from this girl; there I stood. There it stood. We locked gazes.

Taito's Bubble Bobble. I gently slid a quarter in and began to play level after level. Minutes passed, hours passed. The quarter sliding became gradually stronger and stronger; to the point of violence. I glanced over - there she was. "So are we gonna fuck or what? You payed me the 60 bucks. Your loss." I didn't say a thing, I could only play -- faster, faster, harder, harder. Goddammit I love you Bubble Bobble, Goddammit I hate you Bubble Bobble.

I woke up the next morning in a haze at a local dive of a hotel. The place smelled of cigarettes and moth balls, an empty bottle of Jack Daniels in my hand, my pockets empty. Not a single quarter left. The machine was gone. She was gone. Hopefully my career would still be there. I left France the next morning.

I never went back.


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