Thursday, January 28, 2010

87 The Weekend

I had never taken anyone here before. From the road above, it was impossible to notice the tiny pebble beach carved into the sheer face of the cliff over so many years. It was impossible to know how long it had taken to plunder from the granite this small not quite cave. It was impossible to see under any normal circumstances. I had grown up here. Still, though I had swum in these waters hundreds of times in my life it was not until my late teens that I found this place. Over the years, on a natural granite shelf at the back of my hidden beach, I had piled rocks which I had collected over the years since my discovery. Some of these rocks had fossils. When I wasn't in school, I would spend my time swimming in the bay and collecting the ones I found most interesting. I would save my favourites here on the shelf at the back of my secret beach.

I showed you my rocks. My most prized possessions. More valuable than my house and my car. More important than an antique oil painting by a Dutch master. You picked up one of the fossils and casually dropped it. I said it didn't matter. I happened to have two like that.

We didn't stay. I didn't know anyone in my town anymore. Everyone I had grown up with was either dead or living somewhere else. Even my cousin, who had sworn she would never leave, was living somewhere else. She said our hometown was paradise if you had enough money and she didn't and neither did I.

So you and I, we took the train down the coast to a nearby tourist attraction which, although I had grown up living nearly on top of it, I had never seen. There was a large beach. We swam with jellyfish. The night air was heavy with the scent of orchards. We chased fireflies. We listened to the waves crashing beneath our hotel room windows.

We took the train home on Sunday night. You fell asleep. You were barely awake through the short walk from the platform to the taxi. Unlocking the front door was like opening a time capsule. Everything both familiar and strange. Soon the television was on and the kettle was whistling. The spell was broken and everything was back in its normal place. We had returned to the world of routine and responsibility and it was good to be back.

I'm drinking tea in my kitchen with the lights off and from the living room I can hear muffled squawks coming from the television. I feel rested and ready for Monday. Sometimes a few days can feel like a complete and entirely different lifetime.

It has been a good weekend.

Friday, January 22, 2010

88 The Black Mass

Last night my wife and I attended our eighth Black Mass.

Dressed in evening clothes we arrived at a secret location disclosed only an hour before the celebration was to begin.

As we descended the stairs I noticed many familiar faces chatting in groups of twos and threes and sipping wine and nibbling on hors d'oeuvres.

I was introduced to the succubus who would be leading the ceremony tonight. Her glamour made her appear to be my perfect ideal fantasy woman: carefree, red hair, firm breasts. But my true vision could see she was only a sock puppet with sharp teeth. My wife excused herself to speak to some friends. And I prepared myself because tonight would be my first time participating in the ritual of the hanged man.

When the correct hour arrived, a space was cleared in the centre of the room. The succubus announced that we were about to begin and I stood in the centre of the room and waited. two strong ropes were lowered from the ceiling with large padded hooks on their ends. Another participant stepped forward and placed the hooks under my arms and when the hooks were firmly in place I was lifted off the floor.

I crossed my hands tightly around my waist to make sure the hooks stayed under my arms. More hooked ropes were lowered from the ceiling and more participants joined me, suspended a few inches off the floor. Men and women wrapped themselves around my back, my chest, my arms, my legs, until I was the centre of a mass of humanity hanging suspended. Then the ropes were slowly raised by attendants and we all rose together above the congregation. There were no invocations, there were no words at all. There was only the act itself to symbolise our faith. We hung there for a timeless instant and then we were lowered to the ground. The Mass was complete.

The rest of the evening proceeded much like any dinner party among good friends, with conversation, laughter and games. I had a nice talk with the succubus and she tried mightily to tempt me but I resisted because I knew that to have congress with a succubus would enslave me for eternity. She didn't tell me her name so I gave her one. I called her Maxine. She found that charming. Through the entire conversation I could see both the beautiful fantasy woman and the sock puppet with sharp teeth.

My wife and I stayed overnight, together with many of the other guests. She woke before I did in the morning. and I went looking for both her and for breakfast. I found her still in her lingerie together with seven other beauties from the night before, all still in their lingerie seated in the kitchen. She asked me what I wanted and I said I was looking for breakfast. She said I would just have to make some because she and her friends had eaten everything they'd prepared.

I told her to look at her tarot deck and find my card. My card is the eight of wands. she showed me the nine of wands. The picture was correct but the number was wrong. she was using a mundane deck where my card does appear as the nine of wands. At that moment I realised she had lost her cards.

I helped her collect her things, and together we went home.