Autors i Autores

Miquel de Palol

2. Anglès [Scenes of everyday sex]

Dreaming and Desire in Ciacona

I dreamed today about the times when I was fucking her. With deformation, with uncertainty, the memory of the desires, of the immediate expectations, is even more painful than that of the events. Is that the best we had? Because this image would have been enough then and the image of orgasms and sexual prowess wouldn't have been needed. I could be happier – that would be easy – not remembering that I fucked her, remembering only her gaze in its turbulence between acceptance and desire, each the mask of the other.

Like the joke before the tragedy, the sexual preparation is what gives the whole thing maximum prominence. What comes first, even the contingent character it gives to what comes later, is the true motor of excitation, not the matter itself. It is not the sight of the open cunt, or of the pre-orgasmic anxiety that lights the fires, but the ambiguous welcome of the fully-clothed woman, the look in her eyes and her indifferent smile at the three available men who draw near her, knowing that next will come the cock-sucking, the exhibition of shiny veins, the tongue up the arse, the tumbling about, the extreme opening up, the dilatation and reddening, the multiple and simultaneous penetrations, the wet surfaces, the shrieks.

Later, when you get down to the act, is it the sound and fury that's the most exciting thing? If we measure its power by its endurance in memory, it is not. It is rather the fortification of what is glimpsed over and above such apparently ill-timed thoughts as "she is very intelligent" or "she did her depilation only three quarters of an hour ago and now she's got a jumble of irritations from two different causes". These details let me recall that I laid her, even though and especially when she's standing at my side and being so friendly, so distant, I know that I have never laid her.

I could say: I know that the body that I remember can never be mine again and I would still be unsure. It wouldn't even be a real doubt, no I can't doubt, because what would make me hesitate wouldn't even be a certainty. It wouldn't be the same to be able to say, I know that the body that I remember cannot be mine again, because this variant would introduce a literary possibilism and a temporal causality that would give a real dimension to the statement. And this story has everything but real dimensions.

She was the only woman that weekend and she was very friendly as she moved among the males with a discouragingly attractive authority, which was that much more perceptible because it was imperceptible. They knew she was inaccessible both for them and for me, and if I had been able to put it into words, I know that I would still have that body that I remember can never be mine again, even if it were somehow within my reach, but I was both Gyges and Candaules at once, the perfect happy imbecile, useless and triumphant without knowing what I had done to deserve it. And knowing that I would never know.

At the worst moment of the night, the exhibition appeared in the form of a summons:

In the morning I count the spikes
of the new adornment.
In the afternoon, what about you!
The sun clamours and I drown.

At twelve by the clock
they throw stones at my head.
It will not console me to know
if someone is coming behind me.

If she'd wanted to, she would have fucked them all. And I felt as if she had done it.

The whole thing still comes to me every night, as she sleeps by my side. By my side, light years away.

An empty train, without lights, hurtles full speed through the station, leaving in its wake a thunderous wind. The space is left trembling with an irremediable void.

Berlin, 1-2 May, 2002

Translated from the Catalan by Julie Wark ©

Amb el suport de:

Institució de les Lletres Catalanes