As I leave my house today, I know I’d be entering the fiery evening. I had already seen the redness in the slanted rays of the sun that fell into my room. This evening has been bequeathed to madness. I have forgotten to bind my hair. I have forgotten to paint my lips. I have forgotten to empty my nakedness into a bowl of shame.
I know the glowering evening sun makes my skin seem a mustard orange. The people around me in their ordinary trousers and shirts are quietly considering my eyes. The sun has entered the windows of my eyes. My hair longs to be lifted up in a wild spree of mad uninhibition.
As if it were a dream a sea breeze lifts my hair up in its own madness to kiss everything in a hurry. Suddenly everything falls silent. I find myself still walking down my staircase in a hurry to reach the next landing. Every landing is deja vu. In the darkness of the staircase and the grilles that weave little webs of spidery light, I feel like I’m in an infinite whirling road winding downwards.
Now I’m on the road the sun enviously wiping my colour off me and replacing it with its own. The treetops shimmer like torches. A breeze disturbs the vehicle sounds without a warning. Birds are returning home. They too believe. Mad world.
The sea shore eats my soul up with every step into its nudeness. I find myself singing a song. Another madness wants me to quit singing. The approved madness. The accepted madness. The madness of the silent. The madness of the spectator. The madness of the passive hermit. I peel this madness off me with deliberate defiance. The former madness is easy to remember. We are trained for it from childhood. The latter madness is difficult yet is permanent.
Now I’m holding onto the sides of an anchored ship, now I’m sailing on the sea blue yacht, now I’m the boat with the dark-skinned fisherman, now I’m the writhing fish in his net, now I’m the lights that wake up like dragon eyes at twilight, now I’m twilight with its thousand children feet running, now I’m the smell of salt and sea, now I’m wild hair, now a beholder, next the beholded, now a breath and then a single abandoned bird hurriedly flying after its clan racing ahead.
This evening has been bequeathed to madness. I hear the conversations of a thousand men. Money worries, mother-in-law worries, exams, exultation, kites, kisses, crabs, catamarans… I stand inane, unblinking like a fish eye. Into the sea lies my destiny. Like one of Chekhov’s heroines I have considered dying by lightning. It does not fascinate me. Nor do I wear red like that woman and speak of dying seasons with blushing cheeks. I’m another creature at the infinite sea shore. At the sea that orgasms with several white bones and churns out the of flavour of life by tonnes. The sea does not see if I’m Shelley. It swallows like an organism. Like the whale that puked Jonah, the sea regurgitates bleached bodies of young lovers, bad swimmers, boys who failed exams and poets.
The sea is insomniac. Such passion overcomes its being that it cannot let go of anything. It chews and ruminates and only sea shells survive its restlessness. Such a sea stretched before me like a huge conundrum. Its only foil was the sky. A counterpart spitting stars. A sudden madness overtook me and I began walking. Away from the sea. Away from the kite illusions and the bird illusions. I walked away from the sand that swallowed my toes. I walked away from the roads, from the breeze, from my wildness, from the need to escape. I ran away from prospective death. I walked back into the madness called life. I walked back into the incorrigible madness called life. I declare myself incapable of death as much as I’m incapable of life. I could not… could not walk away from the sea within myself.