It all Started with an S

It all Started with an S

Gerardo Piña

This is why I didn’t bring her back. The air in the room was tepid like a glass of red wine. I started to soak in her breath. Before we moved on to the sofa, we had some great moments with the aitches, especially the inexistent ones in between syllables, for Lidia inhaled exaggeratedly, so that I wouldn’t stop laughing, as she said. There were more kisses, a caress, a bed after that, and a whirlwind. We shook out the air, robbed it of its space, like she robbed me of mine (I liked her doing that, it made me feel filled out). Riotously, Lidia recaptured the r’s, like she had done so energetically when we were younger, years ago. However, something in her eyes made me doubt if she really wanted to reintroduce them into our lovemaking. After some more kissing, receded remembrances resurged. Her skin on mine began to reinvent us. I realized that she tried to regain that entire universe, but it couldn’t be done. I was sure that it couldn’t be done. That’s when it occurred. Surreptitiously, an s succeeded in sneaking into one of Lidia’s sighs. I just looked at her as one looking for an explanation, but she wouldn’t be flustered. At that particular time, it was of aitches that our little game consisted, not of r’s and certainly not of s’s, but she was merry and gave me a rather disapproving look, accompanied by slight reproaches between every phrase, then every word and every phoneme.

But anyway, we made love and just when I thought that this folly of Lidia’s was no more than an illusion, she started to utter isolated words, as if remembering something well rehearsed, as if wanting to stress the importance of being heard, revving herself up in doing so. No sooner had she pronounced the word rearm than she grabbed hold of my privates with one hand and waved with the other, apparently in an effort to calm down our roars of laughter, all the while repeating rearm, re-harm. Our guffaws gradually subsided until nothing but her smile remained. All of a sudden Lidia rent the air with the ‘s’ I spoke of – insensibly it seemed.

‘Your soul is searching for my secrets,’ she said. Sitting in the easy chair, she crossed her legs and immediately, again as if she had rehearsed it, covered them with a cushion. The game is on, I thought: there is no escaping. I decided to take my time, leisurely looked round the room for some minutes and then calmly lit up a cigarette.

‘Cigarette is with a c, silly sod,’ said Lidia, and so I had another look about me and stumbled upon my first weapon, or so it seemed, right there on top of the stove – for objects and verbs were permitted; I ran towards it, convinced that it was a skillet, but alas, it was a frying pan.

‘Silhouettes seem suspended shadows,’ she said.

She was rapidly winning ground and there was little I could do about it, but then I thought I might retreat to the sofa and with this simple act deal her a severe and resounding blow: I would submit the sonorous ‘s’ of sofa, and sit down at the same time. If I succeeded, I would win three points at one stroke, but she saw what I was up to and slowly leaning back she said before I even reached my goal: ‘sinking into my seat.’ (Another point for her.) I was not prepared to lose once more.

‘Strange, I’m still sleepy,’ she said ironically. ‘Somehow this space is stifling.’

She noticed my immobility and surely assumed that I couldn’t think of any permitted move nor find an appropriate object. But actually, that was not the case; the reason why I stood still was that there was something strange about her voice. I listened several minutes to her and felt that she was somehow different, like an automaton, a robotic version of the Lidia I knew.

‘Short of smelling your skin, I savor your sweetness,’ she said, walking along the edges of the carpet (maybe she had risen from the chair in order for her ideas to develop more quickly). ‘Speak, sepulcher of sense.’

I started to put pressure on her, robbing her of her space, pursuing her around this square of patterns and colors, so as to win by wearing her out; I wanted her to succumb right before the boundary marked by my body: I wished she would stumble and slip.

She started to run even faster around the carpet and kept on saying things like ‘seed bears the semblance of someone who will suffer,’ ‘you suffer since I speed on’ and ‘I speed on showing how simple it is to sigh’.

A shiver went through me. Never before had she shattered me thus. Not even for a second did she slow down, and I began to feel sick. I stopped dead in my tracks and went to the bathroom, where I picked up my razor and got ready to slash my arm, when I heard Lidia say: ‘Superb! superb! Simply seize some safety strap! A sanguineous simulacrum we shall shape,’ she went on, ‘slighting succor or serenity save to share a sidereal sideway; sensual sirens that sing in surprise sighting a surface of salt…’

She had uttered these last words as if in a trance and seemed caught up in a rhythm to which only a fictional character can be submitted (I finally scored a point here), but Lidia didn’t concentrate anymore, couldn’t read my mind, had given up the game. Her words came spontaneously (one more point, but what was the point now?), falling
with astonishing precision; the phrases they formed were solid – concrete, one might say. At first Lidia spoke them in four-four time, and obviously in the key of sol, thereby erecting four pillars, one on each corner of the carpet. Then, with the same accuracy, her quartertones filled up the rest of our quarters and before long made up a labyrinth.

‘… Surpassing the snare suggested by solitude,’ she went on, ‘sleepwalkers stray at the sound of senselessness. A second shall be the sole symptom of such surpriseless stories. Sure from the start, I sense solutions sliding. So stop soiling my soul with your soles (sing me some other sweet song). Since I’m solely supposed to be a solid soliloquy of a simian scaling the swells of sagacity. Self-consciously sample the savor of a sour and slanted self: it’s stale. But those spheres surmounting my stomach are sufficiently sensual and symmetrical symbols. Semen, it seems, separates into strange and stunning strings; still, your smile shall stop being my stoolpigeon…’

She got trapped inside her words. I could no longer doubt it: there was some other being behind all of this. Someone had set a trap for us inside Lidia’s mind. She disappeared out of view, I imagined her running up and down endless bridges, suffocated by that verbal diarrhea, choking on her own lexical vomit.

‘Lidia! Lidia!’ I cried, but there came no answer. The phrases had drowned out her voice. I looked for some door or window… but nothing.

* * *

I stood transfixed in front of this wall and didn’t know what to do. I waited several hours until I thought I heard a quiet sound, soft as a wave, coming from behind the enclosure. I got a little nearer and listened more intently.

‘Lidia!’ I cried again, louder this time, and eventually established the extent of the game with enraging envy: entrapped with my Eve there was Evil, erupting in her eager embrace; endless encounter, excitement, effervescence. Evil entering Eve and Eve enveloping Evil: enmeshed, ensnared in an eternal eroticism and with exhilarated exclamations of ecstasy they enforced my execution.

Posted: April 1, 2012 at 10:39 pm