by Deng Fuquan
I have come to you with the expectation that together we will sever the knot of my perplexed infancy.
Weighted down by virtual baggage, I am not—as you noted instantly—an autonomous being and autonomy is precisely what I am wanting. However, I have what you call a sexual soul, or rather, the capacity to evolve into a sexual being, to reveal an authentic blue streak, the capacity not only to inspire heat, to weather my stripes and to shed my old skin. I intend to astonish all.
You asked me a number of things; you startled me. Almost at once my heart quickened with something like hope. Is he really after the truth? Is he able to journey into the darkest corners of the heart without flinching? The man is no prude, I thought, and furthermore he is smart and gentlemanly.
Again: you asked me any number of things—all interesting and necessary, and this despite the risks you described, or as you so engagingly revealed to me—because of the risks implied. Obviously, as you pointed out, there is always danger when the engagement is acute. As in passionate loving. "We are talking about real life here," you said, "that is the intention of the work we have undertaken together."
A thrilling phrase! "Undertaken together"! I shall help you rob my own grave so that I may steal away my own intrinsic capacity to be someone. It occurs that to engage in the world of the living, one must be prompt. If only because there is so little time. (And you there sit, Doctor, greying at the temples, don't you hear the winds of time raging about your little office in the sky?)
I have always been sluggish, perhaps not quite like you. Although my infancy was punctuated by my mother's rallying cry ("Step on it!"), I misunderstood. I thought time was to be killed, crushed beneath the foot like a centipede, else it leaped to my leg and inflect a mortal sting. I imagine wasting away. You evoked Plotinus and Jung simultaneously when you added: "Each memory, dream and reflection must inform the immediate present."
"We are," you also said, "about to confront the chaos of cryptic language. But rest assured: the characters, runes, wedges, hieroglyphs, whatever—all mean something." And so: the vortex I carry within me, just as chaos itself, is simply undeciphered, an uncharted system.
My first memories are of such uncharted and undeciphered spaces. I have been having a recurring dream of a bazaar in which upon the unpaved dirt, all things of significance are laid out, not rice and tea but ideas: the idea of colour and the idea of music, luxurious grief and consumed anger, the gummy eyes of children going blind, fragments of poetry and pirated language. Another early memory is of a visit to the vanished Tower of Babel in a heat so intense I was stricken with fever and nearly died. The little cotton kerchief that my mother had tied about my head doing little to protect me from the furious eye of the sun. For days I spoke in a confusion of tongues. I cannot look at the sun now without shuddering as if it were a feral creature threatening to decapitate my limbs with one bite should I fail to pay attention, fail to be on time. I am always in a panic I will miss something essential. For instance, I have noticed your habit of caressing your lower lip with the knuckle of your left index finger—a charming gesture, almost cinematic, totally seductive (and that is why I recall the things you say so clearly). In my mind, your gestures repeat themselves. And your movements enter my being. I have become restless.
And I think there may be a key here—some sort of explanation as to why I am so consummately Babylonian in my neurotic comportment—I am making reference here to my habits—obsessions if you will: there are days when I dare not remove my clothes, or speak in public, or take medicine, or utter a curse. That is why I have come to you, Doctor. It has become increasingly difficult for me to function in the world. Last week I was unable to utter a word; I was afraid of being sexually impaled by the sun, by the volatile essences of light and the vapour of shadows.
I was told that you are a "man of spirit" and I have not been disappointed. Until now, all my therapists have been all hand-holders, potential thugs, or mystics. You will not attempt to bludgeon me with terminology, demand that I worship in the Holy Temple of Freud, look for the goddess within, mother me, seduce me—or allow me to seduce you—for, as you noted, I am a pretty woman, youthful for my age and due to my diminutive size and Oriental features, doll-like even—a thing that endears me to older men.
And because I am somehow intact (and now we come to the heart of the matter), having—in the sexual act—always managed to be elsewhere, I fascinate many men (and women too); they pride themselves in this way: they think they will be the one to awaken me. But no one has. I may spend hours altogether gazing at temple bas-reliefs of couples copulating shamelessly, limbs spread, tense, contorted, in collision like forces of nature; or I read Ming erotic literature—"Open your thighs so I can look straight at your cunt and pee on my face"—without getting aroused. In fact, it is a game I play with myself, to look upon these things with disinterest, coolly as one might examine the sexual encounter of fish. And yet I am certain that it could be otherwise and wish it were so, for my loneliness is intolerable and I fear I shall become a hag of ice—if I am not that already.
To continue: I am assured having met with you once that between the two of us—despite a powerful attraction on my part—because yes, I am capable of feeling attraction and relish the chase (an attraction that has more to do with affinities than transference—it is far too soon to speak of transference!)—there will be no foolishness! You will not cross the gulf that separates us like a sea to embrace me. I will not hear you whisper: "Open your thighs so I can look straight at your cunt and pee on my face," I will not see ardour in your eyes, nor will you in mine. More is the pity. We will engage in matters of the spirit, only. Despite the affinities that clearly exist between our bodies and our souls. (For it is possible—and the irony here is unbearable—that you in other circumstances could be the one to awaken me. How sweet it would be to long for you!)
But there will be no lovemaking. Your rigour in such matters is exemplary. Your high social character, your sound judgement and moral worth, your philosophy—I have done my own investigation—all this has decided me to come to you. After so many failures. Yes. You will give me a sexual soul—as you put it—but not by fucking me. Although, as I have said, so many find me irresistible. And this because I am the bright mirror of desire; I am like a clay that is never touched by fire and so may be modelled again and again.
(This said, I bruise easily. A lover once left parallel thumbprints on the inside of both my knees and beneath each buttock. My skin so white, the marks blue—a strange tattoo. How beautiful I looked after! How mysterious! I crawled up on the bathroom sink, my buttocks to the glass, and gazed at those two marks, at my ass, my cunt beneath, imagining that I was my own lover.)