“If an old man has something to learn, it is the art of dying.” Rousseau Reveries of the solitary walker
“Truth is an homage that the good man pays to his own dignity” Rousseau Reveries of the solitary walker
“To decorate truth with fables is in fact to disfigure it.” Rousseau Reveries of the solitary walker
“The worst of it, though, is that you are at fault through no fault of your own, just, so to speak, by natural law.” Dostoevsky Notes from Underground
“I want to test whether it’s possible to be entirely frank at least with oneself and dare to face the whole truth.” Dostoevsky Notes from Underground
“hence, this is no longer literature, but corrective punishment.” Dostoevsky Notes from Underground
I used to be a Christian obsessed with the idea of the universality of man. I still believe in the universality of man, or I’m not sure anymore what I believe in, and this confusion makes me evil.
I’m evil because I doubt.
I’m like Hamlet. To be or not to be, to believe or not to believe.
Last night I kissed the pregnant navel of a beautiful Mauritian woman from mixed descent. I loved the thing inside of her although it still has no identity, no nativity and I’m not the father of it.
It belongs to the body of the mother. She can hardly provide for its future existence.
A future Jesus Christ perhaps.
And my tongue in her cunt talked future dreams to it.
Love and more wriggling love. She so desperately needed money for the hospital. She lied to me. I gave her two hundred Rand. She looked at me with anger in her eyes.
“You want more?” I asked.
About twenty years ago I was a pacifist and I refused to do my military service. A patronising officer came to arrest a meek and slovenly artist in a caravan studio. I must have looked like Charles Manson. Torn jeans, a t-shirt with paint patches, an unkempt beard, my ribs visible, eyes burning and oily hair coming down to my shoulders. A Jesus Christ.
I was brought up with the image of that traitor, Jesus Christ, that text that nobody believed in except me. Infantile omnipotence.
So they took me to the detention barracks. In a state car, and the officer stopped along the way at some family and friends. At the detention barracks I had to wait with others for hours in a reception room. I stood there hypnotised. I still remember the one rose tree in the courtyard of the detention barracks. It was in bloom with orange flowers and the sun was setting with a pink glow.
In that dusk I broke down. I was undressing with small change in my pockets. I went berserk naked. I heard waves in my ears and cried as I was abandoned in love. I saw flashes of Vanda on a beach with her new boyfriend.
A hypnotic mood prevailed.
Somehow an occult universe was still a reality and Hasan, the Indian who trained me in the art of self-hypnotism in a caravan park in Swaziland, made me believe in my own super-human mental powers.
How much I at this very moment need to spurt my sweet sperm into the darkness of a receptive body: The fresh cunt of the prostitute from Mauritius. Her blond hair is her own. Yes, Sir. I touched it with my own fingers like Thomas the unbeliever. Did I touch this silk to enjoy the feeling of touching?
I could give her some consuming love, some soft love. Are all men the same I asked? This love is destructive. Love is a thought?
I think I’ve learnt from my incarceration that I did not know anymore what the difference between good and evil is. I did not know whether it was inside or outside of me.
I can recognise evil immediately: It is the drive to persecute. But who does not derive pleasure from persecution? Maybe the evil is in the fact that the people who persecute do not know their own selves as evil. Beware you moralists, prone to persecution; it is the devil possessing you.
Around me in the detention barracks were those lost souls in need of a hero, in need of love. They were from the South African cities and farms and towns eating pap and sauce from tin plates. They all looked the same in their prison uniforms, eyes cast downwards and submissive.
Are these memories worth conserving? What evil motivates them? What will the moment of my dying be like? A painful closing of the eyes. A burial into reality. Let me go down into the streets among the thugs, those children of God: some in rags and others dressed to kill, because cutting another human being up is the ultimate pleasure. Cutting up the pretensions of others by slitting their bodies, consuming them by consuming their possessions. I always thought that property starts with the body: Maybe the only thing we really own and know, although we are betrayed by it. God was a very cruel inventor. Sweetness is only in death. I’m evil by definition: being a man, being an Afrikaner. The descendent of those frontier people who could kill without thinking too much about it, because the deed needed not to be justified by words or thoughts. Just bury the corpse.
So in this paradise evil began. By my people roaming with guns through paradise clearing it for civilisation and reason (without reasoning). Who else could take up the responsibility of the executioners of history? The orphans of Europe. So let us not stop to think. It is so temping. Pull down your pants and show your arse to the world. They, think they have the answer. But when will they start to look into themselves, into those terrible reflections of the persecutory drive. Reason roams with its gun and words lying waste the earth. Am I getting sentimental about deserts of humanity? Oh God, am I writing the new revelation, the apocalypse? Lets drink Lewis, and stumble through the world to our death. Let us be comforted by the toothless bodies of women. I owe you, I know. Evil is not to have feelings anymore. Read the despair in my eyes. My head is ready to be kicked in, my skull to be cracked by the boots of the new order.
So we all came to a conference: to a revelation of some sort. To decide on evil. To persecute evil. To be evil in our need to persecute evil. Put it in prisons. Force reparations. Undress the culprits. The state president has a small shy penis. That is why he goes on an alcoholic binge every now and again. Shame. He is just you and me with power that we gave to him because the word state president has to be em-bodied. What will our world be without a state president, without prisons, without a parliament, without tax? Lets start persecuting ourselves because that is where inevitably it will end. The hunger of the cannibal will be directed to the own body until only the thoughts remain, unread, dead. Going to the border, the unreal realm with its mythological monster peering from the darkness. Did I deny myself the ultimate experience? Did I betray myself? I earned the label evil by not participating in the festival of evil. The murderer is raging inside of me.
An old sage with a grey beard and grey ponytail stood up to make his voice heard. He needs reparation to prevail. That is what his life adds up to. But the beggars in the streets do not hear him. They have a different sense of justice. Wipe my arse with your kindness, Sir, my stomach is running with hunger. It is glued. Yes they devised the blue prints for the future Sir. But first get rid of any opposition. I do not want to doubt myself. How can I be wrong Sir? Why did you create the Universe the way it is? I left Lewis alone in the Mont Carlo. Maybe he picked up a fuck. Maybe he stumbled to a taxi still by his full senses. Maybe he slumbered away with his banknotes peeping out of his jacket pocket for someone else’s consumption. This is the consumer universe after all. Maybe they cooked him in his sleep. His head drifting in a strip tease of the ultimate. Boiling without control.
There is real compassion in me. That is what makes me evil. Her foot is sticking from underneath the blankets and a part of her left leg as she sleeps stretched out into the late morning. I slept on the couch with a real feeling of being done in. Words and anger have left me. I’m overcome by real impotence and a feeling for sleep without end. She is waiting for pay day. She is waiting to run away with a chunk of my salary. That is what she lives for.
Sitting around a table with old friends. The German professor with an itching moustache tasting his wine. A pimple ripening on my neck. The hostess has started a home for runaway children. The food reminds me of my childhood. Every Sunday the leg of lamb, cauliflower and white sauce and sweet potato and the innocence of white abundance. The evil of innocence. Cannibals lived in that part of the world as they talk about the Eastern Free State and the spectacular views. I’m quiet all evening. Voices buzz all around me as I think that only one of my car’s front lights is working.
The old sage explains about the simplicity of his worldview – that consciousness disable action, make it impossible to act. Consciousness is the foundation of doubt. Yes I understand that perfectly. I can never play at being God – at judging. They want me to put a stamp of approval on a persecution campaign – to walk arm in arm with the bishops in front of the bussed-in people down to the international conference centre where all the dictators gathered around meals of caviar and champagne to talk about racism.
The pub Chill has a dance floor and a wall-to-wall mirror and all the people in the pub reflect in it, bringing to their drunken existence self-consciousness.
The whining prophet of the struggle was here at my flat to type while I was sucking at the milky breasts of my pregnant girlfriend. I hope I did not offend him, or the struggle.
Look: dark uneven beard with grey, red eyes and pimpled nose, cracking teeth and cracked lips, glasses covered in dandruff and skew on the nose, hairy paunch with fluff in the navel, bleeding penis and long toe nails. That is I, your evil man. You think I’m not the devil because I look like Jesus Christ: bearded with soft eyes (the bearded woman?).
I went to the therapy group again tonight. There was the flabby Christian in his baggy pants suffering from loneliness, and a psychopath who sleepwalks and could kill in a sleeping state and at the age of six dreamt about his friend’s decapitated head swirling in a tub of blood. He could kill because his mother deserted him for his terrifying stepfather, uncle Arnie. The topic was often evil. He was truly evil – a carrier of a hatred against the world which cannot ever be uprooted, but also a victim of the world who conspired against him from birth. The heavenly father of the Christian, his earthly father destroyed his ego, is so responsive to his needs, He gave him a place to stay, a work and peace. But if you want to be a Christian you should give away the place and go and live amongst the poor who need you. He agreed, but he is waiting for the calling, he is waiting for the heavenly father to speak to him. “But he is speaking to you now” I retorted.
Why am I lucky
Every mental move of man, every moral idea is an assault on nature, an attempt by the ego to assert itself in the struggle against death and decay. Calmness will come to me at night with the sound of the flute player coming down the street to come and sleep in some dark corner.
She found a long strain of red hair in the bathroom, someone with braids was here
“You always tell me you don’t have money for the doctor, but when I’m not here you bring bitches here.”
My mother once asked me, not expecting an answer, “How can a good man like you be so cruel to your wife and children?” I suppose there are two questions here. The one about my ability to be cruel, but also one about my “goodness”. Where did this “goodness” come from? How did I adopt this mask to always act against my self and my own will, but then again always to act in my own interest? Dostoevsky make this point somewhere that behaviour is actually acting, I suppose this is such a deep rooted truth that we are no longer aware that our expressions and responses to others are “acting.” To become aware of this “acting” is to become aware of the literary quality of life. We are living books and pretences. So where did my “good” come from. Sunday school classes? But we only went to Sunday school at quite a late stage, much later than other children, and I always hated it. Fear of punishment? I don’t think so. I have never feared punishment and often acted in a way inviting punishment. Out of fear for shame? Yes, but what is shame? Out of empathy with others? Yes, but why did others have such a hold over my soul when I feared and despised them, and always tried to evade them. Why can I not characterize, imagine the motives of others?
The whores, taxis and cops are busy again tonight as their voices drift up from the street.
“Good night Mr Devil,” they shook my hand teasingly and left.
These group therapy sessions are suited for immersing myself into unfathomable evil – challenging the flabby Christian, who gets his directives directly from his heavenly Daddy, with suggestions that he should sell all his material things and go and hand out his love to the whores on the street, that time is running out for him. His heavenly father gave him all the things so that he should give it away again out of his own will. The heavenly father is always testing us, even coming in the form of the devil or is he not the devil himself – why not wiping out the devil if he is such a good force, or can good not exist without evil.
This other arsehole wants to do a yacht trip of the world, but he is too normal to embark on his dreams – what about his daughters and his wife? And this guy from the Caribbean has a problem because his sister undressed in front of him and evoking unnatural desires in him with her animal presence. And the psychiatrist gives me a lift back with his Englishman friend turned Muslim in sandals and dress. They are probably piping each other in the arse. The psychiatrist is doing the sessions for himself, learning about human behaviour, we are his laboratory. I really want to become a shit, how far can I go on with this, insisting on my happiness before conversion is needed, returning to the womb of delusions?
Good morning Mr Penis. How are you today? You had no cunt last night. It’s Sunday. Are you going to church today? Or are you going to pray?
It was the psychiatrist with a towel in his hand and his speedo swimming costume, Peter Stone, the man from Barbados with his jeans rolled up against his ankles and the bearded Muslim and myself walking next to the sea with the incoming waves lisping around our feet. We are on our way to the lagoon where the nudists walk with their organs rustically nesting in a bit of sun. A woman approach with a sausage dog sniffing the sand of the beach and curious gliders hang in the air above the sea.
In the evening after dinner at the Starfish we walk back to the flat. Recently I have been seeing Z all over the place. Last night her beautiful body in red slacks was sleeping on a bench curled up in foetus shape. I could not see the face. I could not stop to talk to her. Guilt overcame me.
Pills to suppress the virus
At the corner of the drug dealers I suddenly and unconsciously grab the hand of a street kid aiming at my pocket and I look into his confused and pleading eyes. “Imani” he says. “I have nothing” I say. I loose his hand. He grabs my shirt and doesn’t want to let go. I have to be aware of his friend behind my back and move into the traffic trying to shirk off his hold on me. I hear the laughter of his friends as I’m nearly knocked over by cars. My eyes straight into his stupefied eyes, evil weighing evil, cowardice. I escape like an injured dove from an aiming foot into the traffic, into my own guilt haunting me through the streets. Why did I not give him the fist? He would respect power. Why did I not give him the money? Was he looking for love, or laughing at the moral weakness of those who have and don’t understand the logic of survival? What is the link between love and giving and receiving?
In the lift at work a colleague asks about the well-being of my family. I suspect his motives is to show what a moral human being he is. I provocatively answer, “I don’t really know,” and ask “Why do you ask, you know they are no longer part of me.”
“What type of monster are you?” he asked.
“I’m now a real African” I said teasing the African students with us in the lift, but thinking it is a good question, one worth a book: “What type of monster am I.”
I meet my old banker at the bank. I came to deposit a cheque. While filling in the form I ask about his well-being and let it fall that I would like to come and see him. I’m no longer happy with the bank and the service I’m getting from my personal banker. I explained about the problems I have when applying for my visa last year.
She looks out of the window at the rain. It is still raining. It is the fourth week. She sighs and says: “God is coming.” The back road, Point crossing Smith, which is where the Rock World is. It changes into a battlefield every Friday and Saturday.
Coming down the lift. Her child cries, as she has to go to work.
“Can I get a lift to the Elangeni?” she asks me.
“What will the people say?” I ask.
Her cell phone rings as the lift door opens. It is her Father. I hear something about gangrene and HIV. In the car she swears under her breath “Bastard”.
“It was my daddy.”
“Why did you call him bastard”
“You know it is the first time in six years that he spoke to me. He wants to see me tomorrow. Don’t be surprised if I kill myself tomorrow.”
“I found out that he hanged my mother when I was one year old. He hated the fact that I was born…Can you feel what I feel?”
“Can you feel what I feel.”
“If I allow myself to feel for what South Africans are going through at the moment then I won’t survive a minute. This country is fucked up.”
“He never wanted me.”
When she gets out of the car she calls me an angel. I correct her “A bad angel.”
At Charcoal Grill, Freddie with his big dog, hunts for a woman to be fucked by his dog. R100 a time. “Its possibly safer to fuck a dog than a Philippine. Blowjobs are the big thing. She dislikes blowjobs and often vomits while doing a blowjob.
The apocalypse frees.
A Jesus Christ is necessary. Or maybe just someone who can say no.
The nurse came to take Jackie to Ford Napier. His mother organised. Jackie was going to follow her on his motorbike. He then disappeared. It turned out that he went to Austria. He already booked his ticket. He has an appointment with the CIA to discuss the apparatus in his teeth.
Jesus and his hobos. Jesus the original hobo. Strange capitalism took as its religion the outpourings of hobos. The bible that corrupting book. It corrupted a lot of us. We were forced to know it by heart as children. It’s full of miracles yes, but there are more miracles today: electricity and aeroplanes
White women’s cunts are cannibals. They castrate with their mouths and minds.
I cannot capture darkness, hell is evading my camera.
I have seen hell, lying down quiet, not registering, or saying stupid things, not remembering what I mumbled to the friendly visitors. I have lost a few precious things since they took me in; one is Zaza’s book. Someone took it from my room while I lay there with a collapsed brain not recognising the many visitors; the other is my new watch from Germany. I feel so naked now without time on the arm. They took me to hospital after much feeble protestation, in my head a vein burst and I did not know, I only repeated hardly audible things like “How are you?” again and again as if I’m asking myself how I am. On my clock I thought I still had about five years to go, son why does God want to take me now. It’s a bit early, or dead old age for a writer. Jabulani and Tengani came to see me during these dark days. My head lying on a cushion and taking them to beautiful corn fields sown by my head. My god is this English or an imbecile writing. Lying there for many days looking at a clock on the wall seeing new patients coming in and going and getting close to the nurses everyday fixing the furniture around you, drawing curtains around you. How come I came to eat again? I’m just eating little bits these days. Sometimes it is just a nauseous apple. The beautiful quiet piano music flowing from the radio and I must go and take a bath. Do I remember the bath in the hospital? I imagine it is all marble. It is very long. I can lie flat in it with my whole body – my vulnerable body. Remember when I saw it after it was shaved. The thin strip of hair above my balls. My thin body – a stomach that is disappearing. Sorry readers I can only recollect little bits.
In the evening he slowly sat down on his bed, while going down he unbuttoned his shirt and in a daze the elephant and the buck masks came and through thin air and they took him to his mother and sister in another world. When they returned from the other world he was like a child and needed help to walk. His pants lay on the floor. It is now so many weeks since he returned. He drinks at least eight pills every day – four in the morning, two in the afternoon and two at night. Life is only possible with the medication..
What is this thing that took hold of me making me forget the joys of life. What is this thing? How do I get rid of it? How do I get out of this living hell? Will sleep help? Another buzz? A friend? But I do not have any more friends.
This morning he went down to start his car. It did not want to move. Tears came to his eyes. He just sat there in the car feeling miserable. Now another day I’m sitting in front of my computer with my head in my arms. Everything is so absolutely miserable. This flat is empty of life, everything has the touch of death. Looking with the eyes of death, eyes which are not touched by anything. It cannot get involved. He cannot remember anything of his day, of the meetings at university, the babbling of people