Friday, 30 May 2008

Sex Tourism (A,B & E5)

All my speculations out here have led me to comb my very own paltry ambition. For now I yearn to devise the ultimate cocktail, one apposite to my sojourn here. A tipple where the constituent parts maintain their integrity, until the catalytic addition of a sheet of ice. Rather than it melting, the chemical properties combine so that all the coloured liquid strata are frozen solid. A sort of inverted tequila sunrise. I’ll call it ‘When Hell Freezes Over’. Well, if Damon can fritter his time in pursuit of a family crest when he has no descendants, then I must also be free to piss away my life in alco-chemical investigation. The barren quest of transmuting gold into base metal. Or my once grand lifestyle into a much shittier one. Needless to say, I have not as yet succeeded in my winnowing of the vital admixtures, (though I am taking great strides in decanting my own vital juices). But I remain faithfully wedded to my task. Same again barman. I didn’t quite lick the specific viscosity of that last combination.

Thank you for your concern kind sir, but I have little place for sentiment. I’m a gangster’s moll remember. Or rather a gangster’s quondam moll to give me my true non-status. No room for sentiment at all. Where would I store it ? I left everything behind when I took flight. With no alternative but to make a go of this and turn native, it was imperative to surrender all of myself on entry at customs. They handed me back my Englishness unstamped, sight unseen. Nothing to declare and yet everything to declare. Stopping on green and going on red. Driving on a different side of the road here. Or being driven, since my fabricated identity didn’t run to a driving license. So I don’t get around much. And unsurprisingly enough, I haven’t been able to restock with souvenirs of a life out here. Boiled down artefacts of ruined temples and straw donkeys/asses/mules/ whatever the local drudge of choice, wearing moth-eaten straw hats. I declined. If you had to go in for this sort of thing, presumably you’d be after a keepsake rather than a memento mori. I merely have to consult a looking glass for one of those.

Such is the way of the world, one man’s laugh lines around the eyes, is another woman’s crow’s feet. And mine used to be more akin to raven talons, plucking out peepers bulged by receding skin. Scorched flesh pulled so tight before terror’s disfiguring tyranny, that the contours of my skull become clearly delineated. Death’s skeletal spectre pounding on me from within. Broadcasting like a malevolent lighthouse, bent on dashing any salvation on the rocks. But now thanks to my ethanol botox, the skin around my eyes is puffy. See, I only drink to reinflate. Did you know, the Arabic word, kohl, is the root of our term ‘alcohol’ ? A cosmetic powder derived from antimony sulphide, for darkening the rims of the eyelids and thickening the eyebrows. Think Egyptian hieroglyphics. Muslims, forbidden to drink, distilled cosmetics instead. We ran with it and went deeper than surface appearances. Inspissation. Or pissation anyway. Antimony itself, means “an enemy of solitude”, (referring to its occurence with other elements in its salts). Never a truer defintion of alcohol either. The alchemical symbol for antimony, is the same as that used in biology for the male. A veritable enemy of solitude indeed ... I could go on for ever unravelling these connective threads, but I’m all tied up with a correspondance course in kabbalah at the moment ...

I have virtually nothing to my name. Least of all my own real name. No brush for hair or teeth. No dentist either for that matter. Health insurance, ha ! No mirror. No wardrobe. I get by on a single bikini for the season, which I rinse out each night in some boy’s hotel room sink, before climbing into his package-deal bed. I don’t even have any shoes, so my seasoned feet have taken on the unforgiving aspect of the land here, being all hard and cracked. Believe me, you don’t want a massage with me walking on your back. As you can see, I do own a pair of sunglasses, also a summer wrap for the evening and for its pockets to carry any money I come by. Things get a bit awkward during my period, since tampons are the one thing I can’t snaffle from any half-board bedmate. I may use my scanty money to purchase them, but then being strapped for a handbag, during the day I have to bundle up the box in my wrap and carry them around concealed. Don't want to tip them the wink now do I ? I spend as much time in the sea as I can at such times. Trusting to the gentle lapping waters for exsanguination, rather than the human sharks back on land.

The only possession of worth I had in this world, was a bottle of duty-free perfume, grabbed as I was spirited through the departures lounge by Terry. A little something of my old life. A promise of what in my new one ? An exotic location ? A reinstatement of classic feminity ? Promulgating the promise of a heroine or temptress ? They know all about them in Hellenic Greece, but theirs neglected to employ fragrances among their arsenal of enchantments. Would they even heard of such designer brands out here ? But my fingers never entwined themselves around it’s bulb. Never insinuated a drop upon my earlobes. Never even extracted it from its packaging. Too unnerved on arrival, wholly concerned with melting away, rather than skywriting my presence. And though eventually landing confidently on terra firma and planting myself a new life here, one finds artificial scents redundant in this land of muggy heat and parched appetities. As even humble deodorant amply demonstrates, any sprayed particles plug your saturated pores. But they get tugged at from the inside, as the sweat droplets heave and writhe in their bid for freedom, eventually dehiscing and abducting the hapless fragrance with them. You may as well smear yourself in olive oil. Ultimately, nothing can subdue the aroma of griddled flesh and poached sex. Sunny side down. I secreted the unopened box into the baggage of a bridegroom-to-be out here on his Stag as I took my leave. My double-edged gift to his Bride. Not only does perfume get mothballed, but make-up is de trop too. Either the strong glare directly blanches out all colour perception, or people take to wearing polarized lenses which filters out all the harmonious wavelengths of your facial Kosmetos. There is no need for subtle enhancement in this environment (augmenting only by two cup sizes would qualify under that banner).

See, the kids here, they’ve been duty-free shopping too. Not the duty-free they buy on their return to Britain, to see them through the autumn, or as stock presents for their parents. Since there’s also the duty-free they buy on the way over. Those gifts for imaginary Greek friends and exchange students they never had. Beware Greeks receiving gifts ? Hardly. Beware Brits embosoming them. Salted away, such retained offerings will stoke their week-long bacchanalia, effectively subsidized by government tax credit. And what I realise, is that pickled in ethanol, they possess no budding vitality to mock me, but rather they are drawn to the stench of my own rank decay. That they themselves are my fuming torment from home, pursuing me here. Greenbottles (and white/transparent/ gold, whatever their brand of choice), this time rather than blue. Each titanium areospace aerosol that lands on the runway, squirts and sprays me with its territorial miasma. Atomisers accelerating already dissolute particles, bombarding and hurling themselves at my corruption. Daily I bathe in their spittled debasement of me. My venality at purchasing a bottled bouquet, in order to intromit some fragrance into my fresh life. I hear the Eurocrats are mobilising to torpedo duty free within the Eurozone. Gets my vote, if I had one.

English Channel jestam, Aegean flotsam. Shipwrecked castaway. Without a friend in the world and a pack of hunting dogs on my tail. I fought eyetooth and hungnail to survive. To get this far. Once I emerged from my pupae of circumspection, I imagined I would gradually reinhabit my life. To foment this, I needed to maintain scrupulous superintendence over my newly regained body. Instead she unclasped herself to the bland blandishments of juvenile palpations. A corpus vile for rathe anatomical dissection. A corporeality therefore, that at a stroke, reassigned me my wraithlike state of dispersion.

As my hearty young cockswains push off back for home, I am left to hug myself hugging the Doric shore. For what else do I have to anticipate but this constant neap tide, that shackles me at anchor, yet carries off my would-be rescuers ? They come to party with this Helen, not repatriate her. My new economy of avaricious, bulimic sex, fillets the previous library regimen of protective, self-nourishment. I am a hollowed out wooden horse, with no surprise gift inside. I am a law of diminishing and diminished returns unto myself. So now I merely dance inattendance upon melanoma (lack of sun block), or AIDS (lack of condom), or cirrhosis (lack of restraint).

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