Saturday, 27 June 2009


My name is Jean Ohm and I’ve encountered major amplitudes of resistance in my time. In fact, I’m generating some right now, through this little social experiment I’m currently conducting. We’ve got FBI, DEA, ATF and all manner of sect-obssessed acronyms and cult-crazed triunes, pointing their telescopic, turned-up snouts, to tune in to our drop-out community. Jeepers peepers ! We haven’t a single firearm between us. Nor an umbrella, pointed or otherwise, since this is Florida, the sunshine state for heavens’ sakes ! And none of us are brave enough to travel on any subway, let alone release toxic gas into it. All cos they’re lazy investigators, who type ‘AUM’ on their internet search engines and like a poisonous chain letter, my name gets trawled up. A guileless dolphin snagged in a tunny net. Nevertheless, I must persist in blazing my presence through the network. Thread my electronic wake into the loom of light. Shine my homepage beacon back and forth across these treacherous straits. Homing. And paging.

There’s a lot of traffic out on the information superhighway and I’m only piloting a jalopy. More soup kitchen than souped up, afraid I’m just not racey enough to compete. My derisory bandwith having been hard shouldered out of touch, by my fellow nocturnal travellers. For in the dead of night, partisans of the second most popular leisure activity in the United States, emerge with their Geiger counters and infra red cameras to beat the firmament and shake it down. Yet they are not trailing after space dust. Deadbeats all, they sweep the void in the hope of a lucky strike. A click from zillions of clicks away, as they reconnoitre for ET gooks. To commune with the incommunicable, while other tongue-tied, would-be interstellar locutors sit at home, monitoring the airwaves for signs of alien telegraphy. Homespun travellers, the unidirectionality of their antennae fails to detect that the outsiders have already tuned in to our increased satellite activity and amplified radiowaves, and have chosen to pass us over. Maybe the quiz show prizes weren’t worth crossing the intergalactic road for. Or maybe the asinine patter of our talk show hosts failed to cause affront. Perhaps they just didn’t empathise enough with any of the reality show contestants to want to register their vote. An irreversible decision, unless maybe, just maybe, killing off the wrong soap character might incur their wrathful displeasure. For this is solely how we announce ourselves to the cosmos.

Me, I have also launched a probe out into the ether. But not into empty space. I charge it hard as a lancet into the buboes of our society. Yet I too have an infinitesimally small likelihood of establishing the contact that I seek. For even though I range with my counter of lachrymosity and flash my bloodshot lens, I’m fumbling to illuminate America’s topmost popular pastime, spouse beating. Wait, you don’t believe me ? What is the largest cause of death among pregnant women in America ? Preeclampsia ? Only if by dangerously high blood pressure, you mean the red stuff spurting out of a bullet or stab wound. Or that old juice pumping strenuously, as it’s stopped up behind a man’s strangulating arms. Homicide (sic) is that highest cause of death and this ain’t no stranger slayings. This is the full stop at the end of a life sentance of domestic duress. The period point to mark the cessation of a woman’s menstrual cycle. An eternal men-o-pause. In permanent marker by a murderous partner. Indelible fink.

Despite the violence being sustained throughout a long exposure, any slap or punch is so fleeting, so lightning fast, that I cannot catch it red handed. So I am forced to commune with the inconsolable. Eavesdropping so as to educe the silent screams, the mute protestations, the stilled pleas. Sat here at my computer console. Virtually filing my nails, staring dumbly at an egg-timer bereft of grains of sand and a moribund click counter, which together form my virtual switchboard. Honey-combing the dead air.

Since I know full well, that each and every anemic response I receive, has already been bounced off pillar to post with the bruises to show. I can pluck so few of these dark stars, these collapsed novas, from the all-encompassing grip of male gravitational pull that holds them in thrall. I beg them, beseech them to up and leave, but I can hear it in their quelled voices; they can never break free of his noxious atmosphere. And I am left to stare dumbly at the winking eye of the cursor. A cyclopean sentinel jealously guarding his cowed flock, beadily mirroring my vigil. A fixing of me that is anything but cursory. It’s flickering relentlessness unnerves me. Upon each waning period, as the tiny portal of light patrols a half-revolution away, I imagine that the return swing is protracted a moment longer, where he has been waylaid by a paroxysm of activity beyond. That a larval flow of words intrudes upon him from the other side. That on his return, I will gain access through his casement to the enclosed world beyond. But no. His blinking round waxes regular and unimpeded.

I need to blind his gaze, so that somehow her weeping words will seep out from behind his spiteful aqueous humour and creep across my plasma screen. Prompting my callused fingers to spurt across the keys, as I strive to apply the trace oxygen of shared closeness. But when our hushed whisper of a conversation is suddenly snapped off, then I know Cyclops has knuckled his signet dolmen across the orbital breach and that yet another sister’s light has been extinguished in a universe far away from me.

Would that I could project my e-banner through their screen, to scoop and furl them up in it and whisk them magically away to my oasis of safety. Each time my honeyed mirage dissipates, leaving me poised empty-handed over the keyboard’s denuded honeycomb. A recurring wakeful dream tormenting me, that though I bore the pardon in my hand, I did not know which warden’s office, in which penitentiary, to deliver it. And now my mocking cursor has its own glimmering shadow.

Behind each ebbing oscillation, another would-be psychopomp lurks. A trace of a trace of a trace. So now I too abide in a state of siege in my own domicile. Intercepted and jammed. Just like those I would seek to salvage from their wrecked lives. But I shall not be cast as another dumb woman in peril. I too possess resources and I can tap back into their engorged cocksureity. Germ-Granny calling, Germ-Granny calling- (Worldwide-Wife-Wrecklamation) accessing www. (wee-willie-winkie) (Febrile Bugaboo Insanity) ... ... Ah, here we are, ‘A seditious cynosure’, are you sure ? Exactly what resolution is on your monitors ? Your vomitors. Can’t you see these bunions ? Here, let me kick off my slingbacks and see if I can overcome my debilitating sciatica and swivel my leg up on to my desk. There, just about managed it. Don’t get too hung up on the varicose veins, it’s not a secret map to any hidden arsenal out in the woods. Fair enough, you can’t see my family susceptibility to glaucoma, but there again, I can and such foresight does me no good at all. Plus I no longer have my own teeth. So, though I wear my threescore year and ten body with matronly precision, I’m too much of a wrinkled prune to play the sweet old grandma card. I’m not alluring to anybody. (Though I ain’t quibbling with the ‘seditious’ part). Now (three red chillis) off you god-damn spooks !

We are not a cult. Or a sect. Nor are we occult, for we have nothing to hide. We have no sacred symbols, for indeed we have no presiding religious beliefs. We bear no single core ideology at all, other than ‘men stink !’ We are a loose agglomeration of women from different backgrounds and class, who share only one particular type of experience. That of abuse at the hands of a male partner. No one is bound here, all are free to come and go as they please. We pursue a non-profit ethos, though we do not seek charitable status. Now quit bugging us !

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