December 2, 2007

Paragon’s People (11 of 11)

Thread: Paragon

Outside, the night had grown a little chilly; there would be a layer of frost the next morning. The student asked the girlfriend, ‘What are you frightened about?’

She slapped him across the face. His face was coated in shock; before he had a chance to gather a thought, say something, anything, she slapped him again. Her furious glare seemed to heat his face more than the double-slap.

‘You’re a real bastard godless shit,’ his girlfriend said. ‘But I suppose I should thank you for bringing me here. I’ve never seen so much stupidity in all my life. They all really believe that.’

The student put a hand to his hot cheek, rubbed slowly and asked again, ‘What are you frightened about?’

She pulled her jacket a bit tighter and stepped away from the thinker’s apartment block. ‘I don’t know, really,’ she said. ‘It’s just so weird. I feel like something else is going on. Maybe the president was threatened or something. Maybe the “status quo” is coming back and will take their revenge on the America that voted for the president, you know, just like after Bush. I don’t like it. This kind of surprise… it’s not kosher.’

‘I know, I don’t get it either.’ He paused, and then added, ‘I’m sorry about being such a fucking moron. I’ve been going through some stuff. You know. Fucking retard.’ The words were too light in his mouth, refusing to convey anything of import. He was sorry and he wanted to prove it.

‘It’s okay.’ She sighed. ‘It’s okay, I guess. We all go through stuff.’ She sniffed back the sloppy mucus that was the aftermath of her earlier tears. ‘I’m just glad we can move forward. I understand a bit more about what’s going on up there. I don’t really, like, agree with all that stuff you were saying. But… but you were right about… you know, the sex. I’ve been feeling uncomfortable about that ever since.’

They crossed the road, devoid of traffic, heading towards campus. She continued, ‘You made a point and I suppose it made a sort of weird sense. It was nice seeing you so… I don’t know… strong? Confident? It’s like we’ve been… hollowed out people before, with no real feelings. Now….’

‘Now we seem to have some life in us. Anger and humiliation does that to you, I think.’

‘Yeah.’ Her anger appeared to be breaking down, dissolving in a strange, new soup of emotions. The student felt it too; the presidential event had left them both struggling to understand the future, albeit for different reasons.

The student said, ‘I don’t know if what I thought makes sense any more. The President bowing out like that took the wind out of my sails. I’m more confused now. Shit.’

‘Oh you can’t stop now, even though I don’t believe what you believe. If I was as paranoid as your friends in there, I would probably be wondering right now whether “Paragon” could keep his nose out of politics.’

Electric lights flickered over head. He hadn’t given it much thought, events having mesmerised him. He found the shifting ground terrifying, because, even though it was what he wanted, it wasn’t on his terms. The president was to become a religious adviser to the government instead of leading from the front. Advising? How much control would the position of the Paragon have? It sounded like none at all. The president didn’t seem real any more. What threat was he?

And then the student’s girlfriend was kissing him. It wasn’t a kiss of love; it was of loneliness, one of affirmation and connection. Her grip on his arm was solid, needing. In returning the kiss, he was affirmed and connected. He didn’t know if he actually felt anything for this girl, but she wasn’t as dull and obedient as he had mused. That had to count for something.

She withdrew an inch from his face to whisper, ‘Do you want to try again tonight?’ and then returned to caressing his lips with hers. Neither of them were smiling and there was a disturbing emptiness about their intimacy, different from the emptiness of before. It was like he had ended all the play-acting, cancelled tonight’s performance, revealing the naked, bare stage. There was nobody there. Part of him missed the play.

The unknowable complexities of the world were as frightening as he had said, and they had to be challenged. But everyone needed a shelter, another body to bury themselves in for a few hours, to relax and escape the turmoil and torment of reality. He was okay with two hearts of empty holding each other in the dark.

She pulled away again and said, ‘We can always try again.’

He nodded in agreement, ‘We can always try again.’

The student’s arms wrapped tightly around the girlfriend. His arms were bindings, constricting her, preventing her from moving away, moving at all. And she played to it, enjoying not just tolerating, pressing herself even harder against him, desiring more pressure, wanting his body to crush and break hers.

And here endeth the lesson, he thought. We pretend to crave freedom, but our fear prefers to indulge in cultural sado-masochism, wanting to be constricted, throttled to choking point, to be punished, pounded, prodded, punctured. Belittle me, tell me what to do. Strike me and I will bark like a dog, happy in your service, master. In the end, it really is all sex.

Bliss. I understand.

Posted by: The Harbour Master @ 2325

2 Responses to “Paragon’s People (11 of 11)”

  1. Jennifer wrote on 4-Dec-2007 @ 1631:

    I am scrolling along your back log to find the first Paragon story!!

    You tease!



  2. Jennifer wrote on 4-Dec-2007 @ 1631:

    I am scrolling along your back log to find the first Paragon story!!

    You tease!



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