Karine and I were on the way back from the movies at the Louxor Palais de Cinéma the other evening. Since it was a nice night – no, that’s not right. It was not a nice night or, not yet or, not again, a nice night.
It no longer signifies that the air was warm as we left the theater. Warm and cold fronts seem to change and change about in the atmosphere like the ticks of a crazy clock: cold, colder, warm, cold, warm, warm, hot, cool, cold, warm.
We now decide to walk only on grounds of physical or spiritual need. “Nice” has become “lucky”.
The walk east along the boulevard de la Chapelle is only for people who unconditionally love urban landscapes: all crash-banging elevated, enameled cast-iron pillars, blank walls and emptied space.
Hand-in-hand, we set off toward Stalingrad.
I was just opening my lips to begin enlarging on my new Theory of Vaginal Perplexity and its pertinence in respect of the socially and politically retrogressive Jihadi movement and its hypocritical patriarchist lickspittles when Karine said something I didn’t quite catch. No wonder, either. Using this type of abstract political language makes me temporarily unable to hear, or even notice, other people.
Even so, I am using such language to talk to Karine, who, like many people of a progressive bent, has a tendency to put things in abstract and analyzed political terms. So, like the cheese-eating surrender monkey I truly truly am, I try to mime what she most easily understands rather than just wind her up with perplexing blather she has no hope of ever getting.
The mime comes out as bombast, sure. But when two ways of expressing one’s self are so contrasting, what do you want?
For instance, hearing that Donald Trump has endorsed torture, Karine might say, “This man personifies, as well as legitimizes, the sense of radical victimization that masquerades as politics these days. Thus, his politics naturally has a fascistic expression.” Or, hearing of Marine Le Pen, the egregious American’s Gallic counterpart, murmuring on the special nature of white folks, she might say, “The question here is power. Such people want to put themselves into power. Thus, she mouths the narcissistic self-congratulation of the majority without necessarily believing in this or anything else beyond her own need for power. Heaven only knows what that woman will do if she climbs into office.”
For my part, I tend to express my socio-political opinions in terms of hidden erotic anxieties and fears. Thinking of Trump, I hear the wet slap of his meaty red hands on the pale, withered, buttocks of a superannuated prostitute. I share this man’s shiver of creeping dread as he realizes that, this time, he may just have to work too hard for the money. I think of Marine Le Pen and see through the quivering lens of my anxiety: the bead of sweat bulging out just below her ear as she makes me a coarsely-worded proposition in a public toilet. The proposition involves putting her hand on my throat.
it still a wonder that I am reduced to bombast in talking socio-politics with Karine? She thinks, then analyzes. I fear, then luridly, hysterically visualize. Even if I think that our views are quite the same in the end, I often wonder how is it that this woman can stand me?
She squeezes my hand too tight, often, so she may wonder the same, at least sometimes.
Anyhow, she beats me to the talking point when she says, “Did you like the movie?”
I did, so I say, “Yes.”
The movie was a Japanese slice-of-life movie called in French Les délices de Tokyo by Naomi Kawase. I have no idea what the English title might be, so it’s lucky for you “Tokyo” is spelled the same in French and English and that délices resembles a word that fast-food giants desperately want you to associate with their slumgullion.