Chapter XVII – The Moon
The moon loves me. The moon is my friend. When the Moon card appears, it means the hero is at the critical stage of his journey. The Moon represents Hecate, Queen of Hell. Hecate is the Hero’s Muse in her menacing aspect. The crab – seventh sign of the zodiac – is pictured at the base of my beautiful moon card, a work of art. The Crab is trying to birth himself as he drags his body from a stagnant pool. This armored creature represents primitive unacknowledged forces of the spirit which seek to sabotage us and which must be overcome. In the middle distance a road is seen, guarded by a wolf and a dog. Their attraction must be resisted. The moon is freedom; the dark path descends back into the womb from which we’ve fled; the inchoate hell of life before we recognized identity and made choices.
I advocate no path; I wind around through the bushes sharing beneficiary of the Moon’s light and glamour. The wolves won’t know I’m there.
Memories stirred as I darted through the shadows. I felt like a teenager again, sneaking in and out of my house, avoiding my stepfather. How relished staring into people’s windows when they did not know they were being watched. Tonight I saw a family – I guess Zanellis – through their picture window, working together, cleaning up after dinner. An older woman, older man, two kids under 10 – the dead son’s children from his previous marriages? moving as if in a dance through the kitchen, opening and shutting, drying and passing, folding and wiping. No sign of you.
My mother always felt spied upon. She was a “what will the neighbors think?” kind of person. If you’re gong to be controlled by your neighbors, you’d better choose them carefully, don’t you think? Don’t live in a trailer park, or the next worst thing, a shack ghetto around a dead-in-the-water lake. When Moms tried recruiting me for her act I just shut her out, trying not to listen, recognizing it as the mind control an older generation attempts to exert over the younger. She always said we should live our lives as if we were being watched every minute!
It wasn’t until I was taking the required Introduction to Basic Psychology course at the college that I had the chance to realize that she couldn’t hope to know what the neighbors actually thought. Their minds were forever closed to her. Duh. In fact ours is the only mind in which we can ever, ever live. The only person whose thinking matters is you.
By my mother’s own choice she was living in an ineffective world of her imagination – the very thing she accused me of – where she had no responsibility but no power either. Each of us lives completely alone inside our heads. It is literally as if there are no other people in the world.
There is an exception to that. The exception is the telepathy that exists between two perfect and like minds, sexually joined. You will become me as I become you. Admit it; haven’t you always wanted breasts and a pussy of your very own? We will wield each other’s weapons as well as our own. It is power doubling that vaults us head and shoulders above all other puny lives.
The shed was pretty unappetizing. No wonder the social workers stoked the Sivarro’s fires! Not a place for a three year old.
There was a window, but it was dark. There was a pile of cans beneath the window as if somebody too lazy to get out of bed had thrown them there. I had to kick them out of the way and stand on a pile of compost to look in. A drape of honeysuckle partially obscured my view.
I writhed as if stung at the thought that I had missed you. I’m not sure I have ever felt true jealousy – as opposed to, say, envy – in my life. But I was discovering that when you want a person, everything is different. I used to spend all my time trying to maneuver men who had something I wanted into wanting me. Is this “I’ve got to have you” sensation what you men feel?
Sex is usually like the solitary experience that trains us in desire. Men like pornography, women like romance novels. My mother’s eating was her pornography. “I want a chocolate one layered with a vanilla one and then a salty snack washed down by a cold hush of juice.” Understandably, people want experiences they can manage. My grandchildren are obsessed about electronic games. Virtual games. What happens when “virtual” isn’t enough and you must have reality?
I push away the doll-like figures, kick them out of sight, and you and I stand alone but together, facing each other, weaponless, maskless, along a level plain. It is your freedom that I desire. And in turn, my beautiful Knight of Swords, my Knight of the Colt .38, I offer you my power. I want to be the one who provokes that rich, slow smile.
And then my eyes became adapted to the light and I saw you, sleeping nude upon a narrow bed. Your sheet was partially thrown off, your manhood rose, exposed. Knowing I was there. Summoning me. I felt the answering squirt between my legs. Suddenly I needed to pee, and squatting right there relieved myself upon your junk pile, my hot perfume of me mixing with the honeysuckle.
Athletes must imagine the course before possessing it, dancers imagine the dance; my husband used to say that for all we know we’re the imagination of a dreaming Chinese philosopher.
Your chest was bare, the color of moonlight. I would finally touch its hard silk and hairless ripples. The tattoo on your shoulder: what does it represent? I imagined the tattoo was my own face looking out at me from your chest, swelling like a spider-web across muscle and throat, reaching toward your nipple. You knew I was coming and you had always kept yourself pure for me.
The door was unlocked and almost silent. I stepped over the pinkish flannel shirt I had seen you wear. I picked it up, pressed it to my face and I was rewarded – surrounded by your smell. Sweat, yes, cigarettes, and a subtler, musky aroma like the underside of leaves. Like the mossy lake after a rain. That will be the way you taste.
I thought of the power of the stars. As a Gemini born on the cusp of Aquarius rising, your Sun was in Gemini and your Moon in Aquarius. Your strong air element gives you a throne like mine; you were born to be a revolutionary and a man of ideas. By birthright you possess the power of your other twins. In the womb you slaughtered him; gave him up for sacrifice, probably during the Transit of Mars with Saturn in your twelfth house. You knew instinctively that you would lay him someday on my altar.
You are my ram in the thicket, given to me as an offering. Will I startle you? Will you push my hand away? It’s the creature with the sharpest senses that transforms, transmutes, transcends each otherworld encounter, by intuiting the opponent’s move. There ‘s our edge.
Somewhere music played – back in the house they cranked up a singer’s sorrowful wail as a wall, to curtain, to separate each from the other as the empty people wandered towards their beds.
I stripped off my clothes and threw them in a pile. My body moistened, senses sharpened, heart contracted. Lust for your otherness opened inside me like a flower. I took my scarf, winding it around my palms, and covered you eyes. Lightning passed between us.
I feared you would vault out of that bed as if you’d been gouged. But you didn’t. You reached a sleepy hand over one of mine to capture it, to keep me from escape. As I mounted your magnificence still you were not afraid. I ran my hand upwards toward your throat: still accepted my invasion, your blind eyes fluttering behind my scarf. You reached your arms up for me and I rode you like a succubus, like a revenant.
In the moonlight I saw your beautiful body as well as felt it: every inch. You are lit from within; the flying buttresses of your ribs are tent spines where the parachute silk of flesh is stretching tight. I thought of bodies as machines, as engines, now I saw yours as the tabernacle for your spirit, for your hidden self, a thing too beautiful even to risk the moonlight. Too beautiful for exposure. I ran my hands over the pale silver fur of your legs and crotch and I raised a lot more than gooseflesh; your balls tightened in my palm like a pair of dice yearning to be thrown.
Your muscles felt like those of a powerful animal like a jungle cat, locking and interlocking smoothly beneath the velvet of your skin. I saw the tattoo; gothic words; Razor’s Edge, and the semblance of a creature. Bird? Buffalo? I will know for certain soon. The razor’s edge is where both of us live indeed. From the words dripped drops of blood; one for every man you killed?
If so, you slaughtered more than me. I wonder if we can count the walking corpses left behind; those who might as well be dead but still they lurch and breathe because they refuse to recognize their own mortality.
The Zanellis are dead, Karen Sivarro, maybe also her lover, the wretched Mr. Haymaker. Your father is dead and my stepfather, the Empress and all the zombies who hashed their lives to make our dinner. I sometimes think my poor stepdaughter Whitney, with her mind and heart so preoccupied – interred, you could say, with her father’s ashes, is a victim too.
Most of all I loved your chest, so wide and hard it could enfold like the spines of a boat. My ship of rescue, a pleasure yacht to float me away from the boredom and the loneliness of all my lovely money.
Whatever have you wanted, you shall have it. Other women? I will bring you whoever you desire. There mist be someplace on this earth you long to go. But we must wait until the trial ends, so you are safe. We cannot be seen together. I must restrain myself but it is hard. I have been so long alone.
I touched each star of your precious constellation; the cords of your neck, your silver seashell ears, the tip of your strong nose, your scarred bare head. Your pentacles. I wanted you to feel my hard body, not a young girl’s any longer but just as lovely as it was in childhood, before my stepfather tortured off my “flying dust”, as we once did to butterflies.
Everything you want I will do, Everyone you want I will be. This is my vow. Our hot breath steams the room, but this magic veil can conceal us not much longer. It is time to say goodbye.
Making man come at my pleasure has a lot to do with the forefinger and everything with what ring I choose to wear. A gold nugget does the trick. You boiled inside me like a volcano.
I left you blinded with my scarf and stole in turn your red bandana, fleeing naked, holding my clothes before me, melting into the spring night that shelters lovers, becoming one with the crickets chirping, the peepers peeping, the lilacs rustling. I giggled as I climbed still nude into my car like a frat boy on a successful panty-raid.
I laughed while I drove. We will wrestle! I am strong from battling with currents; we will be so evenly matched. Even if each of us wants to be on top both of us can have our wish. I will caress the places where you shave and do not shave; I will free you from yourself. And when the rollercoaster breaks free both of us will fly free forever. We inherited hard shells like dragonfly larva, they will fall away as we give birth to our own power.
It will even be a beautiful way to die, spirits gone and left behind our abandoned silver shells, joined at the hip like a pair of Siamese twins? My husband always called orgasm “the little death”, I hated him for that. I never came with him. It is not little, it is a big, big death to catapult one’s self so freely through the reveries of another.
Is it raining? I felt the rain on my cheeks and hands as I rushed to my front door and disarmed the security system. Dogs barked everywhere, but thank the Goddess humans cannot understand their language.
Safe inside I took a long, perfumed bath, cleansing myself completely (except for my left hand) and when I climbed out, I wrote this down so I could live it all again.
Warm in bed I hugged my trophy – hugged you – to myself that night, recalled your every inch. When I pleasured myself to sleep, yours were the invading fingers.