Tiamat by Anson Clark
‘I never knew you were the someone waiting for me.’
When I was thrust into this material world, I was Tiamat. I was the dragon. There wasn’t any sense of I or not I, there wasn’t any restriction or conditioning which would result in a partial personality. All was chaos and yet I was whole, though was not aware of this at the time. Coming out of the womb I was salt water, beautiful but undrinkable. I screamed and cried, wailed in the gloom. I was an unrestricted being and like water I, at that stage, could fill any vessel; there was no ideology restricting me. There were no preconceptions just a great force of life bursting forth and it was up to others to tame me, condition me, limit me. But at that time, I was free, though I didn’t know what freedom was.
I am a man standing in my apartment. The lights are on low, the room is gloomy, as if I’m trying to recreate something. I’m at the window looking down at the grassy area which was almost a park. I have few memories of my youth: the Onan Corporation took away most of our memories during the Great Reorganization. I, like everyone else, am here to work and to donate semen for the Great Cause. All conversation, apart from what was necessary for work or the Great Cause, was forbidden. Things were ruled by the Patriarchs, our old idols were defaced and destroyed. The first idols which were taken away were the ones denoting the divine feminine, Ishtar, Hekate, Aphrodite – these were the most subversive. For years, I managed to keep a small statue of Baphomet, but out of fear of the many Great Purges I had it incinerated. Life is simple and simple is good. We all have faith in the system; faith in the good works of the Patriarchs, though due to their humility we could have faith only in their works and not in them as people.
I am thinking a lot more than what is considered normal and that is because an amazing and worrying event occurred two hours and forty-one minutes ago.
The local convenience store was populated with… two people: someone with funny hair that was longer at the back than the front who was blowing some pink bubble-gum, and a guy with a tiny, tiny cassette player attached to his belt and some impossibly small headphones. I emptied about four thousand cigarettes onto the service counter. I had a subversive thought of building a Tower of Babel with them. I thought of Circe’s great library, which climbed to the heavens only to be destroyed by Poseidon’s tridents, in an episode of a cartoon Ulysses 31. They allowed them to watch anything in the Great Reforming Hospital, apart from porn, animal porn and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
“That will be… more money than you can possibly imagine. More than you’ll earn in; well, a billion, million years.”
I slapped, like a dead fish, some dollars onto the counter. It was enough. As I was about to leave, I looked up. I saw a woman wearing the most gorgeous designer sunglasses. Maybe there was a twinkle in her eye; I was absorbed. She lowered the sunglasses to reveal her naked self – a pair of brilliant blue eyes. She smiled – she was flirting with me.
I was immediately in love. I had never seen eyes so brilliantly blue; an ocean of meaning just waiting to be decoded. An ocean of freshwater. And then they were gone.
The sunglasses covered the eyes again; she turned around and walked towards life’s exit. All I could do was look away; inevitable since I had been programmed to hate myself. How else could I have responded to the circumstances life had presented me with? Grace and nature, two defining paths had alluded me. I went against nature. I went against grace. I had eaten pages of the Bible. How could one attribute grace or nature to that? I had become an animal, like Blake’s Nebuchadnezzar.
And with that she was gone. I panicked and the whole Great Reforming Hospital experience flooded back to me. I was like a branch blowing in life’s dual natured wind, half caressing, half debilitating. But then I remembered that I was a free man. I could make choices and perform acts that would have a knock-on effect on the lives of others. I dropped the thousands of cigarettes and snook back to my apartment.
Two hours and fifty-eight minutes had passed since I had seen Blue Eyes. I couldn’t stop thinking of this woman – I think it was a woman. With her eyes, with the lowering of her sunglasses, she had immediately given my life meaning, awoken long dormant feelings and I heard Koke Mongke Tengri banging the drum – could I find my way back to him? I repeated Section Eighty-Eight of the Great Code of Civilization – “A number must not make eye contact with another number, particularly one of the other sex.” Yes, I am a number, I shouldn’t be having these feelings; it’s as if I want to see this Blue Eyes again – but for what purpose?
I remembered how my mother would make paper roses, one for each client. “Why do you give gifts to bad men?” I asked.
“It is because each one has taken a piece of my heart.”
“Why not give them real roses?”
“They own my heart, not my soul,” she replied. “And anyway, paper is beautiful. Did you know the Chinese invented paper?”
“Didn’t they invent golf… and chopsticks?”
“But you know what? They didn’t invent fortune cookies. That was one of our inventions.”
It has now been three hours and twenty-seven minutes since Blue Eyes had entered my life. I have been pacing up and down my apartment – it has never seemed so large, it has never seemed so small. Was this Blue Eyes toying with me? Perhaps it was some sort of horrible joke. Maybe it was a test, a test of faith. The Patriarchs said everything in life was a test; perhaps they have me in line for a promotion and they are seeing if I’m a good citizen. If I resist this serpent temptation, then maybe I’ll win a car or something.
It’s been four hours and fifty-eight minutes since the encounter and I’m looking out my apartment window. I can see two normal people walking quickly, their heads bowed down avoiding eye contact. Nothing different there. I’ve got to be careful; maybe I’ll get in trouble looking at them. The stakes are high, there is risk there, I’ve got to be careful. Maybe I should watch some commercials on the tele screen. Wait! That figure standing by the lamppost by the grassy area looks familiar, is he or she waiting for someone? The figure looks up – is this person somehow aware that I am here looking at him or her? The sunglasses are there, it could be a woman. The person removes the sunglasses and I can see the Blue Eyes. I can’t believe it. Blue Eyes is there! Is she waiting for me? No one has ever waited for me before, apart from…
I was always awoken by the noise of the mother and the various assortment of strangers she invited into her bedroom – “I’m doing it for us.” She was doing it so she and me could travel to the land of white fences, genteel behaviour and American flags. At the cruellest times I thought that she actually enjoyed it. After one sleepless night I wrote a note which I left on the breakfast table for my mother to read in the morning. The note read “SEX IS FOR ANIMALS.”
I consider the note to be my greatest mistake; for sex, even though I knew nothing about it, was beautiful, and the initial nervous fumblings simply made it all the more meaningful. When the spirit-body was cold, cut off from everyday life, sex, or making love, would ignite the fire of the soul. Though I had never experienced it, I was somehow sure that sex made life worthwhile. It was not the sum of life but was an important aspect. Sometimes we would wear clothes, sometimes we wouldn’t.
Two days after writing that fateful note I found my mother hanging from the ceiling. I remember being taken over by spasms of pain and willing her feet to touch the floor once more. But she was long gone, her legs white like chalk, chimney stacks that had long since been snubbed out. And in her left hand was a rose. A real one. Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.
It was now six hours and five minutes since the initial meeting with Blue Eyes. I had to crawl away from the window and just couldn’t bear to watch the commercials on the tele screen. I was sitting on the floor, my back to the wall, smoking my thousandth cigarette. Was Blue Eyes a female? At first, I thought that he or she was, but now I’m not so sure. Maybe my mind was playing tricks on me. It could be a woman or some kind of woman-man creature. Was this person waiting for someone, and was this someone me? No one, since my mother, had ever taken any interest in me. It was a law. Breakthrough and change are dangerous: part of me wanted life to be a static paradise; another part of me wanted change, self-evolution, development. I knew what I had to do, I had to go back to the window.
Six hours and twenty-three minutes have passed since the you-know-what and I’m staring out of the window; Blue Eyes wasn’t there any-more. Perhaps this person had been waiting for someone and the person had arrived. The change and no change of this situation infuriated me and I slunk to the other side of the apartment.
There was a knock on the door. I froze – only nurses had ever knocked on my door. Was the crazy day about to get better… or worse?
Quivering, my lipless mouth like wet leather; my feet half numb, almost dead, I lumbered to the door. Sweat glistened on my porcelain skin – someone was about to invade my world, my sanctuary. In and outside I turned to water; pressed my hand on the door handle, turned it and opened the gaping wound.
A shadowy figure was standing there, wearing a hat and raincoat. I could not tell whether it was male or female; all I could see were the clothes, hat and… the eyes. The eyes were crystal blue – BLUE EYES! The genderless sexless figure said nothing though I could hear the faint panting of breath. I would have to make the first move.
“Do you want to come… I mean, come in,” I spluttered – I just wasn’t used to talking to people. Blue Eyes nodded and we both moved to the centre of the apartment.
“Please sit down.”
Again, Blue Eyes said nothing. Seeing the blueness on the inside was different from experiencing he, she or it on the outside. You drink your coffee and I sip my tea.
The Blue Angel sat down – Marlene Dietrich.
I knew I had to focus – I suddenly remembered what my mother had said to me the night before she killed herself –
“Adam, you have the most beautiful blue eyes.”
I looked into Blue Eyes’ face and saw myself.
Anson Clark lives in Manchester and has been interested in writing for several years. He studied Creative Writing at Oxford University. He has worked as an English teacher in both Japan and China and has an interest in Eastern philosophy and thought. Anson loves coffee and drinks it as much as possible to stay awake. He has an interest in both high and popular culture and is a big fan of artist, Frida Kahlo. He is currently saving to go to Mexico on a Frida Kahlo pilgrimage tour.