“So we spoke once as out thighs locked in the night — love’s own old lost story.”

October 28, 2012 § Leave a comment

She led me back to my dead philosopher girl who said to me: if you’re too tired for love, I’ve something else in a drawer to speed up our frightful experience. I was back with her in West Hampstead again, questioning her for what she knew, and I heard her all over again saying: Despair? But there’s not intelligence without despair. To find yourself as a good brain in this world and then be ended in a random way, it defies all logic, it’s no better than a fucked-up orgasm. Naked thinking, she said, is the last indignity — the dead breast covered by your only lover long after he has died, been run over, gone mad or gone away: in the end what we name love is nothing but a thin remembrance, a deferred loss. Great ghost, you are a broken officer, our spirit is denounced, stripped and reduced to the ranks where it can shuffle unseen; bitterness, disgust and self-interest remain. All defeat, all battlefields are the same. Even Napoleon after Jena, even Wellington after Waterloo finally learned how to weep over the waste of trust, over faith in death lying where it fell, the lazy eyes, the broken arms and the stink of last meals bursting open for the rats into fresh, uncaring air — birds, flies, sun settling expertly on ideas according to earth’s primitive necessity, her sanitation and her plan. Our pub arguments were settled with a shell — our gods, our politics and beliefs picked over by lame men in tears, cracked skulls turned over, the brains gone, great pain. True, the remains were dealt with in style at a convenient date, a few children following to ask why and to learn, and some women white with grief, asking themselves why they had ever let him go.

So we spoke once as out thighs locked in the night — love’s own old lost story.

— Derek Raymond, How the Dead Live

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