Tuesday, 20 September 2016

The Garden of Unreality – 11. The Altar

One such moonlit nights, the student had been watching the goings-on from his balcony. He was in a frantic mood, pacing from his desk to the balcony and back again. He had to prepare for an exam on Monday and was behind schedule, but he couldn’t concentrate. His excited phantasies, even more than the din of the party below, proved too hard to endure and before he knew he had bounded down the stairs and rung the doorbell of the ground-floor apartment. He had intended to complain about the noise, but when a black answered the door and waved him inside without further ado, he was too flustered to refuse and entered on a scene the aged notary in his letter describes as “a subsidiary to Sodom and Gomorrah.”

Pushing himself through throngs of people talking, laughing, smoking, drinking and fondling in the candle-lit rooms and passageways he was wondering about the sweet scent that saturated the air. All the while, people were smiling at him and offered him drinks or a puff of their fags, which tasted queer but not particularly unpleasant. He began to feel more relaxed, even giddy, and when some pretty pushed her fag between his lips and, afterwards, sealed them with a kiss, he wasn’t even shocked by realizing she was a young man with heavy makeup. Instead, it made him laugh out loud, uncontrollably.
“Then,” as the notary writes in his letter, “the hostess cut through the crowd and took me by the hand.”

“She was wearing a diaphanous garment and a fantastic wig which made her all but look otherworldly. Her face half grey, half white, eyes and brows enhanced, her mouth a black heart, she led me into the garden and made me lay down upon a stone table. There she started to make love to me. She performed with flair and part of the guests who’d closed in around us sighed in sympathy."

"While she was bent over me, I sensed she might be more than a mere mortal, perhaps a moon goddess, and a sensation of intimate affection overwhelmed me and made me gasp in rapture.
I reached out for her, but the moon hid behind a cloud and I was on my own.
Then I had a dream."

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