Nobody’s Fault. Irreconcilable Differences. Mental Instability of One Partner. Sexual Incompatibility. Incurable Insanity. Mental Cruelty by One Partner. Incompatible of Temperament.
On what grounds?
The Defense moves to admit the following exhibits into evidence:
1. The memory of a room
The room is a one-room apartment. In the middle of the room is a bed.
At the four corners of the bed hang cuffs on straps.
She tucks the cuffs out of sight when guests are invited. He pulls the cuffs back out again after the guests leave. Every weekend they put freshly laundered sheets on the bed and adjust the straps together, ensuring the cuffs always hang visible at their four points.
The cuffs can be used at any moment and rarely are. They are always available when he needs a threat in the form of a plea.
He stops accusing her, with grief in his voice, of being “actually only a lesbian” once he begins declaring he has “always felt deep need” for games of bondage and submission. He tells her that his identity is at stake in her acceptance.
He tells her that love is at stake in her participation.
Later she will conclude: he saw how she jumped higher to reassure him of his innate human worth than to defend her own.
2. This comic strip
A man leaning on a heavy mace and wearing an executioner’s hood invites a young woman to experience pain with him.
“Go on. Pick a safeword,” he purrs.
“ALL OF THEM,” she replies. “INCLUDING SILENCE.”
3. A thing I say only to myself
“Even when I am silent I am not ice cream
but vanilla as in Fcuk You.”
Sometimes I hum it under my breath like a Souza march.
“Not Vanilla as in Ice Cream,” is part of an ongoing memory project.
Additional installments can be found here.
[image source: Serendipity Diamonds]