Friday, 30 January 2015

...of excorcising

What was the single most awesome and terrible thing about his grandmother?
Her corset. The first time he saw it on a chair in his grandparent's bedroom, he did not know that it was a garment. It seemed, rather, a mysterious object that his grandmother used for some malicious purpose secret to herself. Seeing it for the third or fourth time, he realised that it was something his grandmother wore, hidden, for some strange reason, beneath her clothes. The vast expanse of white cloth, tinged yellow with age, the enormous elastic straps with their cruel-looking metal clips, the bony stiffness that permitted it to lie so rigidly on the chair - all these things together frightened him. That she should place this horrible thing on her body: perhaps it was the magic that made her so mean.
What further thoughts did these reflections give rise to?
He thought of his grandmother removing the corset, standing naked. He felt slightly sick and light-headed when this idea came to him. He wondered if she made his grandfather watch. He then wondered if his mother wore such a thing, and at this felt absolutely dizzy and sat down. Each time this latter thought subsequently came to him he exorcised it thus: He bit the flesh inside his mouth on the left side and said, silently, "one, two, three." Then he bit the flesh inside his mouth on the right side and said, silently, "four, five, six." Then he pressed his lips tightly together and said, still silently, "seven." He then concluded by whispering, "that's all, no more."

[Aberration of Starlight, Sorrentino, G.]

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