Lilac Wine :: a warzone towards haiku

August 16, 2011

Self-torment

Filed under: Text — Tags: , — Lilac @ 7:08 pm

Humiliation is secretly a relief. I want to hear the fat and flaws on my body illuminated; having identified with the chevalier mal fet, T. H. White’s Lancelot, since I read the book in childhood. White writes that Lance was dreadfully ugly and taught himself, in isolation, to be the best knight in the world. My perfectionist mind gnaws at the waste surrounding what I might be; the slender golden goddess who is my spare ideal for myself. Her words have the strength of a thousand oxen. She is bones and taut skin, pared into a state of grace, gold and white and shining. In the mirror she is overlaid on every ounce of fat and I want to cry in desperation and peel off my skin when I see I am not like her. I am ill-made. Look at the shining golden girls about me; how they laugh. They are none of them perfect, but I have not idealized them with the cruelty I have idealized my potential self. I’ve created a parallel Lilac-who-might-be; she haunts me silently.

When you humiliate me, you let me know you see her too. Some of my tears will be pain but some will be relief. My torment will be in another’s hands for a while.

When I was younger I pencilled Lancelot’s name on my bedroom doorpost; he was a sort of protector, not because I wanted him to look after me, but because he was a hero whom I understood intimately in his self-torment. He had a strict moral code because he was bad inside, and broke it in the stupidity of love. I still, like a child, feel possessive of my hero whom I understand better than anyone.

And I want to be the best knight in all the world.

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