CHAPTER THREE

BY AGATA CARDOSO AND BJØRK

I’m a tramp, a tart, a whore, a slut. I clear my throat and repeat this with more vigour. I laugh because I don’t give a fuck anymore. A name, what’s my name? I forget, and I don’t care. Who made up the fucking rules in the first place? I have a round face and my thick brown hair falls and crashes down as I unloosen it. I’m not your kind of white. I’m an afterthought. My sister was created from a male rib. According to the Hebrew legend, one little bitch considered herself equal to man and refused to be fucked, so she was replaced by my sister. I floated away. I’m tired but I need cash and I become irritable because of this. I catch myself scowling and hissing through the corner of the mirror. This chair is going to break soon. I then take a small blade to my ankle in a deep and clean stroke. I drop the blade on the wooden floor and the adrenaline rushes.

When you’re poor with nothing to lose, you make your own rules, no one cares about you. I’m 28 years old and my background is pitiful but not too different from the other tragedies surrounding me: my people. I smile while I count my coins, hoping that I may just be in luck this time. It’s the winter of 1894 and we have a republic: how wonderful to be French. Of course I’m unpatriotic! What has France done for me? France ma mere…. you bitch. France: you are a bitch, not even a teat will you provide me. I hate my parents who offered me, aged eight, sexually to an influential mason with connections. And I hate my mother for appearing from nowhere wearing a mink coat, followed by two men. Mother, mummy mummy. I am tied to a table: my wrists bound with rope, my arms akimbo. They collected my blood, I passed out just before I was raped. Mother acquired some very beautiful gowns at my expense. I am strong and will proudly admit that my thighs resemble an abandoned war zone. They are muscular, covered in a variety of pinks and reds: knives, blades, broken bottles. I could choke you to death with my thighs wrapped around your neck, or I could gauge your eyes out with my silver and tortoiseshell knife. I’m mad. Murder runs through my veins, stopping at nothing.

But the opium dulls any impulse.

I realised a few years ago that this planet is a prison, I pray everyday not to be reincarnated back to earth. I hate women and I hate men, I hate sex and I hate this place. I would gladly exchange a blowjob for cigarettes, gin and cough medicine. I’m in a little trouble, but it’s nothing that can’t be fixed with bribery. I have had to go to every fucking chemist in Paris to buy Laudenham. Or I get others to go for me. I have to tip them: swap a blowjob for a bottle of my sweet opiated medicine. You know you’ve been robbed. The cunt broke my finger. Don’t you dare fucking cry, I whisper. I take in a big hit and close my eyes. I can smell freshly cut flowers. I remove my nightgown and inspect my body: bite marks, scratches. I don’t recognise it. I storm out of my house. I stab him in the leg as soon as we get to the bedroom; I’m enraged and adrenalised. I try and catch my breath as I stuff newspapers into his mouth. I cut his ear off. His cries don’t disturb me. I start punching him hard in the stomach. I move to the face, almost mechanically. I cut off his clothes with my carving knife , then force something phallic into his rectum. He wriggles in agony; I sit in his gold chair “surely you understand?”

After three nights of heavy drinking she passes out, hopefully drowning in her own vomit. Save a blonde wig, she is naked: I throw my body against the wall. I piss myself, compensating for something lost, but only for about as long as I can hold my breath. Then I leave her unconscious in a sea so toxic that the next morning pours herself sixteen more shots of vodka than normal. She continues drinking all day, snorts some stupid rock-star-amount of coke and, eventually, falls asleep. At the bottom of the stairs, I find her face covered in rainwater and blood, dripping makeup. The official cause is “death by misadventure”. You’re enclosed in a box now, keeping the dirt in. It’s a narrow hard coffin without enough space for anything. You are lying there still and rigid like a school kid. Your mom, without any humour or warmth, arranges the funeral. It’s a ceremony against you, and I compliment her sunglasses. From the box: the taking of one human life by another human being. She looks up at me with wet eyes and running black mascara, disembodied perspectives, I was supposed to help her somehow, to say something. We grieve over your dead body for, like, an hour and a half then I start laughing, playing and dancing around, destroying a common space, uncovering the abject fear of deficit. I wonder if I can sneak parts of your skin into my grocery bags and, eventually, store you inside me. A process that is not commonly thought through as your head would be too heavy to carry. I look at pregnant women with envy; a hegemonic unsafe space leaving excrement traces: some kind of anal reminder. Then I describe all the shit you used to do, like stealing money through cheap identity theft. On the grave: My daughter, whose loving spirit sustains me still.

I’m wearing undies with an opening for my pussy. Your uncle and wife are standing alone in front of me. I fuck both of them with my undies on: an unprofessional effort. Maybe an entrance ticket straight to hell. Then stains of spit and semen transform your wife’s agony into incest. She opens her mouth and I realise that she’s only got five teeth. She comes closer and closer, till another tooth falls out. This encounter turns wife and lover into mortal enemies. I don’t do good to them that hate me: I smash their cheek, I feel like murdering your wife, but instead I dream about torturing her to death.  We’re in a bed made especially for bondage. Your wife is tied up; her arms stretched out and bound tightly to the top corner. Her sex is aching as I rub my cock against her asshole. If she moves, the rope around her neck will choke her. You are filming everything, capturing the struggle. She gags for a moment. Then her head hits the floor and goes from red to purple. After three minutes she opens her eyes and asks for more, till she screams begging to be killed. I am not like your uncle, and I do not worry that I have gone too far.

At a distance from the world of flesh: broken legs and arms, bones. Is there any raw data? I’m sick of human. I don’t care if anyone I know dies. As we leave the forty-five minute ceremony, I start feeling guilt for your death. I told you to cut your wrist with a knife and you did. I sleep with my clothes on that night, waking every hour to check if I’ve received any last minute messages from you. The scars and bruises on my chest expand. I take off my clothes and see a dark figure standing next to the bedroom door. “Is there anything you’d like to confess?” Your uncle comes into the kitchen and makes himself a coffee. He’s been suffering from a severe stomach ache for the previous two days so he stretches out for my grocery bag and vomits: “I have a note from somebody who is sick”. He throws up all over his lap, picks it up and throws it at me. Ten minutes later I start washing the windows inside and out. Within a few seconds the police have been called. It was a nightmare, and I am reminded, too late, why I must never remove my cloth. All I could think about was stealing a paddleboat and escaping into the harbour. I didn’t care who died, who was killed, I just didn’t want to face the cops.

 

Malise RosbechComment