Friday, 19 September 2008

Girl on a bicycle

Abigail is the epitome of my lust. Perhaps that doesn't say too much about my sexual appetites, but there's something so sleek and handsome about her, so wholesome and healthy, my desire tarnishes her just that little bit and it stings me.
When I first saw her I wrote down these words in my journal:
"The girl on the bike wheels into view. I'm lost for a moment, panicked on a familiar street. Her hair falls like a celluloid dream, in perfect torrents of colour. She is an element of cool. Her very nature electrifies the air, magnetising the eyes and souls of wanton man and bitter woman. And she feeds off it. She grows straighter, more erect, atop her bicycle. She rides on without catching a single eye."
Perhaps, though, I didn't understand her at first. She is more than a simple object of desire, that is why I am so disgusted by my lust. It is difficult to know how to regard her. Surely not as some goddess, whose divine beauty inspires unholy desires which must be atoned for? No, she is not perfection, no matter how near that level appears in her.
Also, she is not unattainable, not at all. An ordinary man, as ordinary as myself, meets her regularly for dinner. They meet at Cafe Mouchel most often, although I have seen them at Taymon's, when it's not too busy. His name is Jeremy and he is a banker.
Her beautiful posterior is neither divine nor permanently attached to her bicycle, for I have seen her ride the bus and even a tram. Once I followed her onto a busy bus and had to stand, crushed, my face in close proximity to her hair, my body on fire. She smelled of damsons.
Sometimes she will ride her bike all the way to her mother's, on the east side of town, which isn't even served by an underground station. I watch from my scooter as she slides from the saddle and bounces up the grey concrete stair as if she'd just awoken from hibernation on a warm spring day.
I tried to speak to her once, at traffic lights. The red light meant I had to pull up beside her, and wait a few trembling moments in her presence. Remembering this was just a girl - a 27-year-old girl named Abigail who lived alone in the business district and loved to eat ravioli - I decided I could speak to her, we could notice each other today.
My voice was muffled under my helmet, she turned her face towards mine, in case I'd said something, and as her eyes met mine I was dumbstruck. She cycled on as the lights changed to green, but I was lost there, sinking still in the deep blue of her eyes, oblivious to the honking of the traffic behind me.


Sucharita Sarkar said...

rather unnerving, that, though beautifully-worded, as usual.

Bryan said...

My shouldn't have. I'm always thinking about the line between infatuation and obsession. Interest and stalking.

Usually it comes up in my mind in the context of the old ideal of unrequited courtly love. There's a certain point where it becomes more a disease than anything else.

I could definitely believe a veritable stalker being aware he's objectifying a bit and placing her on a pedestal (and having qualms about his lust), while simultaneously going much too far!