comparative writing, STUDY No. 2: A male mirage takes my soul, Queen St. W, Toronto, 11 PM

Fucking eyes, souls, men

 

“The soul is easier to know than the body” – Rene Descartes, Distinctions

“I am not the foundation of my being”-  Jean Paul Sartre, Being and Nothingness

 

A walking dead stare, he sees me.

My sympathetic nervous system is sharp from years of fearing the worst, from an upbringing of go here go here go here go there go there WAIT turn around come back here again and from the basic fact that most men I have met have disguised their soul-sucking powers with dead stares, quiet, and smirks.

Here he is, body, everyone, walking, eleven PM, shit, we cannot, we cannot pass each other and still I am, passing, slowly, he is far but his stare is almost stolen, from a video game maybe or from a movie about men who stare maybe or maybe from Satan, whatever, it is working and I am aware of my glandular impulse to just SWEAT PUKE RUN.

Does the city see him, can you see him, tell me you see him or this is just impulsive fear and little girl bullshit and just cross the street or be a woman and yell something like HEY FUCK YOU STARING AT ME MAN.

This is the second time in my life that I am peering at what could be a complete mirage.

Am I so worried about life in general, about vocational failure and filial failure and heart failure, I am so worried about being a dreaded presence that I have acquired the ability to, at the worst of times, manifest this kind of pictorial mass, staring at me, wanting me to know something deep, dark, challenging, passing by and giving me fucking eyes.

The first time was in Montreal.

Early, early morning, darkness, my brother is visiting me because I am not psychiatrically fit and I walk him, right at the start of the winter thaw, with my dog, to the park we love. When we get there, my dog pulls on the leash. It is too icy to keep up with his pulling so I irresponsible and with a delusional sense of trust let him off the leash, running in the dark in a wide open park. We reach the dog park, a gated and vast area covered in ice. We cannot walk very far. It is too slippery but, for the sake of energy, we let the dog run. Instinct turns my shoulders. Approaching from behind us, I see a large man. He stares at me. Dead. He waves with both arms. He waves as if he is drowning and I am life on the shore. I yell RUN. I grab my brother. He runs with me because he loves me. I lose a sneaker. We leave the park. I am shaking. My body, a perceived reality to my mind, is suffering because I am certain we were almost killed in a French Canadian park.

“Are you ok?” My brother, sweet and well adjusted to my mental problems, loving, hoping that I recover asks, “What happened?”

Incredulously I ask, “didn’t you see that man?”

“Yeah I saw him.”

“Ok well you weren’t scared?”

“No, I just thought he was like the guy from the muppets and he was like HEY.”

Laughter.

We walk home.

I arrive safely inside with a nearly blue foot.

That man was real. His body was real. His threat was perhaps just a relative assumption on my part: A man is coming and he is staring at me and I have to run.

 

Last night I was alone.

No brother, no one else’s reality.

No foundation to my being.

He sees me, blocks away and I cannot look anywhere else.

His stare, unblinking, his head craned towards me, someone else see this psychopath, someone else see the horror movie man I can see, CAN ANYONE SEE, no. No one is here. He passes.

I momentarily surrender to the end of my life.

Oh fucking dear if you hear me if you just want to take a second and keep this man’s weapons to himself, keep his dick to himself, keep him contained, keep me walking, keep me alive, whoever keeps things for us can you JUST and my chest is dead (you are dead now let it go) and my legs are broken off (you are dead now lie down and let it go) and my voice my aeronautic ability for a forced audible presence is gone, I am taken, he sees, this man, short white black jacket smirking young acne oval eyed breathing man is watching my soul.

It is easy for him.

I feel a dark shaking.

He is behind me.

I throw myself forward, into the street, if there is a streetcar I will run for it and if not I will run home, no no, how, who, I look behind but an old man is the only person nearby. I let him pass me. I keep him about five feet in front of me for as long as possible because his body makes me feel safe and my body, alone, in the street, makes me feel not safe.