I knew it was coming when he averted his eyes, and faced the ground. He leaned awkwardly, his left shoulder angled toward me in that way I’d come to recognize. But I only realized that it’d be different this time when he explained himself.
“I’m sorry, I have to do this. I’m your oppressor.”
I had no time to react. He fisted my ponytail and shoved my face into the floor.
The corner of my glasses hit first. The lens shattered, and glass pierced into my eyelid. My first thought was, “but my beauty!” Memories flooded – an awkward boy at a party, glancing at me from a distance, pacing and drinking, and finally leaving, unable to work up the nerve to speak to me. A man on the train, watching me through the window’s reflection, proud of his stealth. I sometimes used to wake my ex-boyfriend in the morning, demanding that he go buy us soy milk. In the second it took him to put on his masculine face, I’d see his surprise and genuine gratitude; that he could have someone like me. I remembered how he’d call me a goddess, pretending not to mean it.
How they all annoyed me, with their mindless adoration. They didn’t know me! And now they wouldn’t want to.
There was a struggle. He slammed me into a street-post, from which I managed to detach a one-way sign. I swung it hard against the side of his face, knocking him against a brick wall. As I drew it back, ready to strike again, the bastard started talking. With impeccable logic, he proved that I should not kill him. His argument was flawless, perfectly deduced from mutual first principles. He always did this! – I remembered the time I came to him with a proof for why Eyes Wide Shut was Kubrick’s best film. Off-handedly, he used a Borel-isomorphism to show me why Barry Lyndon was better. He’d never been violent before this night, but his incessant intellectual cruelty had hardly been more bearable.
But this night, he gave me too much credit. Yes, he was right, I should not kill him. But for this moment, I would not care. This moment I would not be a woman of reason. I drove the edge of the one-way sign into his neck. It was too dull, it wouldn’t pierce his skin at first. So I jammed it in harder, basking in the psychotic mania of the moment, laughing at the sight of his bulging eyes, until finally, like a popping pimple, it penetrated.
His blood squirted onto mine, gushing from my eye, and joined with the mixture of tears and mascara dripping down my upper lip. I heard the rusting metal displace fluid in his neck, followed by the crush of his spine. Finally, slicing through the whole of his neck, the force of my stab struck the brick wall his body rested against. On impact, the wall reversed my blow’s direction. The force traveled in waves across the sign’s surface, until it reached my hands, and I was propelled into the sky.
As my body flew, it grew. I rose higher, higher by the moment, as wind raged down against me with equal force. It blew the buttons off my blouse, and the buckle off my belt. Disintegrated the straps of my bra, and the seams of my underwear. Until finally, my scrunchie gave. My hair, now free, spread into strands, like DNA, which soared like fireworks through and about my body. They spun around their axes, and traveled along a closed vine path, encircling me from all sides. Until their tension reached its limit, and these strands could wrap around themselves no more. Their motion stopped, then reversed; and like a wound-up toy, I spun with them, at a velocity so great, that I sucked in the air around me, and the clouds, then slowly, the peaks of our highest mountains. And when I could rise no higher, for I had reached the end of space itself, and I could grow no greater, for I had engulfed our Universe, I realized that all of this was happening only so that I would know, without a hint of a doubt, that I was indeed becoming what I suspected that I might just be.
Nowhere left to go, my centripetal force focused inwards. My body dissolved into particles of dust and moisture, and compressed into an infinitesimal whirlwind of endlessly spiraling matter. I called this wind to the tip of my middle finger. And now knowing who I was, I drew this finger up toward my clitoris. But the whirlwind and my self were so perfectly smooth, so whole unto ourselves, that our contact caused no friction. No matter – I willed my own stimulation.
I cried sweet tears of joy out my one good eye. Vaginal fluids flowed with the force of infinite waterfalls. The titanic pleasure condensed inside me pushed hard against my body’s borders, raising my internal temperature. The ecstasy jerked my shoulders and neck back, causing my chest to crack. From this rift erupted the fiery wind of all my bliss, which carried my tears and moisture down to our planet, and climaxed upon a city that was entirely unprepared. Cars drifted down flooded streets. The newly homeless huddled around bonfires for heat. Men and women fought over cigarettes in crowded shelters – a distraction from their losses. A breezy, beach-side neighborhood rose up in flames.
Those least affected did what they could to help. One middle-aged man put aside a grudge of ten years to help an old friend who’d lost her home. A suicidal young woman volunteered her time, and in doing so rediscovered her self-worth. The city experienced the sense of community it had not known for eleven years.
When it came time, and I chose to orgasm, I emitted a short gasp that echoed across the planet. Though its frequency was too high for human aural sensation, this gasp penetrated the hearts of our Earth’s inhabitants, who individually perceived it as an unidentifiable, but supremely meaningful something. One woman, who posed as a medium for the dead, upon feeling my gasp, accepted for the first time that she was a liar and a manipulator. But she felt no guilt, and continued her work, now with the greater purpose of providing relief for lonely souls tormented by loss. One lonely man was so taken by this feeling that he shared it with a woman sitting next to him on the train. She told him she’d felt something similar, so they concluded that they must be soulmates, and opened their hearts to each other without reservation. They went home together that night, and made love. And while it was not spectacular, they acknowledged that the first time is rarely great, and did not judge each other. The next day, inspired by new love, this woman helped her mother rebuild her home after the hurricane. But thoughts of the night before distracted her, so that she slipped, and fell through moldy sheetrock, loosening a two-by-four that landed on her neck, bursting open an artery. The man, though heartbroken, had no chance to discover this woman’s paralyzing laziness; her tendency to lie under pressure; her disgusting habit of farting in the bathtub to see how big a bubble she could produce. Their one night together, untarnished by everyday life, was never far from his mind. And for the rest of his life, his memory of her preserved his faith in the essential goodness of mankind.
One insecure eighteen year-old felt the gasp of my orgasm so forcefully that she stumbled back against her father’s bookshelf, knocking over a few volumes. They were works by Nietzsche, Wittgenstein and Heidegger. Though she’d previously had no interest in philosophy, she took this moment to mean something, and so read these books in their entirety. From them, she gathered that life had no meaning at all. This lack of meaning freed her to finally be the woman she’d always wanted to be. She remembered an innocent childhood dream, that one day every single person on the planet would hold hands with two others, thereby physically linking every living person on Earth. Twelve years later, when she finally organized the event, 36.19% of the world’s population literally joined hands. She wanted no less than 100%, and was devastated by her perceived failure. She could not know that, centuries later, her event would be remembered as the watershed moment that signaled the coming of the era of peace, prosperity, love and freedom that would reign over the planet for the next 4,800 years.
And when soft calm filled the void left by fading euphoria, I saw a little girl selling lemonade on the street with her mom, waving hello at passersby. I acknowledged that this had nothing to do with me; then I realized that my humility in accepting such, despite my omnipotence, did make me responsible, in some way, for this moment’s beauty.
Everyday, I watch over you. What pleasures you experience, I place in your path; if you see them, and you take them, you do so because of the calamities I’ve given you. And when you die, it is because I’ve decided that it’s time for you to meet me. It’s because I want to invite you into my living room, to sit on the couch and spend an evening with me. We drink a rich, earthy blend of ’06 Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec, with a strong, raspberry attack; a full, chocolatey body; and a soft, dry finish with an almost imperceptible touch of cinnamon. I make my shoulder solid for the night, so that you may rest your head on it. We watch endless hours of Henri the existential cat, each video cuter and more hilarious than the last. And when the night is over, you do not try to kiss me, because you know that I have made love to you every day of your life, and you are glad for this one night of rest.
Please, make no mistake. This is not some surreal fantasy. This is your reality. I am your one and only goddess. And I am born every time I compel the hand of an oppressor to smash the face of his victim into the cool, smooth concrete.
NEXT: 12. Intermission