taken_aback (loss six)
by dj ringu no yubi
Download the music track ‘my burns dream before my eyes’ here
The first film is the most painful. It is the one where I can see my dreams burn before my eyes. The black ribbons have been set alight, like wicks on a candle. They ignite upwards and scorch the outer layers of my skin before I shake them off. The flash red hotness is replaced by a slow smoulder of heat. The subtle movements of skin as I twist and bend my wrist send ripples of my brain into sub-space.
Since he left me alone, holding one end of a phone linked to the sounds of something that I cannot stop hearing on the other; this is the way I choose to forget. Each evening is a different set-up, but the same outcome, arousal, guilt, dull pain and fitful empty sleep. Ribbons as rope, the scars left from the previous sessions slowly healing under the black silk. Sitting naked in my dark flat, stripped of all of his things, I hurt myself. It started by pinching myself until I feel the pain run through my breastbone into my back. And then it slowly morphs into darker places, where the taste of my blood mixed with the salty, bitter-sweetness of umeboshi becomes the sensory soundtrack to the space between work and waking.
Metres and metres of black rope bind my chest and stomach, wrapped in loops showing only the slightest glimpse of my skin between. I tie my legs together, around my hips, knotted at my pubic bone and then down through my thighs. The ribbons are tied so tight that I can feel the blood pulse over and through the material. My hands and feet seep warmth and colour. I strike a match. Small flares of sparking phosphorous arc away from the match head. Every pore of my scarred body tingles, as if my skin was made of soda, shaken and bursting to get out of the bottle. I ignite the tail of ribbon and watch the almost translucent heart of the flame run up the fabric and towards my skin. It is at that moment, when the heat bites into the epidermis that my dreams of a life lived as it had been start to burn. I shudder so deeply that I collapse into myself, the small red welts already forming on my wrists and the small barriers holding me back from oblivion shatter and splinter into tiny shards.
The amber light of the city seeps into my room, covering the sheets and hard slates of the timber floor with a yellowish egg wash. The other side of the bed is heaped with clean clothes and unwashed panties. It is a curious thing. And by curious I mean strange. The skin on my wrists and ankles burns with a deep ache that overwhelms me slightly. There is no obvious sign of trauma, at least not to the naked eye. I swear I can smell the short tail of the smoke from a struck match. I walk from bedroom, as the camera stays at the doorframe and follows my arse. The second camera picks me up as I open the fridge and take out a small blue china bowl, with the Japanese characters for Umami, the fabled fifth sense of taste, painted onto the side – a precise balance of flavours linking salt to sweet through to savoury. In the bowl is umeboshi, each plum crinkled and dark maroon in colour. The brine at the bottom of the bowl is a black blood red. And then the feeling of curiosity returns. What to do next? The first camera positions itself over my shoulder and watches me carefully pick up an umeboshi and pop it into my mouth. The credits roll. What a strange way to end a film, I think to no-one but myself. I wonder what Inertia must think.