The International Writers Magazine: Indian Heart of Darkness
Butterflies of a Dark Light
It is as difficult to hang yourself in a hammock as it is to slip the panties off of a spinster virgin at an Episcopalian revivalist picnic.
Not wanting to be an inconvenience to anyone, I figure that a hammock would provide a ready-made funeral shroud: zip me up and roll-me-over into the clover to ruffle gamine angels' feathers. No fuss, no muss. Adios cruel, cruel world.
You can not get sufficient leverage to snap your neck in a hammock. You asphyxiate. You pass out. The strap slackens. And you awaken to another black day in Kudle (pronounced kood lay not cuddle. That is another salacious and tawdry tail.) Beach in Gokarna, India.
The heartbroken, the dreamers, the outcasts and the freaks are deposited here to seek dharanas' bliss beneath the bamboo sheafs of $3 a night shacks. We are Raggedy Annies and Andys, our viscera of cotton scraps cut and hanging loose by the ambitions and malice of the great, gray parade that marches sullenly to paranoia's drumbeat that is the proper life of having a job and a suffocating mortgage.
Here we are hippies. We wear funny clothes.
In the gentle evenings, rendered as soft as down-stuffed pillows liberally buttered with hashish, we reveal our ruins to each other, the suppurating wounds that are our self-awarded merit badges of bad conduct, harvesting sympathies and a companion or two for the carnal night.
Children of Darkness
Joseph: Begat in an Iowa drive-in movie theatre, seeded in the rocking horse rhythms of a cramped Dodge Dart as Scarlet O'Hara bleats hysterically about coming (or returning). Who knows or can stay awake for that long? as old Dixie burns—I really do not know the particulars, I'm just being poetic: a metaphysical, loose lipped condom that has slipped its assigned post—deported from Israel and banned from Sweden, his Bible ever at the ready, this messenger of God's stern words trolls Kudle Beach for young, moist snatch.
A long, white prophet's beard tickles his deeply tanned paunch; a white dhoti clings to his loins that when backlit by the tangerine sun illuminates the penumbra of his dangling testicles; capping rachitic legs, like a cartoon coyote on the make, red high-top sneakers shield his tender feet from the hot sand. Joseph's quest for peaches is bearing no fruit. For Joseph the half-mile swath of Kudle Beach is a wasteland of romantic desolation.
Joseph stalks his oiled, lumpen prey with an admirable persistence. If he were selling bibles he would do quite well. It is a numbers game. For old men love's arithmetic is negated. Frolicking nymphs, with delicate lupins weaved into their pudendae and daisies playing peek-a-boo with pink areolas and stubby nipples lure old men deeper and deeper into marshes of impossible desire before abandoning them to drown. Chemical castration is the merciful option for randy old men; life could then be enjoyed rather than endured.
Joseph is running out of money and has no viable options to finance his continuing liberty. I suspect Joseph will soon be destitute and homesteading in a Mumbai doorway. I wonder if his God will save him from that shallow grave.
'The Lord will provide,' is Joseph's retort and then he continues lecturing something about Jesus. But my attention wanders. It packs a lunch and beetles into a daydream's calculus of nude yoga's carnal possibilities.
Soledad: At thirty five years of age time is leaking for this South American chiquita before she is rendered undesirable and invisible by time's wrecking ball.
Soledad hunts young men who eagerly plunder her wet offerings. She has never known love: a panicked flight from the wedding altar and a bleak suburban existence in Sao Paolo has brought her to Kudle Beach. She regrets having bought a non-refundable return ticket to Brazil, she would rather continue her flight into whatever oblivion awaits.
I am unsure whether her manic promiscuity is lyrical or epic. In Symposium Plato wrote that once upon a time in a paradise of flitting butterflies alighting upon a turgid serpent bent on ploughing Eve's pubescent furrow, we were all hermaphrodites—imagine the auto-erotic delights of having both a bolt and nut in hand—no need to share! —until God, in a self-righteous snit, parted rod from groove, leaving us to forever wander the earth searching for our lost halves. Lyrical promiscuity is the unfulfilled quest for our missing piece, the counter part that would make us whole again.
On (in if done correctly) the other hand is the Epic which is the wholesale collecting of erotic adventures. Soledad's pursuits are both lyrical and epic. Each adventure is followed with tears as each conquest soon scampers back into his coeval's labial folds.
Machie: Xanax shushes the Tokyo demons that stole into her Hello Kitty! backpack while Machie drifted far out into a narcotic sea during her daily two-hour slumbering respite from a world of Karoshi and the incessant bombardment of leaping penguins hurling themselves under Tokyo Metro's speeding trains. Machie is one of the few who escape Japan's spectacularly dismal gray parade.
Machie's heart is broken. Love is a pernicious peril in travel. Paths part, loneliness infects the void. To fill that emptiness Machie has established a routine of patronizing select cafes where she devours four ice cream and cake desserts every afternoon. She eats alone, shamefully, and worries her round tummy.
Like Joseph, like Soledad, like me, Machie dreads the thought of going home and resuming a proper life. We want to believe that we have forever cut the chains that bind us to the West's tawdry burlesque.
Children of Light
A circus has come to Kudle Beach. It is a raggedy ass troupe of jugglers, clowns and fire eaters performing for loose, and rare, Rupees. I like the clowns. There is something intoxicatingly erotic about a woman tumbling in luridly colored baggy pants and a red plastic nose bob.
Figuring that a show of supple vixens thrusting their firm buttocks here, there and everywhere would be an opportune time to indulge in our own synethesiacal entertainment, Soledad, Machie and I conspire to drop acid; a sublingual stamp to post ourselves to a hallucinogenic wonderland of magical floating balls and bowling pins and elongated jesters (or would that be jestrixes?) Joseph has declined to partake. Dope is dope and God's gifts are not to be tampered with. 'Be that as it may,' I admonish Joseph, 'should we toss our tattered threads aside and congress under the influence lest not the sober diddle the stoned.' Alas, lysergic acid diethylamide is not an aphrodisiac; it alters perceptions and peels realities, not panties.
February: The days rot with an ineluctable boredom flattened in a haze of hashish and vacant eyes. The mid-afternoon ennui surrenders to inert irresolution. Soledad and Machie have left for Hampi. There Soledad will continue her hunt for fresh meat, Machie, too, is resolved to troll for love.
Joseph is disillusioned. His quest for libertine love is a failure. He wanders the periphery of the beach as a celibate ghost misplaced in a laundry basket would wander. Perhaps he is pondering the carnal possibilities of estrus angels. Perhaps the dead would be more receptive to his propositions.
Rafael, a very likable and enterprising Peruvian from Aquitos, has built a sweat lodge with strapped together bamboo strips overlaid with blankets now retired from promiscuous servitude. Twenty-five, sometimes thirty, semi-nude bodes are tightly packed around fire hot stones to sweat and chant Shiva, Shiva, Shiva to a steady drumbeat that invokes a fetal comfort and perhaps a randy incubus with a twinkle in her naughty eye might be summoned. A-ho! It is a nightly event that I attend regularly.
I want to pry open my heart to love and shoo away the anxieties and burdens that heel to my black shadow like stray dogs willing themselves to any dark master that passes by.
Slowly, slowly I heal. A Sephardic Jewess, a Jezebel! Oh joy! Oh joy! with a sibilant lisp hugs me and tells me that I am a beautiful beast. She is tiny and tippee toes to kiss my salty breast. I lose sight of her in the crowd.
I am a beautiful beast. And also now a butterfly released into a less dark light.
© Bad Mike May 2015
Biography: Bad Mike is a despondent hippy lost in India and author of Spanking the Children of Paradise
Buy the book 'Spanking the Children of Paradise' here