Lives Journal 6

Iztok Vrhovec

 

THE SERPENT

 

A woman stood by the lake. A man came by.

»What do you want?« the woman asked.

»I want...« the man replied and looked towards the sky, »I want to be touched by Truth, woman.«

The woman stepped closer and touched him.

»Your palm is wet and cold, woman,« the man said. »But the truth is... a wave..., a wave that touches you like a whiff of eternity. And you are... just a woman. When you're hungry, you smile and wheedle, when you've appeased your hunger, you care for nothing but your own digestion. The blood of enraged aeons boils within you, and you're a mare dancing to the rhythm of their whips.«

»There are thousands, millions of those, man, who recognise love and happiness and eternity and the ultimate truth in the whisper of my lips.

»And then, when they're lighted up by a beam of this love and happiness of yours, woman..., they flee like frightened spiders. But it's too late... Your truth has severed their limbs, your eternity has sucked out their blood and they're nothing but a heap of rotting bones. Only half-eaten corpses are released from your prison, woman.

»Fate herself has chosen to dwell in my eyes, man. Why won't you admit it?«

»In her gasping yearning for procreation Illusion will don any mask to charm her witness – this is her only goal. And you, woman, are nothing but a puppet in her hands; a gleaming vendor of her paralysing poison. What you advertise in the guise of Eternity and Fate is but an eternal and fatal illusion.

»The human soul is clothed in the veil of finest lies, man. Without them you, too, would be nothing but a pile of tedious bio-chemistry.«

»Your words are born out of the greed of Interest, woman, and everything this hissing factory turns out is the Lie you proclaim to be the only and the holiest truth, because you're afraid to remove its blinkers and look around.«

»Limitation is the fundamental law of Nature, man.

»Delusion gives birth to more illusions, woman, and before you know it they breed like a plague of mad rats.«

»I am the Womb of life, man; its Keeper and Cradle; I – and only I – keep Life alive.«

»You're a priestess of your godless faith, woman, and in your heart you carry battalions of guillotines severing the heads of hypnotised believers in the name of your idolatry. Your palm is a cold and slippery axe, and whoever reaches for it is mutilated. Sometimes a stray ray lights you up for an instant, and then you declare you are the Sun. The only Light, Reason and Intent and Purpose and Faith. Illusion herself obligingly bows to your masterly act and offers you a moment of beauty in gratitude; but this, too, is part of her deceitful play, woman. You too are a victim of her intrigues, and your hollow heart is just a stage for performing her perverted orgies. Whoever is seeking meaning and truth in her distorted verse..., cannot be redeemed, not even by death.«

»The fruits of reflection are bitter and rotten, man: Disappointment, Anger, Wrath, Despair. These miseries I can't digest. I am Beauty and Attraction, and you, man, are their inseminator. This is the law written by Fate, and Creation itself has forever abided by It.«

»Sometimes it seemed that melodies of heavenly tragedies were dripping from your mouth, woman; I laughed and was sad... But now..., now I know you're merely a fancy blotch on the crucifix of eternal illusions.«

»The chain of fettered truths can't be broken by a few miserable words, man. Yes, it's true – I act out my part with greatest pleasure and delight. So what! Creation is happily stroking its stomach filled by my passions and desires, setting me as an example to all other creatures. I am its prettiest and most loved daughter!«

»A puppet, woman, to lighten its boring aeons. Nothing but this. – I'm leaving you.«

»I will drop my translucent veil, man, and you will languish at the trembling of my breasts. When I wade through the ice-cold water and show you my white nudity, Lust will put a tremble on your lips, and you will give in to the quiver of my shudder.«

»You're a serpent, woman; cold and venomous. And I'm leaving you.«

»There is no sweeter venom than mine, man. You'll never get away from me!«

The woman throws off her transparent veil, her white breasts tremble in the cold night wind; she dives into the cold lake and shows off her honeyed nudity. Her white thighs glitter in the light of the Moon's pupils, the blinding light is obscuring the man's vision. Then the woman approaches him, her hand reaches for his manhood, her cheeks tremble with victorious excitement, for the man is hard.

»You'll never get away from me, never, man!« comes thundering from her mouth like deafening lightning heralding a terrible storm. A frozen branch trembles on a nearby oak, a shoal of agitated fish jumps out of the dozing lake, and an instant later dives back into its icy insides; then everything is as quiet and dead as before.

»Woman, you're a slimy serpent!« the man shouts and grabs her hand. »The spit of Illusion mixed with some stinky soil, which, at the moment of hysteric wrath, Isis's mad fingers, moulded into a venomous, crooked creature. And the truth is not so very hidden from the eyes.«

At his words the creature, in which seconds ago feminine blood was so excitedly boiling, turns into a stooping ball; it rolls to the old cleft rock perching helplessly on the bank of the sleeping lake, and a disgusting toad emerges from it. Its crooked legs join with the rock, and a moment later the sickening amphibian also turns into stone.

And since then no snake ever crosses the man's path, for in their hissing memory he is but a faceless peace of rubbish – dried out excrement blown out of their snake's cage by a sweeping blast of some irrational wind.      

 

 

Translated from Slovenian by Lili Potpara

 

 

 

Slovenian (gajica)

Slovenian (bohorichica)