I never understood why Paradoxia never became more of a cult classic.
It is Lydia Lunch at her very best and her most interesting, as an
author and as a wordsmith it is my favourite work of hers. Read it.
Re-read it. It’s filthy and unique and I hear it in her voice whenever I
pick up the prose but somehow it gains a foothold in fiction that she
never has live for me, I mean I love Lydia live, but this book, whilst
encompassing the persona that formed Teenage Jesus and the Jerks
and Eight Eyed Spy, goes beyond it, it becomes a work in its own
right. It’s one I rate and I don’t rate much. Not because I believe in
elitism but because OCD affords one a short attention span unless
held fully. Anyhow. Paradoxia should be read by more people. Or so
I think anyhow. Check out an excerpt below or just listen to Some
Velvet Morning instead x
(© 1997, Lydia Lunch)
No names have been changed to protect the innocent.
They’re all fucking guiltySo twisted by men, a man, my father, that I became like one. Everything I adored about them, they despised in me. Ruthlessness, arrogance, stubbornness, distance and cruelty. A cold calculating nature, immune to all but my own reason. Never able to acknowledge the repercussions of my behavior. Oblivious to the brutality and selfishness with which I would lacerate others.
Selfish and self-centered, without remorse. An animal driven by instinct. Running on intuition. Always searching for the next tasty morsel, unsuspecting prey, gullible innocent. My goal, rarely to maim or kill, but to satisfy. Myself. If that meant at the expense of someone else’s pride, vanity or even existance, so be it. My intentions were always true. To myself.
Days, weeks, months, years spent with nameless faces. Losing myself in anonimity. Both theirs and my own. I’d make up different characters, complete with names to suit my mood. Stella Dora, Lou Harris, Sheila Reeves, Lourdes Vega, Lucy Delgado. I’d stalk bars, clubs, bookstores, public parks, the Emergency Rooms. Seeking to find in lost men a place to lose myself. Searching for a pocket of weakness. Looking for the ‘sweet spot’… a small tear in the psychic fabric to feast upon.. To hide inside. A place to disappear in, manifesting myself in a multiplicity of personalities which all shared the same goal. To trick the next john into relinquishing his moral, financial, spiritual or physical guard, so that no matter what the outcome, I won. I got what I wanted, whether it was money, drama- or sex. They always gave the most important things freely. Themselves. What they didn’t give, I would take.
I’ve always had a masculine nature. Most men can’t stand the competition. It drives them crazy. Insane. Forces them to want to lash out. To dominate, Fight to maintain control. It doesn’t work that way with me. It’s either a one-two punch, or a fight to the bitter end. The only thing my father ever taught me was to never give up. Never give in. Put up a struggle. Act like a man. And even though as a species, I deplore them. I still found myself both siding with and lashing out against their sex. That battery of emotion which charged my life force acting as conduit to an elevated state.
Filthy white lights, much too fucking bright for this wasteland of aging dreamers. All so fucking drunk they don’t even notice me. Even the bartender’s soused. The place stinks of spilled beer, vomit, piss and rot. I pretend to study the jukebox. A horrible selection of Merle Haggard, Patsy Cline, George Jones. Stand by Your Man comes on. A toothless grandpa sidles up to me. So sloshed he can barely focus. His sixth sense tells him I’m female. That’s all he needs to know. Asks me politely, shyly, pathetically, if I’d like to dance. Out of sheer perversity I agree. He places a sweaty hirsuite hand on my hip. I lightly touch his shoulder. Moist with toxic run-off. He quietly sings along, silent tears drenching his dirty face, slicing through the deep crevices, hollowed pocks which litter his cheeks. I pretend he’s Bukowski. Not a big stretch. For all I know, he too, has copious volumes of sad old man musing stuck in a browning folder up at the transient hotel he probably calls home across the street near Nathan’s Hot Dogs. He smells of years of bad food, booze and self-satisfied sex. I take a twisted pity upon him. Realize it’s just one bad turn too many that seperates him from me. One rent check too short. One lay-off too soon. One too many broken hearts. And too much fucking booze. I almost want to walk him home. Invite myself in. Clean his battered old man’s body. Cut his hair, give him a shave. A manicure. Cook him breakfast. Massage his blistered feet, which reek through his holey shoes. The song ends. I excuse myself, shaking off my demented fantasy, walk into the ladies’ room. A sobering experience which disperses the last remnant of my Mother Teresa dreamscape. The single stall is smeared with dried vomit and shit. I decided to piss in the small wastepaper basket overflowing with dirty brown paper towels. Not realizing it’s made of mesh. As I piss, a thick trickle ebbs through the weave, flowing toward the entrance. Not that anyone in this dump would notice. I dry myself with the last paper towel, deciding I need to get the hell out of this tortured purgatory where old men sit in out til Judgment Day. Death is always too long in the making. Death can never be hurried. Cold and cruel, Death smugly waits for the body to poison itself beyond repair. Its final spasm will not bring relief, merely erasure.