Transition is integral to growth, evolution is requisite to existence.
It took me a long time to arrive at this place. It's not easy to slide when you're dry. The sharp stars were never meant for my slender and delicate hands. I was, even before the year of my blossoming, a natural born m-jo, a model, a sub, a vessel to harbor the frustration and longings of the Meijin. My wrists and ankles were made for the nawa and my waist was meant for the kimono and the kotori.
My sisters never taught me how to undo a masubime, only how to unravel or unzip. It was my destiny and, more consequently, my legacy, to be the Geisha.
Transition is integral to growth, evolution is requisite to existence. Perhaps I had never existed; I wasn't born, I was manufactured…and fractured I grew out of the perfunctory lifestyle the Geisha is made and shipped out for. The kinbaku, art of Rope, was not an Art at all. It was a Disease and I caught the bug after a wasted lifetime of hurt and restraint.
Glass eyes eventually break like any kind of glass. And this glass was spun.
There was a Kacho. He was a master of no special distinction, but he treated me like a pretty toy for the better part of a month, taking me, with my arm in his, to the Bunraku and Kabuki plays and to see his artist friends at Bars and Gallery exhibits. When I was confused by the installations or meant to feel like a mere subservient by his pretentious familiars, he would fall solemn and brusque and make haste to leave the place in a tiff.
His pleasantries and proprieties must have been guilt-based because he knew his own intentions and soon I would too.
No longer merely an escort or liaison or patron of the Arts. I am to be his courtesan.
First he sits me down, then he crosses the room to the mini-bar and makes himself a gin and tonic. I see the way his slug-like lips hang over the rim of the glass and I think, for a moment, what it would be like if I wasn't me. I'm not his submissive-in-waiting, I am much more. I am the empowered being regardless of gender. I am a dragon breathing ether fumes and devouring desperation.
This image passes quickly as my kacho returns and smashes his glass against the far wall, staring at me with abhorrent eyes. I bow to him, but this only serves to infuriate him more. He pushes me forcefully by the nape onto the Rococo carpet of his soundproof suite and hesitates for a nano-second, looking down on me before kicking me, almost strategically, in the torso. You've done this before, haven't you?
He drops to his knees, crouching on my back and whispering so violently in my ear as to leave my lobes dripping slowly with saliva. He has disgraced me and his is determined to disgrace me more than any of the others.
I am vapid before my knees have even buckled. As soon as I hit the floor and my legs start twitching he is on me. I've been disconnected, but consciousness is still with me. I can see my hand go up, a thin white curtain trying to stave off a fast-approaching Tsunami.
Any resistance is futile and only causes him more upheaval. So he chops at my ribs with a straight and determined hand, then seeing my agony, stuffs three fingers in my mouth and gags me as the dam of my eyes sends a deluge into my ears.
His movements reverberate, flooded, through my Eustachian tubes and make me recall the times spent at the bottom of the pool as I grew up in the bath houses. He shifts to my left and I swear I hear the sound of rubber on weak metal.
His breathing hastens, deep and jarring, in its gruff, gargled and grizzled tone. His wheeze is the demon breathing down my neck. He only inhales for the sake of pausing long enough to take stock of what he is making me. I am shit. A ball of swollen mush, a subservient reduced to less than inferior. Because I don't even serve his evil purpose. I cannot quench his iniquitous need and when he is done with me, he will be on the prowl again, filled with that same odious hunger.
My nerves are serrated, jangled, ready to collapse, yet they continue to buzz around like wasps fighting for domination in one orgy of yellow and black. My yellow skin turned black and blue and purple…sick tones and texture cracking and splitting despite my virtual lifelessness.
When my form has ceased quivering and corpse formerly known as Madame Geisha succumbs completely, he gasps in horror or aggravation and brings the cane down with all the strength left in him. My left temple separates, exposing integuments I didn't know my head contained.
This was never represented in the anatomy books at University.
Fade to Black.
He was seated by the window, shuffling a deck of cards idly as he stared with empty eyes out the massive tinted glass. On the horizon, there was an impossibly thick blanket of black smoke. It seemed to mirror his soul at that moment—ominous but aimless, a pathetic aberration without direction or destiny. He didn't see me hobbling toward him because I cast no reflection in the cold glass.
When her face healed up she was no longer the Geisha. She was no longer a woman, in the Oriental sense. She was not a person. She was an urge. She was the blood-lust brought forth from the lingering vapors of an incapacitated ghost.
She wanted a man, but did not desire to be wanted. Especially for the ends to which she was accustomed to. It was time for her to be resolute in her new-found mission. Now is the hour of the weeping cock oozing blood and shivering in its vulnerability.
She wanted a man to please her and tend to her every whim. She could easily find men who were willing to be her lap dogs, uptight businessmen looking for domination. But where's the fun in that when she would be aware of their predisposition to such behavior?
She would know that domination was what they wanted and, therefore, would be perpetuating the role she had already been playing for so long—catering to a man's needs and desires.
A boy worked amid the catacombs on the East end of the Square. His work was digging on a construction site, but he wasn't what one would call a tough or muscular guy. His arms were skinny and his physique was unremarkable, at best. He wasn't a day older than 20, but his skin was pock-marked and he looked broken. Almost as broken as the person she had been. And although he had the outward appearance of a wet-behind-the-ears teenager, his eyes concealed a lifetime of regret and condemnation.
She pretended to trip in a ditch to get his attention, by playing the damsel in distress. It worked. She thanked him for offering a hand to get her out. He seemed nervous that she was going to threaten to sue his boss.
Her eyelashes had managed to avoid the acetylene torch that her old pal from the annex had graced her old skin with. But that was old skin, now a shell is a chest somewhere tucked away in the boring geisha bitch's tiny little closet.
The She that is Her is not a Geisha. She is a specter. The eyelashes are a leftover object of the Locust.
So she bats them as she smiles and starts alluding to her made-up job that she is late for and the Theater tickets that she can't seem to get rid of and in no time at all, he is asking for her number.
They return to her alleged Flat from a poignant performance and she sits down on a mandala-covered rug with bamboo baskets and incense sticks. The walls are lined with obscure artifacts and displays of fine Samurai tomes.
He was eager to visit the den, supposedly to see her tapestries but more likely to get her strung out on opium and coerce her into a pity fuck. Or maybe he really was innocuous. It's possible he simply wanted to cuddle and cry and talk about how vulnerable life in a real man's world made him.
It didn't matter. She was reminded of this fact as she excused herself from the room with a soft grin and promised to return looking more silky and ready to relax. Would he like a glass of Absinthe with his seaweed wrap? Why, of course.
This is her moment. She sees that image again. She is a fierce dragon Geisha sitting in an oval booth in a club of purple, sitting beside a table that glows in a dim blue equivalent to the luminescent hue of her Kimono and the blue-gray whirlpool of her piercing eyes. Black dropping off into a tunnel of an oceanic Indigo vortex. The only blue in the room. The chopsticks in her buns are sharpened and ready for the fall out.
The image in question makes her confused. This isn't how she looked. Her face was cherubic, not chiseled and skeletal. And surely, this girl's face was far too pinched to be her own.
She was quick to shake this off; That is not me. But neither is that vague memory of the porcelain doll. They are gone. She clenches her fist so tight that her dull fingernails cut into her lifeline.
Returning to the hall to survey the situation and get back on track, she peered around the curtain at her almost virginal specimen of masculinity. He was looking down at his lap as he sat and twiddled his thumbs to pass time.
A lot went through her mind as she watched him tucked away in the box of furs and fabrics. She fought off visions of The Woman as she questioned what was inside of him. She knew it was her time to explore someone's form, anticipating exactly what was no doubt there—vital organs and shit.
Her excitement came to a head when he spotted something in the corner of the room and his horny impatience dropped into a countenance of incredulous fear and despair. Is that the Suitor we all know too well lying sideways in all twisted around himself?
Before the manboy had time to react, she sprang into the room, laughing as if she just heard a funny story from a girlfriend. His shock was her greenlight and she pounded the accelerator. Grabbing a sword from off the wall, she sliced off his forearm with one swift swing and got him screaming in disbelief.
Once his surprise had traveled to his cerebral cortex and his body made the connection, the roar only grew worse. He tried to hobble away while hyper-nervously imploring her to stop. Then came the questions.
"What the fuck?! Oh, my God!?! What are you doing?! Fuck! Why are you doing this to me?!"
"Because it pleases me," she said in a disturbingly soothing tone, fully-realized and austere.
Then she took his legs out with the spade and much force. But he undulated and spasmed like a warrior, raising the strength of the torso to new heights. While he flopped about, the barbed wire garland hung round his frame, announcing her new holiday, the Crimson Winter Solstice.
He was halfway through the foyer when she crouched down and ran a velvety hand across his quivering chin, smiling like an angel. Here it goes, she said to herself as a command.
She separated his neck from his chest at the clavicle and stared with mouth agape as his eyes overflowed with desperation and he searched for air like a guppy on hot pavement.
Fade to Black.
The salt of the earth has been fed to the light. Our heroine ghost has fixed it, made it all right.
She walked off aimlessly with a confused expression on her round face. Her wings melted away. It was done.
"Hito Koishi hito mutsu-Kashishi aki no kure."
I long for people…
Then again, I loathe them
End of Autumn.
She lay her death poem down on the table, placing the quill on top of the scroll, her cheeks rosy with satisfaction and her thighs moist with the nectar that all her brutal years had never before yielded. All that was left was Seppuku. She severed the coil and that was that.
"Kokochi yoshi aki no hiyori o shide no tubi."
Indeed. A bright and pleasant autumn day to make death's journey.
This story was originally published on kotorimagazine.com on March 11th, 2008.