Sunday, July 29, 2007

Los Angeles New Times, July 8, 2007

Ivo Kashoggian’s newly-erected underground palace collapsed in the middle of a party with an estimated 300 in attendance, police said this morning.

“So far, 218 bodies have been found,” police lieutenant Craig Jensen said. “We have a crew working to find the rest of them, but there are very few places left to look.”

When asked if some of the victims exhibited signs of PMMS, Lieutenant Jensen seemed hesitant to respond. “Kashoggian was R428 positive,” he said, “although he wasn’t forthcoming about that. It’s true that some of the people we thought must surely be dead turned out not to be.”

But is there evidence of foul play? When questioned about the explosive charges reportedly found in the rubble and the bite marks on many of the victims, Police Chief Sandy Coombs was reluctant to comment. “We’re reserving comments until we can put the whole picture together,” he said. “If it turns out the collapse was planned, it wouldn’t be the first time Kashoggian was involved in criminal actions. The only difference is, this time he didn’t get away with it.”

Or did he? Though Kashoggian was almost certainly in attendance, his body has yet to be found.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Ivo Kashoggian

I don’t know which I am more drawn to, Mathilde or the Black Rock.

Whichever it is, I can no longer resist.

I am going to Ivo Kashoggian’s to see both of them (the journey will be long).

It occurs to me that these computers on which we are communicating are nothing but coffins of glass and plastic.

My dear friends, are you out there? Sometimes I think I made the lot of you up.

I am cognizant that if I go to Kashoggian’s, some change may happen. At the very least, I may despise myself, I have never been drawn to anything or anyone like this before.

At any rate, for the time being, I leave you with a friend to keep you company.

I am departing, dear friends.

I shall return.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Writing on the Wall (Door)

My building has been condemned. Apparently somebody complained one too many times about a rodent problem. I found this letter on my door: IT IS ILLEGAL TO TRESPASS, DESTROY, OR REMOVE ANYTHING FROM THESE PREMISES. VIOLATORS WILL BE PROSECUTED.

Obviously there are officials who want to see me brought down.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Shameful Secrets

It is with great regret that I post the following e-mail, one which will lay bare one of the most shameful secrets of my life. Please withhold your judgements.

TO: Rodrigo Weiss
FROM: Mathilde Bagnoire
DATE: 05/25/98
SUBJECT: The truth


All along, I knew the truth. What does it matter? The world is a tomb, and I have loved you since we were children. I know you lost your memory of the accident - perhaps you blocked it out. I was in the car with you. I was wearing my First Communion veil and white dress and I imagined we were on the way to our wedding.

For awhile, I believed you knew as well. It was fate that brought us together in college - I did not seek you out. I was sure you recognized me. But I fell so deeply in love with you I couldn’t risk it. I was unaware of how much your Grandmother had suppressed, though I understand her need to do so. I was unaware of how much you had suppressed, as well. When you said you were ready to open up the storage unit, I was willing to support you. I feared I would lose you—please don’t let my worst fears come true.

I changed my name when I was “cured.” My doctor thought it would be good to make a clean break with my past. You know me as Mary.

The world is a tomb. Cousins, lovers - what does it matter? We make our own rules.


Thursday, June 21, 2007

I remember it. Do you?

Do you remember I sang you Edith Piaf?

Do you remember how thrilling it was at the beginning of our relationship? That feeling of finding someone? You were conducting your study of Near Death Experiences, and I told you that every day for me was a “Near Death Experience.”

We found an understanding.

At least for a time.

Can we find an understanding again?

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Death Be Not Proud

At this point in our correspondence I remember quoting John Donne, the Tzombi poet (those of you in literary circles may scoff at this suggestion, but remember “Death be not proud?") Anyone with a passing familiarity with Izaak Walton’s biography of Donne will know that he exhibited most of the traits associated with the Tzombi race. In fact, one of his early poems, “The Good Morrow”—the title itself a reference to the “morrow” after death—contains the line “Whatever dyes, was not mixt equally.” Most scholars consider this a love poem, when in fact it is a coded reference to his Tzombi status, the term “mixture” being largely applied in the late 1500’s to one’s combination of nationalities. Here he is proclaiming his “mixture” to be equal parts Tzombi and Anglo.

At any rate, I remember including lines from the Tzombi poet’s “The Anniversarie”:
Only our love hath no decay;
This, no to morrow hath, nor yesterday.
Two graves must hide thine and my coarse,
If one might, death were no divorce.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

TO: Rodrigo Weiss
FROM: Mathilde Bagnoire
DATE: 05/18/98
SUBJECT: Base desires

Rodrigo -

Death surrounds us like a shroud, but I must honor it, and you must honor me. I can see you are not ready. It is for your own protection.


TO: Mathilde Bagnoire
FROM: Rodrigo Weiss
DATE: 05/19/98
SUBJECT: Necrophilia

Mathilde -

I will honor you. But follow my line of reasoning: love has no logic, but perhaps it can be applied here: if you are, in fact, dead, then the doctors are wrong, and I don’t, in fact, exist. If this is true, everything is in your head and the rules of society hold no sway over us, because society is merely a construct of your own imagination. If I do, in fact exist, then so do the doctors and you are not, in fact, dead. Therefore the necrophilia you mentioned is impossible.

I feel like a schoolboy trying to convince his crush to dance with him—forgive me. But this, too, adds to a vitality that I have not felt at all during my adult life, so perhaps these adolescent feelings are appropriate. You have made me new again.



Wednesday, June 06, 2007

TO: Mathilde Bagnoire
FROM: Rodrigo Weiss
DATE: 05/18/98
SUBJECT: Base desires

Mathilde --

I must admit to you that, in general, I am a stranger to base desires. Perhaps it is due to my being steeped in the materialist branches of philosophy; perhaps I recognize such things as simply a means of furthering a species I am uncertain is worth furthering; perhaps I am unable to engage in such things because I see the world as a joyless sham. What I do know is that when I contemplate indulging in the carnal with you it seems, not like the base act it is, but rather an act of affirmation—the ultimate proof that we both exist and have overcome the death which surrounds us.


Tuesday, June 05, 2007

TO: Rodrigo Weiss
FROM: Mathilde Bagnoire
DATE: 04/22/98
SUBJECT: The solipsistic conceit

Rodrigo -

I feel I should distinguish for you between the rational, empirically provable fact that I am alive and the emotional truth that I am dead. The paradox here is essentially the same as that which underlies the solipsistic conceit: the doctors can tell me that I have a mental or chemical condition, but when I question the very reality of those doctors, none of what they way matters. I KNOW I am dead. I also know that others find this difficult to accept. I am perfectly within my rights to doubt their existence.

When I am capable of being rational, I am fully aware of my situation. I have been diagnosed with Cotard’s Syndrome by a team of doctors in Paris. I spent eight years in an institution on a daily regimen of Venlafaxine and Zuclopenthixol. When my doctor, the leading specialist in Cotard’s Syndrome, decided to relocate to Southern California, I followed him. I have not seen the specialist for years, although I have continued my drug regiment. But when I am here, Paris does not exist, and the doctors do not exist except as constructs of my own imagination. My problem is a reality. I am dead. If the doctors do not exist, their theory that I suffer from mental illness is simply a construction of my mind. Nobody else exists—I am in the grave, surrounded by six feet of isolation. If anyone is capable of making me believe in the autonomy of the other human beings around me, it is you. I know my psyche, which has known so little kindness, love, or generosity, is utterly incapable of inventing a person with such an abundance of these qualities.

However, though sweet, your words worry me. I do not want you to be absorbed. If anything, I want to be absorbed into you. As I’ve said before, your existence is proof positive that I am not alone.

If you will have me, I am yours.


P.S. I suppose kissing is fine, but I will not have you sullied by allowing you to engage in an act that amounts to necrophilia, much as I might desire it. Please honor my wishes on this point.”

Sunday, June 03, 2007

The Episode


You must listen to me.

You don’t remember your episode.

I remember everything.

You were out of your head. I moved you from the window, where you were lying in the sun, complaining that it was burning your flesh away, to the darkened bedroom. I sat with you for hours. You wrapped the sheet around yourself like a shroud. I stayed for several hours until you fell asleep. I came back every day to check on you.

I must admit that feeling needed by you was an exhilarating and slightly frightening proposition.

Having no family other than my grandmother, the bonds of any kind of love were bound to be a bit untried - I only hope I could honor them to the level at which they deserve to be honored.