By: Team Bonet
We are all emotionally scarred. All of us. That's what she said. We go through
this life touching and needing to be touched, yet shying away from the very
prospect of our own flesh. He believed her. Every word. He sat at the head
of her brother's bed and drank in every word she said. They were precious,
and he wanted to remember them. Always.
The weeks wore on. He hardly noticed them passing him by. This and that. Meetings with the council, concerts at the auditorium, dates that stretched out into the static of his cellular, asphalt under his shoes, and shadows dancing beyond his vision. He drifted through them, walking by her side. Her shadow leapt out from behind her, dragging the world along in slow motion as he watched. She spoke to him, to herself, and he took in every word obediently. She told him life would always seem like an illusion. He thought she was smart. Everything he knew did seem like an illusion, yes, and he nodded as she spoke, agreeing, wanting to understand.
Look there, she said. Nemuro Memorial Hall.
They stopped and looked at it in silence. He wasn't very impressed. A squat
rectangle reach up and to the sides in classical arabesques. Grey stone filtered
into fine sand that flaked away in the wind. The students gathered in the
halls murmured about a fire and one hundred dead boys. He had never paid
much attention to it. But he knew she expected a reaction from him. He said
it was a pretty old building, and she chuckled. Her shadow leapt away and
she had drawn him from that place, along the white halls that reached up
to the skies and the perfumed, clipped walk ways, roses and petals. The school
spiralled into itself, locking them in, drawing them towards its dark interiors.
Her garden lay at the centre, a golden cage. Air rushed forward, and the
gates had swung open.
She showed me her garden...
If he closed his eyes, he could still see it as it looked the first time he saw it. Sunshine caught in pockets of iridescent red, melting into pink and white and the indigo colour of her hair. Filtering into him, breathing across his skin. She was smiling. A sweet smile. She bent to water the roses and told him their names. Different types. Tea, Don Juan, so many. He cracked one lose from its body and twirled it slowly in his fingers. Blood red. She didn't mind that he had plucked it, and he threaded it across her hair.
Why did you show me this place...?
I must have forgotten about that...
Why you showed me your garden...
He turned on his side, elbow lifting his frame as he turned to look at her. Dark skin. Emerald green eyes. She wasn't smiling, but lay still , eyes gazing up at the ceiling. Her hands were clasped across her stomach, over the coverlet, fingers entwined in prayer. He placed his hand over her own. Pale. Pale white. He turned her hands in his. Bone covered by skin. Veins covered by skin. Fat, tissue, muscle. Red, pulsing, ochre brown, piss yellow. He brought them up to his lips.
She murmured, I had to...
He bent forward to kiss her. Her words fell between them and sighed into darkness as he moved to lie over her. Skin. Her skin. Sliding past him. He opened his eyes to look at her, to look at himself fitting into her. Corners, shadows, his hips cradled against her own, the dip of her stomach nestled against an incline into darkness. He reached to switch on the bedside lamp and pulled her up with him. She remained still, pressed close to him as he gazed down at her. Dark skin against white, her slim arms pressed close to his chest. Her back tapered out into the dip of her spine, expanses of dark skin and her hair curling around her skin and the smell of sweat over soft, cold flesh. He tightened his grip around her, her flesh pressing against the palm of his hands. He couldn't see anything. Lay back, he whispered. She obeyed in silence, her hair streaming out behind her as she closed her eyes. Long. Long limbs reaching out towards nothing. He placed his palms over her stomach and watched, fascinated, as his fingers slid downward across her skin.
Utena sama... she whispered.
He banged at the glass. Blood flowed through his veins, shooting forward.
His palms were bright red. He banged at the glass. Banged. Banged. His mouth
stretched and contracted before him, grotesque and human, pulsing with the
fluids that made him who he was. He wanted to run his hands through his hair
and laugh, straighten out his appearance. Laugh. He wanted to laugh.
He frowned as he said it. His back hurt. His whole body ached. He uncurled himself from the stretch he had tangled himself into and lay his limbs out to rest, legs dangling from the edge of the bed. The figure beside him shifted and chuckled. Rumbled across his bones. He glanced at it, white against a blue sky, lavender hair, curls gathered at the nape of the neck, dark skin. It was murmuring something, to him, but he didn't want to listen. He was tired of philosophy. He came to his knees and pulled himself closer to the figure, lay his head on its lap, felt the bones underneath. His hands rose to trail along its chest.
Tell me something that isn't philosophical... Tell me about the weather.
It's going to rain.
She blinked as he said it, not understanding. Not listening anymore. Blush rose coloured hair, pink rivulets clinging to her cheeks. You'll catch cold, he said, sternly, and watched her look down at her feet and take the umbrella. She held it limply. Her thoughts clustered behind her eyes and remained trapped inside. He could feel his hands clenching and unclenching, nails biting into his skin.
She looked at her feet, eyes glazing over as she stood in the rain and held
his umbrella and seemed as real as the drops that trailed down her face.
Thin, transparent, dissolving into the pavement. He placed his hands over
her shoulders and drew closer. She never said a word. She became shoulders
and the wet, harsh fabric of her uniform. Lips. Rain trailing into his mouth.
Wet lips. He closed his eyes and pressed closer. Closer. That's where she
was. She melted into him. Shapes, fitting into his own. Darkness. It wrapped
around his brain and settled between his eyes.
But you said...
Fabric fell from his shoulders in a clumsy heap. His image stared at him from the blood covered glass. Pale. Skinny. Bone wrapped in muscle and covered with skin. He wanted to see it. Laughter was building up inside of him. He wanted to make it stop. But it bubbled forth. It spilled out into tears as he looked at himself. Naked. Nothing.
Shying away from the prospect of our own skin. That's what she had said.
He flexed his fingers. Utena. He wanted to see Utena. He wanted to touch
her skin. He wanted to feel her fingers, her breath, her hair. He wanted
to feel his life running through her. He wanted to feel himself in her, against
her reality. A body. A human being. Not a thought, not a universe trapped
within itself. He wanted to loo down and feel, understand that he was him,
and he was in her skin. Pale white skin.
Utena leaned forward, puzzled, one hand waving over his eyes. He reached
out and took it between his own, holding it tightly. It shivered, once, surprised
at his actions. Across from them, Anthy sat with her tea untouched, gazing
at them. She seemed to smile, softly, as he turned to Utena and felt his
own smile stretching out. Words. Words between them. Her lips moved over
her sounds and she seemed happy. Her hand had moved away from his, her eyes
turning towards Anthy, towards the sky. He felt the soft skin slip through
his fingers and listened to the sound of her voice. Entranced.
January 2nd, 2000. 10:03 pm. Listening to Lindberg and BZ, annoyed at something... but I couldn't tell what... This story is very short, but it deals with a preoccupation I need to bring out in words: reality. Sometimes I'm afraid of not feeling enough, of not experiencing things... I feel cheated by the prospect of our skins, which tells us nothing... and I wonder about the existence of a soul, and the idea of the soul as an entity trapped within the body, yearning for something... I can't answer these questions. No god has ever answered, or proved anything. And death seems like a shit way of finding out... Maa, but enough philosophizing.
This story was revised January 12th, 2000. It's the first Utena story I revised... Hmm.
All comments, questions, and flames please deposit into this
little brown shoe box, and I will answer
as soon as I can. I promise I won't philosophize. Really.
© January 2nd-12th, 2000 Team Bonet. Shoujo Kakumei Utena is © 1997 BePapas and O Terebi. Thank you for reading, and may all of your questions one day find an answer.