50 Shades of Grey Ruined My Life

Emotionally turbulent, like I could move objects with my mind. Like something malevolent and caustic bubbles away beneath. I’ve felt like this since the start of September and I’m blaming the penguin calendar that seen out of the corner of your eye can look like the horns of satan. It’s not all ghosts at the bottom of my teacups again but there is something lurking. Last night I looked at the photos we have of Dylan. I forgot the exact details of his sad dead little face: in all it’s loveliness it doubles me over every time. I sat in bed in a filthy horrid mood crying heavily and gracelessly like a fucking lunatic when the bedside lamp flickered. The lampshade that my friend gave me shimmered and made that shell jangling sound it makes. And I felt a tingling of tiny hairs rising across my shoulder blades and neck. So I’m the ghost whisperer, just with a lot less attractive nightgowns. And I don’t wear fake eyelashes and full make up to bed. I snot on the duvet and feign ignorance when Phil asks why the duvet is so crunchy. You wouldn’t catch Jennifer Love Hewitt doing that.

Reading 50 Shades of Grey reluctantly, has awoken something within me. Not the longing for a domineering money-bastard, as most women have expressed, but something more profound and deeply rooted. It awoke in me the feeling that I have periodically, the feeling that makes you want to take drugs, the feeling that has made me walk out of jobs swearing and abusing people happily as I pack up my things, that made me bunk school in search of more interesting pursuits, a feeling i’ve always had underneath it all. It leads to negative things, generally speaking, but there is something about that feeling that gains in velocity, that drags me to the right here, right now that I need. Something about that feeling that I love. I try desperately to put it to some purpose besides destruction, and like Ratsa Mouse, make a bad ting good. But I can’t. Or perhaps it doesn’t lend itself so easily to acts of benevolence. I try to walk it off, I play music loud, I slam and smash around glaring at people in supermarkets, willing them to pick a fight with me. What else can I do but hang on for dear life while it whirls me around like a wild bull. And what exactly does this have to do with terrible mass-marketed literature you’re thinking? Well precisely this. Underneath all the dullities of the novel so poorly written, is the essence of all things. And I, a romantic, wouldnt have been able to miss it. The story is about the longings of woman. The main character so vaguely described, purposefully, so that the reader can slot herself carefully in her place. Use her like an avatar while she floats tentatively through a scenario she will never experience. The hero’s character however is so defined and specific that you know him. You feel him. And his very purpose, his very essence is to adore you. To show you how it is to be wanted by someone so intensely that you can barely breathe. He was written so perfectly as to awaken a longing within you to be seen in the way he sees his heroin (which incidentally is every woman who reads it, simultaneously exclusive and collective) in much the way that a porn film doesn’t focus too much on the man, the audience being predominantly male. He might as well be a non-vampiric Edward from twilight, or a number of other men from the world of fiction. You’re glimpsing a world so romantically enhanced that it feels almost possible. You’re witnessing what it is to feel loved, desired, with such focus and singularity that you ARE the point of every scenario, every thought and every action. You ARE the goal. And this is escapism, in all it’s disappointing and excruciating glory. This is the way you avoid making your life better and settle instead for imaginings and musings that will never amount to much.

But don’t I have the best man on the planet by my side? I do. Don’t I feel loved and desired? Of course I do. Aren’t I grateful for what I have? A definite yes. Would I swap the man I have for someone who lusts constantly after me, drives me mad with their cheesiness and their constant ‘running his fingers through his wild hair’ ‘jaw tightening’ ‘looking at her as though she were a fruit to be devoured’? No I fucking wouldn’t, no way on this earth would I. But the damage has already been done, the bitch within me has been awoken, lured from her deep sleep with the scent of romance and lust and general yearning. The book is a withered insufficient carrot, dangled from a stick. But now she wants all that she can get, unreasonably so. She’s realised that there is something unsaid, something perpetually avoided with TV and work and daily tasks. She’s remembered that there is in fact a life that needs to be lived and not observed. She knows that if you don’t take action now, you’ll settle for nothing later. She’s awake, she’s angry and she’s really starting to piss me off! She’s the reason the female of the species can be more deadly than the male. She’s the one that coerced Adam to take that bite from that fucking apple and she is the one who will stop at nothing to get what she wants.  This isn’t sexist. I haven’t bought into the idea that female sexuality is bad and evil and that women need a bloody good hiding, because some housewife wrote a book on the back of an eternally unfinished wank. I’m saying that there is no orgasm. It’s a temporary fix to the human condition. It’s a tissue cork that dissolves in the wine when you’ve forgotten to drink it. The orgasm doesn’t finish, it subsides, scared off by your self-consciousness. Chased away because you don’t know how to pursue it. Don’t know how to cling on and peer over the precipice.

Don’t misunderstand me, i’m not saying I’ve never experienced a climax so great that it makes it all seem worth it, I have. But isn’t it very human to see their 10 and raise them 30? Isn’t it progressive to want to keep going? Not to pave paradise and put up a parking lot, not to suck the spring dry but to want to keep going? Improving on the good that you find, in the places you find it? Isn’t that the stairway to heaven? Or am I just a capitalist after all?

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