The medium was paper, ink, charcoal and graphite. The image was the eye on the end of a peacock feather. She’d filled its center with geometries and forms like steel gears, compass points, brass fittings, screws and miniature bolts. The form seemed to stare out at her with a cool logic, an immaculate watchmaker’s perception.
Then she heard it, deep inside her mind, shattering the turmoil of creation: Clickclick…click.
Then her doorbell buzzed. Getting up, numb from the hard revelation that Arc still lived deep within her, she went to the door.
“I need someplace,” the tall woman said from the street, looking up at Pell through the heavy iron security gate with one hard, cold mechanical eye, and one redrimmed eye with a patina of tears.
This one is a lot like Blade Runner, a haunting, dystopic, morosely melodic tale of lesbian love with a woman who is becoming less so with each encounter. Her flesh-and-blood parts are sacrificed for some mechanical ideal, and her lover is the one who waits for her to return in her next, more mechanical form.
I suppose there is a metaphor here waiting to be placed upon this work, something where our culture turns us into machines, how the fake Photoshopped world is somehow more preferable than what’s real, and how we are slowly losing ourselves to the machine.
It we are not already there. Bits and bytes flow across imaginary dreamscapes, and none of this is real anymore. Our digital selves are far more important than our real selves. Our digital selves will live on well beyond us, so somehow the work we put into crafting our legend shall be the strength of our afterlife.
It makes you think.
…Later, Pell couldn’t remember if she’d come as well, the explosion from Arc being so special, so shattering, that it had torn away any memories she’d had of anything she’d been feeling. That moment was pure Arc: a night in a secret, deep church. She’d been lucky to witness the service, the ecstatic blessing of being a witness.
Sleep came like a velvet blanket thrown over Pell. No dreams, again, but the cloudy memory of sometime during the night, a kiss landing on her cheek.
The next morning she awoke to find Arc gone again.
Haunting. A mystery of floating through a hazy underwater place halfway between what’s real and what only exists in our imaginations. M. Christian has this way of sending your thoughts on a search, never quite succumbing to the lure of explaining it all, keeping the mystery alive, and touching the canvas of our imaginations just lightly enough we are meant to fill in the details and wonder.
And the sex is there. The promise. The flitting of a water bug upon the surface of the pond, toying with our passions, and giving us that next moment where two souls meet and try to make sense of the nature of passion and attraction. Is it ever explained? Rightly not, and as the story started in a haze it ends in a fade, yet the moments we experienced together come thought like loud and clear splashes of color on an intransigent canvas of grays and blurred tones to our yearnings and searches for that more concrete definition of what this really is.
It is, what it is.
A moment between two, lost, and then found again in those times when their lives touched.
Pell didn’t know what to say, so didn’t say anything. Half-formed words and sentences tumbled through her mind but couldn’t congeal enough to be spoken. So they sat together – quiet, clumsy – till the food arrived from a big black man wearing Kevlar body armor and carrying a huge foam container marked with the bold red swatches of Chinese characters. Pell and Arc filled the silence with quick eating.
When the food was gone, Arc yawned: “Fuck, I’m tired.”
She pulled off her shirt, showing breasts pale and white, beautifully shaped sculptures of pale skin. Aureoles like rough brown coins, nipples like dark fingertips.
“Shitty day. Good night,” she said, crawling into Pell’s bed and fumbling for the line switch to her broken lamp.
Pell didn’t move. Frozen, she watched her hunt.
“You coming?” the woman said, finally, and not smiling, reached out and took her hand.
This. Something more than a bland description of sex and lust. You see the strokes of the bristles here, the hand of the artist, and you can pick out those individual decisions in each dab of paint and artistic choice. You never always know the intent, but the artistry is clear. In a way, the intent is to make you reflect upon the piece, a great artist never tells, and lets the meaning be up to you.
The meaning is up to you.
A wonderful journey through a future that shall never be anywhere but in our own imaginations, tied together with sex and lust, a chance encounter between two souls who fit together like two outdated standards tied together by a home-made adapter, a universal connector we know as sex.