Once, I tried to insert an aubergine into my lover’s vagina. We were both quite drunk (red wine, civilized by my standards). She looked at me indulgently, an obtuse child trying to fit the wrong peg into the wrong hole. “It won’t fit,” she said laughing. “It’s too big.”
A prosthetic penis. In the form of a spatulate vegetable. In the inebriated spirit of passion. In the ostensible name of procreation. In an overpowering desire for oblivion.
For the record, I love aubergines and am wholeheartedly against their sexual exploitation (a headline from today: “The Emojibator: how a euphemistic fruit became an actual sex toy”). But what really interests me about this story is the desire for oblivion and how that plays out in the physical world.
As a prisoner of my physical form, meaning being stuck with a brain and body I never asked for, I find myself constantly striving to escape my cell, to emancipate myself from this corporeal first circle of hell. It is why the divine shape-shifting of Greek mythology thrills me to my core: reality was protean, mercurial. Form could effortlessly overcome itself. Life was in constant flux because it was pure superfluity. It was as though nature itself was restless, nervous, bored: life is life, right? Everything seeks to permeate everything as nature goes about blindly colonizing whatever it can get its grubby hands, paws or claws on (watch out Mars).
I was what you might call “sex-mad” (headline: “Sex-mad tortoise saves his species from extinction”). This what not, paradoxically, because I wanted to perpetuate my genetic code. On the contrary, it was because I wanted to get as far away from it as humanly possible. So I turned to sex and alcohol (the perfect lubricant for my disgust of Homo sapiens).
As a teenager, I once stuck a pen up my arse out of curiosity, excitement and boredom (that one gesture neatly sums up my life as a writer). I mention it because it is another example, like the poor aubergine, of my doomed revolt against form.
These days, in my premature old age, I am far more attracted to the idea of sex than the act itself, fraught as it is with so much unwanted revelation). My revolt against form failed miserably and ignobly. I now see a tree and think “tree”. I see an aubergine and think “aubergine”. I see a beautiful pair of breasts and think, well, you can imagine the rest. But when I see people, in the strictly hominoid sense of the word, I see a writhing, grasping, squirming amorphousness. It still astonishes the stunted child in me that they believe they are fully-rounded sovereign entities. They whip out business cards. They spit out quips. They purposively get on with it. They have names to denominate them and faces to personify them and voices to bespeak them.
Remarkable. Like the aubergine I tried to endow with super-auberginal qualities. Like the textbook shit I excreted today. Like the children’s books that rhyme reality away. Like the vodka I will drink this evening to help blur the divisive lines superimposed on everything around me.
As for the aubergine that I tried to penetrate my lover with, I ate it a few days later. I remember it seemed a little dejected, like it had been mocked and misused, when I took it out of the fridge. But then I lovingly sliced it, cooked it in olive oil with a melange of other vegetables, masticated it into tiny pieces, swallowed it, dissolved it in a gastric cauldron of acid, peristaltically squeezed it through my sinuous intestines, extracted every last drop of goodness from it, before shitting it out, flushing it down into the sewers, into the river, where it made its way downstream and eventually emigrated to Sweden across the Baltic Sea in search of a better life.