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The No Feeling

Office Affair by Rolfe MacDougall

By Amil Niazi

Friday October 29, 2004

Escaping L‘aqualung

He walked in, and despite the persuasion of physical attraction, my mind and body were not one. The minute I made the distinction between fiction and fleshy reality I shook with repulsion. It quickly became imperative that I had to rid myself of this slimy pursuer before things got weird. I didn’t know quite what to say or how to carry out this seemingly impossible task. When faced with an enemy that’s trying to be more, how should one react? Instead of handling the situation with grace and dignity, I just started screaming. Oblivious to the litany of terror coming from my mouth I uttered every ludicrous comment I could. Between cries of “Stranger” and “Don’t touch me”, I glared at my own reflection for having to worm out of this particular entanglement. Who was to blame? Finally when his cooing started to become embarrassing for both of us, I curled up in the fetal position and faked my own death. He finally slithered away.
Every one has their point of no return. The breathy moment when you decide the person across, on top or even near you is the actual source of all of your uncomfortable ideas and awkward body language. Complete with greasy mental images and severed emotions, sometimes it’s too much and more commonly it’s really not enough.
Although I had the courage and foresight to psycho my way out of the situation, most people don’t have the wherewithal to be honest with the people they don’t like, love or lust for. In these cases the humour is not in what’s avoided but in what’s said to lessen the anxiety of conflicting motivations. We’ve all pretended to sleep or faked a pre-existing relationship, but there is a silent majority out there doing dastardly things with their lies and excuses. From nosebleeds to manic depression and all the way back to heart failure some of us are not doing our moral duty to humanity. I’ve had friends who fully supported such shifty measures as feigning chastity, situational amnesia or perhaps worse going through with it and executing a post-traumatic midnight move. Of course I more than understand that sometimes you’re left with little choice.
It’s hard to gauge beforehand what’s going to trigger your libido’s aloofness. Whether it’s the pervy ramblings of a Quebeceur or the grammatical mistakes of a less-educated lover, you can’t control to what degree another person might sicken you. One girl complained of her boyfriend’s effeminate whimpering, another of belittling grunted directions. For each of these, alongside disillusionment, are a generous dose of disgust and the rapid heart movements of a caged animal that needs to be freed. Just get out, that’s my advice. Why placate and wait until the sweaty breakfast when you can simply execute the deliverance of your soul straight away.
What could possibly propel you in to an instance where you’re forced to abandon your own better judgment? Besides the fairly obvious we’re usually just grappling to satiate our evenings. The scary fact is once you can delve in to the necessary war mode nothing is more important than escape. Everything in the immediate vicinity disappears and faces no longer exist. Each of us becomes a blank canvas of turmoil and deceit waiting until the headache subsides. Lying should be easier and avoidance a bigger part of our societal makeup. Either that or we should be genetically pre-equipped with the ability to out-run our natural predators.
What pops up in one’s subconscious during those times is also a point of interest. Scattered in between the homicidal urges and rage-fuelled visions are thoughts of late-night snacks and TV guides. I kept thinking about how long it would take to trek down to the library so I could avoid standing in the book sale lineup. I also went over and over the blueprints for a time machine or at the very least a memory eraser just like in the movies. It couldn’t be that hard. If that guy with Parkinson’s could motor between decades then I too could go back two hours. In the end I relied on my ability to lose all touch with rational and propriety. It can be very handy to have an institutionally approved diagnosis on hand. Barring that, don’t be afraid to cry.