Stickman Readers' Submissions May 15th, 2009

Who’s Blind?

“Why does the blind man’s wife paint herself?” (Benjamin Franklin)

Everyday I wake in pain. Everyday I crawl out of bed and wonder why I bother. I wonder why I face each day. I wonder what happiness feels like. I wonder if I’ve ever felt happy in my life. I wonder if this is all there is. I wonder if there ever will be any happiness in my life. I wonder if my life could possibly deteriorate any further.

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How could my life have gone down this pathway? How? There must be something out there somewhere. There must be!

And I chose this life. I made the decisions that I made. I took every wrong turn. I chose all this.

And I chose her!

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She takes my money. She nags. She goes shopping. She gossips with her friends over the fried food that makes her fat thighs fatter. She watches inane TV dramas. She sleeps. She snores. She fusses over her cat. She sleeps more. She thinks the expensive hair-do I pay for makes her beautiful. She wears a mask of make up. She shops more. She buys more shoes. She says that shoes always fit. She gossips on the telephone. She never exercises. She makes another visit to the beauty salon. She reads romance novels. She complains if a friend of mine wants to visit. We argue. We occasionally chat. Once a year we see a movie together.

All the while I die a little each day.

Did I choose all this?

I couldn’t see this coming.

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I truly am a blind man.

I tell her I’m going away on business and she doesn’t care.

I tell her I’m going to Bangkok and she doesn’t care.

I silently cry on the flight. She wouldn’t care if she knew.

If only I could feel some joy in my life, just once. If only I could experience a fleeting moment of happiness. Was that too much to ask?

In Bangkok the business meetings pass uneventfully as do the business dinners. The drink numbs my numbness of life. I can’t experience pleasure in anything. I can’t taste. I can’t see. I can’t hear. I wonder if I’ve already died without knowing.

Would she care if I died?

I think I have died. I think I died many years ago.

Misery and boredom finally drove me from the isolation of my hotel room one night, and so I walked the unfamiliar streets of Thailand’s biggest city. I didn’t care where I went. I didn’t care about anything anymore. I didn’t care, that is, until I came upon a brilliant sea of light that had caught my eye. I stopped and wondered at the bright lights and the noise and I stood and witnessed the many men who boldly strode into the sea’s depths. For a moment I was paralysed and then I was drawn from my dark world into the brightness. The cheerful mayhem and the sense of hedonism were overwhelming, so different from my life of orderly misery. I heard sweet voices call out to me as I strode into the sea of brilliance.

I stopped in the middle of the bright lights where I saw a sign: “JOY”.


There appeared to be so much joy around me.

I stood frozen and stared at the word. Had I ever felt joy? I sensed that I had a vague memory of the feeling somewhere in the depths of my mind. The three letters caused me great pain but I couldn’t stop staring at the sign whilst thinking about my misery, until I felt a hand on my arm. I turned to see a pretty girl in a red dress smiling at me.

The power of speech had betrayed me.

“Are you ok?” The girl asked.

I nodded.

She immediately suggested I enter a nearby bar. All I could do was stand and feel the warmth of her hand on my arm, until she gently led me towards a curtain that was swept aside where I then found myself inside a room filled with lights and music and dancing girls.

I was again led by another young maiden who found me a seat and brought me a drink. I sat in the semi darkness while the semi naked girls slowly gyrated on a small stage. Did I feel joy? Did I feel anything apart from my perpetual depression? I didn’t know how I felt. I drank and drank as I sat there, lost in the solitude of my melancholic mind. I continued my futile attempts at dulling my pain with drink for what seemed an eternity, until a lithe warm body jumped onto my lap. I looked up from my whisky to see a beautiful face inches from mine.

“You’re alone for a long time,” said the girl.

How did she know?

I could only nod in agreement.

“You not look happy.”

I shook my head.

That’s two out of two.

“What wrong? Can I make you happy?” The girl asked as she threw her arms around my neck.

I managed to speak as I looked into the girl’s lovely big eyes, “too many things are wrong and I don’t know if anyone can make me happy.”

I couldn’t remember when I’d last felt a soft warm body close to mine. I looked into the girls beautiful eyes again and something unexpected happened. I smiled.

She smiled too. I couldn’t help but drink in her sensuality with my eyes.

Those long eye lashes! Those sweet luscious lips! Those ample breasts! Those smooth creamy thighs! Her sexy hair style! Those sexy silver high heels! The way she smiled at me as she stroked my cheek!

She gave a friendly laugh as she watched me survey her incredible beauty.

She told me her name was May. I was entranced.

She drew me closer and her eyes seemed to penetrate deep into the dark murky fog in my mind.

“Kiss me!” She implored.

I was too weak to resist and her powers proved too strong. There, amongst the lights and dancing girls, we kissed with a passion I’m sure I’d never felt before.

We drank together and she asked me about my life. I hadn’t known how alone I’d been until now.

We drank more and talked more. We talked about her life and mine. How she’d come to be here in this bar, how I’d come to be here.

I told her how kind she was to me; she told me she couldn’t let me be sad and alone.

We held each other and kissed more. Life flowed through my veins. How I’d gotten used to being a servant! Now I felt alive.

I felt joy. Yet somehow, I felt another deeper sadness, deep in the pit of my stomach. The prospect of spending another night in an empty room was unbearable. Lying in an empty bed, thinking about this beautiful woman, would be mentally devastating. I couldn’t hide my feelings.

“What’s wrong?!” May asked with an expression of surprise.

“I don’t know. I’m just not used to this attention. I don’t think I can ever leave this bar. I don’t think I can go back to my hotel.”

“Why you can’t go back?”

“I can’t face being alone. I just can’t. Not tonight. Not after this.”

May smiled. “You don’t have to be alone. I stay with you!”

“You can?” I said, surprised. I felt her fingernails stroking the back of my neck.

May nodded and whispered in my ear, “all night.”

I looked at her lovely smile and beautiful eyes and I knew I’d entered another dimension.

Without warning another girl joined us.

“This is my friend Pim,” said May.

Pim was incredibly beautiful too. How could all these beauties have evaded me all my life?!

“Hello,’ I said nervously.

“You feel better now?” Pim asked me, clutching my arm.

I nodded and smiled. “I’m feeling much better.”

She had noticed how miserable I’d looked! Misery seemed so far away now. I was in ecstasy as I was smothered with silky smooth thighs, soft kisses and warm delicate hands.

“We all go together?” May eventually whispered.

I nodded.

I had fallen so deep within their clutches. How sweet it was to be a prisoner of their wicked intentions! How could I leave these two fine maidens? The point of no return had long been reached; leaving this bar alone had become impossible!

Then I thought of her.

Did she ever desire the pleasures of the flesh?

Did she desire me or any other man?

Did she actually want to live her life?

What drove her futile attempts at beautifying herself?

Why did she paint herself?

I gazed in awe at the two creatures of desire entwined around myself.

What would she think if she saw me now?

Would she cry and feel hurt?

Would she be angry and say, “how could you?!”?

Would she ask me, in great bewilderment, “why?”?

Why indeed, I thought as my two beauties devoured me.

Why does the blind man stray?

Stickman's thoughts:

Very nice!

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