presented by Unttld Contemporary, Vienna
Beyond my simple body, lies a future
by Lara Konrad
Eventually I decide to sit down at the edge of my hotel bed and begin to finger myself, assuming it will make me feel like I can belong to the external world I have been part of these past days, ever since having arrived to this stranger city that until now hasn’t grown into anything of my own. A place that is memoryless because it is new and therefore empty in meaning, is a place that is silently vicious in its seemingly eternal sameness. And this type of anesthesia always feels like it will last forever. It is funny and cruel, but mostly I think it is strange how we only ever live for the memory of it all. Do I just feel purposeless inside this hotel room and inside this city, because no place here can make me love the past and therefore love my future? Anticipating new worlds, it is here when I have been happiest, as it is purpose that keeps alive during the moments we forget that we have always been dying. I rub my fingers against the walls of my cunt, fast and hard and without feel. Like fingering myself is the only thing I can do if I wish to remember my body that is alive yet some place far, and maybe no longer humanly reachable. How do we know if we are living, living just enough for it to mean that we are actually real in our nature? I finger myself harder and look through the window without really looking anywhere. Cars and people, they continue to come and go. The hostility of our simultaneous existence suddenly overwhelms me. While I try to fuck myself inside my hotel room, people outside pass through life like water. That vast distance, residing in-between our geographic closeness – the absurdity in all of that. We are together, but we are together in such collective singularity, I do not know how to consciously stop belonging to this in- built loneliness that chooses to breed everywhere I decide to exist. When the exterior world becomes part of our own world, I think it is only ever here when human loneliness begins to spread. Fast and gloriously real, running our bones empty of reason. How the presence of people has always been able to take away every kind of existential pain, simultaneously reminding us that we are forever hopeless in our individuality. I think this is why within the warm, impossible arms of nature, we are able to carry on with our human truth without meaning to falter. The city is the place where we realize never having escaped any of it. I want to cum with my fingers while sitting on the edge of my hotel bed, because it will prove that I can make a home within my very own fragility. My home that is my body in which desire for myself – and myself only – can grow, and grow so much further that for a moment I shall feel complete within my human incompleteness, suddenly forgetting what it is like to have ever needed anyone. I want to cum so I can live. And I want to live every day, like none of it lasts. The moments I have been frightened by being alive and living, it was not the future that paralyzed the certitude of my reality. The few and many times I have died of hopelessness, it was always the present I was present within the most. The same way it is happening right now, right here. Inside this hotel room, that is inside this city, that is inside this country, that is inside this life that I live, but do not know how to belong to. The last time I knowingly belonged somewhere was when mother and I got into the car, while saying goodbye to my uncle and his wife. And I feel bad, because I cannot really explain why. It was something about that very threshold between his and our reality – I could feel it unfold so vividly right then, a certain sense of freedom building inside my nostalgia that suddenly had materialized because all I wanted was to continue desiring my past that was suddenly such a lovely past. Humans, how we are such complex bastards the moment we are born. For nothing felt more comforting than being able to leave behind my uncle’s misery, aware of the incredible luck that makes life into the life it is. The sudden sweet shelter his misery granted for my then child-world. And in a way, I felt so grateful. Years have passed, and by now I know what it is like to have installed this type of temporary home in others. It feels so terribly real, people realizing they are better people. I feel, but mostly hear, the wetness growing in between my legs and my fingers and my cunt. Water, it begins to flow because life is near. There is such tenderness in knowing that one’s body is about to let go of being a body after being its mostest. Muscles abate. The mind is neither memory, nor a newly-built house of questions that just keeps collapsing because our awareness of living only keeps on changing. Now, when there is nothing else except wanting to cum because I know I can cum, I fuck myself hardest because all I want to is to survive. I cum and while I cum, I am not sure any of it means I have changed. Outside, everyone still knows how to live, meanwhile inside here I have
exhausted everything I am without beginning a new type of history that leads to another kind of ending. How do I postpone my ultimate reality if it not only ever wishes to stay? I want to be good at living, not just better. And maybe it begins and ends right here – inside this life of mine that will forever ask what it means to have survived when all I ever did was live.