So we have a new contributor. Very exciting stuff. I asked if they were interested in a pseudym and that is how we ended up with Benevolent Cuntpunt.
I did an image search for 'Benevolent Cuntpunt' and this is the first result. If you are there waxing poetic or spitting lyrics and you cannot find the right word to rhyme with cunt then this might be the book for you.
- The Egg Party
by Benevolent Cuntpunt
She paced back and forth, and back again. White tiles of cold ceramic - canvasses, blank as her mind. Nothing could be heard but the silence, for all were under sedation in ward E2. She sighed to herself. Only another thirty minutes left. It was the same every night: quickened pacing across the sterile floor, checking the clock a little too frequently. She felt guilty at times for her boredom, her insensitivity, but it had all become too routine. Patients had become numbers, their faces caricature-like images, and the days were identical from one to the next. One minute remaining. Pivoting on her heel, she walked briskly back to the staff room, and signed herself off on the time sheet.
She drove a black BMW, the most expensive kind. When she bought it, she was convinced that she needed to reward herself. She was a good doctor, always punctual, thorough. Isn't that what it was all about? Helping people, feeling chummy inside and all the rest? It was one of the most honorable professions and yet many were just in for the money. She wanted to give back to the world, after leeching from it for so long. But now she worked long hours doing tedious tasks, from dawn until dusk, it just did not feel like it was enough. She had to really feel personally responsible for these innumerable faceless people. But she could not. She had thought of it as a way to inner peace and quiet satisfaction, but to her annoyance, she was instead elevated by the community to the very public status of a local saint.
She pulled up to the driveway, the porch light was always left on so that she did not have to rummage for her keys in the dark. Darren was thoughtful like that. He was home 1 already, and so inevitably dinner had been prepared, ready and awaiting her return. She hesitated a little at the last turn of the key, trying to make as little noise as possible. Tonight was like many nights where she did not want to be heard, hoping to slip in unnoticed for once. The latch clicked loudly, betraying her. Darren waltzed into the hallway from the kitchen, still wearing an apron, beaming at her with a cheeky grin upon his face, despite the tiredness evident in his eyes. “Lou, you'll never guess what I've made! A real feast right here, and not just for the eyes.” His eyes darted excitedly. When she did not answer he started examining her face for any trace of what she might be thinking. As if somehow, if he tried hard enough, he might be able to see into her soul. At times he was like a small child, proud and excited about the trivial things in life. Lou forgave him his innocence, and only wished that it was something she too still had. It was for this very reason that she adored him. They chatted about their day over dinner, cleared the plates away and watched a few hours of mind numbing soap opera before getting sleepy enough to go to bed.
They had met at a friend's party in their last year of high school, and had been together ever since. He had wanted them to get married and have two kids by now, but she could not find it in her heart to say yes. She had no time nor desire for a traditional family unit. And of course, he always conceded to her wishes, even though he did not have to. Darren was a small time salesman at a used furniture store, she had always been the main breadwinner and the “responsible adult” of the two. They led a rather conventional life in a quiet suburb near the hospital. Every so often they would travel interstate to visit family, or to some island for the obligatory couple's holiday. The sex was average, and sometimes she was satisfied, but mostly she just agreed to it to keep him happy. If there 2 had been a time when there was passion, she could not remember it, but nevertheless they lived quite contentedly with this arrangement.
It was a new day and she started work as usual, at six o'clock on the dot. The secretary greeted her just as merrily everyday, Lou managed but a polite smile in return. She started her rounds and was walking briskly down the hall when something caught her eye, causing her to retrace her steps back to the last doorway. There was someone new, unlike anyone that she'd seen before. She entered the room, cautiously approaching the bed. A slim yet athletic young woman lay almost motionless, save for the subtle rising and falling of her chest with each breath. Sunlight trickled in through the window forming a faint glow across her face, and highlighting her soft features. It was the most beautiful live portrait that Lou had ever seen, and she immediately felt oddly allured by her. It was not that she was uncommonly pretty, but an iridescent aura seemed to hover about her. A nurse walked by, bringing the medication.
“Someone new?”, Lou commented.
“Ah yes, she came in just this morning.” The nurse replied, peering through her files. Lou stood there a few moments more, surveying this ethereal figure. She wondered but doubted ultimately if she could ever be so stark as to wake her. She could not figure out what it was, her secret to being so enchanting. Usually it was confidence, attitude, or mien, but how could one lying motionless so serenely emit such a strong energy?
That night, she returned home to Darren much colder than before. She did not comment on dinner nor utter a word as they sat and absorbed the audiovisual trash from the TV. She just could not get that strange feeling or that woman out of her head, but it felt 3 like an inappropriate thing to mention. Although they had sworn to do their best to openly communicate, with this it just did not feel natural. She did not know what to expect him to say anyway, and so decided that it would be best to just leave it be – thoughts pass with time. In bed when he put his arms around her, Lou remained stiff as a corpse and unresponsive. She lay awake for hours staring at the ceiling and the occasional dancing lights projected in from outside.
Upon her arrival to ward E2, Lou strode swiftly to the room of the patient apparition, anxious to once again gaze upon her face and she was not disappointed. The woman lay there motionless with an air of tranquility, just as before. Lou felt unexpectedly aroused. The woman suddenly opened her eyes. They were deep set shadows which briefly held a look of bewilderment before relaxing once more.
“You must be Dr. Kang” She spoke.
“Er... yes, I am.” Lou was a little surprised.
“I've heard so much about you from the nurses.” The woman smiled.
“Is that so?” “They told me I was lucky you were currently working at this ward. They say you're among the best and that to be your patient is a privilege.”
Lou did not know how to respond, she'd always felt awkward when encountering such praise. She made do with a halfhearted smile.
“I can't imagine how it is, really”, the woman began. “Being so... selfless. I've been a business woman my entire life.” she chuckled.
“There's nothing wrong with enterprising” Lou interrupted.
“No” The woman grimaced, “But there is little virtue in that. We're around the same age, I would guess. But we've lead very different lives. I've dedicated all my energy to profiting, I've never had the notion to give something back. You, on the other hand, are like some sort of angel”
“I've made unnecessary sacrifices...” Lou thought of Darren.
“That's exactly what I mean. You put the needs of others above your own, something that I have never done, probably never would to such extent.” She paused. “And now it's time to go”
Lou wondered how such words could come from a woman who appeared as a seraphic waif. Praising her, the most human and flawed between them.
“But you've always done what you wanted. Everything you have, was achieved through hard work. You've seen and experienced more of the world than I have, or ever will, as a plain old doctor. Every day, I witness someone else's tragedy or misfortune. It's like living life through a television screen, as a perpetual audience.”
“Life isn't about your work, doc. Your profession doesn't have to define you. There are hundreds of others, and yet you stand out the most. It is our ideals and our subsequent actions that determine who we are.”
Lou had never believed that line. People don't socialize indiscriminately. Profession and lifestyle are choices that determine your place in the world. Those are the things that people immediately see in you, judge you for and value your worth upon. She did not quite know how to answer without being rude, but by the time she glanced back over to the woman, she had already fallen back asleep.
Lou examined the file at the foot of her bed. AIDS. No. That can't be right. Taken aback, Lou looked frantically about. Taking a clean syringe from a nearby cupboard, she promptly pinched the woman's arm and withdrew blood. Slipping the needle into her briefcase, she quickly left the ward and made her way toward the laboratory to test the sample. HIV Positive. No. It can't be, she refused to believe it. Why her? This was the last kind of person she would ever have expected to be doomed. Perhaps it was that she wanted to be just like her, Lou thought to herself. Dominating her path in life, or at least, knowing it. The woman knew of her own potential and her limits, Lou could but contemplate hers. She had never before felt aroused by a woman, and it led her to 6 wonder, was there more to it? What had she never considered, or worse, repressed in herself? There were so many thoughts running through her mind... what if? What if she had done all that she had ever wanted? What if she did not have forty more years left to live, but only forty months? What if she no longer lived with hopes or regrets? She felt a mixture of anguish and insatiable curiosity, it was almost unbearable. That night when she returned home her head was throbbing and her mind was out of focus. Darren was half expecting her reaction to be identical to that of the night before, and so he did not press her for interaction. They ate their dinner in silence and went to bed. Darren grasped at her hand as they lay in the darkness, but her fingers remained limp.
The days went on, and even her visits to this patient became routine. Her heart grew colder towards Darren, but all the more he just stubbornly persisted. At times he loved her so hard that she could not help but feel it, and the more it made her feel guilty for subjecting him to silence. But she could not help it. Her mouth felt dry and her tongue refused to make out any coherent speech, she remained mute. The days dragged onto weeks and finally Darren could no longer bear it. He had to know what was going on. For twelve years they had been together. They were happy, he thought, and from what he knew, she was always open to him in the past. At the back of his mind he wondered if she might be having an affair, but he quickly blocked the idea out of his mind, realizing it seemed ridiculous without proof. Worse he thought, that he himself might have done something wrong and caused her to reject him so. It was eating at him from the inside.
She stood gazing down at her. The silence of the ward seeped into her mind and she felt herself almost drifting, her feet the traitors staying grounded. She yearned so badly to touch her, she half expected that she would feel something profound. She reached out a hand, hesitantly edging closer, fearing rejection, but the siren just smiled. Her hand came to rest upon the warm outline of her thigh, separated only by a thin sheet. Lou's heart beat madly, and she calmed her breathing, afraid that she would somehow ruin it all if she let herself go. She slid her hand up further, a tingling sensation ran up her spine. Her fingers followed the heat, slowly tracing down beneath the sheet to the wet. The woman took hold of the collar of her uniform, pulling her closer and leaning up towards her face. Their lips met and the warmth spread from one mouth to the next, their tongues intertwining as Lou felt herself begin to fall. When Lou came back from work that night, she did not find Darren at home waiting with dinner prepared. It was odd, but she did not contemplate it any further. She was still shaken from her encounter. Nonchalantly, she began to prepare a meal for the two of them, realizing that he would probably be back shortly, and that he might just be doing overtime.
Darren had driven to the hospital, but was stopped at reception of the ward by the secretary. “I'm sorry sir, but visiting hours are over. Perhaps if you would like to come back tomorrow between the hours of...”
“No, that's quite alright, I'm not here to see a patient.” He answered calmly. “I just wanted to inquire about my partner, Lou Kang. I'm worried, she hasn't been acting herself lately and I was wondering if perhaps something was stressing her out at work.”
“Well, no sir. Dr. Kang has been as vigilant as ever.” The secretary paused, a plump and thoughtful woman, searching for the right words to say. “Although... just between you and 8 me, there is one thing. I've noticed that she's been spending a lot of time in room 201. Now normally it's not unusual, sometimes she believes a specific patient might need extra care...” She paused, not knowing how to break it to him, and unconsciously adding emphasis in effect. “There used to be a patient in there, but she passed away and the room has been empty for three weeks now.”
Darren stood shocked for a moment, unsure what to make of this or how he should react. It seemed totally uncharacteristic, Lou had never been one for eccentricity, or so he thought. But ever since the beginning of her strange behaviour, he began to wonder just how much he did not know about her, and the idea no longer seemed unfeasible.
Upon arriving home, Darren noticed that the porch light had been left on for him, and for a split second he could almost imagine that things were back the way they used to be. He smiled to himself momentarily, but it disappeared as he opened the door. The lights inside were off, the food sat cold and unappealing on the table and Lou was straddling one of the dining chairs by the window, staring out the window at the night sky.
“Lou?” He began, approaching slowly, perturbed by her stance. “Have you ever thought about how strange it is, for billions of people to be looking up at the same sky?” She whispered.
“I don't know if I quite understand what you mean.” Darren replied quietly.
“From anywhere in the northern or southern hemisphere of the planet, hundreds, thousands or maybe more, thousands of kilometers apart, can be staring up at the same sky” She had a strange smile upon her face, like she had finally grasped something. Darren was at a loss for words, and did not know how she expected him to answer. It was so irrelevant to anything at all, but it was as if she had had some kind of epiphany. He 9 opened his mouth to start some small talk, hoping that she would open up, but she ignored him.
“Come outside.” She beckoned excitedly, motioning for him to follow her as she walked out barefoot onto the cold damp grass. He followed reluctantly. She gazed up toward the moonlit canvas, it was speckled with all sorts of fantastical elements, so far away from her reality. Darren followed her gaze, hoping to somehow understand what it was that she was so fascinated about, but he could see nothing. It was a bright starry sky, nothing unusual about it. He could not imagine it as being anything any more beautiful or intriguing than what they had on earth. How could something so abstract, touch someone? He could not comprehend the thoughts that flew through Lou's head. He could only feel a sinking sadness. What had happened to them? He glanced over at Lou, catching only her silhouette in the garden of darkness. It took a moment of focus before he suddenly realized what was happening and went into a state of panic.
"Lou! What the hell are you doing? Put that thing down!”
He tried to wrestle the syringe off her, but he could already see the blood trickling down her arm. He winced as he witnessed the dark red pumping down the plastic tube into her vein. She looked back at him and gave him a radiant smile, and he could already feel her fading away from him. He reached out frantically, flailing as he tried to hold her, but it was too late. She tilted her face up towards the sky, lifted her arms and floated away.