Author(s): Rachael Briggs
A guided meditation, proceeding backwards through the four parts of Common Sexual Fantasies, Ruined:
Goldfish Oil: Consider an orange. It has many pleasing features: bright peel, pungent scent, pleasing heft in your hand. But none of these features is the orange. You could paint the orange purple, de-scent it, dangle it in zero gravity … and it would remain an orange. Where, then, is the essence of the orange? Whence its orangeness?
Bitter Berries Bite Back: Are you holding an orange? If so, eat it before reading any further; it’s important to the example, and you’ll need the sustenance. Good. Now you’re clutching something even more marvellous and mysterious than any fruit: the absence of fruit. It has no colour, no scent, no heft … yet there it is, in the palm of your hand. (It’s also stashed underneath your chair, balanced atop your head, and stuffed into the toe of your left shoe.) Check all these places and see for yourself: no fruit. How can you perceive what isn’t there?
Closets: Consider the inside of your own head. It’s more tractable than any pumpkin or melon: you’ve lived there all your life. Do you have secrets up there: old love letters, embarrassing self-portraits, or half-starved animals scrabbling to get out? Did you leave a crate of oranges there once, and forget about it? What happens to oranges when they can’t breathe?
The Rug from under You: If you have one apple, and you take away two apples, how many apples do you have? If two potatoes are launched towards each other at a velocity of 100 kph, where will it end? If this sentence is true, then you are an orange. Slip out of your pith, into a poem.