Listening to the roadmap of his pleasure, it is breath that describes the intricate architecture of both need and sensation.
Words, as Derrida says, are slippery things: hard to catch and harder even to hold. Meaning slithers into crevices, hides in folds, is coated or diluted in effluvia.
But breath hides nothing. The slow even passage of air suddenly changes in an instant to jagged gasps. Pleasure turns the landscape of reality mountainous, the hard-won heights and precipitous drops force at his lungs, playing in the desperate constriction of his throat.
Then he’s fighting, forcing his way up the incline in urgent stages. The closer he comes, the thinner the air. He snatches at breaths like a thief or a man drowning, holds them, and then leaves them behind him as he ascends further.
It’s not the words he spits out like sparks of voltage that compel me. As he crests the hill and gratification drags at his sinews, his breath opens out, raw and gashed. The sharpened knives of his lust plunge, in a desperate sequence, into the heart of his labours.
And he comes, drowning.