The Black Barbie
“Her skin was like the moonless nights. Probably because she was conceived to them. Her heart was darker. They worshipped her but she would rather have them beg and suffer in the agony of lust. She was cursed and condemned but like the last inch of darkness, she bound light to light. Like the last breath, she bound life to life. We gave her a name; one that she did justice to in every sense.”
“What name?” I asked, as I struggled with my belief that every man with a story about a beautiful woman is insane.
“The Black Barbie.” He exclaimed. His sullen eyes had just the one story; the story about a woman.
“I get the sentiment. She was dark and she had a darker heart. But, why Barbie?”
“Oh, you stand so deprived of fate to have not seen her. Her aroma was paralyzing like the conium and she had a body like an implausible helix that defied the prophecies. When she would walk, the lost would gaze upon her and find peace. The fairest of the elves lusted for the dusk on her body. In a land of harlots, she would stand pristine and such was her aura that the mornings would succumb to sleep. She was the artists’ dream, she was the saintly gleam. She was a vintage song, often sung and preached by the blessed monks.”
It is strange to see how men resort to poetry and unparalleled metaphors to redeem the hope of immortalizing the scent of the women in their stories.
I was the newest fish in the Albuquerque prison. Something, every con must get used to is the concept of change. They don’t let you settle down. A new inmate barges in every other fortnight or so. I am no one judge. I murdered my cheating wife and her lover. But I was still in touch with my sanity; the other inmates, not so much. One had to be awake even in the worst of his nightmares, so as to not wake up in one.
They brought me here a week ago. For seven days, my cellmate did not speak a word. And when he did, ‘twas about a woman dark of skin and heart. A man of passion and love, I thought. Maybe, I could still sleep in peace.
“Men came and men begged, but she would not surrender. She was a woman of fine taste and a finer sense of judgement.”
Hell of a woman, wouldn’t you say?
“Did you beg?” I asked as I swallowed the rice. A bed time story and a bowl full of crap to eat; life is so beautiful in these prisons.
“I was the only one who did not. My eyes were open to a greater truth; a truth so obvious that no man could comprehend. Some women, you just cannot get.”
“I have always believed that a woman must let a man complete her, and that no woman is impossible.” He looked at me with a hint of mockery as I contradicted the foundation of the only story he knew. I dared to mock a man who could smother me in my sleep.
“You misunderstand me. She was not just any woman. It would take more than just a woman to shame the finest of the Italian wines and make men murmur her stories and live every second with the false hope of love. She broke men like a Lego house and in a way that they could not be fixed. And if ever there was a man who dared to pick up the pieces and fix his heart, he would suffer endlessly. She would keep fragments of the hearts of each of the men she broke. She called it the jar of hearts. Some of us would struggle before she captured us within her and some wise men would willingly give it away. Yet, she was pious. The only stain she bore was the dark heart beneath her breasts.”
“Was she a virgin?” I concentrated on the much significant half of the questions which bothered me. It would be a shame for us men if such a woman never found peace in the arms of one of us.
“I like to think she was. There are no such fables about how her lips felt or how delicious she was. Either she was a virgin, or the men she slept with never talked about it. Maybe, she slaughtered them.”
“Is there a story or are you just going to talk about her?” Sleep had come to me and frustration accompanied.
“There is a story. There always is. I, too, was fascinated by her. I could see men with high hopes and vale efforts trying to make acquaintance. But like I said, some women you just cannot get.”
“What’d you do then?”
“Something what needed to be done. When lights do not come to your doorsteps, you have to light a candle.”
“You killed her, didn’t you?”
“That’s what you’d do. Slaughter is never the answer. I resorted to break inside her house, drug her, blindfold her, and then tie her up in my basement. It was a neat little plan and it took them three days to find us.”
“Just the three days? You’re not a great criminal.” It took them three years to find the bodies of my wife and her lover. The secret is to bury the body close to where you kill. They never think to find it so close.
“We’re talking about a woman who gave reason to most men to wake up another day to see her. If I had had her for one more day, I would’ve sparked a revolution; the greatest there ever has been.”
“But you told me that she was a virgin and that no one knew the taste of her lips.”
“Yes, I did.”
“You didn’t kiss her? You had her for three days and you did not taste her? The woman who helped pirates walk the plank and whose very existence was catastrophic for the living was at your mercy and you did not touch her? Is this any less the crime? You almost make me want to believe that all you’ve said is a fantasy.”
“No, I did not kiss her. I just looked at her, agelessly. I asked her if she wanted me to touch her or kiss her, but she denied. I asked her if she wanted me to untie her and if she wanted to leave, but she denied. I asked her for her name, but she wouldn’t tell. So I sat next to her, watching her breathe without the slightest sense of desperation. I guess, she knew that the men on the other side of the wall would eventually find her. I guess, after all those years of restlessness, she felt safe in the basement of a potential psychopath. It is strange how the simplest of the things hide themselves in a psychopath’s basement.
“What happened when they found her?”
“The men wanted to peel off my skin and burn me alive. And I would’ve gladly accepted it. It was no point explaining to them that some women you cannot get and so, you tie them up and look at them if the gods permit.”
“How’re you alive then?” I asked as I lied on my back staring at the bars. They whispered, for this was not the first story they had heard.
“I walked out with her towards the screaming hooligans. Death was waiting, in many forms. And then, she held my hand. The hooligans turned to Monks. She held my hand and kissed me in front of all the screaming men and when she was done, so were the men. The Black Barbie is no more a goddess, they said. I stood like a child midst the barren desert when she whispered her last known words in my ears. Oh, how evil a woman can get.”
“How was it, the kiss?”
“I have no memory of the day. I believe that no human could bare the rush of adrenaline I did at that moment and that my senses stood dwarfed to her taste and touch. She kissed me and left, only to be never seen again. Rumours spread about her being dead. People still talk about her being spotted in the streets of Maurice and Azerbaijan. All I know is that she was dark, inside out. She was the daughter of the night. She was The Black Barbie.”
Fascinating it is, to observe that us humans hold stories so close to our hearts and then, never pen them down. I asked him if he wanted me to write this down. He did not care. The day I left the cell, I looked back at him. A beautiful woman does no good to a man, I thought.
“Could you tell me what she whispered in your ears? I am curious.” I disturbed his silence and in the process, my peace. He looked at me and started whispering.
“Remember this kiss, love. For you shall remain the only man to have kissed me. I break men with the hope of love and you shall see no different fate. All men begged me for the touch of my skin, but none ever dared to do what it took. I want you to know that I would’ve surrendered to your whims, if only you had begged. You were too proud and I, too shallow. I want you to live every second of your remaining life thinking what could’ve been if you had just begged once. Remember me, love. Some women you just cannot get, until you beg.”
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