Freud And The Art Of Caning
Her voice is husky; her tone, uncompromising.
‘Kneel down across the foot stool.’
I stretch my naked form across the blue padded top of the stool – I am compelled to obey her though I tremble.
I sense her move lithely across the room. I feel the pressure of her scarf around my eyes, feel her knot it securely behind my head with her strength; a strength greater than mine.
‘Can you see?’
Her breath is warm and smoky… I like that.
‘No, it is black… totally black.’
A tingle of fear runs through my testicles…
* * *
The wind howls and throws out cold invisible tentacles to probe the vulnerable overlaps of our clothing. She shivers, her long shiny brown hair blowing across her elegant features, and I catch hold of her hand as though to stop her being swept away.
Culver Cliff: the most easterly point of the Island… and for many the tragic point of departure.
A bunch of flowers propped up forlornly against a fence post with a card flapping in the wind. I walk up to it and attempt to read it but the ink is already fading.
I have been here myself in the past; I may yet end it here… but not today.
Seagulls wheel above us in the grey November sky screeching as they do.
It is time for us to go…
* * *
She brings the flogger down upon my bare back… it does not hurt; it does not need to hurt… yet… for she is merely teasing me… softening me up.
Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No.2 plays in the background and my submission deepens – she begins to probe my psyche…
* * *
A single track road to nowhere now but nearly a century ago it had been the main road to Blackgang till a landslip on a rainy night.
The rain beats down hard but we still leave the car. I show her the cliffs towering impassively above us, the primeval cliffs, and imagine pterodactyls gliding down – time has stood still here.
We discern the tinkling of running water from the hidden stream below us – there is magic here… the spirits of water and rock.
Knowles Farm: and nearly the most southerly point on the Island. About a mile out is St Catherine's Deep, rich fishing grounds but perilous at times to shipping; the coast littered with the rotting skeletons of ships long ago come to grief in squalls.
I have not visited this place for over seven years… I was in love then… I do not share this with her…
* * *
She flogs me harder… the pain begins to reach into me. I feel myself travelling in the darkness… but where?
* * *
‘You are fortunate indeed to live here… it is very beautiful.’ She states then draws hard upon her cigarette, the coals glowing in the fading light.
The Needles jut out defiantly into the English Channel perhaps dagger-like to the Dorset Coast. I watch the choppy waves batter themselves relentlessly against the base of the giant chalk outcrops.
‘I wish you could see it in the summer… we could take an open top bus along the sides of the cliff… descend to the beach by chairlift… have a boat trip around the lighthouse. It is truly spectacular.’
I am talking as though I am in love – I care not…
* * *
Pavane pour une Infante Défunte: Ravel.
She does not strike me hard with the cane yet each stroke stings and then the pain begins to blur and dull… it is a long time since I have experienced this… I yearn for more but then I begin to cry; cry like a baby… buried memories you see…
‘What is it darling?’ she soothes.
* * *
‘Egypt Point… we are at the most northerly point of the Island – it's a great place for viewing the liners as they swing out of Southampton Water… can you imagine the Titanic passing through all those years ago. Look, why don't we drive to Cowes Parade, we can have a drink in The Fountain and I'll show you the biggest Union Jack in the world… maybe we'll even catch a liner going by.’
It's dark now though only about half five…
* * *
She is holding me in her arms: ‘What do you need to tell me?’
I am not a man anymore – I have regressed.
‘I don't want you to hurt me… I want you to love me… why do you want to hurt me?’ I sob out.
‘You're safe now.’
She holds me tighter and I keep crying but the crying is good; cathartic.
* * *
We leave The Fountain and as soon as we do I spot a liner with lights burning brightly navigating its way to the eastern approaches of the Solent. I point it out to her but she seems slightly distracted… and I suddenly feel the need to express something: ‘The dynamic has altered between us… you're different and it's not authentic anymore.’
* * *
‘How did you know that there was something in me that needed to be released? I felt that all those years ago… and I couldn't verbalise it… I feel so much better. Thank you, thank you.’
I give her another cuddle.
‘I just knew.’
And I knew now that she was the stronger and smarter one… and that made her dangerous; dangerous and exhilarating…
* * *
We are in my flat and getting ready to walk down town to Michelangelo's Italian Restaurant on the seafront – it is her last night with me. We have had a good day sightseeing. On impulse I turn to her and say: ‘I will let you hurt me later.’
‘Will you now, will you now…’
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