No Limit

Published on 15 October 2023 at 12:27

I yield! I answer in silence. There is a limit. Not mine.

There was once upon a time, somewhere at the Southernmost tip of Africa a pretty, immigrant girl...

Well not that kind of pretty actually!

I was pretty antisocial as a girl...and pretty sociopathic as a woman. As for is in the eye of the lover...

I became a baby Bat Goth at about the age of 17 thanks to my second boyfriend. I still consider myself a Goth to this day. Most of my generation and younger (Belgians specifically), don't know what this is. I suppose now is as good a time as any to go back to the South African Goth scene of the 90's. A rare set of pearls in a sea of sand and barnacles.

It was a melange of dark romanticism, music and kink. those three powers combined, you were a Goth. What was dark romanticism? It was first and foremost the All-Black fashion: dark (glitter) makeup, really short skirts, fishnets or thigh-high tights, long boots, spiky collars, big hair and most of all 'a bad bitch attitude'. What was the music? Here the answer is wider than the Platteland and more feisty than the Two Oceans meeting at Cape Point. It was old school bands of the elders such as Siouxsie and the Banshees and The Cure. It was the newer stuff like HIM, Marilyn Manson and Diary of Dreams. It was also the hardcore Industrial and Cyber mixes that came later and gave rise to the famous Medusa-like moves of the Goth party-goers.

And the kink?

It wasn't quite the Story of O or De Sade type of stuff. It was mostly the sexy allure of being chained up to another human being not afraid of the dark. There was no limit to personal expression both intellectually and physically.

Back to 2023: This summer, as we made our way back from our vacation, we decided to pass through a portion of Germany. 

"Look!" He exclaimed. "No speed limit on the GPS!"

"The Autobahn!" I shrieked in delight. It was my first time in all my years in Europe to drive on the Autobahn.

What I felt surprised me and knowing myself so well, I didn't think I could still surprise me.

I felt that sense of relief I'd felt in the early 90s when first setting foot on African soil. No rules! No limit!

"Well?" I turned to him. 

"I know what you want." He grinned like a Cheshire Cat and floored it. 

I wonder to myself now as I write: what would it be like to have no limit on personal expression today?

I'd had a rendezvous planned for breakfast this weekend. They never showed up. No reason given. Probably forgot...who knows? At this point who really cares?

I have cared though...for a long time. For 12 years to be precise. However, after having the door literally shut in my face, rejected for being too Romanian and too South African at the same time, excluded for being too intellectual and judged for being too wild...I remain on the other side of the looking glass. The limits are clear: Don't be yourself...

Be someone malleable, submissive, and passive. Follow the conventions of your group, whatever those may be. The exact opposite of the Gothic subculture and philosophy...

"People are boring!" Texted a good colleague of mine once. 

Indeed they are...most of them...not intrinsically though but rather by collective choice.

"They mostly act in self-interest." I typed.

"We all die alone." Was the reply of a good friend once not so long ago. That relationship managed to last the usual timeframe of between 1 and 3 years before I understood that he never really liked ME. It had been a matter of convenience much like all the others before him.


"It could have been different." I recall the line from last night's movie where the new Queen of Wakanda stands over the Ocean God of the Blue people, ready to drive the vibranium spear through his throat!

"Yield!" She commands him.

I yield! I answer in silence. There is a limit. Not mine.

I return to my papers pertaining to my lifelong, personal research project exploring the exact coordinates of that limit.

What would it be like, if we could be ourselves entirely? What would it feel like to stop hiding? 

Probably similar to the thrill of flooring that accelerator and for a few moments, feeling truly free.

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