WE WERE BOUND TO DO SOMETHING STUPID IN PUBLIC (ATTACHMENT CAN BE PROBLEMATIC)
FKU TWIN$ / EMJI SPERO, JUDY BALS
Go to a cultural event as a couple with hands tied together for the entirety of the event. Be together and mean it. Adapt to the difficulties and pain of attachment. Enjoy the extreme togetherness of being consensually tethered. Mingle and engage as normally as possible.
The assumption is that couples are supposed to do this sort of thing. Taken to its logical extreme. Like some perverse, self-inflicted attachment therapy, where rage and despair are replaced with hygge and nurtured codependency as the objects of focus.
i. Unintentionally disrupted one of the event’s planned performances with the inflexibility of our bond. A masked performer selected one of us to be an audience participant without realizing we were bound together. Both of us approached, the performer put their hand up and told us, “Only one.” We showed the performer our ensnared fist. The performer responded, “Oh. Fuck.” This drew laughter from the audience. The performer sent us away upon fully understanding our condition.
ii. We were pleased to have opportunities to feel kind and accommodating given our artificial, manufactured helplessness:
a. I’m your “right hand man,” in the bathroom. I’ve been waiting all night for you to ask me to wipe your ass.
b. Fetching things from pockets, opening doors, etc. We felt mildly disgusted with ourselves for being so pleased.
iii. Shaking hands with friends and hugging new acquaintances inadvertently became a group activity. This was received with varying degrees of disinterest, amusement, pleasure and, at least once, horror.
iv. While watching the film, our arms had to be propped up uncomfortably on the armrest. This gradually grew more painful. At times our fingers became cold, at other times, numb. We managed the pain by adjusting our position and the rope, massaging each other’s palms, fingering the tight sweaty space between our hands. Approximately 3/4 of the way through the film, the pain became all-consuming. Viewing an experimental film in this condition was an experience akin to listening to Metallica at full volume with the heat turned all the way up in the car. Let’s do that too.
i. The discomfort of our attachment grew with time.
ii. We could not do the thing that was for “only one” because we are two.
iii. We were advised by an observer that there are less painful ways to bind flesh with rope. Mistakes are clear in retrospect.