[PREMIERE] Varien LP Review, Part 2: Four Women Bust Out Of Binary Love
[This is part 2 of our three part special series covering the exquisite as fuck new Varien LP. We thought music as complex and rich as this in its humanity deserved a likewise response. So we ditched the traditional 411 format and went for a creative approach. We wanted to show you where the music took us. And music this deep took us to surprising places. BUY THE LP ON ITUNES.]
PART 2 INCLUDES THE VOICES OF FOUR OF OUR CIS-FEMALE WRITERS: Tabitha [T.NEUD10110.exe], Emily [E.SCHA10111.exe], Chelsea [C.RAE1101.exe], and Genevieve [G.COL1010.exe].
Trapped in the binary. Though not on one side. That’d be too fucking easy. Open my heart and its all 10101010101011111000001101000. Don’t ask me what it means. I code only to decode this either/or existence between tenderness, terror. To fall on the right side of artificial/real love. Don’t have to face it alone. I am not alone. In here, all these stacks and stacks of mind-code, with three other women. Don’t need a man to write the script for truth. Estrogen is our power, poor patriarchy. We’re a supercell, searching for some ways to see ourselves. Not stuck on ego. I, we, can let the others’ voices float to the surface. Write a line or two. An entire program of de-programming ourselves.
[T.NEUD10110.exe] I know less than most do. There’s so much more than you know. You’ve created this shift in energy that pummels me backwards into a tailspin so uncertain.
There we stood. A dark room filled with humans of all sorts. Each one with their own story to tell, and they all congregate here looking for that one person to share their story with. The music was overwhelming at first and soon became a lullaby that cradled my insecurities, allowed me to feel. The lights, blinding. Suddenly became perfectly in tune with every heartbeat around us. They were all there, but when your finger tips found mine-unconscious the world around us felt real. [E.SCHA10111.exe] I felt like the world was far too heavy for my body, pressing down on me when I was so very light, and all was dark and comfortable in my mind. I was not completely aware of where I was, or what I was doing, all I knew was that I wanted to lay here forever and be weightless like this.
The next time I felt some sensation
Anything like consciousness
I was on him
Hungrily, passionately, sweetly, as if my body didn’t need my brain to instinctively respond to him. [T.NEUD10110.exe] It was like this tiny voice shouted all hands on deck. It was do or die. Even though my hard glass exterior turned to sand in your hands, and formulating a proper sentence seemed like a toddler trying to solve algebraic equations, I knew you were worth it. [C.RAE1101.exe] Peel off our clothes, peel off layers of each other. Layers of guise, façade and self-protection. This is going too far. I can let you fuck me, but I can’t let you love me.
[E.SCHA10111.exe] I knew not if it was seconds, minutes, or hours later–I slowly became aware of my mouth moving in sync with his. [C.RAE1101.exe] I’m going to kiss you, so the words I want to say remain inside me. There is safety in silence. My passion can do the talking for now.
[E.SCHA10111.exe] And without my reason to guide me for a minute or so, I didn’t care that it was all wrong. [G.COL1010.exe] Like trying to walk on tiny, diamond-like shards of glass. Holding yourself so tightly, as if with enough suppression, suffocation, you could simply levitate above the otherwise inevitable pain and suffering. [C.RAE1101.exe] But your body is so familiar, and so is this feeling. It’s lust-driven innocence, or innocence-driven lust: whichever comes first. I know myself too well to call it anything else.
[T.NEUD10110.exe] This intoxicating way of interacting left me feeling completely inebriated. [C.RAE1101.exe] With every movement, you break down whatever walls I’ve built. Ice heart. This fortress looks intimidating, but it’s only made of crystals that melt like snow in the light of vulnerability. Fall to the ground like shards of glass. I’m so much weaker than I look. [T.NEUD10110.exe] I’m sorry it’s never been easy for me. It’s always been a constant struggle of expression.
[E.SCHA10111.exe] His arms were around me again, but this time it was a different situation. “This is all your fault,” I spat out into the room to fill the gaping wound between us, the bloody result of all the damage we had done to each other. An eye for an eye; ours was a bitter spiral of destruction, neither of us willing to break the hypnosis until now.
My body is convulsing
Seizing on its own accord
I’m aware of this
The violence of it
[G.COL1010.exe] Those nights erupted into shouting – it’s amazing how much noise results from so much silence. It didn’t make sense at the time. Everything so muddled and warped. Surprising things happen when you feel like you’ve suddenly found yourself in a place you no longer recognize. Constantly feeling out of place, out of touch. Like trying to remember how a dream began there’s this void, a pulsing gap between where you are now and how you got there. You have a vague idea, the crunching glass underfoot – like trying to walk on eggshells but with the poignant addition of self-inflicted pain. Somehow buildings seem small, puny, inadequate but at the same time – suffocating. [E.SCHA10111.exe] The glass house we lived in had been shattered, but not destroyed completely. Inside of one lives a part of the other, a remnant of what once was inexplicably beautiful, a secret meant to be kept a secret so that it would not wither and die beneath the harsh scrutiny of the world’s light.
We shot all morality to death that night, and so many nights afterward, until the nights became years in a city that never sleeps. We trembled upon such a delicate equilibrium; we were perfect, but I knew we couldn’t stay there, and we could never be this way again. I never meant for us to become entwined to this point. [G.COL1010.exe] I had been stalling. Stalling and falling. I had crossed that line from playful, momentary irresponsibility to extended, self-deluded irresponsibility. It was that proverbial fucking rabbit hole I always seemed to find myself standing on the edge of, curiously staring down into the unknown abyss. I never understood how I could be so simultaneously petrified of change, yet so sensually aroused by the unknown. What a colossal mindfuck.
I shouldn’t. We shouldn’t do this
But you didn’t stop. You did this. Or did I? Fuck the truth, anyways.
[G.COL1010.exe] It may seem shocking that someone so relatively quiet, shy, timid, cautious, nervous. Could also be so curious. Quiet curiosity, there’s something to that. Rather than curiosities put on display for others to see and share in, stamp out or encourage even. Quiet curiosity is acted upon under a certain veil of privacy; the circle of those involved is a very close one. Privacy because I see the world through tainted eyes, hypnotique. [C.RAE1101.exe] The first time it’s so easy. Words pour out without hesitation, affection given out like samples. Practically free. But I’ve been hurt, and that makes me hesitate. Worse than hurt – I betrayed and never forgave myself for it. I’m afraid to love for fear I could make someone hate me that much again. I wear shame like it’s my fucking middle name.
[G.COL1010.exe] The time has come, the silence must be broken. Silently begging, pleading, drowning, slashing, tearing – none of it could fully convey the message. It’s not enough. It’s time for a change. I feel small, puny, and inadequate. I feel like I’m suffocating. It’s time to be on your own. Alone. And with that the glass floor beneath me shatters. Confused, lost, lonely, scared and wounded, but now– there is solid ground. Nevertheless, I sit there, and curl myself up. Arms wound around tightly bent knees, arms overlapping, chin tucked between chest and thighs, forehead rested on knees. Close my eyes.
How could your light be drawn to my darkness?
[G.COL1010.exe] I let the hot, salty liquid of my exasperation seep through my closed lips. There’s no sense in fighting it anymore. It’s time to end the silence. It’s time to acknowledge the pain that dwells inside. Changes have to be made.
[E.SCHA10111.exe] “I can forget about you,” could say that, but I would’ve been lying to both of us–and if there’s one sin we haven’t committed against each other, it’s dishonesty. Couldn’t leave him with a lie.
I love you.
[T.NEUD10110.exe] The words stumbled off my tongue like shaky little first steps. My first steps. The strength I felt in your breath was what I tried to reciprocate with those meek little words. [G.COL1010.exe] I laugh, out loud, I’m beginning to get more used to the act of expressing, vocalizing, outside of my own cerebral little world. The laugh vibrates off my lips. I laugh because I think of how not long ago I would have read that in a twisted, lovesick way.
[T.NEUD10110.exe] Eye contact felt like you were burning rings of fire into my face. But I loved it. This vulnerability, I could get used to it, [C.RAE1101.exe] For the chance of overcoming loneliness. [E.SCHA10111.exe] A chapter in our lives where we learned both about ourselves and our capabilities to love. [G.COL1010.exe] I am the thing that sheds light onto others. I am no longer a part of the cold, starving darkness that hungrily soaks it up. I open my eyes to find myself staring at my feet, at thinly scrawled sentences inked into the concrete: I think about sex with you when I do drugs & I think about drugs when I do you. You are my drug. Binary love, busted.
[C.RAE1101.exe] [T.NEUD10110.exe] [E.SCHA10111.exe] [G.COL1010.exe]
So tonight is
The first time I really give myself to you.