I love Oscar Wilde. And for a while I read his whole biography, read all his books and almost devoured him as a person. That’s a little story about him, from my perspective. A monologue from the time in prison.
The room was cold and empty. Love had never ruled here before. The room was lonely, surrounded by lifelessness and stillness. The only personal thing that this room had was its own name: cell C33. He knew it too well now. Every layer of dust that fills the corners, the damp ground that evenly covers itself. And everything disgusted him. But especially the old, stale smell, the lack of light and this oppressive silence. Never before had he perceived silence like he does now. What previously triggered peace and pleasure was now like torture. Almost like a slow execution, engaging and bossy. And instead of it stopping, it had just begun.
Arm in arm with his agonizing thoughts.
He thought of the laughter of his children, he even longed for the screaming. He longed for life, for movement. He finally wanted to breathe again. Wanted to feel chills and heat, wanted to throw stones into the vastness of a lake and slowly watch them sink. Instead, he was now freefalling into the deep. Arm in arm with his agonizing thoughts. With time a moor formed out of it, which pushed him further and further into the depths. In the beginning he could still grasp them, they were clear but even less frightening. Most of the time they were worries. He continues to think back to the day of the trial, to the looks while the verdict was pronounced.
But then they became more and more heavy and opaque, until they finally overpowered him. Worries turned into fears and doubts, until he lost control over them. About what people would say or think now. About whether he would ever have such a reputation again. And then there was this strong longing. If only time would pass faster, but it did exactly the opposite. Instead, she dragged herself for days and months, pulling herself out as slowly as she would mock him and deliberately provoke him.
It made him completely disoriented and powerless.
He had long since lost the feeling for her, didn’t know when it was day or night. She knew exactly how to drive him mad, to rip the ground under his feet, the only hold he had left. It made him completely disoriented and powerless. And she succeeded quite well. He knew how to fight against her would make no sense, because he had already lost the fight anyway. His gaze touches the sheet of paper in front of him. He had already written the page almost full, tried to decipher what he had written in the twilight. The letters were much more striking, the imprint of each individual formed deep grooves, because he compulsively clasped the pen with a trembling hand. They had ordered him not to speak, and since he needed language to live, pen and paper were all he had left.
“I will see…,
he starts writing:
whether I can not make the bitter waters sweet by the intensity of the love that I cherish for you. I had moments when I thought it would be wiser to part: Moments of weakness and madness! Now I see that it has mutilated my life, ruined my art and broken the musical chords that make up a perfect soul. I would praise you even with mud and call for you from the deepest abysses. In my solitude you will be with me. I am determined not to rebel, but to accept any indignation with devotion to love; to let my body be dishonored as long as my soul keeps only your image in it. You perfect for me. Pleasure hides love from us, pain reveals it in its essence”.
All he had left was scraps of memory.
He sighs and puts the pen to one side. The longing plagued him more and more and slowly it became unbearable. All he had left was scraps of memory. On those days of freedom which he hardly appreciated at that moment. He would have loved to stop time and hold it. At least to feel and smell it. He was sure he would savour it like never before. But the painful thing was that he couldn’t, because more and more details faded from day to day and gaps in his memory formed. And while he panicked trying to save himself from fading, he could no longer distinguish between truth and fiction. And so the precious memories became a void daydream that was hardly worth anything. What brought a little life into his grey everyday life were the visits he received. As the latter he saw Constance, his wife. Mostly they remained silent until the visiting time was over. What should he have said? What remained to be said?
Want to read the German translation of Oscars Day ?