Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Kusuguri-zeme (Rough draft)

This piece of writing has been in my notebook and the back of my mind for a few years now.  I'm going to share an early draft because that's one of the purposes of this blog—to practice sharing my thoughts, even before I feel they're "perfect" (because they rarely ever get to that stage). It's scary to post something that isn't polished and doesn't say exactly what I want it to yet! Maybe later on I'll take this and revise it and re-post it to show its progression.


Today, a person who I thought was my friend betrayed me—he took away my freedom, made me lie to all my friends, and inflicted pain on me. To make matters worse, he did all of this in my presence, while laughing maniacally. Maybe I need to be better at choosing friends.

What did he do? Inflicted gargalesis in me, in front of family and friends.

It began innocently enough, or so I thought. He came into the room close to where I was standing at a public gathering. I was distracted for a moment by someone talking to me, and that's when he struck. He dove in (I imagine—admittedly, I didn't see this part), eyes flashing maliciously and two fingers ready. He jabbed quickly in, poking my sides. An involuntary burst of laughter forced itself from my throat, followed shortly by a quick jerking motion, making me look like a loony chicken.

He did something I didn't want him to do; he broke my personal bubble! Capital offense. But he didn't stop there.

He proceeded to tickle me until I was on the floor, twitching breathlessly. "Birthday girl! Birthday girl!" he chanted. My friends were laughing with him—he turned even them against me. In a matter of seconds I had been forced to do something I did not want to do: I had kicked and squeaked and snorted and giggled, all without wanting to, or even thinking about it. He had become my domineering puppet master, and I his puppet-slave. Weak from the exertion, I really could not exert my strength enough to stand for several moments after he ceased tickling me.

Tickling—ha! It seems like such an innocent word. But I know, as others do, of its evil nature. My research shows me that such tactics as this young man employed on me are common in multi-sibling homes. One sibling will tickle the other to gain control over him or her. In those "tickling sessions,"
the tickler is not only exerting physical control over the sibling; he is also bullying his sibling psychologically. That psychological damage can follow a child all the way through to adulthood. This kind of bullying for dominion over its victim is hard to stop because the victim gives all the same signs of a ticklee in a tickle fight for fun (to think of doing this for fun!). That brings me to the next charge I place at my ex-friend's door.

A definition of lying is to give a false impression, or to lead others to believe something that is untrue by your words or actions. My (ex-)friend made me lie, in that I was not enjoying being tickled and I didn't want him to tickle me (such an invasion of personal space!), yet he made me laugh and give signs of enjoyment. My outward signs and inward feelings were not in accord, so he was making me lie.

I could even go further without going too far: that he tortured me. In ancient Japan, they called it kusuguri-zeme - merciless tickling. They used to to punish (yes, punish) or otherwise torture high-profile or above-the-law perpetrators. Kusuguri-zeme was easily begun, easily terminated, and left no telling marks to incriminate the administrator of the tickle-torture. Sever other nations have (unofficially of course) used similar methods to punish, humiliate, or otherwise weaken their targets. Among the variety of torture devices used to achieve this most effective pain-inducer were feathers, the fast and easy fingers, and the goat method. This last one was carried out by strapping the victim's feet in the stocks so they couldn't pull away. Then the torturers would pour salt water over the victim's feet to make them attractive to the goat. Then they would release the goat, which would then proceed to lick the sensitive underside of the victim's feet.

Current thoughts on this draft
I know this draft is off the mark, but at least I have something written down!

I'm not sure if I'm going for making the speaker totally serious, or aware that she's being facetious.

I feel like this is a way to point out ways that people interact with each other that make it hard to be true to themselves or to speak their mind. A kind of oppression that is hard to fight because the person imposing it may not realize the position he or she is putting other people in, or past experiences or societal norms say that this kind of behavior is good and acceptable.

In case you haven't heard of it before, gargalesis is the technical term for laugh-inducing tickling.

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