She leaves her husband to weep. To crawl away in shame, vomit yellow or milky blue spurts of the body; these being the tones of Andrej Zulawski's Possession. And run far from yourself. Allow the truth of separation to trigger relief in the knowing, for in witnessing the consummated act, there is no forging of differences—no more gurus to butcher. No more nights in hotel rooms. This is much more than what our house can hold. It’s the slime of how relationships end. The husband opens his mouth.
When the husband finds that his wife is leaving him, he tries to hang on to any fragment of love that might remain. He tracks down the wife’s lover. He hires a private investigator to spy on his wife’s movements. He discovers that his wife’s true lover is not the man he originally suspected, but rather a monster of slimy flesh. Of tentacles. He watches them fuck. His wife excretes a stillbirth in an underground tunnel. The husband falls in love with the wife’s doppelganger. The husband becomes a doppelganger. The world erupts in chaos. The bombs begin to fall.
A wife’s secret apartment drowning in broken glass: the monster of a wife, her skin-birth fever as prayer, the monster—prosthetics, face like a muddy finger dipped in slime—who will end up murdering the question of how this love of ours exists, ceases to exist. Possession is a filmic portrayal of love turned corpse, an experiment in agonic tongues. There is no forgiveness. There is release, yes, but the consequence is death.
The husband places the luggage on the ground. The wife walks away in a dress of hate. The clacking of shoes. Slip them off. Ring hands and follow as husbands do. The sweat congeals, turns black and green. But Sam Neill's character, Mark, is not trying to be a good man. He's trying to rinse clean a marriage already infected by the poison of repulsion, the slime of hate.
We are bound, weeping into dirty bath water, sail boats sunken and lives crushed in disarray. Love goes wrong.
This is a hate letter to a creature I no longer know. This is my vengeance, the ultimate catharsis of separation (a marital haunting made manifest divorce). How could someone make love, this is not love, never love, to such a monster? This is not the time when she disappeared down the road. It is not raining. This is not how I stalked my way through a crowded park, only to find her drunken under the spell of having forgotten who I was. This has nothing to do with how it feels to get slapped in the face, punched in the stomach. There are no parks here. No, this is for lovers who fall in love with doppelgangers, who must greet their own doppelgangers with a grin and be redeemed by bullets on spiral staircases. I will not relent in my pleading.
God does not listen to Anna’s cries. She weeps before the crucifixion, expels milk from her mouth, proceeds to transform into the worst possible version of herself. Anna's pleading prayer at foot of a wooden Christ, encased in the still birth of her gory love, was perhaps answered through her body’s expulsion, a spiritual spewing that forced the narrative of adultery out of her own body. Could this be a kind of cleansing or is this Zulawski directing a fit of pornographic sadism?
To graft oneself into a film: a fever jerk of pleading, of arguments, a trance-birth, a not-knowing what the body is doing at the moment of death (a gunshot or a sliced throat bleeding). Revamped seduction. Remaking unfurled. The release of ghosts. What comes from slime. The pouring out of hate operations. A coming to terms with solitude. A house of doors opening, bones breaking on pink fingers. This is our Isabelle Adjani, our final kiss that transforms us into the brightest light. This is our Zulawski, in love with horror like a lover's green eyes.
And truly Anna's doppelganger exists as a way out of love’s destruction. Her lover needs only to recognize this, but at the film's conclusion, when Death (Mark, in the form of his own doppelganger) knocks at the door, his wife's doppelganger answers and bombs drop from above.
His child floats in the bathtub. There is nowhere left to go. Warplanes circle outside. Sirens ring.
There is no smoke here to fog our eyes with. No suitcases full of pink cash. When I first saw Possession I couldn't bear the grief of experiencing these two lives collapsing. I couldn't bear the screams (a static violet resonance of my own marriage at the time), how we collide from bedroom to kitchen to doorway to hallway and down stairs in a single thrust of the lens. The entire horror is a siren as if the death-storm of slime is near. Perhaps redemption seeks entry to the soul through deception. This is a genuine closeness. This bond that breaks. This lurching out, a grasping at love.
I want to bury my love letters in Berlin.
We become lifted. Become a crucifix, a malefic foaming from the mouth. My own slime is always waiting to come out. My body is filled with the breath of God. I’ve become smothered in radiance, blossomed and ugly.
I will hide in the bedroom, until my wife’s possessed screams lap at my heels, and turn from crucifix back to my wife. I will strain at the window until love dies, wipe secrets from adulterous eyeballs and howl infernal curses upon myself. It might help. May it never end, this, my mania, my bloody farewell.