I made a model of you,
A man in black with a Meinkampf look
And a love of the rack and the screw.
And I said I do, I do.
Tiny and wild, cinched up tight as a rubber band, I watch the woman teeter on outrageous heels to her place beneath the spotlight, in front of the mic, and smooth out a sheaf of paper.
Every good writer makes a promise to take you where you both crave and fear to go. As the audience begins to settle into silence and sits back to enjoy the ride, her voice snakes out into the darkness of the room like a cobra tasting the air for the heat of human frailty. It finds its victims, unhinges its jaws and takes them.
To an unfamiliar bathroom. The heat of the shower’s spray. The hiss of the water. The sound of vapor-heavy exhalations that spiral the tiles. Winged things caught in a shuttered room. This is a place of aching need and an insidious courtship with self-destruction.
But the bathroom is not unfamiliar to me. Nor is that desire. Nor are the arms that surround her. Nor the mouth that kisses her. Nor the name he calls her. Nor the words he whispers into her ear as he penetrates her. The grip that tightens around her neck, the thrusts that fuck her into oblivion. I’ve been in those arms, felt those bruising hips and heard those whispered words. I’ve been her body and the panic of her ten lost breaths. I’ve seen my own surrender reflected in his dark eyes.
The unreadable, impenetrable, untouchable man with an avalanche for a temper, the social conscience of a saint and the appetites of a cannibal. She casts him in flesh, skinning him in well-appointed adjectives and unfathomable motives. The audience shifts in their seats. They have suspended their disbelief and taken their respective roles: him, her, both, or, if voyeurs, the narrator.
But two of us, the reader and I, have no disbelief to suspend. Half a world apart, we have built identical infernos in which to burn. And burn she does. Up there, under the spotlight she’s a medieval witch on a pyre, throwing out one last curse as the flames lick her ankles.
She has summoned him against his will. Brought him here with her deft incantations and pushed him through the veil of illusion. The strength of her desire is his adornment, so he arrives beautiful, wet and erect.
I can hardly breathe. I have to sit down or I’ll fall down.
Jealous, you ask? I’d give anything to feel something as simple as jealousy. Or bitterness. Or anger. I’m pinned, like a dumb dead butterfly on a card. A witness shocked into mute paralysis at a resurrection.
She doesn’t need to describe the noises they make, although she does it with skill. They are there in my head, deafening sounds of ecstasy. Or is that simply me screaming? I have to touch my lips to know for sure.
And are they my lips or hers? Because his mouth is on them now and he’s kissing her, devouring her, pushing himself between her thighs. Mine are wet and I don’t even know why. The cruel oddity of my nature colludes in my humiliation and I know there will be a telling wet spot on the back of my skirt when I can find the wherewithal to stand again.
Perhaps it’s blood. Perhaps my womb has decided to part company with me. Perhaps I’ve been struck incontinent? Or perhaps it’s his semen, warm and slick and thick between my bare legs. After all, if she can bring him into being with just the twist of her pen, then how can the rules of physics or the natural order of the world be trusted at all?
I am eviscerated and aroused. Coming and crying all at once. Holding my breath as his hand tightens around her neck and squeezes. Squeezes. Like my cunt and my thighs and the terrible choking irony that I have travelled 12,000 miles to watch him fuck another woman. But how could I deny her the right to take what I cannot? The liberty of forging him into hard flesh and heat.
And from the first blind caress until the final spasm of her cunt muscles, it is all done right. Perfectly, heartbreakingly right.
She finishes the reading to a momentary silence in which time sags, and then leaves the stage to murderous applause. The sexual fantasy may or may not have been to the audience’s taste, but the passion with which it was written is undeniable.
Before she can disappear into the crowd of spectators, I catch her and wrap her in my arms. “Pet?” I breathe into her ear. Her dark hair brushes against my cheek as she nods. She smells of oranges and of him.
What else does one say to a summoner of demons?