By Susannah Breslin.
A is for Anthropophagy
He was an anthropophagiac, and so he could never understand why, if other people could, say, eat green eggs and ham, why then could he not eat a woman if he so wanted? He shook his head back and forth as he sat in his armchair in his living room. The men that he saw out in the world every day wanted to eat women, and he knew this because he watched them chew at women’s faces in big mouthfuls, and grab handfuls of women’s buttocks, and as they did it say, Yummm, and, Mmmmm. The women, for their part, he knew they wanted to be eaten because he saw them on his TV-screen longing to be devoured and consumed and taken in every piece of themselves, and it was in their eyes and the hike of their skirts and the way they rolled their tongues around in their mouths. But, instead of doing what he so wanted, he sat here by himself every night, holding a bucket of chicken wings dowsed in ketchup with his imagination working harder than his stomach. It was ridiculous, he thought, a tear coming to the edge of his lonely eye. America is not beautiful, really, he saw now. He bit down on another skinny chicken leg in the blue bask of his TV-screen, and he wondered, why is it so hard in this world for a man to eat a woman?
B is for Bestiality
Things had, of course, started down on the farm. In the distance rolled the endless green hills, in the barn swelled mounds of yellow straw. Each day, before the rabbit’s cage, a young boy would come to stand, sticking his fingers in through the holes of the bunny’s small enclosure. Each night, the boy would return, taking the rabbit off into the dark trees listing at the end of the farm’s undulating grasses. It was not until, as a teenager, flipping through the pages of a magazine, that the boy found a new kind of rabbit to love. This one took the form of a naked woman in a pink see-through bunny suit, her boobs and butt curving out towards him from underneath her flopping bunny ears. His hand, meanwhile, had crawled like a speeding crab right down to his shorts. Decades later, when the boy had become a man, who had married and divorced and had a great many women, he had engineered his whole life so that rabbits were all around him now at all times. And yet, what he had found was that no matter how many buildings he built, or how many bunnies he humped, none of them could ever take the place of that old rabbit down on the farm. Finally, when he had, at last, become a very old man, and lay dying on his deathbed with his mouth drawn into a wide-open cry, outside of his bedroom door waited only a herd of blonde bunnies. And, yes, they whispered to each other, his last wish really had, in fact, been for rarebit. And, indeed, they cooed, in the end, he had actually died with his broken hips thrusting into what every single one of them hoped was some kind of rabbit paradise.
C for Conjoined Twins
You had to love them, he thought, for how could you not, for you could not hate them, could you? There were so many things about them, after all, to love.
Take, for example, when he was having them both — for how could he not? — as the likelihood one of them would be moaning, even if the other was yawning her mouth or rolling her eyes, was still incredibly high. If one went along, the other one had to; this was the beauty of their Y-shape in God’s own design. Now, whether or not the two of them needed him at all — this was the thought that woke him up screaming into the night as they lay sleeping side-by-side beside him.
He knew it was entirely possible that one day they would stop bickering and fighting and putting their fingers into each other’s eyes, and he would be the one underneath them while one of them held his hands and the other one sliced his tongue in two with his own steak knife. Their two noodles sat suspended in divided vessels above undivided bodies, but to what degree they ever truly worked apart was nature’s greatest mystery.
Thank god, he thought, as he pushed the lawnmower past the window where the two of them were now standing with a hand on each hip, staring down at him through their four narrowed eyes as the wet grass sprayed up and across his face in the terrible summer heat once again. Thank god that I hold the key to their lock between my legs, and praise the Lord that I am the pile-driver of their undivining love for me.
D is for Dacryphilia
You never truly knew what you were getting into on the day that you were born, now did you?, she thought to herself. For here she was today, her hands shaped in two cups, as the girl’s insides tumbled into her palms. Surely, he had meant well with this gift for her of the anatomical doll who had arrived in a box marked SWEET SUE. But, when she had removed the female figurine’s breastplate all its insides had come falling out, and then, Oh, oh!, Milton had cried, grappling into the empty air with his fat, white, and pasty hands. It was too late. By the time Sweet Sue’s small lungs had toppled, and her dark slab of kidney had fallen, and her plastic heart sat woodenly up on top of it all, Darlene, for all intents and purposes, had already left the scene of the crime. Inside her mind, it was as if reality was only a chalk outline drawn around a blood-soaked body that had been gurneyed away to the morgue. She had gone back in her head to that moment in time at which she had stood across from the young boy down by the lake near her childhood home, envisioning gutting him like a fish out of water, as he had systematically eviscerated her with his small, pink, and narrow tongue. So, today, while, thankfully, he was no longer alive, having drowned himself many years ago in his own bathtub, as his wife had washed the dishes, even though the pieces of Sweet Sue were bone cold to the touch, Darlene could hardly wait to feel Milton’s heart beating hot and wet between her two hands as she squeezed out of him the sorry tears of his all too easily won love for her.
E is for Eunuch
You could call him nullified, or orchidectomized, or emasculated, or a eunuch, but he was simply the possessor of a penectomy, a person who no longer bore his penis, a man undeniably lacking in what he had previously carried in his lower basket, and he had, therefore, since become the ingestor of a multitude of hormone-filled pharmaceuticals, and turned into the personal curator of his own Johnson in a jar, and resultingly realized that he was now the type of individual who could silence an entire dinner-party full of people at the mere drop of a hat with the mere drop of his pants, and yet what he had discovered since this rather sudden change of life events was that while he had fantasized rapturously as a young man of chemical castration, and spent several years seriously considering moving to India to linger amongst the third-sexed there by the banks of the Katni River, it was actually only one year ago that his brain had become wholly overrun by words like “Elastrator,” and “Burdizzo,” and “Underground Doctors,” and it was only rather recently that he had found himself lying quite awake, because he had wanted it that way, on a cold kitchen table, because they had wanted it that way, praying to whomever looked over poor souls like him that someday someone would lean over him in some dark bed somewhere and be happy to find him so wonderfully smooth, but the problem was that now, today, at this very moment, in that imaginary bed he was truly lying, and he knew without a doubt, even with the lights off, that the person lying next to him was doing nothing but snoring, and coming down the back alleyways of his mind for him was his own terrible penis, and it was angry, and it was carrying at its side an entire suitcase filled to overflowing with his whole, long, lonely life that he had lived thus far, and, already, the suitcase was falling open and spilling its whole horrible mess out all over the floor of his mind, and he knew, with no reservations needed, thank you very much, that he would slip in it, and that this new smoothness of his, which had been intended to lubricate his life, would make it impossible for him to ever get back up again.
F is for Forniphilia
She was standing in the corner. She had a lampshade on her head. The lampshade was making her head sweat. I am a lamp, she told herself. She was standing in the corner with her arms straight down at her sides and a lampshade on her head, waiting for her husband to come home. Her husband wanted her to be a lamp. Her husband was great. But he wanted his wife to be different pieces of furniture, depending on the day of the week. That was hard. For her. It turned him on. She said out loud, “I am a lamp”. She didn’t really want to be a lamp, though. She wanted to be a human being. That was the problem. A lamp, she told herself. I am a lamp, she thought again. Who knew what she would be tomorrow? Maybe she would become an armchair. An armchair is better than a lamp, she told herself. But then it occurred to her that being an armchair would probably require her to bend both of her legs all the way back over her head so that her butt would become the seat. And that wouldn’t be comfortable. At all. Then god only knew what would happen if her husband wanted to sit down on top of her at his desk to do some work that he had brought home from the office. Probably, she would break. A broken armchair. She heard her husband’s key as it began to turn in the lock of their front door. She thought to herself, At this rate, I will end up as a bike rack. Day in and day out, she imagined in her mind’s eye for herself, she would ride around on the back of her husband’s car. In the wind. In the rain. In the snow. It would never end. The tall dark outline of her husband stepped into the room. I am a lamp, she told herself underneath the lampshade. That was what her husband wanted. She turned herself on.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Susannah Breslin is a freelance journalist and the author of short story collection You’re a Bad Man, Aren’t You? (Future Tense Books). She is currently at work on a semi-autobiographical novel, Porn Happy, based on her experiences in Porn Valley. Her writings, photographs, and comics have appeared in Harper’s Bazaar, Details, Salon.com, Nerve.com, The LA Weekly, and Variety, among many publications.
First published in 3:AM Magazine: Saturday, August 10th, 2002.