"Very well. Marva doesn't like you. She's only going with you
because you're going to get her into that party in Westchester. Once
there, she'll dump you and go off with a young lawyer in a BMW. But first
she'll tell everyone there that she's your dominatrix and that you're such
a worthless and poorly-endowed slave she's dumping you. Just before she
leaves, she'll convince a group of Log Cabin Republicans to grab you and
tie you down to a workout bench, whipping your bare ass with your own
belt. He likes it rougher than that, she'll say on her way out."
My dream date. The coolest party of the summer. My fantasies of how
the night would go dissolved into a demented S&M nightmare, a parody of a
Janet Jackson video. I felt like puking except my stomach was empty
because they hadn't brought my damn salad. "Was -- Was that what turned
"That and 25 years of the same shit. Trust me, it will not be fun.
But it doesn't have to be like that. She can be yours. For as long as
you want her. As can any woman."
He held out a small envelope. "Using the instructions in this
envelope and a few products from Love Drugs, you can create a solution
that will give you the whip hand, so to speak. Just spray a little on the
passenger seat of your '87 Honda, and she'll absorb it through her skin.
Then make a suggestion and see what happens. Later, she'll remember it
all as if it were her own decision to obey you."
"I don't want to control --" I began.
"In this world, you have a choice, not between good and bad, but
between passive and active. Don't pretend that refusing to take control
of your life makes you better than me."
He was right that I wasn't a particularly good person, even in my
early twenties. Maybe the only difference between him and me was laziness. Hadn't I jacked off recently to one of those "mind control" fantasies weirdos wrote on alt.sex.stories?
"There is a difference," I said after a moment. "I'm a skeptic,
you know? While you've bought into this whole ideology to explain what
you do. I'm skeptical about politicians, religious fundamentalists,
wiccans, pundits, Ann Landers -- anybody who's got a grand theory to
explain the world and how I should live my life. Even myself.
Especially myself. I'm even skeptical about the existence of evil.
Who's to say that's not better than what you believe in? Maybe you gave
up more than you got."
"Maybe." He held out the envelope. "You can think about it."
I looked at the envelope, and my salad came. The waiter couldn't
put down the salad because the outstretched envelope was in the way.
"Take it." The waiter looked at me imploringly, the dressing in its
little side bowl beginning to slosh onto his hand. The envelope did not
move, and neither did the gaze of my terrible counterpart.
"OK, OK," I took the envelope. "But I'm not saying I'll use it."
He shrugged and the waiter put down my salad.
I really am lazy. I stayed home that evening and listened to my
Ben Folds Five CDs. Two years later, I still have the envelope, sealed,
in my underwear drawer. I don't know what happened to Marva. I'm still a
Charles Anders thinks the phrase "Log Cabin Republican" is intrinsically
the funniest thing ever. He can often be heard in the BART stations of
San Francisco muttering "Log Cabin Republican" to himself over and over
again, while giggling uncontrollably. He is the webmaster of
www.godhatesfigs.com and news editor at Anything That Moves.