NEPHTHYS

It all started with X-Ray Specs.

I can still remember the ad, even after thirty years.  It was lying in wait for me between the covers of Lucky Ducky Volume 12, Issue 14.  I was twelve years old at the time and would have preferred the adventures of Batman or The Flash to those of a talking duck, but my mother forbade such strong, potentially warping stuff.

Sandwiched between the antics of Lucky Ducky and his half-wit antagonist, was a full-page advertisement trumpeting the glories of Olson’s Laff-N-Magic Novelties, Inc, of Newark, New Jersey.  The page was divided into smaller boxes, each illustrating a “surefire gag.”

The X-Ray Specs were listed between the Red Hot Gum (“Get Lots of Laffs”) and the ever popular Joy Buzzer (“Watch ‘Em Jump”).  The crude drawing depicted an underfed young man wearing the spiral-patterned glasses, beads of sweat leaping from his forehead as he stared in terrified awe at his right hand, now rendered fleshless.  This captured my imagination in ways a talking duck never could.

What really grabbed me, however, was the smaller illustration placed in the insert in the left hand corner of the box.  It showed the same agitated bespectacled man gaping at a woman dressed in a calf-length skirt.  The artist had turned the dress transparent from the knees down, so the readers could see what the perspiring man was looking at.  The look on his face was the same grimace of shock and revulsion he’d worn when his hand was stripped to the bone.

I knew what the sweating man was really looking at.  He was looking at what Coach Arthur had lectured us about in gym class.  Coach Arthur had told us it was nasty to stand under the monkey bars and look up girl’s dresses.  Up until when Coach told us not to, I had never wanted to look up a girl’s skirt.

Now the idea of being able to look at a girl and see her thing intrigued me.  I knew I would not be able to live my life until I had my own pair of X-Ray Specs.

I saved my allowance for three weeks and sent away for them.  While awaiting their arrival, I imagined myself lounging around the jungle gym during recess while wearing my miraculous X-Ray Specs.  No one would ever suspect me of looking at the girl’s things.  It was the perfect crime.

During the prescribed six to eight weeks necessary for delivery, I spent a lot of time trying to picture what a girl’s thing looked like.  I knew it wasn’t like a boy’s, but that was about it.

Coach Arthur taught Health & Hygiene when it wasn’t football season.  We got to watch a lot of films.  One of the films showed what people looked like without their skin.  It wasn’t too gross, since there were lots of little cartoon characters in it.  But there was some footage shot with a special X-ray camera of an actual skeleton walking up stairs, eating, and talking.  I thought about it the rest of the day.

When I got home, I snuck my father’s old anatomy textbook into my bedroom, determined to look at the naked women displayed between the covers.  What I found was disappointing and more than a little gross.

There were plenty of pictures showing flayed women, their faces peeled and organs coiled.  But their exposed muscles and yellow layers of subcutaneous fat were too “gooshy”.  I much preferred the hard, sharp angles hidden at the core of the human machine.  There was something about the perfection of bone that made my palms sweat and my head hurt.  I studied the eternally smiling female while imagining how great my life would be once I hjad my X-Ray Specs.

Nothing would be secret anymore!  I could see what was going on inside the people around me!  I was especially looking forward to the secret girls kept inside their things.  I knew enough from eavesdropping on my older brother that whatever it was the girls had inside them, it was very, very important.  Just thinking about it made me hard.  I’d overheard my brother and his friends discussing “jerking off,” but I didn’t know why someone would want to do it.  Staring at the nameless, fleshless woman, her secrets exposed to my hungry eyes, I attained a sudden understanding.

In my youthful inexperience, I got some of it on the book.  Terrified of being found out, I tore the stained page and returned the textbook to my father’s bookshelf.  If he ever discovered the vandalism, he never mentioned it.

Finally the day dawned when my X-Ray Specs arrived in the mail.  They were hardly what I expected.  The rims were made from hard plastic and the lenses were pieces of cardboard stamped with a garish “pop-art” design.  When I put them on I found myself staring through a pair of small holes covered in red cellophane.  All it did, besides eliminate my peripheral vision and turn my surroundings the color of cherry Kool-Aid, was to give me an intense headache.

It’s funny, but I thought I’d forgotten all that.  Now it’s coming back to me, with all its rawboned excitement and embarrassing sharp edges intact.

I grew up normal, I guess.  As normal as any other American male born during the Baby Boom.  My home life was stable.  My parents looked after me.  I had friends at school.  I was well liked.  I dated girls.

Most of my friends in high school went for the cheerleader types.  You know, the ones with huge tits and good skin.  I preferred the tall, willowy ones.  The ones who wanted to be models.

When I went away to college I started getting involved sexually with various women.  During my sophomore year I was engaged to this girl who was anorexic.  She’d put on some weight since high school, but she was still thin.  My friends thought I was nuts.  A couple months before we were to get married, she had a cardiac arrest and died in her apartment.  The doctors said it was because of the anorexia; it had weakened her heart.  I was really broken up over her for some time.  I even dropped out of college for a semester.

I dated off and on for several years after that, but never seriously.  Then I met the woman I would eventually marry.

She was really beautiful back then.  She looked just like a model.  Up un til she got pregnant, people were always telling her she should quit her job and become a model.  She could have done it, too.  I discovered after we were engaged that she had an “eating disorder”; she was bulimic.  She would eat huge amounts of food–more than you’d imagine a woman her size could possibly hold–then excuse herself from the table and force herself to vomit.  Our marriage was a happy one, I guess.  Until the pregnancy.

My wife was very excited about it, once the doctor confirmed what she’d suspected.  She never bothered to ask me if I wanted a child.  The topic of what I did or didn’t want never came up when she rattled on about baby names and the proper color scheme for the nursery.  I didn’t say anything and she didn’t notice.

It didn’t seem to bother her that she was getting fat.  It bothered me though.

I was relieved when she miscarried.  Saved us both a lot of bother.  My wife didn’t see it that way, however.  She was devastated, as her doctor was quick to point out to me.  He hinted that the reason she’d lost the baby was something to do with the bulimia.  He insisted I take her on a vacation, so we could be together and come to grips with the tragedy.  So we went to Florida for two weeks.

While we were in Florida, I found a piece of coral washed up on the beach near our hotel.  It was as white as a bone.  That’s what I thought it was, at first.  That’s why I picked it up.  It was delicate and resembled, in size and shape, a woman’s finger bone.  The little one.  I held it in my hand for a long time.  Up close it didn’t look like real bone.  It was much too porous and knobby, like an arthritic Grandmother’s amputated digit.  Still, I found myself getting excited.  When I got back to the room I masturbated in the shower.  I did not tell my wife.

By the time we got back from Florida the distance between us yawned even wider.  Every day my interest in her dwindled even further.  Whenever I think about her–on those rare occasions I do think of my wife–I see her as a tiny, ill-defined figure; as if I’d spent seven years looking at her through the wrong end of a pair of binoculars.

The extra pounds she’d put on during the pregnancy stayed after the miscarriage.  She became sullen and wore dark clothes and ate a lot of chocolate.  I spent most of my life trying to avoid her.

One of my hobbies is a garage sale.  I enjoy sitting behind the wheel of a car and plotting my route with the help of a city map and the classified ads.  Sometimes I discovered neighborhoods I never knew existed.  It was like having an adventure in my own backyard.

One Saturday afternoon, while I was out avoiding my wife, I happened across the yard sale that changed my life.  You may think I’m being facetious, but I’m serious.

It wasn’t listed in the paper and it didn’t have home-made signs tacked to nearby trees and telephone poles.  It was just a jumble of old odds and ends lumped on the yard in front of an old two-story house.  A bored young man sat in a folding chair next to the driveway.

The neighborhood wasn’t one I normally visited, but my interest was piques by a pair of stuffed owls atop a pile of discarded clothes.  The old house, like most of those on the block had once been home to a well-to-do family at the turn of the century.  Now it was in need of extensive repairs.

“Uh-this your stuff?” I asked the bored young man.

He looked up from his dog-eared Dean Koontz paperback and shrugged indifferently.  “Guess you could say that.  Actually, all this stuff used to belong to my uncle.  He died a couple months ago.”

“Sorry to hear that.”

He young man shrugged again.  “I didn’t even know he was alive until he died and willed me this dump.”

“Oh.”

“I’m only here for the weekend to sell off this crap before I turn the property over to a real estate agent.  They think they can sell it to some developer who’ll turn it into apartments.”

I grunted and began pawing through the piles of moldering cardboard boxes and mildewed steamer trunks.  I found several leather-bound books, most of them in Latin, scattered among the stripped copies of Fate and Cat Fancy.  if dust is any measure of antiquity, they had to have been at least a hundred years old.

I also found a trunk full of sealed jars containing pickled baby sharks, adult vipers, various species of squid, and some deformed dog fetuses.  I located a group of bullfrogs playing scaled down mariachi instruments and wearing doll-sized sombreros.  There was a dusty astrolabe, a cracked pestle, and several boxes with strangely shaped glass tubing, similar to the equipment found in the mad scientist’s lab on the late-late show.  The heir’s uncle obviously boasted eclectic taste.

“What was your uncle’s last name?” I asked hefting a stuffed baby alligator outfitted in tiny bathing trunks and fixed to a miniature surfboard.

“Dreyden,” the young man replied without looking up from his book.

I remembered reading an article in the paper about a man called Dreyden.  He’d been a recluse who lived with several dozen cats in a dreary old house.  When he’d finally dropped dead ot took the police a couple weeks to find out about it.  They forced open the front door, the old man’s cats spilled across the threshold and into the surrounding neighborhood.  The old man’s carcass had been badly chewed.

I glanced up just in time to see a scruffy, thin-flanked calico creep along the roof of a nearby garage.  Its eyes were yellow-green and untamed.  Unnerved I returned to sorting through the late Mr. Dreyden’s possessions.

She was in an old wooden produce box, wrapped in faded yellow tissue paper, like the fragile glass Christmas ornaments my mother brought from Germany when I was a child.

I knew she was female from the very first.  I’m not exactly sure how I knew, but I did.  I reached into the box and ran my trembling fingers across the smoothness of her cranium.  Empty sockets stared back at me, offering an unobstructed view of the interior of her skull.  This exquisite glimpse of mystery reminded me of the wafer-thin sections of chambered nautilus sold as key chains in Florida tourist traps.

Except for the seam where they’d opened it to extract the brain, the skull was in perfect condition.  There was a small stainless-steel eye riveted through the top of her head that, once hung from a hook, permitted the fully jointed skeleton to stand upright.  A quick survey of the crate’s contents proved that the skeleton was intact, although the arms, legs, torso, and skull had been detached and wrapped separately.  I felt like a child finding a toy train under the tree on Christmas morning.

“How much do you want for this?”  I tried to hide my excitement, but my voice quavered.  Old man Dreydan’s nephew squinted at the disassembled skeleton and scratched his head.

“Oh, that thing!  Umm . . . thirty bucks?  There’s a stand that goes with it, I think.  It’s in the garage.”  I handed the nephew three crisp ten-dollar bills, trying to hide my delight.  “It’s just inside the door.  You can’t miss it.  Go ahead, it’s unlocked.”

I headed up the cracked drive to the detached garage squatting in the shadow of the old house.  The double doors squealed when I opened them.  Something small, furry, and low to the ground scuttled deeper into the shadows.  The smell of cat piss made me gag.  Breathing through my mouth didn’t help much, but it did reduce the stench enough for me to navigate in the gloom.

I saw the skeleton’s metal stand and dragged it clear of the garage doors.  It was heavier than I’d first thought and nearly as tall as I was.  It would take some doing, but I could fit it in the back of my car.

I stashed my treasure in the trunk and drove away.  The nephew watched me leave with bored, piggy eyes.  Funny how I hadn’t noticed how heavyset he was before.

 

My study isn’t really a study; it’s a half-finished basement.  The real estate agent, when he showed my wife and I the house, insisted on calling it a :rumpus room” whatever that means.  When my wife and I moved in, she decided it would be my study.  I have a desk, a couple of chairs, and an old hide-a-bed sofa down there.  There’s also a tiny bathroom and a separate entrance that leads to the garage.  Whenever my wife was depressed or upset, I stayed there.  It took me several hours to put the skeleton together.  It’s not as easy as it looks.  There were little pins and wing nuts holding the bones together and it took some time before I understood exactly how things were supposed to go together.  That I was so excited my hands shook didn’t help much, either.

After working for over three hours straight, I became so frustrated I burst into tears.  I must have been crying pretty hard because my wife came down to see what was wrong.  When I heard her coming down the stairs I jumped up and hurried to meet her before she had a chance to see what I was doing.  I don’t know why I didn’t want her to see; I just didn’t.

When my wife realized I’d been crying, she threw her arms around me and began crying, too.  She kept telling me how it was all right for me to show my feelings and how we were both still young enough to try again.  I agreed with everything she said in order to get her back upstairs.  She kept insisting we have sex.  She dragged me into the bedroom and spent an hour trying to get me hard.  Nothing worked.  She ended up crying herself to sleep.  I put my clothes on and returned downstairs.

Like I said, I knew she was a female from the start.  Most people can’t tell the difference between male and female bones.  How strange.  Imagine not being able to tell naked men from naked women!  And believe me, you can’t get any nuder!

I cleaned the stand before hanging up my prize.  That’s when I learned her name.  it was inscribed on a small copper plate affixed to the base.  At first, I thought it was the manufacturer’s mark or the name of the medical supply house she’d come from, but after a few swipes of Brasso, I saw it was an elaborately engraved inscription.  All it said was Nephthys.

I assumed it was her name.  I liked it; it sounded exotic and mysterious.  I wonder who or what Nephthys had been, back when she wore a skin.  Was she a derelict or a priestess?  A pauper or a prostitute?  I knew that most human skeletons used in modern anatomy classes were imported from somewhere overseas like Bangladesh, but Nephthys was larger than the average third-worlder.  She was very old, yet at the same time eternally young.  Maybe she had been an unfortunate criminal back during Queen Victoria’s reign whose unclaimed body had been stripped of its flesh and sold into post-mortem slavery to recoup the money spent on her when she was alive.

The sound of my wife on the stairs shook me from my fanciful reverie.  When she saw Nephthys she cried out in disgust.

“My god, Reg–what is that?”

“It’s, um, a skeleton, dear.”

“I can see that!  But what is it doing here?”

“I bought it at a garage sale today . . .”

My wife stared at me, her arms wrapped around herself as if she was cold.  “Are you crazy?”

“Honey, I can explain–”

“I don’t want to know about it!  I want that horrible thing out of this house, do you hear me?”

“But, dear, it’s just a skeleton.  It’s completely harmless . . .”

“I don’t care, Reg!  it’s unhealthy, you buying a thing like that.  It’s morbid!”

“Honey–”

“I said I don’t want it in my house, is that clear?”  she turned and left.  Discussion closed.  I knew better than to argue.

I cast a guilty glance over my shoulder at Nephthys.

She was grinning at me.  What she doesn’t know won’t hurt her, Reg.

After that I kept Nephthys in the closet until I was certain my wife was asleep.  Every family has a skeleton in the closet.

 

I liked to put Nephthys in the corner behind me desk, so she could watch over me while I worked.  It was comforting knowing she was there.  I could look at her whenever I liked; she never complained.  Soon I began idly caressing the curve of her pelvic girdle.  She never reproached me for my boldness, even when I fingered the curl of her coccyx.

What is mere surface beauty compared to the poetry of bone, the sublime ballet of socket and joint, the perfection of carpal?

I started bringing more and more work home.  It was a good excuse to stay up late, waiting for my wife to go to bed.

Confronted with Nephthys’ sleek perfection, I became more and more dissatisfied with my wife.  The natural beauty that had at first attracted me to her was now concealed in layers of muffling fat.  The sight of her naked body was enough to make me ill.  I began sleeping on the sofa bed in the study.

I was celibate at this time, my mind stuck in overdrive.  I couldn’t help but notice how horribly thick all the women at work had become.  Even the ones I had previously flirted with at the water cooler looked immense, swaddled in acres of jiggling blubber.

I stopped eating at the cafeteria during my lunch hour.  The sight of gargantuan secretaries shoveling cottage cheese into their vast maws ruined my appetite.  I could hardly wait for the day to end, so I could return to the comfort of my study and the silent balm of Nephthys’ eternal smile.

Still, I am a man.  And a man has needs.  Needs that must be met if he is to lead something resembling a productive life.  Near where I work is one of the city’s seamier districts.  It doesn’t look it during the day,  but come twilight the sidewalks swarm with the flotsam of inner-city life; pimps, whores, junkies, dealers, winos, and lunatics of every age, race, and sexual proclivity can be found.  You look at their eyes and you can see that all they re is meat.  meat to be shunned or used.

She was standing on a street corner looking bored, just like the cliché.  The moment I saw her I had to have her.  She was under five feet six, but her extreme thinness made her look taller.  She was a junkie, her arms and legs long and gangly with absurdly large elbows and knees.  Her face was horsy, the cheekbones straining against the drawn skin.  Her hair, damaged by malnutrition, was frizzy with split ends.  She wore the mandatory hooker costume of hot pants and halter top, exposing skinny flanks and matchstick ribs.  My erection was immediate and intense.

She leaned into the open passenger window, eyeing me with the same indifference as an order taker at the corner McDonald’s.  over one billion served.

The bargaining was quick and efficient.  She got in the car and I drove her to my house.  Outside of our brief price negotiation, she did not speak to me.

It was late.  My wife was asleep.  We wouldn’t be disturbed.

The only time anything resembling human expression registered on the whore’s face was when I dragged Nephthys from her hiding place in the closet and stationed her at the foot of the bed.

Once naked, the whore’s addiction was painfully obvious.  The veins in her arm had collapsed and there were red pin-pricks between her toes from self-administered injections.  Her breasts were small and lay flat against her bony chest.  The only thing about her that looked alive was the dark tangle of pubic hair between her birdlike legs.  Its vitality was obscene compared to how wasted the rest of her was.

She was dry when I entered her.  She lay under me, moving feebly in response to my violent thrusts.  She was so frail that every push of my hips made her flop like a huge rag doll.  I pumped against her frantically, bruising myself on the sharp edges of her hips.

In the split second before orgasm, it seemed as if her skin grew translucent and I stared, transfixed, at the papery flutter of lungs and rhythmic fisting of cardiac muscle.  Then my thirty dollar climax disrupted the vision and I withdrew, shivering from her depths.

My lust spent, I was repulsed by the sight of the whore.  How could I have yearned to empty myself into a woman so obese?  She looked like one of those hideously bloated fertility goddesses in the museums, all quivering buttock and pendulous tits.  I was unable to understand how I could have deluded myself into accepting her as a substitute for Nephthys’ pared-down sensuality.  I hurried the whore back to the city and left her on a busy street corner.

I stopped by a late-night liquor joint and bought a bottle of cheap whiskey, determined to burn the memory of being clasped between her heavy thighs from my brain.

I’d swallowed most of the filth by the time I got home.  My brief liaison had relieved the sexual tensions stored in me, but something still ached for completion.  It was hunger that went beyond mere physical need, raging in my heart like a trapped beast.

Depths was still standing where I’d left her, empty eye sockets staring at the sofa’s soiled sheets.  I was overwhelmed by guilt and sorrow.  I began to cry.  I was still crying when I entered the shower and allowed my tears to be sluiced down the drain.

Before I went to bed I returned Nephthys to her place in the closet.  As I prepared to close the door on her, I leaned forward and pressed my lips to the hard plane of her right cheek.  I’d never kissed her good night before.  I don’t know why.  It was such a perfectly natural thing to do.

The sound of something bumping woke me a couple hours later.  I lay very still, my senses still fogged by the liquor I’d consumed earlier, and tried to figure out what was making the noise and where it was coming from.  My heart froze when I realized it was coming from the closet.

I sat up, clutching the bedclothes between white knuckles, and stared at the slowly turning doorknob.  The rattling inside the closet grew even more agitated, then fell silent.  The doorknob ceased its movement.  I wondered if the hook atop her head had frustrated her attempt at freedom.  Before I had a chance to decide if I was awake or dreaming, the closet door opened and Nephthys stepped into the room.

The pale moonlight filtering through the curtains limned her snow-white clavicle and cast the spaces between her ribs in deep shadow.  I was surprised to see suspended above the empty triangle of her nasal cavity a pair of luminous yellow-green eyes.  Since her eyes were without lids, Nephthys gaze was so intense it felt as if she were looking into the bottom of my soul.

She moved toward me, every step made with slow, studied grace.  Her bones clacked in gentle counterpoint to her actions.  She was smiling, of course, her beautifully sculptured hands held before her in supplication.

I knew what I was seeing was impossible, that it had to be a crazy dream.  But I wanted it to be real.  Even more, I needed it to be real.  I did not move when Nephthys sat on the foot of the bed for fear I would break the spell and wake up.  If this was a dream, I wanted it to last as long as possible before being faced with reality.

I wanted to tell her that the whore had meant nothing to me; that no one, not even my wife, commanded my love and loyalty like she did.  I opened my mouth but she lay her twig-like fingers on my lips.  She knew.  I could see it in the serene way she held her skull, the lidless eyes alert and omniscient.  There would be no recriminations.

My pulse quickened as she leaned forward, pulling aside the sheet that held my nakedness.  Her pale, fleshless face brushed against mine, the hard ivory of her teeth pressing against my lips.  I caressed the curve of her pelvis.  As I ran my trembling hands down the smooth hard length of her femur, she shivered in response.  The sound reminded me of the bead curtain I’d owned in college.

I gasped as Nephthys articulated phalanges wrapped themselves around my erect penis, the knucklebones rattling like dice with every stroke.  The pleasure was so intense my vision was obliterated by pulsating blobs of darkness.

I must have blacked out,  because the next thing I knew it was daylight and my wife was standing over me, shrieking obscenities and sobbing hysterically.  She slapped me a couple times before I could figure out what was going on.  Then I realized Nephthys was still in bed with me.

My wife left the same day.  I have not seen her since, although I keep getting letters from her lawyer in the mail.  I never open them.

With my wife gone, there is no longer any need for me to keep Nephthys hidden in the closet.  I proudly carried her upstairs to the master bedroom–her rightful place.  Although she didn’t say so, she was thrilled.

At first I kept up the pretense of work, although I knew it was only a matter of time before the inter-company gossip spread the news of my wife leaving me.  My superior began commenting on my appearance.  He kept asking me if I was eating right.  I couldn’t figure out what he was driving at.

Once my wife’s desertion became common knowledge I was bombarded with female attention.  Some of the secretaries even went so far as to sit on the corner of my desk, flashing vast expanses of cellulite-engorged thigh.  It was the best I could to keep from being ill.  After a couple weeks they got the hint and stopped bothering me.  Some voiced the same concern about my eating habits.  I simply smiled and assured them I was perfectly healthy and nothing was wrong with my appetite.  I knew that if I told them the truth, that I was no longer interested in food, they would not understand.

A month after my wife left me, my fat slob of a boss called me into his office.  He was worried about me.  He thought I needed a rest.  Some time to think things over.  To decide what to do.  He ordered me to take a sabbatical.  I didn’t argue.  Being away from my Nepththys for more than a few minutes was unspeakable torment.

That was–what?  Two?  Three months ago?  I’m afraid I’m having more and more trouble remembering exact dates.  Time, when I’m with my precious immortal, holds little meaning for me.

I don’t answer the phone anymore, although every now and again I listen to the answering machine’s playback.  My boss hasn’t called in a long time.  I don’t care.  I’m not going back to work.  I knew that when I left, but I wouldn’t admit it to myself.

Depths a lot more active now then when I first met her.  In the beginning she would only move around on her own after dark.  Now she walks around the house all day long.  I make sure to keep the drapes closed.  The neighbors give me enough grieve about how the yard looks without Nephthys traipsing around undressed in front of the windows.

I don’t go out much anymore.  I don’t miss the outside, really.  The last time I left the house the streets were full of gigantic, swollen grubs stuffed into suits and slit skirts.  I ended up puking in a hedge and coming home before I got to wherever it was I was going.

The time before that I stopped by the house where I’d found Nephthys to find out what had happened to Dreyden’s other belongings.  All I found was a charred husk with sheets of plywood nailed over the windows and doors.

Sometimes Nephthys likes to dress up in the clothes my wife left behind.  (Not that any of them fit her.  My wife was absolutely elephantine!)  depths likes my wife’s old negligees–the ones from before the pregnancy.  She’s wearing one now as I write this; the Paris original in mauve chiffon with lace at the throat.  It was always one of my favorites.

Depths is sitting in front of the vanity table, playing with the silver-plated brush my wife gave me for my thirty-sixth birthday.  I can see myself reflected in the mirror as she gives her phantom hair one hundred strokes.

My skin is pale, except for the angry red that marks my thighs, shoulders, and groin.  The infection’s at its worst on my foreskin, although the bite on my shoulder is bad.  My Nephthys is a passionate woman.  Far more than my wife ever was; or any other woman could be.

I was walking down the stairs this morning and became so weak I nearly fainted.  I had to cling to the banister with both hands to keep from falling.  When I got downstairs I found a shut-off notice from the power company in the  mail.  I think it’s December outside.  It might even be next year.

Depths has finished her evening toilet.  She turns from her place in front of the mirror and smiles at me.  Although she has never spoken, we have shared an intimacy that goes far deeper than mere words ever could.

I feel as if I’m poised on the edge of a great mystery, the solution finally within my grasp.  As I grow weaker, I understand more and more of the answer.  It won’t be long before I’ll be able to see everything.  No more secrets.  The giddiness that accompanies true love has turned me into a philosopher.

It’s taken me three days to write this.  I won’t be adding anymore after this.  It’s too much effort to pick up the pen.  I’m too tired to even read it from the beginning to see if I got it right.  Not that it matters.

She comes to me, the negligee swirling around her like colored mist, her teeth clacking in anticipation of our lovemaking.  My skin burns, awaiting her sharp caress.  She promises me perfection; unchanging and eternal.

Soon.  Let it be soon.

 

 

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