by Nestique (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Theodore had a thing for Asian women.
“It’s not that regular women don’t excite me,” he
explained, “It’s just that they don’t stimulate me at the
profound depths that Asian girls do.”
“Why do you think that is?” I asked.
“Well…” Smiling, relaxed, he leaned back in his chair
and lit a cigarette. Before he resumed speaking his eyes
locked on something behind me, and darkened. I turned. A
deeply tanned Caucasian woman walked past us in sandals,
cut-off jeans, teardrop shaped cherry-red sunglasses, and
a tanktop that seemed to project her breasts across the
entire field of my vision.
“See, that girl’s really attractive,” he said, then
nodded, exhaling luxuriously. “I know that. I can tell
just by looking at her. But it’s superficial: All in her
boobies, those great jugs of wonder, and her mind-
blurring eyes, her legs like scissors that slash up my
resistance with each perfectly measured stride. But you
know, with Asian women, it’s beyond all that.”
I turned back toward the Caucasian woman, and watched her
from behind. For a moment I was mesmerized; inwardly
scrambled; my mind vaporized by the woman’s savage
physical beauty. When I turned back to Theodore, he
rolled his eyes.
“That girl? I could take her or leave her.”
“How are Asian women beyond that?”
He laughed robustly, his shoulders bouncing.
“Well,” he inhaled from his cigarette again. “You may
never know. I’m afraid you may never know.”
* * *
It wasn’t easy being Theodore. He had thrice been abroad
to Southeast Asia, because he wanted “the real thing.”
With the kind of work he did — retail at bicycle and
skate stores, selling gourmet “kitsch-bars” at the swap
meet, running errands for a real estate office — each
far-eastern excursion required nine months of disciplined
saving. But he was hell-bent on knowing the unadulterated
ex/er-otic wonders first-hand.
“See, it’s like near-beer. They move to America, or maybe
their parents before them, and soon they start to absorb
our culture. They do it really well — sometimes better
than we do — but eventually you look them in the eye,
when you get really close you can do this, and it’s just
not there anymore.”
“That elusive quality.”
“Sure, that `elusive quality’ that pounds my heart
against the inside of my ribcage fifteen hundred times a
minute. ‘Elusive’ like a nuclear explosion in your
“Well, then you’re suggesting that it’s something
cultural. I’m beginning to pin it down.”
“Speaking of pinned down, they have this great form of
torture. It’s commonly known as Chinese water torture,
but really, it’s a sexual metaphor, and Korean. They pin
you down so that you can’t move, only squirm a little,
and they have this receptacle drip water onto your
forehead until you crack. It’s the nectar of love
attacking you. Each drop that moistens your skin contains
a little mirror image of reality, trembling as it falls
through the air, and every time it splashes against your
forehead, reality goes jagged — then absolutely flat.”
“Has this ever been performed on you?”
“Yeah, I have a kit at home.”
“You have your Asian girlfriends do this torture on you?”
“If you can find some pinnacle act of intimacy, why not
experience it? Why let life just pass you by…”
Theodore had been ordered to leave Vietnam by the police
in Ho Chih Min City, who accused him of pandering. For
years, he had appealed to the State Department to write a
letter of protest on his behalf.
“When I was exiled from Vietnam, I felt like I had lost
my manhood. But then I discovered Cambodia.”
* * *
“Have you ever fantasized about having sex with aliens?”
He once asked me.
“To tell you the truth, I don’t even know what sort of
parameters a fantasy like that would have. You’d call me
square, but my imagination just doesn’t get fired up that
“Well, with Asian girls, it’s a little like that. I mean,
as close as you can come to the real thing. Only, it is
real. Fantasy: you know, when I was a miserable little
kid living alone with my mother, the only thing that made
life tolerable was my constant day-dreaming. But fantasy
mangles your sense of connectedness with reality. It
slowly strips you of your will to live. Thank god when
you’re older desire takes the place of fantasy.”
“Okay, so dating Asians is your best shot at extra-
“Can you think of a better way to simulate it?”
I tried to understand why Theodore would even dream of
having sex with aliens. Maybe he surmised that aliens
were incapable of communicating demands across the
species-barrier; maybe he imagined them to have no
concept of relationships, without which they’d be free
from all of the entanglements and emotional complexities
that come with relationships. Maybe he imagined that
their bodies were evolved in such a way as to be able to
propel him to transcendent levels of something redefining
But how did he imagine that Asian women were anything
“They’re passive. Submissive. Obedient. Servile.
Scraping. Yet also wildly protective of their own
inexplicable dignity. Bob, to tell you the truth, I’ve
never been able to understand them. They’re beyond
foreign. They make no sense at all, and yet they’re
purest form of human civilization.”
He leaned closer, and whispered urgently: “Sex with an
Asian girl is like having your soul demolished and
recreated in a sparkling, new form right before her eyes.
You’ve never really sparkled before, have you, Bob?”
* * *
Theodore began collecting samurai swords well before he
reached puberty. He had a library of Japanimation films,
but denounced Pokemon as “Disnisei.” He drank sake and
Asahi beer, and dined exclusively at Asian restaurants,
demolishing kimchi, udon noodles, soon dubu, and
handrolls that looked to him like mangled rainbows
strapped in leather dripping with soy sauce and wasabe.
He listened only to Chinese folk and Japanese punk. He
walked in the sun to induce squinting, and dyed his hair
jet black. He read Lao Tzu, Sun Tzu, and Mencius, and
wore a dungaree jacket with a gigantic yin-yang patch
sewn on the back and sharpened chop sticks sewn into the
shoulders — concealed weapons. He had the Chinese
character for “whore” tattooed on his shoulder, and wrote
poetry under the pseudonym “Bo Tang.”
* * *
He told me that when he kissed Asian women, it was like
being drawn into a dream both magnificent and
disconcerting. Sensations deepened without limit,
scattered his thoughts like tiny black seeds on damp,
warm soil under a nighttime sky. He became a terrified
pioneer, plunging into a foreign world which both invited
him and resisted him. His identity fluttered; he broke
down in the face of pleasures that seemed barbaric in
their intensity. Aggreffection, he called it.
“I want you to meet Kiroka,” he said.
“Who is he?”
“Come on! It’s a she.”
“Why do you want me to meet her?”
“She’s a waitress as Fuji. It’s one of the most happening
Japanese dinner clubs in the city.”
Instantly I felt anxious.
“Why do you think I should meet her?”
“She’s hot. Icy-hot. You need to experience this: It’ll
raise your level of everything.”
“I dunno, I’m pretty happy with all kinds of people. I
don’t reverse-discriminate. Look, I don’t do very well in
pre-planned dating situations to begin with.”
“There’s no turning back, buddy. Take my word for it:
* * *
Theodore drove us to Fuji in his old Toyota Camry. The
windows vibrated as his over-sized speakers pumped
dissonant Japanese punk. A brass Chinese character
dangled and swayed from the rearview mirror.
“What does it mean?” I asked, touching the decoration.
“It means the passionate flow of experience unifying all
life in one metaphysical center. There’s actually no
accurate English translation. Hell, it’s no wonder: just
look how vacuous American culture is.”
The interior of Fuji was dark; throbbing waves of smoke
glowed red and blue, and exuded human sweat. Bamboo
curtains and rice-paper screens painted with raunchy
geishas divided the space into odd angles. When the
strobe lights hammered at our eyes, the place seemed like
a labyrinth. Two solitary men watched television from the
bar, smoking, and after we each drank two shots of sake,
Theodore asked the bartender if Kiroka was there. He
stared at Theodore critically, then snapped his head, No.
“Later,” he said.
“She’ll be here later,” Theodore repeated to me.
We waited at Fuji for two hours. Theodore showed me all
of the painted screens and posters in the club, and was
particularly passionate about a scene of a mountain
carved into the shape of the Buddha.
“It was actually a volcano,” he said, “and four thousand
years after it was carved into the Buddha’s form, it
erupted. The Buddha’s head vanished; people assumed it
had shattered completely, or flown into space. Eventually
it was discovered in a swamp in Russia somewhere, and now
there’s a major international conflict over who owns it.”
He introduced me to several Asian waitresses, including
Enoki, an extremely pale, skeletally lean Asian woman who
appeared to be about forty and was missing most of her
“Enoki was captured,” he informed me discreetly.
“Are you men happy?” Enoki asked.
“Very happy,” I said.
“We’re looking for Kiroka,” Theodore said.
“Oh. Her again, Theodore? One of these days you’ll be too
“She’s very youthful,” he admitted.
“She’s a slut,” Enoki said.
“Don’t say that, Eni.”
“She spends half of her life in bed. She’ll be here
Over the next hour, Theodore became increasingly moody,
impatient, and inebriated. He smoked half a pack of
cigarettes, inhaling once or twice from each then
stamping them out on the floor. He glared at my shirt,
then insisted that we go to the men’s room and switch.
After another few minutes of waiting, he insisted on
searching the ladies’ room for Kiroka.
“Doesn’t that goddam slut bother showing up for work
anymore?” He glowered.
Finally he decided that we’d drive to her apartment.
“I’m not sure you’re safe to drive,” I admitted
“Just watch me.”
* * *
“I taught this girl to be independent,” he proclaimed
above the shrill Japanese punk as we drove. “She still
lived with her three sickeningly Americanized brothers
when I met her. Called her grandpa in Japan every goddam
weekend. I told her, Look, American girls stand on their
own: Get your own place; it’ll be easier for you to date
guys. Now she’s totally dependent on me, but she’d never
We pulled up to a two-story building with a doughnut shop
at the ground level.
“Kiroka!” He yelled as we got out of the car, then
instructed me to walk behind him as we ascended the
concrete staircase. “Don’t let me fall on my ass,” he
said, “I’m fucking drunk, man.”
When we reached the top of the staircase, he was out of
breath, gasping, and sweating profusely. Swaying, he fell
to his knees in front of Kiroka’s door.
“Knock,” he said, then vomitted.
* * *
Despite his condition, Kiroka was delighted to see
Theodore, and welcomed him warmly into her apartment.
“Wet towel?” She asked; Theodore groaned.
Kiroka was certainly striking to look at: her shiny black
hair was dyed blond at the ends, hung down to her
breasts, and swished in front of a narrow face that
gleamed with pasty white make-up and shiny lip-stick that
made her mouth look like an open, bleeding gash. Her
voice was melodious; she seemed to sing rather than talk.
“My friend,” Theodore gestured toward me deliriously,
“He’s never had an Asian woman.”
Kiroka studied him for a moment.
“He’s a virgin?”
“No, no. He’s just…sure, you could put it that way. So
can you show him why I only date Asian women?”
After an awkward silence, Kiroka turned to me. For as
long as possible I kept my eyes on Theodore. Finally I
met Kiroka’s gaze. I jumped: she was wearing ice-blue
contact lenses. She smiled.
* * *
Theodore told me that his father had died during his
third tour of duty in Vietnam.
“When I was a kid, I wondered: Why’d he keep going back?
It was voluntary, you know. He won medals, for chrissake.
And not only did he keep going back, he chose again and
again to avoid high-level command work. He went back for
the jungle, for the remote village battles, for the
sweat, the mosquitos, the blood. Finally he was captured,
tortured, and murdered in captivity. What do you think,
Bob? Why’d he keep going back to Vietnam?”
* * *
Kiroka’s bedroom was a monument to patriotic fervor, and
Uncle Sam impregnated every square foot of it, with
minature flags on popsicle sticks, bumper stickers
proclaiming support for America’s hired killers abroad,
maps of North America in various stages of European
conquest showing the territory acquired during the
Louisiana Purchase and the Mexican-American War; her
bedroom was an ideological swirl of red-white-and-blue
frills, speckles, and glitter.
Her bed was covered with a quilt made up of patches of
differently colored cloth, each one shaped like one of
the fifty states, all sewn together at random, with
California next to Massachusetts, Florida abutting Ohio,
and so on. Her pillow cases were U.S. flags.
Kissing my neck, Kiroka unbuttoned my shirt, then
unfastened her bra. She lowered herself over me, and
dragged her breasts gently across my chest. Her long hair
fell over my face, and I closed my eyes, resting my hand
on the back of her head. She deftly unbuttoned my pants,
pulled down my zipper.
“Oh: you’re very American,” she said, then took my penis
into her mouth.
I heard Theodore heaving in the bathroom.
* * *
I did not sweat during my tepid encounter with Kiroka.
Our actions seemed like a rehearsal of something scripted
and unnatural; tentative, rather than tantric; skeletal
scraping, layers of cool flesh lapping dryly. After I
came inside her, she didn’t lie still, but instantly
began an elaborate cleansing ritual in the darkness. I
smelled chemicals, heard rustling.
Standing up, grabbing my pants from the floor, I mummbled
She stood motionless, startled. “Will you ever come back
“Fuji’s wonderful,” I said, patting her shoulder with a
counterfeit smile. I apologized for the inconvenience,
* * *
Theodore sometimes faded out during our conversations.
Even in mid-sentence, he’d lapse into stiff silences,
mental vacuums, his eyes cloudy and impossible to
penetrate, his words scattering.
Our evening with Kiroka seemed to vanish into a similar
mental vacuum: he couldn’t remember any of it.
“But you had her, right?” He asked.
He looked at me, dumbfounded. “You guess?”
“I don’t think I passed the Asian test, Theodore.”
“What do you mean?”
“If someone asked me, So is Theodore right — does sex
with Asian girls transport you to gagaland? I’d have to
say, Well, me personally, not really.”
“Then there’s something wrong with you.”
“And if they asked, Well, why does it have that kind of
effect on Theodore? I’d have to say, You know, I really
have no idea.”
“Your organ of passion is atrophied. The inner organ; the
Theodore didn’t finish his sentence; his eyes seemed to
Where did Theodore go when he went blank? What was
happening to his mind?
* * *
In a dream warped at the edges, colors dripping and
thick, Theodore envisioned himself wading into a wide,
dark stream with vines dangling to its surface from an
unbroken jungle canopy, leaves exhibiting a gentle but
intricate geometry, colorful exotic fruits, plump with
sweetness or poison. Beside him, reaching for his hand, a
slender, youthful, long-haired Asian woman, Thai, or
perhaps Cambodian, barely conversant with English, but so
expressive to him of her needs and her deference.
She is awed by his courage: the river breeds venomous
snakes, fanged eels, lethal insects that drive through
the skin. She gasps at the coolness surging up her spine;
he tightens his grip on her hand, pulls her to him. As he
guides her deeper into the river, their feet stroking the
sandy riverbed, as the water reaches the level of her
dark nipples, he tastes her bronze lips sweetened with
They embrace, their warmth accentuated by the breeze that
seems to rise like an exhala!!!tion from the dark water.
He loses himself in the sensation of her breasts against
his chest, loses his hand in her midnight hair, and from
somewhere she lifts out a dagger with a copper blade and
plunges it into the corner of his neck and his shoulder.
A bird screams, beats its wings.
Like the water growing minutely stiffer, the fins of a
fish brush over the tops of his feet, and his knees
buckle. The river swallows him, darkens his vision. He
feels the woman with the dagger reach under the water and
touch his head, gripping his hair, shoving down, making
sure he’s under forever.
Theodore inhaled from his cigarette as a customer walked
in, and closed his eyes to try to preserve the fantasy.
He heard hesitant footsteps approach the counter, but
pretended he didn’t notice.
“Excuse me,” the unseen customer addressed him.
Acting startled, Theodore spurted out smoke in the
direction of the Hispanic woman’s face, then opened his
eyes and apologized, chuckling.
* * *
Theodore was worried.
“Can you tell if something’s wrong with me?”
I stared at him; his voice signalled urgency, deep-rooted
“What do you mean?”
His hands brushed the air impatiently.
“Is there anything about me that’s amiss? You know me
pretty well, wouldn’t you say? Is there something wrong
I didn’t know how to begin to answer him.
“My hair, Bob: See it? Look on top. It’s getting thinner,
day by day. You haven’t noticed?”
“No, not at all.”
“Well, you never get too intimate with me.”
“I never get intimate with you at all.”
“I’m serious. It’s really happening. I can hardly believe
it: I’m losing my goddam hair. Do you realize what this
says about me?”
Theodore was defeated; stripped of his youthful dignity;
transformed into a walking monument to decay. Although he
was still in his early thirties, he began practising
memory exercises to make sure he wasn’t becoming senile.
He began having erection sustaining contests with himself
to make sure he wasn’t losing his virility.
Whenever possible he tried doing new things, or old
things in new ways; he called this “neurobic exercise,”
and it was designed to spark new cerebral life: he began
exercising in the dark, taking all of his showers with a
hose in his backyard, spending five minutes before each
meal smelling his food, and, despite his agnosticism,
kneeling down in the direction of Mecca five times a day
Most importantly, he decided he must return to Asia. But
this time his destination would be Senarta, a small
island off the coast of Vietnam which, he assured me,
received fewer foreign tourists than any other island on
“It was a disease colony, then a penal colony, then a
giant prison during the last civil war. Now this precious
virgin island is the jewel of the earth, in my mind. I
wouldn’t be surprised if the people there don’t even know
that Caucasians exist.”
“You’ll take them by surprise, Theodore.”
“Will they be able to tell me apart from them? That’d be
the ultimate compliment, if I just fit right in. If they
couldn’t tell I was deformed, a cultural mutant.”
“Maybe they’ll be able to tell you’re different, that
you’re American and white, and maybe they’ll love that as
much as you adore their Asian-ness.”
Theodore glared at me disgustedly.
* * *
Theodore told me that North Korean women had developed a
form of “breast-dancing,” rather like Moroccan belly
dancing, which utilized only the breasts. He said they
had incorporated this breast dancing into religious
ceremonies, secular entertainment, inter-village
diplomacy, superstitious medicine, and agriculture.
“The thresh rice with their breasts. You know, knock the
inedible parts off the freshly harvested grains. They get
their breasts moving very quickly and forcefully, and
beat piles of rice with them.”
“I’m sorry. I don’t believe that.”
“Well, fuck you, it’s true. But the really remarkable
thing is the magic their breast motion is thought to
produce, and the fact that they can do sign language with
their breasts. Not just sign language, though; when they
do this during lactation, the moisture of the milk on
their nipples creatures a whistling sound as their
breasts swirl through the air, and the whistling is
interpreted linguistically. Imagine the realms of meaning
that are opened up by this…”
* * *
Jonathan K. Moss was a widely respected authority on
fetishes. He had traveled the world seeking out strange
and exotic sexual fixations, fascinations, and “deviant
He had infiltrated and thoroughly documented a secretive
Atlanta sex club for women who achieved peak sexual
stimulation only with men ten or more months behind on
court-ordered child support payments; he wrote a widely-
lauded case study on a Mississippi man who could only
achieve erection while sitting in a dentist’s chair with
his upper jaw numbed with novacaine; he tracked down
dozens of middle-aged Canadian women who regularly asked
their husbands or boyfriends to bathe in iced coffee, or
smear their skin with coffee grounds before engaging in
He spent a month with a Pacific islander who could only
be stimulated by women whom he had seen riding reindeer;
he interviewed numerous west-coast executives who
reported that they could achieve full sexual
gratification only while wat!!! ching film of animals
being killed; he found a small Connecticut town in which
reproduction had entirely ceased until the mayor erected
a statue of a dinosaur in the town square, triggering an
almost crisis-level flood of newborns in the local
hospital nine months later.
Moss’ seminal text, “Other Ways,” had a chapter on racial
fetishes. I read it excitedly, eager to find some
explication of my friend’s bizarre predelection. Most of
the chapter focused on Southern white women’s fetish for
African-American men, a fetish Moss believed was fueled
by the thrill of breaking social conventions against
“Precisely because her society’s mores forbid intimacy
with blacks, the fetishist is thrilled by it. Hers is the
illicit thrill of flouting social rules and, in some
cases, the thrill of a self-degradation which directs a
sneer of defiance and contempt toward her creators,
physical (parents) and spiritual (God).”
This reasoning seemed inapplicable in Theodore’s case
since in our area there was no taboo about Asians and
white people coupling. But another portion seemed at
least arguably on-target: “Racial boundaries may be
construed as personal challenges as well as cultural
ones. The aggressive culture, one which measures its
worth in terms of expansion, may be internalized.”
Also intriguing to me was this comment: “Once again in
the racial context, we see that fetishes are occasionally
used as substitutes for intimacy in that they safely
contextualize emotional release, and dematerialize
interpersonal rituals which shield individuals from pure
Theodore seemed to want to become Asian, but the
Caucasian women Moss wrote about found it necessary to
maintain, even heighten their Caucasian-ness in order to
perpetuate the thrilling interacial tension they found so
erotic. It seemed to me that the more Asian Theodore
became, the less fuflilling his Asian fetish might be:
the splendorous difference between him and his lovers
would vanish. If he successfully redefined himself as an
Asian man, wouldn’t this lead to total disappointment?
* * *
I was with Theodore the evening before his departure to
Senarta. Arrayed across his collapsable plastic dining
table were eight or nine precisely folded stacks: four
stacks of clothing, each a different category, one stack
of small notepads and paperback books (the Tao Te Ching,
the Analects of Confucius, the Book of the Great
Learning), two stacks of cigarette cartons, and several
stacks of what I assumed were gifts, or tradeable goods.
“There are places in the world,” he said, lifting one of
the impeccable stacks from the table and placing it into
a traveling bag, “That are nothing like America. Less
stress, less materialism, less frenzied insecurity.
Places where you can go, and it’s like you’re in another
world. There are problems, sure, but they’re all novel,
and meaningful. And they all have solutions. Solutions
that don’t require degrading yourself.”
Before I left his apartment that night, Theodore gave me
his jacket with the yin-yang symbol on it, with the
deadly chopsticks sewn into the shoulders.
“I might never be back,” he said. “So I want you to have
this. It’s armor; nothing can happen to you while you’re
wearing this jacket. Don’t abuse its power, Bobby.”
* * *
I dreamed of Senarta several times after Theodore drifted
from my life. I pictured vast desert beaches consisting
not of sand, but of a hard, thick crust of dessicated mud
surrounding a dense, low jungle of wilted plants, their
branches clotted with spiderwebs, the still air mad with
the buzzing of tiny flies. The driftwood on the Senartan
beaches came from the hulls of wrecked vessels; the
waters motionless, viscous like spit, and utterly clear.
I envisioned Theodore as a solitary prisoner on this
former penal colony, gazing not at the desolation but at
a vast mirage of splendid, intricate beauty. I wanted to
cry out, What’s wrong with you? Are you insane? But I
knew that my voice would be drowned out by the buzzing of
* * *
I was leaving a job interview I knew had been pointless.
I was good at sensing other people’s disinterest in me; I
wasn’t as good at reversing it.
I passed the burrito stand where I would have stopped if
I had money. A man wearing a beard that looked like bread
mold held out a Starbuck’s cup to passersby — “Spare
change for food?” — but he ignored me. I stopped, turned
back to him, and held out my cupped hand.
“Spare change for food?” I asked.
The beggar glared at me, then shouted, “Get lost, you
I felt a flash of rage, my sarcasm totally deflected.
“Fucking pity-boy,” as he continued ravaging me, people
turned to watch. “White trash scum. Why don’t you go
learn to masturbate, you adolescent twerp. Get a fucking
heart; maybe then you’ll have a life.”
I gestured disgustedly, then walked hurriedly away while
he challenged me to a fist-fight, accused me of being a
coward, and laughed at me.
“Why don’t you punch him out?” Someone asked.
I wanted to turn life off; unplug myself; detach.
And then I saw her.
She was walking out of a fraternity house, carrying a
small black purse in one hand and a backpack in the
other. Her hair was bound in two long, loose pig-tails
which were dyed in red, white and blue stripes at the
ends. She looked up at me blankly.
“Hey…how are you?”
She slowed down, staring at me.
“Hey, so,” — I didn’t know what to say –“Are still
working at Fuji?”
She turned away from me without a trace of recognition,
and continued walking.
Returning to my apartment, I put on the jacket Theodore
had left me — the jacket through which no harm could
penetrate — and sat in front of the television until it
was time to go to sleep.
* * *
I dreamed of a nocturnal breast-dancing ceremony in a
jungle clearing encircled with torches. From within the
impenitrable surrounding darkness, drums rumbled and
The performer, an Asian woman with very plump breasts,
had dipped her nipples in some luminescent chemical
derived from algae: they glowed silvery green as she
whirled her breasts through the air in complicated,
At times her breasts seemed to detach from her body, like
swinging columns of light around her swaying, slender
nakedness. I didn’t see her eyes, or her face; just the
hypnotic streaks of light spraying from her nipples
throught the air. As her dance continued, it became more
rhythmically complex, and the audience — dozens of wide-
eyed, dark-skinned men — became more spirited, groaning
with awe, crying out barbarically. Then she began
striking things with her breasts; knocking small, dark
birds from the sky, weaving them into webs of light,
On-lookers tossed fruit to her, which flew back into
their hands peeled and decoratively sliced. Finally,
three men from the crowd grabbed me — I struggled
helplessly as they dragged me forward — and hurled me
into the splendid but terrifying breast-rays. I felt my
clothes fall away from my body in shreds; my hair
cascaded to the ground; and one at a time, strips of skin
dropped from my muscles, veins, and bones. I protested,
frantic, but the flaying continued.
Tearfully, I pleaded to the woman herself for mercy.
Across the now tangled, patternless threads of light
leading to her breasts, I saw her face. She was wearing
irridescent blue contact lenses, but her features were