I head home an hour before twilight from my research at the National Library of the Academy of Sciences of Virginland. The sleepless nights have worn me down. I need to unwind. The day has lengthened, the biting cold retreated. But it's still early to go to Natashima. Out on the courtyard, the dogs are having a veritable feast-once again the trash trucks haven't showed up. All for the better-my buddies are still alive. Ever since the army unleashed Operation Kill the Dogs, I get a jolt whenever I hear the clatter of machine gun fire echoing from indefinite directions. Sometimes I feel glad I wasn't born a dog.
But really, am I, in fact, not a dog?
At any rate, I'm not in a particularly doglike frame of mind when the doorbell rings. It's Kathy. She always calls before coming over. I sense that something is amiss. True enough, she is crying. I've never seen tears in her eyes.
Kathy is a tough one, with a knack for getting even more practical when facing a crisis. She takes my cock into her hearth, leaning against the wall in a doggy position, arms outstretched, hissing through her sobs, "Fuck me… Fuck me… Oh… fuck!"
Kathy tells me, in a nutshell, what she'd been through today, and then vanishes into the same taxi that had brought her here, whose driver she had instructed to park and wait for her in the empty lot across from the University of Satan in Virginabad.
I'm left in a daze, where all this feels like a dream. It takes me a while to regain a foothold on consciousness.
Kill the dog!
Sex is outlawed in Virginland.
For months, Kathy has been waiting to hear from the Treasury Department of God, where she had applied for a job. She certainly had the chops. A certified accountant, she had mastered a number of computer programs. Moreover, she had investigated and eventually exposed two major mafia clans that had colluded with Treasury employees to siphon off tax revenues to the tune of several million washingtons. Her good work enabled God to retrieve the loot. Given Virginland's political climate in those days, this was an intricate and ominous affair, a stunt that Kathy nonetheless pulled off with great skill.
Still, the clans, which satiated themselves at the expense of the Redeemed and the Creator, went unpunished. A disdain for the law was the norm among the law-enforcement agencies of Paradise, with the Redeemed bearing the consequences. It was like this: Satan's good efforts brought about Leninstan's collapse, making it possible for Paradise to become independent and duly turn its muzzle to the United Nations of Man. What followed was a stampede of a million wraiths, while a famished God, at the head of a procession of piggish archangels, conquered Virginland-Paradise in the wink of an eye.
There was a time when I worked in Hell, advocating for the rights of those who had bolted from Paradise, fighting the corrupt officials of Satan's government. I was cross with Satan, who was cross with me. A friend of mine, a film producer, conveyed to me the exploits of her policeman lovers. One of these men-who shared my sexy, blue-eyed friend's bed and the spectacular views of Los Babylonos from her West Hellwood penthouse one night-bragged about his naughtiness, in this case his killing of a black Satanite that day.
When police dogs were taught sniffing techniques as part of their training, their classmates (including former cops) talked about the relationship of police officers and criminal outfits-their proxies at large-whose deeds often went uninvestigated. These groups were expected to commit select crimes recommended by the police themselves.
Satan's prosecutors regularly cherry-picked cases based on the race of the suspects. His detectives likewise had total discretion as to which cases actually reached the courts. The net effect was that Satan's ethnic minorities got the short end of the stick, sometimes facing financial ruin.
Gehendale's Paradisean émigrés were abhorred by the true followers of our Lord Satan, Everlasting Father of the Universe, Blessed and Only Potentate. There was nothing frivolous about such aversion. Take my father, for instance-a diehard Paradise fan, he nonetheless felt revulsion at the comportment of its former denizens. We'd be in stitches whenever he described them in his inimitable style.
There was a swarm of paradisoids behind bars in Hell. Their number reached 14,400. Were Paradise to function by the same legal standards as Hell, some 144,000 out of each million of the former's emancipated lambs, along with the entirety of God's apparatus, would have to be jailed.
As to how the Democratic Imperium of Gehenna, aka the United Tribes of Amerhenna (UTA), fended itself against the misdeeds of Paradiseans, I was given an inkling by an attorney friend. He defended cases involving paradisoids who had robbed the pharma mines of Satan's Golden State. He spoke of the ways and means employed by our Lord's federal investigators. Comparing them to the KGB, he said this remorseless dragon's treatment of the underdog was more human (i.e., doglike) than that of the Feds with whom he dealt.
Back in Paradise, God's prosecutors have zeroed in on the downtrodden just as God's gendarmes follow the scent of hard cash, going about their business in the floodlight of the Almighty's smirk.
I was disillusioned with the Paradiseans-the nation of the Redeemed-disillusioned with their mentality. I stopped defending them against Satan. My decision was based in no small measure on their dark halo. These folks had so excelled at the métier of whitewashing their crimes that they could make Marx (God save us from him) sound like Jesus (holy be his name). This propensity is a hallmark of oppressed peoples that have survived the narrow path leading to God.
True, the Redeemed were neither the only criminal segment nor the worst of the ethnic groups helping themselves to Satanic plenitude. But apart from some emblematic character flaws, they elicited disgust with their inclination to rob our Lord Satan, Captain of Our Salvation, the Sure Foundation; their untrustworthiness in word and deed; and their soft spot for sharing the possessions of their neighbors, wife and ass included. These were all relics of Papa Lenin's commandments of universal brotherhood. Although their covetousness has been rather subdued of late on account of Satan's lashes, it has, alas, gained proportionate vehemence with regard to canines.
The prophet Marx, who went up to Heaven in a whirlwind by the fiery horses of God after completing his mission in the telluric cavern, has left an indelible mark on Paradise. Here, everything that occurs under the sun, including the Exodus of the 144,000 to Gehenna, is explained in terms of economics. The angels insist that life was comfier in communist Paradise. They also put the blame for their present social ills squarely on Satan's runaway capitalism.
My childhood memories teem with thousands of compatriots who had settled in Dreamland's Adonis Province after surviving a holocaust that scorched Paradise. Adonis is a purely capitalistic hub on the Mediterranean coast-so much so that the UTA can be considered a communist country in comparison. Many who resettled in Adonis had it much worse than the survivors in Paradise, yet they were strangers to the above social ills. My civics teacher, an Adonis native, liked to reiterate the point that the 250,000-strong Paradisean community of Adonis was that land's most trustworthy segment, with only one member serving a prison sentence.
The Satanic Eye was cognizant of this fact. In Hell, whenever someone with the appearance of a paramecium-lapsus calami, read paradicium-was pulled over, the police first checked whether the suspect originally hailed from Dreamland or Paradise itself, and proceeded accordingly. Paradise was infected with the Lenino autoimmune syndrome. Yet Satan's political interests moved him to lure 144,000 angels to Hell.
I learned my geography at the Dream Elementary School in Dreamland. My teacher was Miss Mary. Miss Mary used a long stick to point things out on a large wall atlas, as follows:
There are two countries in the world: Dreamland and Africa. Dreamland is a big country. Its borders are: to the north, the North Pole; to the south, the South Pole; to the east, the birthplace of the sun; and to the west, the sun's grave. Dreamland changes its capital four times every century.
Paradise is Dreamland's navel-its omphalus. Paradise is wedged between three seas, hence Triangle 1. Paradise has three lakes at its heart, hence Triangle 2. What we have then are two interlaced triangles-thus the Star of David, which Maimunus stole from the sons of Paradise before he tricked the sons of man into believing that his land is God's country.
Much of Paradise has been devoured by Pasha. Pasha is a voracious animal. He has black horns, a rhino keras, scavenger teeth, and a long tail. When he howls, the mountains shake. When Pasha was getting ready to chomp the last bones of the Redeemed, Papa Lenin snatched a morsel from his mouth and kicked him out of the graveyard. This is why the Redeemed love Papa Lenin and hate Osman Pasha.
A country was created in the graveyard and christened Virginland, with Papa Lenin according the name his thumbs-up. Papa Lenin took exception to the names Paradise and Godland. However, being a schnook, he didn't quite realize that in the Paradisean language Virginland is not only synonymous with Paradise, it expresses its very essence. The Redeemed pulled the wool over Papa Lenin's eyes and never forgot the country's ancient name, Paradise, to this day glorifying it in their songs and books. Virginland's capital is Virginabad. Noteworthy attractions include Virgintorch, Virginville, Virgin Valley, Virgins Province, the city of Saint Virginborn, and Noah's Grave.
Today God dwells in Virginland.
Satan dwells in Satanland (i.e., Gehenna or Hell), which is situated in the far west, where sits the sun's necropolis.
The capital of Satanland is Gehennington†, where tribesmen have the curious tradition of reading from right to left. Thus, for instance, dog is read god-something that we canines find rather offensive. Satanland includes such memorable destinations as Hellwood, Gehendale, Santa Barbara, Las Fortunas, and Los Babylonos, which angels fleeing from Paradise to Hell renamed Los Angelos. Intent on cracking the enigma of why the moon dies twelve times a year and rises three days after each death, Satan obtained a dispensation from God to install himself on the moon, whence he watches over the earth's well-being. Thanks to the efforts of the State of Calipornia, Satanland was recently rechristened Pornstan, and its capital was relocated to Porn City.
To the south of Gehenna is Mariamstan, where the Virgin Mary is universally worshipped. Magdalene is the official language. Sitting at the helm of this realm is Castro Peron, the two-headed dragon.
Other things I've learned from Miss Mary:
After Satanland, the most famous provinces of Dreamland are Eyfelia, Shakespeareland, and Mercedesland. Eyfelia is ruled by Napoleon Bonaparte. Its capital is Napoli. The king of Shakespeareland is Shakespeare, who always smokes a cigar. The capital is Elizabeth City. Mercedesland is variously called Führerland and Hamburgerland, depending on the doctrine of the ruling political party of the day. The capital is Hamburg. This dominion is ruled alternately by Führer BenYehu and Mercedes the Shaitan.
Leninstan is the largest province of Dreamland. For a brief period, it was named Gorbachovland, but that was before it was destroyed by an earthquake. The survivors created a modest province called Kremlinland, which is known to foreigners as Natashaland. Kremlinlanders are God-fearing. Despite their horrid misfortunes, they never fail to pay tribute to the Almighty.
Sitting quietly on this side of Pasha's empire is Grand Ayatollah, who vigilantly monitors Pasha's steps. Lying on the other side of Pasha's empire is Socratesland, where the official language is Byzantish, where there is constant philosophizing as to how many angels can fit on the head of a pin. This is why Pasha captured their capital, where he installed the throne of his mobile empire. As for the angels, he grilled and ate them.
Dreamland also includes a large and populous province, Chinmachin, whose monarch is quite fond of the King of Kings, Holy of Holies of Paradise. They say that the ruler of Chinmachin has even given his daughter's hand to the King of Kings of Paradise. Nothing is known about Chinmachin because, like the planet Venus, it is covered by mysterious clouds. Rumor has it that God himself has yet to solve the mystery. As for the princess who has been given in marriage, it is believed that her brain juices were drained out before she arrived in Paradise. As a result, the Redeemed lady remembers nothing about her past.
There are still other provinces in Dreamland, such as Allahland and Maimunland. The latter is ruled by the brothers Maimunus and Jinjinus. Whence the name Jinjinland often used in popular parlance. Jinjinus, the younger, awaits his brother every evening with a bowl of soup in hand as the latter returns from the fields tired, and labors to convince him to change the name of Maimunland to Jinjinland. Legend says that the elder never budges and that he shan't budge till the end of time. Sibling rivalry does not prevent them from sustaining their joint venture, a limited partnership, The Chosen Bros., with offices in various capitals of Dreamland, where they keep bickering as to who shall carry the title Chosen. For which reason, the masses of Dreamland, having more important affairs to dream about, have crowned both Maimunus and Jinjinus with the title "The Chosen One" by law and by might.
Though relatively insignificant provinces of Dreamland, Allahland and Maimunland are perpetually trying to get their hands on Paradise. This is why God punishes them. Should they continue to misbehave, the Almighty might one day exile them to Africa, where dreamers are eaten raw. Hence the dreamers' bid for teaching Africans how to dream-so they can avoid being munched by them.
My history teacher, Mr. Victor, lectured thusly: Paradise was once a powerful state like Atlantis, but Pasha made it vanish from the earth by pulling an abracadabra. While most of the inhabitants were drowned, some managed to hurl themselves onto boats and eventually reached the four corners of the globe. These children of light carried with them fragments of the ancient civilization, which helped them turn the ubiquitous darkness engulfing the planet into light and forge the colossal empire of Dreamland.
To Dreamlanders, dreaming is the stuff of immortality. They dream and avow that a smoker named God speaks to them. This biped has granted them the countries that stretch from the Nile to the Euphrates, impelling them to massacre all the nations in question.
I learned at the Evangelical Church in Dreamland that the Lord has gifted the Dreamlanders the territories between the Euphrates and Tigris, and more recently the provinces of Pornstan and Kremlinland, and that, were they to pray harder, they would also be gifted Chinmachin (praise the Lord). Dreaming is the official doctrine of Dreamland. The founder of Dreamland is no lesser a personage than He, the Moshiah, Son of David, Jesus Christ. Holy be his name. He taught the Dreamlanders to dream about the glory of his father, to be martyred in the name of the sempiternal dream.
The most important thing that I learned, however, was from my political-history teacher at the Dream High School, the mysterious Mr. Bagratuni, who came to class once every three months and whom Pasha abhorred. Dreamland's ideology is cronyism. This is in fact a meta-ideology that encompasses all ideologies past, present, and future. Dreamlanders are fierce cronyists. Seething with vengeful malice, they penetrate the wombs and graves of the mothers of all noncompadres, including reptiles, birds, and insects, and stay there for life.
One day, when His Excellency, the Holiest of Holinesses Diabolam Diabolum, was attempting to improve his relations with Dog, he confessed that the police in Gehenna distinguish between fugitive cronyists from Paradise and those from Dreamland. Our Lord Satan's doctrine is the antithesis of Discrimination, D being a euphemism for God. Nonetheless, its enforcers had no choice but to deviate, so glaring was the evidence against the paradicia.
The Redeemed are troubled by comparisons. They see the hand of the Jinjinist in this. They refuse to admit that there is a monster sitting in their skull. My Paradise-born girlfriend, who once worked for Satan's embassy in Paradise, called me "stupid" for refusing to abuse Satan's system. I respected Satan. Another female friend, a native of Hell, is very fond of her Leninlander girlfriends. She once broke into laughter as she told me they're in the habit of stealing her Eyfelian perfumes every time they to her house. My Leninlander friend, who said she wished to become my spouse, stole twenty washingtons from me.
My wife likewise became convinced one day of my asinine nature, and asseverated that she felt more respect toward a certain couple who had absconded from Paradise to Hell and didn't speak a word of Gehennish. She had met these associates through me. She assailed me for my ignorance regarding the existence of some government-assistance program, which, in my assessment, wasn't worth a kurush.
"You have lived in Hell all these years and what have you learned, asshole?" the assayor of my soul asserted assuasively.
The assumption ass-rocked my marriage for an entire year as she asso believed that Ass had stolen a pair of eyeglasses that belonged to the above-mentioned couple. Her entire assessionary concurred with her. She didn't expect such bassness from me.
I was asstounded. She had never seen, nor would ever see, me commit such an act. To even ssink that I was capable of doing somessing like that… and for what? Some drab object patented by tovarich Stalin, which Ass couldn't have exchanged for a putrid potato†?
How horrid it was, brothers, that my wife's group consciousness dominated her marital relationship. I assume, brothers, that religious and ideological zealotry is but a developed form of this very mindset, which to this day ails the world of man.
The assuchness of the matter was… she didn't love me.
I was ashamed to ask for handouts from Satan, and for this I was labeled an ass. I was mortified at the thought of getting in line in a supermarket and using food stamps for groceries. This is precisely what many Paradiseans did proudly, often wearing diamond rings and flip-flops as they stood in line, feeling a hauteur surpassing that of a Rockefeller, and not in the least wondering what the Satanites would think of them. If the uncouth wives and children of sheiks presumed to buy someone off with a couple of washingtons, then the Paradisean displayed a similar cockiness vis-à-vis that high school girl working as a supermarket cashier, through the power of food stamps obtained from our Lord Satan, the All-beneficent, Father of the Fatherless.
"Good! These people deserve it. They're the ones who destroyed Paradise."
When Papa Lenin grabbed the graveyard called Paradise from Pasha's jaws, he occulted God Immortal and then made Paradise into a republic. Intent on transforming its denizens into citizens, Papa Lenin promulgated a bolozhenia, whose sixth article reads:
Considering that Osman Pasha has committed atrocities in bear-loving and highly regarded Paradise, has devastated the arts and crafts, burned cities and villages, and devoured all creative people, Papa Lenin, king of the world, having in mind the desires and prosperity of his gentle subjects, declares Paradise a protectorate and therein moves to develop the greatest of humanitarian arts, mendicity.
For Paradiseans breaking free of Leninland, it was a time-honored tradition to beg for assistance from the government. That is the reason they moved to Gehenna, having honed their accounting before their exodus. My aunt, who had vamoosed from Paradise with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, exalted Satan.
"The king of the Soviets is no good," she said. "The king of Amerika is great. God save the king of Amerika."
One day my father ran into the ninetysomething Mrs. Yevnik. "My husband died," she told him. "But God sent me another husband." As my father was taken aback and wanted to know more, she quickly answered, "I mean the Satanic government. Glory to God!"
A Paradise-born friend of mine, who works at Satan's refugee-assistance office, was shocked by the Satanic almoner's irate words about how Paradiseans defrauded His Excelsior. In defense of her compatriots, my friend pointed out a statistical report prepared by the Satan Lies organization, indicating that compared to the other ethnic minorities of Hell, the Redeemed receive but a tiny proportion of government aid. She tried to prove that the lion's share of assistance goes to the stentorian Mariamstanis and Mosmos-worshipping kvetchers from Leninland, if only because the latter are nonpareil at eliciting pity.
The Redeemed feel flattered. But how removed this is from the evaluations of Dreamlanders which this dog had heard from his teachers in puppyhood. "The Dreamers' community that resettled in Adonis is the best among all communities of its host country. You will not find a single Dreamlander beggar here."
The natives of Adonis remembered how in the early days the Dreamlanders, who had just escaped genocide, did not seek alms from the natives but rebuilt their lives through hard work. Within a short time, they became the key players of the economy of Adonis and earned a reputation as honest businesspeople. Often their one word was worth ten contracts. The same held true in all the countries of Allah's desert, where survivors resettled.
The experiences of a girlfriend, an SBI (Satan's Bureau of Investigation) agent, sealed my decision to stop advocating for Paradiseans. Even if there were legal lapses on the part of government agencies, I had resolved not to impede the enforcement of Satan's law, black though it was. My logic was:
"Let them learn to live by the law, so as to amaze even the racist cops. Let them live like my father, who has never caused Satan any trouble, never had a run-in with a police officer, doesn't even know what a court of law looks like."
Despite being a highly qualified candidate for the job she was applying for, Kathy was forced to ask for the support of a top official whom she knew. The man gladly put in a good word for her.
Peering out from his office near Kathy's home, this official was in the habit of checking the time when her lights went on at night. His solicitude and fatherly meddling had become such a nuisance that she referred to him as the "chief of the privatization bureau."
After December 29, Kathy's windows often remained dark. That night Kathy and I had met for the first time at the Atlantic Club in Virginabad. She and her faux father had a quarrel. Being a quinquagenarian, he did not dare get closer to her. But that didn't stop him. Sometime after her birthday, which I shared, he confessed his love and proposed marriage at the cost of leaving his wife. Imagine that! In Virginland! He wished to spend the twilight of his years with Kathy, promising to spare nothing for her and her child.
At night, as Kathy came home, his wife waited for her at the entrance. "Bitch! Whore! Take your hands off my husband or else…"
"I'm not interested in your husband," Kathy shot back. "Get a hold of yourself… or else I'll tell your man who you've been giving your ass to at the university."
In those days Kathy was barely keeping the wolf from the door. She hadn't told me anything. She had sold all her jewelry. Her business, a vocational school which specialized in healthcare and was once profitable, could no longer cope with the insane fluctuations of God's regulatory environment.
Kathy reported to work. Her boss, the regional revenue-service chief, did not mince his words when he told her she had to sleep with him at once if she wanted to have the job. He even ignored the intervention of Kathy's esteemed benefactor.
Kathy was an utter mess. That's when she came to this dog, with tears in her eyes…
We went to church on Sunday.
The crowd prayed:
Give us, O Lord, give us 1+1=11. Give us, O Lord, give us 1+1=111. Give us, O Lord, give us 1+1=1,111.
The beard sermoned:
Do not be afraid of injustice. The more injustice there is in this world, the happier you should feel. Justice is born of injustice. Time is but justice's ally.
As we listened to the homily, we did not supplicate for anything. Simply, we understood that 1+1=0. We bolstered our souls to withstand God's heuristic experiments and then headed to the Marco Polo bistro. Kathy was in my arms when we promised each other to celebrate our birthday together, no matter where our relationship stood.
It was her idea, and I agreed without a second thought. It tickled me that we were born the same day. Gemini. My goodness, she was my twin… At that time, I happened to be researching legends of twins, and it was within this context that I read our bond. She had shared this with her girlfriends.
May 30: different countries, different years, different wombs…
That day mother earth smiled at the sun's rays from the same locus, the same sidereal position, and was impregnated by them, while we separately entered the world, eleven springs apart, through the path of light…
I go toward the spring of light…
The path is long, cobbled
With flint, fenced with myrtle thorns.
The path is askew, rhyming with a ray.
I step out, leaning upon my quivering knees,
And from my knees, which my brethren nailed,
Hot blood gushes forth.
There's panting in my chest, dust on my lashes.
My heart is the empty jug,
And I go toward the spring of light…
How many, how many thousands of years
Must I walk thus?
How many times must I fall, wounded,
Upon the goal of my path,
Struck by rock-crushing hammers?
I know not. Only, my brothers,
My crucifying brethren,
Leave me be in my journey…
On my sunfilled path leading to the suns,
Do not spread your shadow
Like the sinister wing of a buzzard.
Wave 1, "The Light"†
Back from a conference at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Academy of Sciences, I'm getting ready to meet with Kathy.
That day… no one knew a thing about it.
I had no desire to tell anyone about my birthday. It belonged to Kathy. What we had promised each other was no ordinary present. That day we were to give one another every layer of our souls, every shudder of our bodies…
Her pink, form-fitting blouse, out of which her sculpted arms soar from her shoulders to her delicate fingers, makes her bronze face dazzle. The image of the moon goddess, with its alternating play of light and shadow, hypnotizes my gaze. Her chestnut-gold hair pours over her bare shoulders in broad waves and spills down her face, giving it an elongated shape, accentuating the lure of her chin and fiery lips. Her beltless jeans hug her naked waist, as their gliding basalt blue devours her protruding, ovoid buttocks and erect legs.
We haven't seen each other in nine days. We share a heart-shaped Jell-O cake and drink champagne to our twin birthdays.
We've decided to repair to the Atlantic.
On the night of December 29, I had invited two sisters to the club. I had met them through their third sister during her defense of her doctoral dissertation. These birds had migrated from Dushtepeh to Virginland three years ago. Olya, the youngest, is a nuclear scientist working at Virginland's nuclear power plant. Sasha is a biologist. She has a one-year-old and her relations with her husband are none too enviable. Both women are beautiful, sexy, smart. They're also independent in their thinking, which is to my liking. Sasha is gentle. Olya is wild. All eyes are on them in the club.
I clashed with Olya. She has a knack for confusing originality with inconsiderateness. Before long, I saw them off in a taxi and decided to linger at the Atlantic. Olya was mad. We didn't call each other for months.
Makoko waves hello from the sixth floor.
I've noticed Kathy. She's here with Nuneh and her friend.
And Kathy has noticed me. As she had no dance partner, she joined us some time later, with Olya's approval.
Thanks to Olya's largesse, I fell right into Kathy's field of gravity. We're dancing face to face, gazing into each other's eyes. I'm spellbound. She moves her flawless figure in graceful grooves, oozing sex. She's a bona fide fairy on the dance floor. And this: I seem to sense a transformation in her face, her very essence.
I couldn't sleep that night.
The Atlantic became a sanctuary for us. Kathy would have wanted to build a chapel there. As for me, I would never step foot inside with another woman.
Kathy wanted us to take Nuneh along. Kathy and I wouldn't have met if Nuneh hadn't invited her to the club. Nuneh has just broken up with her boyfriend. He left her as soon as he received a promotion at the bank, with prospects of getting his hands on a classier vestal to suit his new post, even if Nuneh was an attractive, mature, and kind woman who left the impression of pure milk.
I'm dancing with my twin. Her face is beaming across the hall, shattering the men. In her words, "The Atlantic is sinking."
It was this very metamorphosis that I had noticed during orgasms. Kathy became a different woman, an ethereal being, from whose face and lips flew the fountain of immortality. The secret to coming into contact with her feminine essence lay in the unlocking of that fountain.
This had been easier said. She was married at eighteen, after the death of her parents. Her family wanted to get rid of her, and she made the wrong choice.
A few months before being tagged to a husband, she had traveled to the UTA, as a participant of the Dreamland Olympics and the flag bearer of the Virginlander team. These games bring together youths from various Dreamland provinces throughout the globe. The Olympics are held every year in July, in commemoration of the New Year of the ancient Paradisean calendar.
When Kathy told me about her participation in the Olympics, I remembered actually having seen her, as that particular year I was there during the closing ceremony. It was impossible not to notice her: tall build, proud walk, gorgeous figure, and, as important, team leader of newly-independent Virginland… All this had made her the epicenter of attention.
Ah… if only I hadn't been married…
Kathy was the Athena of Virginland, its symbol of womanhood. The Olympics were followed by a number of attractive marriage offers, all of which she had refused.
Little did she know then what misery awaited her back in Virginland.
"Well, God is giving you a second chance now," Kathy says.
But the magic of those days was tainted by a gaping wound in Kathy's heart. One of the prominent Dreamlanders of Los Babylonos, a clothing tycoon known as Cigar Koko, invited the Virginlander Olympic team to dinner. He then opened his enormous clothing warehouse to the team members, asking them to take whatever and as much as they like. Plus he gave each member a franklin for pocket money-this was a significant amount for youths between the ages of sixteen and twenty who had come from a ruble economy and were basically broke.
Their excitement, however, was short-lived. The Olympics organizers immediately confiscated the money on pretense of having to cover the cost of the team's stay at Satan Hotel.
Kathy was offended. She kept away from subsequent events held by the Holy Trinity Party, the organizer of the Olympics. As tensions mounted, the organizing committee accused Kathy of treason: "Thou hast exploited the goodwill of our mother branch in Paradise to tour Tartaros at our expense." From the point of view of disciples and drum-beaters alike, this is the most serious charge that the holy triumvirate can bring against someone.
Coming back home, Kathy was admitted to Virginland State University (which was considered one of the top ten universities of Leninland), from which she went on to earn a bachelor of arts degree in applied mathematics. As she matured as a woman, Kathy was increasingly dissatisfied with her husband. It didn't help that they lived with his parents, with no privacy for lovemaking.
"How do you explain to the moron that you needed at least to wash up after doing it, let alone with hot water? Where? How? It meant nothing to him… he just went on fucking for himself."
Knowing Kathy now, I could imagine the situation. A dilettante wouldn't do. She grew to need a full-fledged man to satisfy her. Though withering from sexual starvation, her dignity didn't let her accept another man inside her. Kathy had her first orgasm seven years into her marriage. That night she cried bitterly, as she understood what she had been missing all those years.
"Ripsik, honey, how is it that you've had four kids and got yourself 40 abortions without getting naked with your hubby?"
"Naked? What are you talking about? He'll kill me if he sees me naked. He'd say, 'Where did this slut come from? Where did she learn to be a whore?' I just close my eyes, he lifts my skirt, finds a hole, sticks it in…"
Kathy suffers patiently, hoping things will change someday. For years on end, she pinches pennies to buy their own house. In keeping with Virginlander tradition, she hands all her earnings to him, and he in turn hands it all to his mother.
In Virginland, the umbilical cord linking a mother to his son is never cut after his birth. The two lead a symbiotic existence unto death. This is a sacred rite. To oppose it can well result in the killing of the bride. It's now chic to call the tradition "national." A man is his mother's timeless baby: Madonna and Bambino. He is suckled by Mamma until he turns fifty… He communicates with his wife through Mamma. Mamma holds the hand of her twenty-year-old tot and takes him to the store to buy him a pair of shoes. The baby cries and argues: he doesn't like those damned shoes…
Incidentally, Virginland is home to great shoemakers and furniture designers, who could, with a little gray matter, compete in the international marketplace with the very best from Alpacinoland. But Virginlanders are proud of wearing shoes made by Al Pacino, the king of Alpacinoland.
In our old neighborhood in Adonis, there was a clothing factory. One day my father and I were there when the owner had a conversation with a wholesaler.
"We can stick any label you want," he said. "Gucci, Versace… you name it."
When the son reaches marriage age, Mamma enlists her network of mothers to look for a virgin bride for her masterpiece of incompetence of a son.
The unbreakable bond between Paradisean mammas and their male sucklings was explained to me by my landlord.
"In Paradise, women don't love their husbands," she said. "That's why they shower their affections on their sons, by way of compensating for their need to love a man."
Manpanzee the Custodian (I beg the chimpanzees' forgiveness for the analogy) surrenders his wife to the custody of his mother. Whenever a disagreement erupts between the two women, first he beats the wife, seeking to mould her with mamma's bizarrerie. Should the wife fail to submit, he kicks her out.
"There's plenty of fish in the water, but only one Mamma."
Kathy's savings were built cent by cent, at enormous sacrifice. In the years when there was neither power nor heating in Virginland, she managed to both prepare her university assignments and make quantities of pastry, using their home's lone wood-burning heater. She lit the contraption for baking the pastries, nothing else. In the morning, on her way to the university, she distributed them to the stores in the area. This was how she fed the family, paid for her bus ride, and at the end of the week put aside a small amount toward her dream apartment.
One day her husband tells her he has a beautiful surprise for her and asks her to look out the window. Guessing what it is, Kathy passes out.
He had squandered her savings on a car…
Kathy was unable to get over it. They divorced.
Virginlanders frown upon a divorced woman. Few have the balls to marry a nonvirgin-that would go against the grain of an age-old tradition. As the heirs of the world's first Xn state, they piously follow the second half of the Holy Writ. "Whoever puts away his wife, except for the cause of sexual immorality, makes her an adulteress; and whoever marries her when she is put away commits adultery." Note, however, that men diligently solicit those nonvirgins, trying to conquer them as side lovers. In fact, the whole of Virginland is after these women, going at it like an unstoppable train.
It's a natural urge, they say.
Speaking of nature, there are only two sexes in Virginland. Man and Woman. Unlike Gehenna, where we have twelve sexes in fashion. You see, brothers, how primitive they are. The man sex, they say, is created in the image of God, and the woman sex in the image of the Devil. For the sake of convenience, I will sometimes distinguish between these polar sexes with the terms Virginoso and Virginosa.
Characteristic of Virginland is the stigma that a man risks if he doesn't keep a lover. Having a mistress is a sign of the unparalleled brotherly love and generosity of the Virginoso. And it is done with the approval of his parents, who take all precautions to conceal it from the bride living at their home.
Often they don't even bother to hide it. "Well, what do you expect? He's a man. What is he supposed to do? Cling to your skirt?"
If a married fellow doesn't avail himself of the services of a whorehouse, what kind of man is he? I tell you what he is: he's a fag.
In Virginland, hypocrisy is the stuff of life. They may not know it, but their aura tells the whole story. They live by deception and self-deception. They transmit the poison to the generations. To oppose this would mean to invite the wrath of an entire virgin-worshipping society. Few women are able to come out on top.
There's a veritable odyssey awaiting a woman after her divorce. She receives the first blow in court, where she finds herself trapped in a labyrinth of humiliation. Women are used to this. No surprises. There was a woman who had to ask the court three times for a divorce from her drunkard husband. Her request was granted only when she threatened that if she were to be murdered by the brute, the court would be held responsible. It had been already four years that she and her husband slept in different rooms. She kept trying to defend herself against his constant attacks, to the terrified screams of the children, not realizing that what he violated were inalienable rights.
There's something abominable in a pair of rough, untrimmed eyebrows, especially when the accompanying gaze nails you down. I turn the TV off whenever I see a singer with unpreened eyebrows. As for their love songs…
If, dog forbid, you decide to commit suicide in Paradise, go to an underground record stall at the metro to get yourself an album of heavenly music. As you browse for the miracle, you'll catch sight of a flurry of male faces on album covers. If you don't drop dead within half an hour, hang on for a bit more. You need a higher dose. Come evening, tune in to the public channel, or any other offering for that matter, and watch the parade of cockbearing crooners. It's probable that before the day opens, you will open your eyes… on the lap of Mosmos.
"Holy cats! We only recognize Yoohoo MacYehu!"
If you don't open your eyes on the lap of any of Mr. Maimunus's prophetazzi, then, brother, Virginland is your motherland. You can go ahead and enjoy the place to the hilt…
You won't think that some of the pop divas are being inspected by these cucumbearers…
"Every pot has its cover," my grandmother used to say.
Many are the houris who cannot resist the machismo of an uncultured cucumbearer. Even Narineh, an émigré who had been out of Virginland for already seven years when I met her in Los Angelos, had this to ask prior to our possible marriage: "Do you pluck your eyebrows, or do they naturally look like that?"
"And what's that got anything to do with anything?"
"Aren't I allowed to know what kind of man I'm about to marry?"
Oh, poor sis, what fire you've fallen into!
On reading this, a female friend of mine in Virginabad shed tears of regret. She had thought I was gay.
Later I remembered that on our first meeting she had told me how in Mercedesland she had saved a young man from homosexuality. As a faithful servant of Yoohoo MacYehu, she tried to save me, too, from the fires of Hell.
I was a homosexual. A faggot.
Faggotry, my brethren, consolidates the path of grace. Though I do not speak faggotian, I've got enough compassion to study the faggotist doctrine.
A faggot is the opposite of a man. That is to say, not one who always inspects but one who is always inspected himself. Already you see how difficult it is to translate the enigmas of Paradisean culture into Gehennish. What we understand by faggotry is an honest-to-goodness love relationship between two men. But to God's way of thinking, a faggot is someone who gets inspected. Of course the real inspector is God himself. It couldn't be otherwise, my brothers. In Paradise everyone announces that he's a man-e.g., an antifaggot, an afaggot, a nonfaggot-whereas in truth what is at work here is only one cock, that of God, in front of which everybody, without exception, bares their assholes, their blessed, divine assholes.
But you don't know, my brothers, to what extent God has facilitated salvation, and not only for the subjects of Mercedes Shaitan. All you have to do is raise your right hand, place your left hand on your heart, and declare, "There is no god but God, and Yoohoo is the Son of God, and Al-Prophet is the enemy of God."
Period. You're saved.
Except from the wrath of Bladin…
That, of course, is a tribulation sent by God in order to strengthen your faith.
When Satan cheated me, feeding me from the tree of knowledge, in consequence of which I was left with the brimstone of Hell, where there was crying and gnashing of teeth, I understood, I understood, my brethren, I understood only then, that in Paradise there is only one pecker, which is God's, and that the Redeemed are depeckered, that they surrender their weecocks to God, so as to transfer to him the role of inspecting their enemies.
This is why Maimunus shall be punished forevermore, as he tricks God by getting circumcised instead of being castrated. God punishes the insubordinate and kicks them out of Paradise. His name is Jehovah the Cock.
Still, having compassion for us, the lost ones, he sends us his only son, so that whoever believes in him will not be lost but secure eternal life. But we know well, my beloved brethren, that this God of the bipeds is a mental mirage. A sublimation of humanoid urges. A centripetal ideation. The Amaranthine Cockalorum shall vanish the day humanoids cease to bare their assholes to Him.
The creation of the Ideal Rod necessarily implies the subsequent birth of the Ideal Ass. This is how Yoohoo was born to deliver man from the impact of the Ideal Rod. But how can an ass born in a stable deliver man from dependence on the Ideal Rod, friars? Thus the Supreme Rod inspects even his only son, the Divine Ass, on the crucifix for man's sins. This is what we dogs call child abuse. Pederasty. Thus the quintessential inspectee obtains his exclusive license to prepare mansions for us in Heaven. The Son and the Father are one, codependent. There seems to be a deficit of assholes to glorify the Supreme Rod in the empyrean. Anointed apparatchiks devoted to institutionalizing and sanctifying the hierarchy of jehovic phallocracy.
The purpose of the Sacrament of Ass Anointation is to give you a carte blanche to Heaven.
What kind of father is this, my brothers? He demands "sacrifice." He seeks "glory." Like a pharaoh, I assume. Competing with Nabuchadnezzar, I presume. You would better consult a hominid dictionary to understand these two cryptic neologies. Dementia is the dimension of the Lord. Blood! Is what he imbibes. Isn't the Almighty a carbon copy of Pasha? Then why do the Redeemed love the Lord but fail to love Pasha? Unfair! In the beginning of time, this Lord inspects. At the divinely launched ground zero of time, this Lord inspects. At the end of time, this Lord inspects. The mother-the cosmic mother-is murdered in Paradise and replaced with the father's pendulum. But the Redeemed overlook this, my brothers. Glory to Satan! It is thanks to his chicanery that our eyes were opened as they saw the light, and for us living became death and death living. Then the dog's spirit came over us and we grasped, brothers, we grasped that Satan is the author of God.
Our Heavenly Father, Satan, holy be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done. Please collect our nanococks and reserve to yourself the right to inspect the insubordinate. But leave us hope for salvation. For yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever, amen.
Thus, my brothers, is the nature of things in humanland.
If I had a smidgeon of hope that something would develop between Alla and me, it, too, vanished in short order. Half a smile. Curt replies. No questions to ask. I assume she's not interested. It was late in the game when it became clear that it wasn't so. I'm not in the habit of asking a woman more than two questions, but now I'm trapped. I must either rescue the conversation somehow or take it to a constructive conclusion.
Neither is a go. She draws me into her game, leaves the burden of talking on my shoulders, plugs in a flurry of senseless interruptions, then shuts down, withdraws into her shell, and smiles, mouth shut.
After each question I pose, my energies seem to be exhausted. I must get out of the morass. What is this woman thinking? We still have to spend a whole day together in thirty square meters.
At last the ring goes off on her cell phone-which, incidentally, is a status symbol in Virginland. (Intent on impressing a female friend of mine, some guy wishing to marry her had borrowed a cell phone and instructed his buddies to call him every ten minutes during the wedding party of an acquaintance. There was this girl who promised me a weekend getaway outside Virginabad if I presented her with a red cell phone. Idiot! With that amount, I could get four hookers in Calipornia). Now the three girlfriends scramble to decide for whom the bell tolls. It's for Alla. She takes the gizmo to her ear and slips out of the circle.
I breathe a sigh of relief and, expressing a sudden wish to be in the lap of nature, walk away into freedom.
It's been a while since I've last seen a herd of goats. But the shepherd is not around…
I recall the story of the shepherding days of Davit of Sasun. He had fallen asleep and left the herd unguarded, then gathered the wild animals and driven them to the village. At that time I was studying the epic literature of Paradise. It doesn't bow to either Gilgamesh or Shahnameh. Is profoundly philosophical. Therein are encoded some esoteric layers-about which Paradiseans know too little and the world next to nothing, and a structure that decodes the Zodiac.
In Virginville, however, there are no wild beasts. Everything is peaceful. Nothing moves. Absent is the din of Los Babylonos. There is only a lake, a concert stadium of three hundred frogs.
In the near distance, a kid gazes straight into my eyes, beckoning his comrades for help. He's scared. Perhaps he guesses that I'm a citizen of Hell. But I'm not armed, neither am I clad in military uniform. I don't want to leave the goats, yet I don't wish to frighten their young one. I like him and very much wish to take him in my arms, if only he weren't scared.
I hear music being played in the distance. I have taken a circular path out of the village, which now stands across from me. We're separated by a canyon. Another step and I'm already alone in nature. There's only the sound of the wind, whose ebb and flow are interspersed with the buzzing of insects. No more footmarks. The way the stones jut out of the earth is an indication that no being has set foot in these parts for a long time. I sit on a rock, leisurely savoring the landscape. I study the horizon intently. Suddenly I perceive a line soaring upward from within the mist. I follow its assent to the heavens. And there it is. It's Ararat, the most massive mountain in the world, whose white crest is silhouetted from behind the clouds, lying before me.
For a whole hour I lose myself in Ararat, also known as Greater Massis, while I wait for the clouds to dissipate. But they keep coming and covering the peak. I begin to walk toward the mountain, without taking my eyes away from its summit. Ararat's twin, Lesser Massis, is lost in the mist.
All of a sudden I am visited by the remembrance of a Neapolitan gondola ballad. I sing it out loud several times. "Sul mare lucica, l'astro d'argento…"
But why that gondola song and not one of the hundred or so oneiric tunes which, ever since childhood, I have cherished in my soul as holy relics of Ararat? I still haven't been able to understand. All I know is that at that moment, as I took in the grandeur of the granite mountain, that particular song came out of me like an air bubble rising from the depth of the ocean.
By the time I returned, a good three hours had passed. Our worried hosts had sent out their boys to look for me. On my way back, I come across the shepherd and his younger brother. I overhear the shepherd say, "He's a tourist." I greet them in the Paradisean tongue.
Alla's trio is seated around a table in the yard. She has been waiting for me. What? When I'm engaged in a conversation with the host's son, Alla walks away with the rest of the virgin trio, which includes the girl who had tainted my mood on our way here. From here on out, Alla does not break free of her girlfriends, forming an impenetrable triangle which she capriciously uses against me, now and then wedging an inscrutable glance into me. In the meantime, I hear the men's sermon to this Hellese-there is nothing like a Paradisean woman in this world.
In the evening I once again leave the patio, this time heading elsewhere. Before me is the sprawling vastness of Massis. Walking on the long village road, I see a beautiful face waiting for me in the distance. It vanishes as I draw close.
On my way back I find myself among a herd of cows.
I feel so close to the cows that I have an urge to hug them, talk to them. They're my sisters.
My fondness and sense of yearning are boundless. At one point I even forget Ararat, which watches over us from afar. I accompany the herd as I slowly approach the village. I'm not there.
"O, trees, I love you, my brothers."
Virginabad. Already I miss it. During the ride back to the city, I think to myself that by the time they acquire an essential understanding of how to relate to a man, these women will wreck a hundred souls.
In Virginstan there are virgins of all ages. A thirty-year-old girl (it would be a grave insult to call a virgin a woman, even if she happens to be sixty) is horrified by the idea of giving up her virginity. Her forty-year-old sister is still a virgin.
"Why forty? Make it fifty!" objected a diehard virgin.
"Fifty, fifty, fifty, fifty…"
"Sixty, sixty, sixty, sixty, sixty…"
The woman of above-average beauty is more prone to becoming a vampire. She knows she commands high value in the sex bursa, and accordingly uses her assets against men. The vampire woman announces her price with a facial expression: "One million thalers."
"Ten million thalers," somebody objects.
At any rate, there's big money to be made. Toward this goal, she invests merely a few grand. In Virginland, such investment comes from the father's pocket. Stupid men (in Virginland, the honor goes to the akhpér boys) cough up the asking price. Your problems are solved, sister. This is why her market value remains stable.
And how does the scheme work? Only through the systemic exploitation of other men by the iron hand of the law of an off-limits economic ideology. Each man at the top of the pyramid sucks the life out of a hundred fellow men, ruins the destiny of a hundred couples, wrecks the happiness and future of a hundred children in order to pamper one vampire par excellence. But why would no one revolt against such perversity? You are lured into believing that what holds true for some holds true for everyone. Hope! His ways are institutionalized-you are only allowed to "express concern," not revolt. Love! The thought of revolting is a taboo that pigeonholes you as a pariah. Here and in the Afterlife. The underlying ideology aims to abort all defiant social cohesion by labeling it "conspiracy" or at best relegating it to the domain of art or religion, to be released through catharsis, thus further institutionalizing the system. Her worship is inculcated by transforming currency into virtual power through the aid of the mass media. The same forces that have thralled generations of humans through the agency of religion are at work here. Faith! Idolatry summa cum laude. Her heavenly father is branded "freedom," and our faith our "way of life."
These akhpérs are clueless, my brethren, as to the fact that there is a dog way of getting the best of the vampire and straightening her out. To ignore her of course, but not with a passive comportment. The passive man can indeed neutralize the woman's vampiricity, but wouldn't be able to get his hands on her. This is the reason that men should learn our brotherly mathematics, which can be distilled into this: to pass in front of ten women and write "0" on the "1 million washos" labels fastened to the pussy hangers. Nine of them will disregard you, often with vicious hatred, often with indifference, but the tenth will say, "Half a million."
If the price of an ordinary woman is five grand, you can pick this one up for ten.
Oy yoy yoy… where does this leave the soul?
In the hearts of poets.
Hypocrites! All of your loves are fake. Pathological expressions arising from sick minds. From A to Z, your poets do nothing but rave idly. Man can love only himself. Self-love is at the core of all loves. Otherwise there is only blind love, which results in disillusionment. Am I not right, my canine brothers? Does love need an object? If so, wouldn't it be inferior to its object? In hominid terms, does it have an ontic value?
When there is no love in the world but a web of jealousy, rivalry, domination, possession, rage, and hatred created by beggars of love, when poets themselves are delusioned by icons of their own creation, when the world has shriveled under the heels of vampires, when the religions purporting to have love as their foundation have turned into systems of slavery and exclusivism, only the bastard is capable of taking what he wants from life, turning upside down the order of the world in this whorehouse of vampires.
Verily, my brothers, it is useless to boast. I merely wish to reach the Lord's visions and revelations. I knew a man of Yoohoo, who fourteen years ago (whether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know; only God knows) was snatched away to the third heaven. And I knew another man (whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know; God knows), who was snatched away to Paradise and heard inexpressible stories which I am not permitted to speak. I will boast of such men. But on my own behalf I will not boast, except in regard to my weaknesses. For even if I wish to boast, I will not be foolish, since I will speak the truth. And the Lord said to me, "My grace is enough for you, for my power is made complete in what is feeble." Therefore I take pleasure in being weak, in insults, suffering, persecutions, and distresses, for the sake of Yoohoo. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
My dear brothers, playing the vampire woman like a violin requires a special skill. Let this be our creed, the first book of our initiates. Here are thirteen commandments to those building an abode, which Motherdog gave the prophet at the end of his forty days of solitude on the mountain, and which was endowed by devotees with the title The Gospel According to the Son of a Bitch. A voice was heard in the desert. It said:
If she plays hard to get, let her take a hike. Go to the next one.
Don't love her.
Your love is your death; your nonlove (or her love) is your life.
Don't be loyal. Break your promises.
Once you have her, continue seeking other women. Like a Damoclean Sword, dangle other women over her head. Try to get your paws on a more attractive or younger woman, even if she be a bimbo-the more vapid the better.
Don't invest in her. You don't build a house on a fucking ocean.
Know this: she's the landlord, you're the tenant. Whatever you give-money, years, children-is lost. And be careful-every day she will draw you deeper into her web. Give little, take a lot. Let her follow the Golden Rule, pray, and wait for results. You'll find it easy to unfasten yourself, to fly into the arms of another.
Leave the burden of your relationship's salvation on her own shoulders.
If she talks of equality ("I can do the same thing"), kick her out at once. Let her go tit for tat. Screw her. Next.
Hold the reins.
Be indifferent-except in rare moments, and only superficially. Don't answer her calls. Stand her up. Don't ever let her make you wait, either at a rendezvous or by the phone. Women are psychos-evolutionary degenerates. They are attracted only to those who ignore them, to those who subtly simulate a knack for violence, not humanity. For this breed, the only categorical imperative is the violent cock.
Always have an activity that's more important than her. You have important projects. Her job is to support you. Let her forever try to know and understand you as you foil all her attempts.
Live at her expense.
Let her work; let yourself live it up.
Demand everything. Offer nothing in return. Let her pick up the tab on your outings. Reap the most pleasure out of her, spend a bare minimum. Always be on the receiving end, particularly when it comes to sex and money, and especially if her father or one of her ex-lovers is loaded.
Don't trust her.
Ever! She's fucked in the head. The meaning of her existence lies in her enslavement of the man by means of pleasuring him. She'll drop you if she finds a slave. Let her give you pleasure, but don't be her slave. If you feel pity, she has reached her goal. Release her lest you become a sadoid-the bastard is not always unfeel