by Don Webb
"You don't even like sodomy?" she asked, with those congenial blue eyes pouring out what one would think would melt the heart of the most heartless.
Dr. Zucker asked to be excused.
Susan gasped. Among the Liberated there is no insult as great as not to answer a direct question. Questions that lead to questions are the most sacred intellectual gift, just as Flesh is the most sacred spiritual gift.
I nodded at Zucker and went off to his room.
Susan turned to me, "But he's so clearly a masochist, doesn't he have a Mistress or Master?"
Her pout so wonderfully hurt her alabaster skin, that it made me sad that Rose wasn't here to see it. I was glad that Susan had come over to help with dinner since I'm pretty useless in the kitchen. I hadn't realized that Susan had never met one of Them.
"No, he's chosen Nature as his mistress."
"That's a bitch. What'sa matter with those people?"
"The Book. The followers of the words in a row documents are bound by the words of others."
"Poor guy. He's in the zones?"
"Squamish. In what used to be called Canada."
"Ick, cold weather too."
"So you have to run off now?" I said trying to look as forlorn as possible. When you're middle-aged, forlorn is about as good as you can do for speed seduction.
"Well, no silly. Why do you think I asked him about sodomy? I'm in a rough mood and your pretty wife isn't here to rough me up."
"Well I'll certainly try my best."
To make things a little rougher, we used the dining table as soon as we had cleared the plates away. I thanked Sol Invictus that I was living in the days after the Cure. That physical manifestation had been the first thing needed to begin the liberation, that and the fall of the Book religions after their terrible disappointment on May 5, 2000.
She was tight, and she squealed good. Noise is the key to good sex, as we say in the Liberation, the Mystery of the Flesh comes in through the Ear.
I was gripping the hard wooden edge of the table for better leverage, when I heard Dr. Zucker come down the stairs. Now you would expect a normal person seeing sex to stop and watch, but not this guy. He bellows like a wounded bull and darts out the door. I hear his car a few seconds later.
In Praise of my Art, I'm glad to say that my guest's rude display did not dampen my enjoyment, nor did it Miss Susan's judging from her extremely loud orgasm a few minutes later.
Thus we accomplished the Sign of Sodomy which formulates a definition of existence and passes a judgment on existence. The definition is that through a sterile act, we nether perpetuate the biological past nor hurl our unconsciousness towards a future we have not selected. We have affirmed sensuous nature and the way of reason, creating in each of ourselves that core of individuality that is necessary for post-Singularity times.
"Let's do it again," I said, "You get a strap-on and do me."
"Let me catch my breath and we will. You know, if I ever decided that I liked men more than women I'd apply for number two wife position."
"Hey, Rose and I have both made the offer."
"When I'm tired of sewing my wild oats I may take you up on it."
We went over to the futon to cuddle while Susan caught her breath.
"What's it like," she said, "to be like Dr. Zucker?"
"Well," I said stroking her tawny hair, "we all have the need at some level to hurt and be hurt. For a large number of people that need is fulfilled by occasionally playing at being Master or Slave. Some people have the need so greatly that they must adopt one of those roles all the time. In the old days, people needing masters had a terrible time. Their need for pain played out unconsciously. They would be the people whose cars never worked, or who had terrible dental problems all the time, or -- and this is the worst of all -- would go through a string of bad marriages where they would unconsciously condition their equally unconscious partners to abuse them. Not safe play with safe words, but horrible fights and terrible violence, and worse guilt. I remember reading in the _New Yorker_ that North American Federation's work productivity went up thirty percent after the Liberation."
"Rose is right," she said. "You talk a lot."
She was going to her purse to get out her strap-on. The real sign of a single person, I thought, they carry their toys with them everywhere they go. But just looking at it I was beginning to want it bad, and dread it as well. I wondered why manufactured items are always bigger than their natural counterparts.
Susan asked, "Why was Zucker staying with you anyway?"
"The university is going to begin a big at Balkh in Iran. Zucker's one of the best on the geology of the region, so we wanted him."
"Weren't you afraid his unconscious masochism might jinx things?"
She had put the strap on now. She was smoothing it with lube that glistened like the night ocean.
"Aren't you the one that's talking too much now?"
"You can wait for it, big boy," she said, making a pelvic thrust that made me think exactly the opposite.
"I'm sorry," I said, "What was your question? Oh, that's right, jinxing. Well one of the social engineers was trying to work some kind of ritual for him. Bureaucratic paperwork is a form of ritualized masochism. Before the Liberation you would be amazed -- even with computers -- how much time was spent in this form of self torture."
"Oh yuck! That's obscene!"
"I'm sorry, I'll watch my mouth." I didn't want to miss a good ass fucking.
"So why does Arkham University have an interest in Balkh?"
"We think that something very like the Liberation first happened in Balkh. Balkh was the first city, the mother of all cities. The people there discovered non-reproductive sex as a psychological way of breaking from the tyranny of Nature. That was the civilization that first developed Temple prostitutes -- they were Inanna worshipers. They split into two groups. One went South to India, where they merged with the locals and became Dravidians, and further south still into Micronesia where they had a culture centered on Nan Madol. Others went West toward Syria where they became the Hurrians and Hyskos. The University has been interested in the Nan Madol ruins for over a hundred years. Now can I get my reward?" I asked wagging my ass like a dog's tail.
"Where is Balkh?"
"On the Plains of Aden, what the Book people called Eden. They worshiped the Serpent and the Cup."
Perhaps because of the power of the mythic words we fell to, and in a grunting, sweating paradise that only too good friends can share achieved again the Sign of Sodomy.
During our Act, someone had called. The house robot played the message from the traffic robot. Dr. Zucker had driven into a concrete Pylon. He and his Mistress would be One forever.
That was sad news, and we dressed quietly. Susan's a good friend and since my wife was out of town I needed someone to have a long quiet and reassuring talk with.
She volunteered to spend the night. It would be a chaste night, of course, I was far too shook up for carnality. I might not agree with Dr. Zucker, but I wish death on no man.
As we were going to bed, Susan asked, "What will you do without Zucker?"
"We'll find someone. A good mystery always calls up the man or woman to solve it."
Dedicated to the Memory of Chiao Khan