Sis amplexibus Amor alios mututa memini et amoris in mutationes memini.
May you be embraced by a love beyond recall that alters others
and a love within recall that alters you.
“Wait up, Dog.” Trevor was running behind him. “Didn’t you see me on the patio. I was waiting for you.”
“Thanks. Thanks a lot.”
“Didn’t go well, eh?”
“She said that I was a less appealing fat slob now, than I was in university, when I was just a lard ass. A genuine ego booster.” He slowed a bit. “How did we end up as roomies? Do you remember.”
Trevor scratched his head. “Yeah, Dog. We were in that annex pub. A bunch of us guys and Jeff was dropping out mid-semester and his place was up for grabs. We subleased it and moved him out, moved us in.”
“Why me and you? We’d only known each other for what, two days.”
“I never thought about. Seemed pretty natural thing to do. You had enough money for your share of the rent and none of the others did. Simple as that. Why are you asking?”
“I … since my Dad told me about this curse.”
“You still on about that nonsense. People don’t get family curses Dog.”
“Right. Whatever. I’ll call you.”
“Sure Dog but … “
“But what?” Harris was exasperated. He wanted to agree with Trevor that the curse was nonsense but at the same time wanted to convince him that it wasn’t.
“Ah … did that busboy back there just kiss you?”
They stopped walking.
“Alex? Yeah sure. Unlike Laura, a gym-buff guy like him can’t wait to get his hands on my chunky goodness.”
“That’d be so twisted, Dog because the best part of sharing that apartment with you was because not only were you such a neat freak but the constant parade of babes, you know. Once in awhile I did get lucky with them or their friends. I’d seen your smooth moves in action before that. I figured I would be safe with you too. Like you wouldn’t be, you know, hot for my ass at any time.”
“I know, I know. But just now …”
“The curse in action. He claims he’s never been attracted to a man, either. And by either I mean I’ve never been attracted to a man. Especially to your skinny ass.”
“You mean this curse makes people go against their nature. That can’t be.”
“I don’t know Trev. It’s all news to me and a lot has been going on since I heard I haven’t had a chance to sort anything out.”
They stopped at Mug Thuggs for ice lattes and butter tarts, sat on a bench out side.
“So how does this curse work.”
He told Trevor about Frances, not remembering her, the security evidence that he and Frances had in fact met the night she disappeared.
“You mean the security footage was so bad you couldn’t make out her face.”
“Trev, they could have set up cameras right there, the picture was crystal clear. I didn’t know her. Nothing about her was familiar. I left Story zonked that night and I remember walking up out of the subway and going home. That’s it.”
“You were drunk.”
“You mean I had a five minute black out from the subway exit to my condo. Yeah sure.”
“That’s as possible as this curse thing.”
“Look, Trevor I can’t remember any one woman I’ve had sex with. I can remember fucking women but all I remember is the sensation, the orgasm but not the woman. Not a face. Not a name. Nada. Nothing. I’m sure I got laid last week before all this but that’s all. I have no recollection of who, where or when.”
“It’s every man’s wish come true isn’t it. Lots of available sex, no bad memories and no chick looking for him after.”
“All fine and good till this chick’s fiancee tires to kill him for what he doesn’t remember”
“That is a major drawback.”
“All these years I believed I was an attractive guy but Laura said I looked like one of those sad-sack, comic book geeks.”
“To tell you the truth, I never quite got what the girls saw in you. Not that you are a sad sack but you are pretty ordinary, you know. Plus I have seen you naked a few times and your … uh … equipment isn’t all that out-standing. Maybe you’re a grower not a shower. Not that I ever looked that close mind you but …”
“Fuck. So I’m fat slob Casanova with a small dick, is that what you are trying to tell me.”
Harris stood, hurled his coffee at a tree only to miss it and land on the ground with barely a sound.
“Sorry Dog. But you want me to tell you like it is.”
“You can break this curse. How did your dad break it?”
“He says it ended when he met my mother. She remembered him and he remembered her. I don’t know. Perhaps I should see your aunt. She might know.”
“As long as she doesn’t fall for you herself.”
“Right. Knowing what I know I have to face that prospect everyday now. At least before I didn’t have to worry about who it might be next. Now I half anticipate it. I don’t feel right now till it has happened.”
“Paranoia strikes deep, it seems.”
“I gotta get home. Tavi wants me to come in tomorrow, if i’m up to it. I have Santa’s Sex Shoppe to work on. Seems the peppermint peckers pull too much focus from the vanilla vaginas.” He laughed. “Thanks for listening.”
“If you want I’ll talk to my Auntie Nilasha.”
“I’m willing to try anything, except Alex.”
“He sort of made pass last week. I could tell he didn’t really want me. There was part of him that’s fighting it. I’m fighting it too. I put him off hoping he’d forget all about it. But we both remember each other. Not that anything has happened but we both remember wanting each other. We both think about each other and don’t know what to do about it.”
“Fuck, Harris, it’s not as if this is the dark ages you know. Guys can get it on with each other.”
“How many guys have you made out with?”
“Only one. I was drunk. It was nothing. It was my cousin Ramos. He was going to prison for knocking over a corner store with a gun and wanted to know what it would be like ‘cause there was no way a pretty boy like him would be safe on the inside. It was nothing I wanted to repeat. But at the time I figured why not check it out and help him out too. After all he was family and not a total stranger.”
“Whatever. I agreed to meet Alex soon. I’m hoping that’s all it takes. A chat and we’ll both be over it. But I gotta go. We’ll talk.”
Harris walked back to his condo. He tried to empty his mind, breathing slow and deep, tried to visualize Laura, remember her perfume but Alex kept coming into his mind.
He woke from a dream in which he was in a graphic novel called ‘Cyclops Meets Casanova Man.’ He was Casanova Man being pursued by Cyclops. Cyclops had to give him a blow job to save the world but the only way Casanova Man could get it up was if they could make eye contact. Eye contact with Cyclops meant death but if there was no blow job Cyclops would die and if they made eye contact Casanova Man would die and Cyclops couldn’t give him a blow job and the world would would end. The chase was through various washrooms. Every time Casanova Man stopped to take a leak Cyclops would be there and he couldn’t take his leak. Harris’s own need to take a leak woke him from the dream.
In the morning his mind was foggy. Too lazy to open a box of pop tarts he grabbed a delux mini pizza from the deli on the first floor of his office. Before he hit his desk he had a jolt of coffee from the employee caf. It cleared enough of the mental haze enough for him to be productive.
A new flood of samples had arrived Friday. Many of the e.catalogues they dealt with would regularly send them samples of new products to show dE.tail exactly what these things looked like. Seeing the actual objects made it easier to make adjustments in the catalogue presentation.
The samples would get put into the consult room. On the rare occasions they had clients to consult with Tavi felt a table full of thier happy clients’ wares would be impressive. Along with energy bars, candy and festive striped dildos there were several hooded blankets that now had booties attached. The neon colors were alarming.
He got a text from Tavi, “Feeling better?”
“Well enough.” replied. “New samples are scary.”
“Wait till you see what’s at your station.”
Wedged by his keyboard was an an opened box of chocolates. Silver foil wrapped saints in the shape of a woman. The lid said “‘Chocolate Virgin Marys’ in large lurid letters and underneath ‘with cherry liqueur filling.’ These were from the ‘confections division’ of Santa’s Sex Toy Shoppe. He tried one it was nearly too sweet to finish. Would it be sacrilegious if he bit only the heads off and let the liqueur trickle into his coffee?
“Very sweet.” he texted Tavi.
“What’s in the big box?”
Big box? He looked around and against the wall a few feet past his cubical was a shipping crate about six feet high. It was from Santa’s Sex Toy Shoppe. Oh Christ, they’d sent him a fully articulated Santa.
Taped to the top was an envelope that said “Read before opening the box.”
Inside was a handwritten note to him:
“Harris – you’ve done wonders thus far but the pigment problem still remains. Here is the real thing to give you have a better idea of what the skin actually looks like as contrasted to the way it photographs. In the hi-def it looks much oiler than it is. Take a look and see what you can do for us.
This is the protoype for the new ElfinU line. I hope you don’t mind a male as we are still trying to get the artculated Elfina’s more pliant. The ‘lady parts’ have to sturdy enough to withstand use yet soft enough to feel authentic.
Thanks Daria – aka Mrs Claus.”
The note smelled of chocolate.
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