Stalking the Stalker

The younger man picks up the remote and clicks it off. “More sex,” he says, and not the kind of sex that makes me happy.

man's face, lace shadows, photo by Samantha West
photo by Samantha West

“And lots of it?” says the true cynic in the room, in a dirty old man’s voice. He cackles, but he’s not amused by the younger man’s behavior. Silly youngster, ignoring the chance to watch how these people interact in their most trusting moments! Giving up the chance to learn their most ingrained habits? What kind of intelligence-gathering is that?

Ah well, that one won’t be so dismissive about the chance to watch naked people waggling such pretty asses when he gets as old as me, thinks the true cynic in the room. If he lives that long. But then, if I needed the kind of sex that this very tiresome young man seems to be wired for, I’d have ended up in the pen for about twice as long. It’s risky, expensive, and so pathetically ineffectual at accomplishing anything else useful. The younger man would tear them to bits, bone by bone, to feed some inner demons that will never be full. He’d never think of saving them up like a rare wine in his cellar, figuring out how to use them properly, and making up the kind of story that could make them into his allies, forge them into nice strong tools. In short, to drive them like a spear right through any obstacle he cared to aim them at.

Pearls before swine. So wasteful of such rare material, always. He’s always so disappointed when he pulls in the trawling net and takes a look at what the creature next to him has turned into.

Give them that much, when the Trio have sex, they’re at least getting some decent exercise.

But he says, coolly, “Ahh, they do like to tell stories around the campfire, how quaint. Their capacity for schmaltz continues to astonish me. Have you had a chat with the pathetic little B & E amateur who got himself beat up by this girl?”

“He just messed up the place, he wasn’t paying enough attention to remember details. And of course that’s not what we asked him to do.”

Not unlike you, my pet reptile, thinks the cynic. “Convey our regrets to the amateur’s mother,” says the cynic. He doesn’t miss the flash of the eyes for that reward.

“So what are you going to do about Hyphen, as they called him?”

The cynic grunts. He’s been toying with the idea of doing likewise with his companion’s mother as well as with Hyphen’s mother. The choice of that woman was this man’s idea, the fool.

But of course, why bother notifying Hyphen’s mother of his demise? She never loved him, and she’s not Hyphen’s real mother after all, is she? Just the woman who took the money to keep the sullen, defiant creature fed and clothed and attending school. As if that kind of starved, distant discipline was going to make such a powerful creature into a trustworthy guard dog.

woman with twisted updo, photo by Manu-Fauque
photo by Manu Fauque

What on earth was this young fool thinking, when he tossed Hyphen over to some faceless Korean bureaucrat, who promptly tossed Hyphen at one of their grim little servants? Without so much as a security check on the family’s own rickety structural dynamics? Christ, you’d think none of them had ever heard of psych evaluations, however minimal or pathetic that might be.

If you want a test-case on it, one can see what a difference that makes to these creatures when you look at the other twin, that laughing brown face on the monitor. You can see the callouses on his hands and feet, where he fights in a dojo. Given some final bet between them, the cynic would not bet on Hyphen, their bird in the hand. No, he’d pick the other one, the faggot who plays violin.

It’s not like the queer little musician has left all his martial arts skills to rot, is it? His adoptive mother was some nameless scrubby little Army servicewoman left to dry out like a sliced apple among the red desert rocks of Utah. Whatever else she was, she loved that child. So there he is, rolling over on his back and offering himself to his lovers, as trusting and wide-open and human as anything you’ll ever see.

Certainly more human than anything in this room, thinks the cynic.

architecture, man at railed point on water
point on the water
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