Too Much of a Goodyear Thing

A bizarre NON-T.G. comic novella (well I thought it was funny anyway) that I wrote in the 1990's and am just stoned enough to post. Crude raunchy language, sexual + fetish themes, probably not work safe. If I get one kudo and one comment i'll be amazed...

Tommy has very specific tastes in women. They have to be blonde. Blondes with enormous breasts. Blondes with huge breasts who are wearing rubber. And it has to be RED rubber. Needless to say his sex life is mostly a solo affair, confined to some rather specialized fantasies. But this morning his imagined scenarios are taking on a life of their own. Each starts out nice and smutty, until all at once his rubber-clad Goddess realizes her taxes are due today, and then suddenly she's driving them all over searching for 1021-J forms; or whatever. A series of weird side plots taking our hero farther + farther afield from anything the least bit erotic. It is all...



by Laika Pupkino


"A man has a reverie of meeting a buxom blonde woman in a purple nightgown. He doesn't know why the colors are exciting, he only knows the blonder, the purple-ier, the more heated he grows. Soon he's inventing scenarios of large-breasted models hired to test a new hair bleaches, supplied by a company that arbitrarily orders all contestants to wear purple underwear. If the plot seems silly, what does it matter? The erotic has its reasons that reason doesn't know..."
~~~Nancy Friday, MEN IN LOVE
"For as long as he could remember, Charles Goodyear marvelled at 'the wonderful and mysterious properties' of rubber. As a strange, lonely young boy growing up on a farm outside of New Haven, he had been given a hot water bottle to keep his bed warm through the cold New England nights. He adored that rubber bottle, so soft and squeezable, so consistently warm to the touch, so reliably and pleasantly pliable..."
~~~Laszlo Jampf, THE AGE OF PLASTIC
"We're cartoon characters! We can do anything we think of..."
~~~Heckle & Jeckle
TOO MUCH OF A GOODYEAR THING is based on the three quotes above. Rather than having it simply be a retelling of my own sex fantasies (the online story sites are full of such works, they don't need mine) I've made the narrator a heterosexual male, with a rather predictable penchant for blonde hair + big titties; who also entertains your standard male fantasies about a sort of 'lesbianism' that seems more about the guy who's watching than the coeds or stewardesses involved. And to make things a bit kinky I've given him a fixation on shiny red rubber, and what may or might not be a laundromat and washing machine fetish.
There is one specific woman that he keeps conjuring up, a sort of imaginary girlfriend, who he changes slightly with each fantasy as the mood strikes him. Isn't that the beauty of fantasy, being the god of your own little universe? This aspect of daydreams is especially appealing to Tommy, whose dealings with the real world and its vagaries are problematic at best.
But today even the usually dependable world of his fantasies seems to be turning against him. Our story begins on a sunny summer morning in beautiful downtown El Monte, California...
Okay. I have an hour + 53 minutes. The minutes belong to Interstate 5, to Harbor Blvd., and to hiking across that parking lot the size of Delaware. But this hour is all mine...
The morning essentials of shit/shower/shave, gulp down some Pop Tarts + coffee; then maybe I can sneak a quick look through old Mrs. Jensen’s Times if it’s still out there and her curtains are still shut. And then it’s off to-
Oh God.
It was suppose to be a fun place to work, you're not an employee you're a "cast member"; But as far as I’m concerned all the fun went out of it in my first few days. And I know it's me, my temperament or whatever not suited to the service industry but it’s just a nightmare- getting worse with each exposure to the place, as if it is abrading all the insulation on my nerves, my coping skills, until I’m just a screaming raw mass of GET ME OUT OF HERE!
But hey, I’m not even out of the sack yet! I mean, I did got out to pee, but I won’t count that. I am still in bed and this day has not officially begun yet. I have----(58 min.)----a little time still. Turn away from the ugly digital clockface, the merciless march of numbers. Get back to what I’ve started.
Lying on these cartoon-character sheets with a hard on. Sweaty from these blankets that it turns out I hadn’t needed last night, so I’ll definitely need that shower, but rubber-moon breasts and buttocks beckon first. /// Her /// firm red airtight thighs /// close-up of a glossy convex heel like the stern of a Spanish galleon atop a slender six-inch cone /// Her high cheekbones + full sultry lips. //// "JUST EXACTLY WHO YOU TALKING TO HERE, TOMMY?"\\\\ An oval frontal portal with a pussy bulging thru...
I guess since I have made no preparations I will be discharging my seed right onto the bedding here- uncouth, and certainly not the sort of thing I usually do, but I need to do a few loads of wash after work anyway. 
Weird to find myself locked into the same fantasy over + over. Weird how my sexual imagination has grown so narrowly focused (I mean it’s just a SUBSTANCE fer god's sake!) and so dumb. I never told Daphne, or Pam before her, though each had her share of ideosyncratic turn-on imagery...
And before Pam, I guess what had gotten me off was all very tame and pedestrian. Tits. Blondes. The anime robo-vixens of my adolescence. Which may be where all this rubber outfit business started from- all that robotic shininess acting as a 3-D effect, making the contours of the female body seem especially well defined. But at this point the hows and whys of it are fairly irrelevant, it's here, and I can’t imagine that there's anything terribly wrong with it...
I mean, if all perversions can be classed as either EVIL
(rape, kiddie-anything),
SICK (games involving bodily wastes or chilled raw hamburger) or simply STUPID (costumed bee-and-flower role play in the Sylvan Glade Suite of your local ECSTASY INN) I’d say this kink of mine clearly falls into this last category.
Shit! Fifty-six minutes until I leave to go put on that cheesy tyrolean hat and lederhosen; another day spent stuffing an endless stream of tourists into the fiberglass bobsled cars. Magic Kingdom my ass...
"How hard can this be?" I had asked myself, "I’ve hammered up concrete out in Indio in August- 113 degrees!" But that job and the few years I'd spent putting up frames new houses had had a certain, I don’t know, honesty about them. A satisfaction at the end of the day. Did not wear me down in the same way that these inanely yacking hoards do; their subtle and sometimes blatant belligerence toward the dork in the dorky outfit.
And today is Sunday- the place jam packed with the weekend crowds, while my nerves are still reeling from YESTERDAY'S onslaught! Yodelayheehoo.
I know I've got to find something else. But I can't just quit like I'm tempted to do every third minute I am there; not while I'm this far behind financially. So masturbating here is actually an essential part of my getting ready for work. Whatever percentage of this wound-up energy it will release. And so uh...
A thought. Another thought. Another extraneous thought. Tick, tick, tick- like worry beads. Forget all that out there. Zoom in.
Because once I’m inside one of these tableaus the scenes + characters take on lives of their own, more and more so these days, and then for a blessed while I’m okay. A traveller in a land full of wonderous surprises. So. Focus. On her. Rosalie. A name I got someplace, I don’t know where. Cascades of that awesome hair. She’s blonde, always blonde ......... that silky whitish shade you rarely see outside of overexposed + sundogged 60’s European films //// CORONETS WARBLING & WAVERING LIKE UNDERWATER //// A fake, wiggy look to it yet it is soft and real, so perfectly wavy, flawless in how it anticipates each motion //// A SERIES OF TEASING POSES, HER HIPS SEESAWING MAGICALLY //// Its insoucient ends cradling her massive rubberclad breasts. Bracketing them. Oh yes this is good...
======# .1
But I have to meet her first. Each time it’s our first meeting; A chance encounter that progresses swiftly toward that fevered first fuck, strangely telepathic, where every intention is anticipated and each move desired, exactly what is needed at this precise second...
And where do you meet a rubberized goddess? The laundry room story is always good.
And no, not that beat up old washer + dryer out in their ugly cinderblock alcove beside our building's token gesture of a swimming pool ....... but a classy hi-tech laundry facility---big gleaming stainless steel dryers, all grey formica and red tiles, the ceiling a grid of stylish pinstripe florescents---down under a fancy New York City apartment building; So that when I do drag her upstairs it will be to some gigantic posh apartment with a spectacular view of Central Park and a huge round bed.
We see each other. The attraction is instant. Galvanic and mutual.
But even in fantasy I can’t justify just jumping on her, so we kid around a bit first, like strangers might do ///\/ BRIEF, SAUCY BANTER //\// as my eyes stroll up and down her magnificent body. Though I can’t use that cute story gimmick about the mixed-up underwear anymore since it dawned on me that I had lifted it straight from that obnoxious ("VIZ-- WITH COLORLOVIN' BLEACH!") television ad...
I heft my plastic basket of clothes onto the counter, "Hi..."
She talks just like Melanie Griffith, high pitched and breathless.
I dump a capful of detergent into the washer, load coins, start piling in clothes as the water jets in. "Doing the wash?"
"Me too. Nice rubber suit!"
"Oh this..." She’s embarrassed. Glances down at herself and smiles sheepishly. It’s a one-piece affair; a form-hugging jumpsuit that covers nearly everything. Built in stilleto heels, partial gloves that her fingers poke out through. Her oval nails are long but not freakishly so, the exact luster and shade of her suit, like wet glistening ripe cherries. Not black, which is what those fetishists go for- all that sadomasco crap with its self-loathing and twisted power games. She toys with the fat shiny ring near the top of the collar that climbs halfway up her neck. Which again, is not some kind of ugly bondage bullshit but just a clasp for this zipper that extends upward from from about the bottom of her ribcage. The most innocuous of her three heavy chrome zippers.
The other two zippers---such obvious and prominently displayed accessways, their pull-rings dangling enticingly---declare this outfit to be one that only a shameless sex-addict would wear outside the bedroom!
But she must be having second thoughts (like you do after it’s too late and you’re out in public dressed up funny) and is feeling embarrassed about it.She says, "It’s for, uh .......... my sorority initiation. Alpha Beta Feta. They made me wear this suit for a week. Wow, did anyone ever tell you how much you look like Brendan Fraser?"
"All the time. I had one lady cuss me out, accused me of lying when I said I wasn't him. I don't know what the hell she thought Brendan Fraser was doing working at Disneyland..."
This detail from real life confuses Rosalie, "You work at Disneyland? Wow, that must make for a long drive to work."
"Uh, that was before I moved out here. But anyway I'm not anybody famous I'm just me. My name is Tommy, by the way. And I think that suit looks great on you."
"Hi Tommy-by-the-Way," she joshes. Takes my hand in a ladylike finger-clasping handshake while running the other hand over her side---her casing---gazing down at it in amazement, her eyes betraying a burgeoning lust. "You do?"
"I really do. But then I have a real thing about latex."
She says emphatically, "Then damn it, you understand! That was a lie about the initiation, there is no sorority. It’s just ........ I mean I LOVE this outfit! My boyfriend got it for me, when I was going with him, to wear while we ........... you know. I told myself I was doing it just to humor Bruno and his kinky streak. Little Miss Normal, putting up with it out of devotion to him. But after we broke up I realized I hadn’t been putting it on only for him, and I couldn’t ......... I mean I had to ......... I swear it’s the only thing I want to wear anymore! I can hardly wait to put it on! I went and put all these mirrors up all over my place, and when I see myself in it I just get so fucking hot! It makes me feel so- I don’t know, so RUBBERY!!
"And then the first guy I see who likes me in this, who isn’t completely gross, with hair all down his throat and smelling like old gym socks, I just have to-"
She crosses the three linoleum squares to me. I’d stopped in the middle of shoving in a mound of bedding, still have it in my hands as we ///// FREAKS LIKE HER. ME. US... ///// embrace. She clutches me with a need so sudden, wild and desperate that I’m sure it would be frightening in a real world situation, where it would indicate that she had some serious emotional instability. But I had been expecting it, anticipating the thrill of her delicious slickness pressed tightly against me. Oh this is excellent!
Suddenly she is laughing, all her churning passion instantly dispelled- "What’s this?"
"What’s what?"
I am startled by this abrupt and total change in her! She is fingering the printed sheets that I’m holding (sort of inadvertantly draped around us); peers at them for ten long seconds before asking incredulously,"DIG-BY?"
"Uh yeah, unfortunately. I sure wouldn’t have picked these out. But I got them for Christmas last year, my Aunt Magda, so-"
"My gaaaawwd these are atrocious!  You mean you can actually stand to sleep on these? Just look at this. These should be nominated for ........... I don’t know what. The Jerko Dorko Merchandising Awards-" she whoops, and starts to laugh uncontrollably.
Everything I say ("Well maybe I have better things to spend my money on. What do I care what's on 'em when I'm asleep?") just makes her laugh harder and more derisively, until-
========# .2
Standing in the laundry room as I step out of the elevator.
Same exact scene. Same instant two-way attraction. Only this time her face is made up rather bizarrely, and she is not at all ashamed of her form-hugging red suit. When I tell her how much I like it Rosalie gives me a dazzling smile, taking such unaffected delight in the compliment that I add,  "It’s really you!"
"Is it that obvious?" she asks, and frowns down at her sisal caddy full of blouses, skirts and such, "If I didn’t work for such an uptight conservative company I don’t think I’d even bother with all these .................. clothes."
I’m used to her looking a bit different each time we meet, various details about the suit, but this is unprecedented! Thick white powder from snug collar to hairline, with neon cosmetics painted on over that. Combined with the suit the effect is lovely, futuristically trampy- like a whore from Blade Runner. Her blonde hair has a punkish pink tint to it. Yet there is nothing punkrock or arrogant about her demeanor, so maybe she is simply copying some new female pop singer (I don’t keep up with these things...) with this get-up. 
Still, I like the relaxed confidence and sense of fun that this look implies. That last Rosalie must have been extremely insecure to be so horribly judgemental and cutting over some lousy sheets and pillow cases!
We start our wash, sit in the end two of these colorful plastic chairs that rest on a long frame of steel tubing. Our minds whirl with raw carnal imaginings as we sit + engage in the preliminary small talk. We’re the only ones down here...
"So how long do these machines take?" she asks.
"About a half hour, but then the dryers take forever. You’re new here?"
"I'm very new." Her voice is even more breathless and Melanie Griffinish than than last time, "You think anyone ............ would steal my stuff .......... if I left for a bit?"
"Probably not, in this building. What floor are you on?"
"The top one."
"Must be nice. I’m only on the third. Got a view of some podiatrist’s waiting room over in the Talbot Building. People swapping horror stories about their bunions."
She asks if I want to go see her view of the park. I say sure. But the elevator doesn’t respond to the button. I run my hand over her shoulder. She reaches up, lacing her latex-sheathed fingers (no nails showing this time) through mine.
Then we hear banging sounds coming from the elevator shaft, and cables clanking dully. From up inside the shaft somewhere a workman swears.
We start up the stairs, racks of glossy black steps and rails wedged into a brightly-lit concrete well. But at the first landing she stops and faces me.
"You don’t really want to climb twelve flights, do you?"
"That depends on what’s waiting for me up there."
"Fuck it. Let’s do it here," she gasps, then lunges and grabs me, grinds her crotch against mine, breathing raggedly. She pulls away, parks her perfect ass on the edge of the landing. Her rubber fingers make a loud zzzzzttt!! sound as she thrums them across the bumps of the dock plating- "Right here on the steps!"
"But what if somebody-"
"Hell nobody’s gonna-"
But even as she starts to say this we hear an army of small feet clattering down the steps several floors above us, and a woman’s tired voice, "Stop that running! If you get hurt messing ‘round like that I’m not taking you to no doctor. Not after I told you and told you- Amber! Put that filthy thing down right now! I said now! Simmer down, all of you!"
Rosalie rolls her eyes in amusement, "So your apartment then?"
I help her to her feet and point back down the stairs, "I think I know a place."
She would be well within her rights to scoff at where I’ve chosen to screw, but she clambers on in. An impossibly cramped compartment at the back of the laundry room that is usually left unlocked. She doesn’t know it but she has made it with me in here before. I’m just glad that she’s wearing the jumpsuit this time, and not that long rubber dress over the matching boots. Sexy as hell- but it sure was unweildy in a space just big enough to ball standing up! I press her up against a vertical bank of sloppily painted pipes that are hot but not quite too hot to touch. I have grabbed each one just to make sure, and the suit should insulate her further.
Rosalie gazes up into my eyes with a weird, unblinking intensity. Snow trickles down on us through an ancient cast-iron transom---a whorling design of stems, buds and spearlike leaves---up behind the pipes, which looks out into a damp brick slot that extends upward a meter or so where it was capped by another grating, through which the sound of pedestrian and motor traffic filtered down to us. This odd little 1930's-ish space had been overlooked when the building was given its new starkly modern look. People up on the sidewalk clomp past unaware of us, pant-legs and coat hems flitting by like ghosts. 
The bitter woman with what sounds like nine kids has arrived in the laundry room, and after catching her breath resumes berating them. This fiberboard door doesn’t latch from inside. We’ll have to fuck very quietly. 
I am vaguely aware that any ill consequences of our being discovered in here would be as imaginary as the rest of this is, so the covert nature of this encounter doesn’t excite me too much. But it sure seems to be turning Rosalie on! She reaches back and grips the pipes as I nuzzle and then nibble at her ear. The same coarse white makeup on there too. I can taste it, pasty in my mouth, but keep at it until I have cleared and then start to suck on the fleshy nub of her earlobe. Get my teeth around it and gently tug.
It’s an alarming sensation. I spit it out, gazing in horror at where the stuff’s been licked off...
"What’s wrong? Why’d you stop?"
"I’m sorry, I didn’t realize you had a fake, I mean a..."
She laughs musically, "What are you talking about?"
"Your ear!"
"There’s nothing wrong with my ear," she says, slightly puzzled.
"Of course not! It’s a great prosthetic, but you should have told me! If only so I could switch to the real one and let you feel what I was doing..."
"I felt every bit of that."
"How could you?" I stammer, staring at that lollipop colored lobe jutting from the thick coat of powder, "It’s rubber!"
"Of course it is, it’s part of me. You said you liked rubber, didn’t you?" she purrs, wrapping her arms around me affectionately.
Awkwardly in this cabinet-sized room, I return her embrace. Flesh so squeezible beneath the resilient casing, and of course she can’t really believe she is made of rubber, it’s just her fantasy; built up around her disfiguring loss and this cunning prosthesis they’ve hung on there; her affinity for the stuff running so deep that she actually wants to BE
red rubber, which is /// FORGET THAT EAR THEN /// thrilling to consider. To have come across a girl who’s an even bigger freak for the stuff than I am.
I bury my nose in her hair, "Of course you are. You hot little rubber doll..."
Nylon hair. Translucent gold like some expensive fishing line, its bushy mass converging into tight braids that disappear into the spongy red scalp. This is where her hair’s pinkish hue had come from. Artificial hair. Artificial head. My face snaps up and out of there- "JEEEE-SUS!"
She looks up into my face, with eyes that I can now see are just surfaces cast into her head, the whites and irises and pupils painted on; part of the same undifferentiated mass that comprises the rest of her, from her head down to the points of her stilleto heels. Which in fact are all she has for feet...
She says dejectedly, "I was so sure you knew what I was. And were hinting .......... The way you said ‘It’s really you’..."
In truth I would prefer that she had real innards, and sinews of living flesh. Lungs that drew air in and out, and didn’t just puff out words in tiny spurts like those rubber bulbs photographers use to blow dust off negatives. So I tell her: "No I didn’t. Did not suspect at all! But I’ve read a lot of science fiction, and I’m not some, uh- protoplasmic chauvinist ................. I'd be the first to insist that we grant all rights of citizenship to any manufactured intelligence that is self-aware enough to want them. Which you sure seem to be! More human- uh, what we think of as human, uh, in the best senses of the word, than ........ Well I know is I think you’re incredibly sexy!
So hell yeah I want your body, whatever it’s made of!"
And I do. I have to leave for work soon, can’t waste any time in coming up with a new story. I can always go get my head examined later for lusting after this product of unearthly technology. Of alchemy, Kabbalism, voodoo, whatever.
And if I am really going to do this I should do it all the way! She giggles as I slop my tongue all over her face like a cat. Grins with the smug satisfaction of the attended-to as I pull out my bandana and rub hard- wiping off the illusion that she has skin like a person. I leave a bull’s eye of rouge + white powder on each cheek, and a parabola of blue shadow above each enamelled eye. How could these lashes---these gobbety ill-formed black tendrils---have fooled me for a second? It is so obviously a mask now, and yet it moves as freely as any face, down to the tiniest muscular detail, and the effect is uncanny: As if a statue of someone you loved had been inhabited by her ghost and become magically, wonderfully alive!
I kiss her on the mouth, pushing the soft teeth forward and back with my tongue’s horny probing. Warm in there if not mouthishly wet, although it soon is from my own spittle.
But it is hardly much of an opening---unnaturally shallow---so I slide my lips off hers and down onto her chin, which gives and bends in my mouth more than one containing a jawbone ever would. Kiss her smooth throat. There is really no line between suit and body, that was just a trick of the cosmetics. It’s all suit, all body, all her...   
But she must have nerve endings, some finely calibrated sensors that are jazzing her to the core with pleasure, from the way she is //// (FEEL SO R-R-RUBBERY) //// shivering and groaning. From these thimble-sized nipples and big round maroon areolae textured like the underside of a mouse pads that have emerged from her slick gleaming boobs... 
My mouth works down toward them as my hand dives between her thighs. Groping, seeking- "Where is it?"
"Where’s what?"
"The zipper. You had a-"  
No, come to think of it those shiny fat-toothed zippers had been from last time. "Then there’s got to be a flap. Some buttons, velcro ........ <em>something!"
But my hand had been all over down there, and except for a shallow suit-like declivity between her cheeks and this newly discovered belly button (she squirms ticklishly, but I can only just fit the tip of my finger into it) I had felt nothing but smooth poreless surfaces joining fluidly with each other.
"Why would there be something like that?"
"For God’s sake! Where’s your pussy?"
"My pussy?"
"Yes, you know- Vagina. Cunt. Box. Snatch."
"I know what it is. I may be just three months out of my box but I’m not a total newboot. Nope, sorry. Don’t have one..."
I groan, "Then what is it that you think we’ve been doing here?"
"Having sex."
"Yes. And very good sex, as far as it’s gone/ But when us humans have sex ......... You see, I’ve got this thing here," I jab her smooth rubber pubis with my erection, "A thing that loves to put itself someplace dark and gooey and meaty and tight."
"I’m familiar with such objects," she laughs. "Shut up and fuck me already!"
"WHERE?!!  Please, tell me."
"Why anywhere you want, Lover." She grabs her left wrist with her right hand and forces the forearm back, so that two facets that should never come in contact form a gleaming red fold. The fingers of the "broken" arm grab hold of her biceps. With her other hand she siezes this new oddly-crimped elbow. She flexes the cleft open and shut in front of my face, then pulls it out like elastic. Grinning lewdly, "And the more you stretch it, the tighter it gets! Dab a little KY in there and-"
I recoil, almost tumbling out the door of the closet. "That’s disgusting!"
She gives the arm a shake that snaps it back to its normal shape, and sets its hand jauntily on her hip, "Not one of my favorites either, some parts of me are just more sensitive than others. Though my ex-beau sure loved that one. But if you can come up with something, I can probably do it! I won’t say the possibilities are infinite, but I haven’t found them all. Watch this."
She crosses her arms over her belly and does something that my eyes can’t quite make sense of. Pulling at herself, folding down the middle, forming a deep slick pocket in the center of her as her tits distend and rise.
"STOP THAT!!" I yelp.
There is a frantic rapping at the door, and a voice like an enraged crow: "Whatever you’re doing in there, knock it off or I’m callin'the cops. There’s kids out here, ya know!"
Rosalie growls, "Hey look, lady, you wants hots waters in dese machines or not? We’re woikin' heah. Now beat it, ya dumb broad..."
She snickers, proud of her imitation of a real New York plumber. The spots of color on her face look peirrot-ish, whimsical- making her elfish grin seem even cuter. 
She leans close and whispers, "Oh, I get you now .......... What you want is something closer to what a realgirl would do. Sorry, I should have realized. It’s just that I was seeing this guy, Bruno, who wanted no part of the standard openings. Said he could get those anywhere. He really stretched me to my limits, but his always having to find some freaky new way to fuck got old after a while. I started feeling like I was just another one of his fancy sex gadgets. I don’t think he ever really believed I possessed free will until I left him! And he never thought about what I wanted. I loved it when you sucked on my earlobe. That never would have occured to him. And speaking of which .......... suction is one thing that I really excel at..."
"But your mouth, it isn’t even real..." (my tongue had hit a slick neoprene wall with a row of tiny square holes in it a mere 3.5 centimeters behind her teeth...)
"Maybe not, but when you combine it with other things I can do ........... Because this is one way to do it that Bruno and I were in total agreement on. That porn star Joannebarbarella could never do anything like this in her wildest, kinkiest dreams!" She gives me
a quick kiss on the lips ///// BYE BYE .......... I’M GOING IN HERE NOW! ///// and then she kneels.
Clamping her hands across her ears she pushes hard on the sides of her head; her cheeks and whole face rippling centerward until her features slide together and cave in, fall back into a cavity, receding toward the center of her head. The mouth able to smile at first, until it is puckered into an inflexible round hole by all the rubber pressing in around it, a dickhead-sized socket at the back of this upholstered looking orifice...
-until the tiny pocket disappears from view altogether as her hands meet up in front, fingers and thumbs steepled together in the shape of a diamond, their tips buried in stressed rubber wavelets. What had been chin and cheeks and temples are all smooshed against each other in fat red bulges- not resembling anything you could call a face so much as the crude maw of some microscopic horror! Those delicate bell-pepper ears have gone to God knows where...
She lifts her hands away, tenatively at first, until she is confident that this \\\ CUSTOM RUBBER FUCKFACE /// will retain its shape. She finds my hands with hers and presses my palms into the springy hair at the back of her head, indicating that I should go to town on her.
I yank them free of her grip.
My lust and revulsion wage a tremendous battle as the swollen hole slides blindly across my thigh, seeking out my meat. The unnatural movement of these shoulders---of this grotesquely twisting neck---fills me with dread! 
I try to remind myself that this thing has a personality, maybe even a soul, and that moments ago we were talking + nuzzling, laughing + kissing, man and woman .......... But gone are the expressive cheeks, the trembling chin, all the richly nuanced motility that had made this artifact seem so human. 
From above I see how the woven bases of the hair’s strands are aligned in neat columns, anchored in the unliving flesh by a perfect pegboard grid of raw-edged holes, nauseatingly deep. In order to kneel in this tiny room her legs from the knees down are splayed outward at an impossible angle... 
Lust and revulsion battle within me as the dry rubber hole splutters and splurps with a harsh mechanical rhythm...
Revulsion wins.
Digby stares at me from the pillowcase an inch from my nose,his expression stunned
and blank behind his clunky spectacles.
8:45 already...
TITS! Of course!! I shoulda slipped it between those prodigious red hooters of hers! She wouldn’t have had to deform herself, and I could have gazed down on her rapturous face, that virtually human face...
Shit, I never even thought of that. Would settle only for the idea of being en-holed, rammed deep inside some orifice...
But when she tried to accomodate me in this it was too strange. Too much of a Goodyear thing...
These sheets were a gift from Aunt Magda, and who knows why the hell she picked them, since I’d never expressed any interest in that comic strip whatsoever. On sale, no doubt. But since she seems to think I am still eight years old, I’m lucky to have gotten something that was at least practical, and not a toy fire truck.
Shiny round-snouted old fashioned fire truck. Men in heavy yellow slickers + crested helmets are running up the street with hoses. Men in rubber. Nothing for me in that image,
I should say!
And here’s Aunt Magda in a ludicrous rubber mumu. UGH!!!! Graceless and fat, bulbous in all the wrong places! And not looking like flesh or even solid rubber but puffy, gaseous. Like a balloon from the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade...
Hey, she IS a balloon! Bobbing down the canyon street beneath these ancient limestone office buildings ........... past the t.v. cameras .......... as the crowds packing the sidewalks behind the striped barricades look up in puzzlement, arguing over what old forgotten cartoon character she is supposed to represent.
She calls down harshly: "Such things you imagine you want from a woman, Tommy. 
Rubber this, rubber that! And a face turning into like a cushion for a sitz bath.
I shout up at her. That I didn’t order up or ultimately even LIKE that fantasy... 
But she’s way up there, smiling, happy that she can’t hear me-"No wonder you ain’t married! Maybe you should marry a nice vacuum cleaner- HAHHH!!!"
But she’s on fire. Which explains all the firemen, and why all these parade-goers are scattering in panic! She was filled with hydrogen by mistake, and blazes spectacularly
as she comes crashing down /// RED HOT STEELFRAME \\\ like the Hindenburg. 
But unconcerned, and
still nagging me: "No nice girl would wear a crazy thing like that.
Or do something like that with her face. Sick is what it is! Sick, sickening, sick!"
KA-BOOM! (Another pocket of hydrogen ignites!)  "And when are you-"
Whump, KABOOM! "-gonna get a HAAAAIRCUT?"
And it’s not like I have some perverted obsession with laundromats- don’t even think that! It was just a place to run into her, to let the fantasy do its thing, and then have been
back in the world of real stuff ten minutes ago. Going to work...  
And tomorrow it would be an entirely different story:
CO-ED SCANDANAVIAN SUBMARINE COMMAND .......... or any number of situations on file in my horny rolodex! Not goingback over and over to this single locale, like that wierd old comedywhere the t.v. weatherman gets stuck in that infuriating time loop.
This time I am DEFINITELY going to get my nut!! No matter what, I will concentrate on the matter //// ANTI-MATTER \\\ MATA HARI /// MAD HATTER \\\ MATTERHORNY //// at hand...




========# .3
"Pretty snazzy, huh?" she grins when she notices me looming over her, examining her from this inappropriate distance as she loads her three machines...
"It’s a hell of an outfit!" I smile.
In truth, after the nightmare turn of that last fantasy I just trying to see whether this suit is something that she is wearing or is a physical part of her person. I am relieved to see how (in childlike concentration, as she gauges how much soap to use for this load of delicates...) her tongue dart from the corner of her mouth and hook itself there. Moist, knobby with tiny glands, and not just one shade of pink but with all the subtle varigation of the organic. She’s real, alright.  
"It’s so bright and cheerful! Where’d you get it?"
"Oh it’s not mine, it’s my roommate’s. I never should’ve let the wash go as long as I did. Couldn’t find a thing to wear! She saw me sniffing through my pile for something that wasn’t too stinky, and loaned me this to come down here in. Lori is a professional hero. But I’m sure you figured that out."
She taps the insignia that bulges and recedes with the red dunes of her chest. RM in bold blue letters with a glyphlike yellow lightning bolt between them. "Considering what this suit can do, loaning it to me shows a hell of a lot of trust..."  
This is a whole fictional world that I have never been to before. But with one of those sudden influxes of data I sometimes get in these, I know just what to say. And in the instant it takes to say it I am living it, believing it, at home in it... 
"Your roommate is RubberMaid?! Wow! I mean ............ I’m not one of these idiot fanboys you see at conventions, I do have other interests. But I’ll admit I have her poster up in my kitchen. I mean ........ I mean ........ We all owe her so much! Like how she stopped Dr. Killjoy’s attack on the Xanadutopia Mall!"
I’m surprised the outfit fits Rosalie. She’s big this time. Not fat but magnificently oversized, as if built to 1 : 1.25 scale. An inch taller than me now. And far taller than RubberMaid, who is actually fairly petit as superheroes go...
She grins, "Yeah, 'Dr. Killjoy and the Bummer Bomb'. Lori was real proud of that one! She has to act all modest about shit like that when she goes on the news, saying: ‘I am honored to be able to serve the public, but I regret that the need to do battle ever arose...' But when she got home she made us this huge beaker of Equa Libres and we yacked until 2 a.m.! Oh God I laughed. The way she described the look on old Sourpuss’s face when she booty bounced his ‘neural dehedonizer' up through the skylight and it went off over the East River! A lot of fish got very depressed..."
"That woman’s amazing," I sigh.
"She sure is! Still, it’s mostly just the suit that lets her do the physical stuff. Because I even beat her at racketball a few times when she was in street clothes. But when you put this thing on- Hey, check it out!"
She totters back on her heels and falls---her legs held out stiff---like someone dropping onto a couch that they don’t much care about.
There is a loud TWANG as her cheeks hit the linoleum and then she’s rising fast, until (catching herself less gracefully than her famous roommate would have done-) she is centered over the bodysuit’s built-in heels again!
"Damn that felt good," she laughs, seemingly energized by this stunt. As if she had not only absorbed the force of her impact with the floor but had metabolized it somehow, and now needs to go back for more! She leaps way up with just a flex of her calf muscles, grabs her knees as if doing a cannonball dive and starts to bounce, dribbling herself like a basketball. She grins ecstatically.
It’s not the most erotic thing she could be doing, and I’m still shaken by those disturbing contortions her last "self" had performed, so I watch her closely- make sure she doesn’t start turning into a ball or something. She seems to be getting really turned on, euphoric, stoned- each bounce taking her higher than the last!
And I’m becoming rather aroused myself---despite her embarrassing shouts of "Wheeeeeeeeee!!! " and "Boingy! Boingy! Boingy!"---as I watch the costume’s seat flatten then snap back into those enchanting twin hemispheres with each lift-off; the bright highlights on the glossy rubber flexing from circles into curved ovals and back. It’s good to sense real flesh jiggling in there- inside this miraculous suit that allows her to take such impact without being bruised.
"I feel so r-r-rubbery!" she growls, and recites in time to her bouncing:
"Oh for the love of Isis!" comes a voice from behind us.
Rosalie spreads her limbs out, bringing herself to a stop. All that bouncing seems to have done something to her brain- judging by the big old tipsy smile on her big beautiful mouth, and from the way she squeals "Lorrrriiieeeeeee!!" with such infantile glee.
"I didn’t loan you my extra suit so you could go bouncing on your butt like a ninny, showing off for Bruno! Somebody might think it’s ME inside there acting so strange!"
"This isn’t Bruno," says Rosalie.
RubberMaid eyes me neutrally, "Looks a lot like him though, don’t he? Or Brendan Fraser. But hey. Something has come up that may be a bit more than I can handle. And since you’ve got one of my uniforms on .............. I was wondering if you wanted to give me a hand with some bad guys."
Lori is very pretty, though there’s the same righteous determined quality to her dainty triangular chin as there is to Superman’s big stone block of a jaw. Seven inches shorter than Rosalie; compact and atheletic with nice full boobs. And shiny black collar-length hair that compliments Rosalie’s fluffy blondeness. And she’s wearing the suit. They’re both wearing the suit. This is gonna be great!
"But I’m no crime fighter," squeaks Rosalie.
"You always said that you wanted to be my sidekick, now’s your chance! I heard from Mitch the Snitch that The Tinkerer and his robots are on their way to rob the First Interzone Bank of Manhattan! We have to move quick! Brun- uh, your friend can come with us."
I couldn’t care less about some bank getting robbed in this nonexistant version of New York. I say, "I’ve got a far better idea. I have a chunk of green Morrocan hash the size of a walnut, a case of Saint Pauli Girl dark, and a new stereo that I absolutely guarantee will blow your minds! So why don’t we just tell the police about this, then all go up to my 'crib' and-"
"The cops have no finesse in these matters! Sure they might catch him, blast his robots all to hell and gas him out. But they would never outsmart him, and wouldn’t humble him the way this piece of garbage deserves! Did you know this fucking scumbag has his own fan club now? Man, that’s some twisted shit! So whoever catches The Tinkerer should have at least as much style as he does! Like when I fed that Boolean paradox-virus into his robot army’s mainbrain. Or the time I bounced up into the cab of that magnetic junk-yard crane and nabbed ‘em all up with it!" She raises an index finger and booms, playing the self-important superhero- "Now that’s crimefighting, RubberMaid style!"
"No, you two go ahead. Really. I’d probably just get in the way, and I have tons of wash to do," I say, even as it occurs to me that I hadn’t brought any along this time...
Because a young lady in a gray Harvard University
T-shirt has entered the room (oblivious to this shouted conversation between costumed superheroes-) and has started seperating whites from colors on the folding counter. Frizzy, sandy-brown hair pulled haphazardly back into a velvet scrunchie tie. The planes of her cheeks welling into a slight overbite. Faint freckles. Sweet...
The lower half of her T-shirt has been torn off in a straight line, exposing her lithe midriff. Though it is neither red nor latex, I am intrigued by how it hangs down in front like a skimpy curtain- the gap between its ragged hem and her bare tummy drawing attention to her pert little breasts. Plain old skin is looking pretty damned good here all of a sudden.
And maybe a nice normal girl in ordinary clothes will go for some ///LIKE I DID BEFORE THIS LAST FEW YEARS \\\ nice normal sex. Because I’m starting to think all these rubber-loving women are trouble somehow. That it might be time to find a new kind of imaginary playmate...
<em>And what was that rhyme that Rosalie was chanting all about?! That she had split in two and created her friend by MITOSIS?! This is getting too weird!
RubberMaid spies what I am gazing at /// HER FAMOUS PRETERNATURAL INTUITION /// and smiles knowingly, "You can forget it, Pal ........... I saw you looking at my roomie as she was using herself for a trampoline! Worst case I ever saw. I hate to break itto you, but you won’t be going back to the likes of that one over there ever again."
"Ever? Isn’t that just a bit presumptuous? People do get tired of things..."
"They do. But not you, not in this life!  Sure she’s cute enough, might be okay for a quick poke or two. But then you start to notice how she is sweating all over. So animal, so mammalian ........... Soon those soft little hairs on her arms will start to seem as coarse as sandpaper .......... You’ll start to long for ‘that perfect finish’. Eventually you’ll confess your need to her, saying that---you know, just for kicks, ha ha!---she might try on a lil'something you picked up at the Exotica Boutique. Then she’ll say ‘Ewww git away, ya pervert!!' I can vibe from here that she just isn’t the type. Not like our Rosie Red, who’s already well on her way!"
Rosalie is suddenly suspicious, "What do you mean? On my way where?"
"Nowhere bad," murmers Lori soothingly.
Rosalie’s attention-span is shot to shit. She yawns in impatience and starts rebounding off the floor again, pouting like some {{ж RUBBER ж SEX ж BRAIN ж POISONING ж}}snotty 4-year-old. This activity is not nearly so alluring now, in spite of how that blue RM emblem on her chest hovers bouyantly for an instant at the peak of each bounce...
So maybe I really will give Ms. Harvard a shot. It’s not as if I’d have to (or would even be able to-) commit myself to any long term romance.
A muffled explosion rattles the doors of the dryers! Lori cries, "Damn! Looks like the fun is starting without us. Rosalie, you’ll have lots of time to play with your butt when we get back!"
"I can still wear this after we’re done doin'stuff? Goodie!" Rosalie gives one last powerful bounce and flies forward, landing in a wobbly surfer’s crouch.
"But you got to pay attention because we really, really have to catch this guy! And you- Tommy is it? You can play-" she clamps her mouth on mine and kisses me hard, her tongue probing with a masculine aggression that I normally wouldn’t like but from a genuine comic book hero it seems fitting "-with us!  Yeah, I thought you’d like that! Because after a hard day of rounding up criminals I’m sure Rosalie and I will both be ready for a nice extensive bout of ........... it will be extensive, won’t it?"
"It’s extending as I look at you."
"Such a charmer! And I suspect that your unique superpower will come in real handy when we’re catching this maniac!" {there’s another distant explosion} "Now let’s go kick this shithead’s ass..."
The MaidMobile is a 1965 XKE Jaguar with eyelashes painted around its headlights and a single huge fin angling backward and up along the middle of the roof and trunk. We tear down the Rockefeller Bridge’s central wooden bike path at 300 mph, a few meters above traffic. 
Bicyclists and runners skitter out of the way with emphatic gestures of disapproval (this must be what the antique locomotive cow catcher---jutting from the bumper like a comical fake nose---is for...). Leaning forward in the tiny rear seat I ask Lori, "What were you saying back there about my ‘superpower' being able to help? I don’t have any superpowers! I can’t fly, or bend steel beams, or even bounce like you do. And I’m not particularly brave!"
"One super-being can usually spot another. At least I can, with my..." she taps her temple significantly, "You have what is without a doubt the most awesome ability I’ve ever encountered. How you are able to bend not just steel (and there’s a simple trick to that, by the way!) but the very substance of reality. To change events, people’s actions, and even what they are thinking on a whim..."
"I don’t know what you’re talking about!"
"It’s no wonder you would hide it from yourself! I don’t know how much control you have over it, but it must be one motherfucker of a responsibility," she marvels, then intones with tongue-in-cheek staginess, "Heaven help us if you should ever decide to use your gift for eeeee-vil instead of good!"
But I would hate to disappoint her---and endanger us all---when she wants me to ALACAZAM some bad guy’s rifle into a mannequin’s leg or whatever. Because I’m starting to doubt whether I have ANY control over this reality! If I do, then why are the three of us rocketing down the sidewalk in this goofy car and not all piled on a sheetless waterbed with a giant can of non-stick cooking spray?!
Bent over her reflection in the radarscope (got to look good for the robots), Rosalie is putting on lipstick. Her face is lit green. "Bruno took over what now?"
"Not Bruno, you dope, the Tinkerer! He’s robbing a bank, remember?"
Lori sighs, then she calls back to me, "It’s the inertia suit ......... For some reason its effects on the kinesthetic senses, instead of just causing vertigo and nausea like weightlessness does, dramatically affect a person’s frontal lobes the first few times they start bouncing in it. Which Old Knucklehead here-" She tousles Rosalie’s hair with her fingers, and Rosalie puffs out her lower lip and smiles like a goon, "-promised she wouldn’t do. She was supposed to just put her wash in and stay out of sight! The effects aren’t permanent. Weren’t for me anyway..."
I nod along like I’ve been listening. WHO THE HELL IS THIS BRUNO?
"After that two month sex-and-vandalism rampage I went on (I’m still paying off the damages!) I just snapped out of it. I don’t know why, or even what causes it in the first place. I’m not a neurologist. I keep meaning to consult one, have tests run on it, on chimps and like that; but I’m always so busy! /// ~~BOUNCING RED RUBBER MONKEYS!~~ \\\ Would you mind not doing that when I’m talking, whatever that is? That’s just weird ............. There is always a new bunch of crooks, or some crazy asshole trying to conquer the world. I’m glad Rosalie’s here to help me now, even though she’s gonna be worse than useless for a few weeks. Eventually I’ll get her her own inertia suit. With a cute little mask, a rose or something on the front so they can tell us apart. Right, Super Sidekick?"
Rosalie is denting the suit in over her nipples with her index fingers until they poke up, tiny cones pushing valiantly against the rubber, "I hope they have coffee! And those good sugar cookies, like they do at my bank sometimes..."
"Well we’re about to find out. And if you don’t have your seatbelts on, you’d better do it now-" orders RubberMaid. She slides a cluster of small levers (I had assumed these were stereo equalizers but I see now that they are labelled CONTR./PILE ...) to the bottoms of their slots; then hits a fat knob that vents an impressive cloud of steam from the back. A boxy parachute billows from the trunk and we skid to a stop in front of a venerable old granite bank building with Roman friezes and stout columns. She flings her door open, "Okay, let’s go!"
Some guys in business suits are on the bank’s steps, one of them telling a story with zany hand gestures. The place doesn’t look like it’s under attack, but our villian has probably opted for some more theatrical entrance, in through the skylight or crashing up through the marble floor...
Rosalie struggles to unhook her shoulder strap, "Why doesn’t The Tinkerer just sell the designs for his robots? Wouldn’t he make a lot more dough doin'that?"
RubberMaid studies her carefully, "That’s a good question! I hope this means that you’re getting over the effects of- No dammit, you’re getting all tangled up! Quit fussing and let- Aw fer Pete’s sake! Hold on, you’re just making it worse!"
She zips around the car in a red blur, and helps Rosalie out of the ensnaring straps. Hand in hand, they run into the bank in three giant lunar-gravity steps. The massive revolving door spins violently from the impact!
Maybe they are in a hurry to catch this thief, but it’s still rude of them! They could at least have hit the lever that moves the seat forward, and not just be standing there, watching me from behind the tall windows with that whole crowd of people, as if my clambering clumsily past this head-rest and out of the Jag is some escape-artist stunt I am performing for their entertainment.
"WHAT’S THE DAMN DEAL HERE?!" I yell, and slam the door.
And what feels like a blunt nail enters my side! A harsh explosive report sends pigeons scattering. Fuck, that hurts! I twist to see a small feathered steel cylinder sticking from me, and WHOAH!
And now I'm walking like Ray Bolger off his post. And now the bilding are spinning around over me & this big bouncy dirtywhite bubblething bounding down the street gets in my face and then we're
SSSSSSSSSSscreaching thru city streets...
My ankles and left wrist cuffed to this steel-railed gurney. Windowless. Circle of lights blazing fiercely overhead. Faces look down at me, way too many to all fit in a van like this ........... Lab-coated scientists, FBI poops, military bigwigs looks like. And Lori. 
I say hoarsely, "Well this sure is some corny shit!"
"You see? You see?!" roars a ruddy faced general, "Nothing but contempt for our whole way of life! We must neutralize him while he’s still partly anesthetized!"
"And destroy our chances---his chance---to utilize his talent for all mankind?" snaps Lori. "I suspect he could cure global warming or unemployment or- well anything just by willing it."
"OR ENSLAVE US ALL! The risk is far too great. He’s capricious, infantile. There’s no telling what he might do!"
The one hand they’ve left free drifts unsteadily across miles of speckled air to grab hold of Lori’s wrist. "Where is she?"
"Rosalie? I had someone drive her home. The Tinkerer is still behind bars, where I put him four months ago. Sorry," she grimaces, then says to the others, "Gentlemen, Madame Professor. I didn’t notify you of his powers, or the threat they might pose, just so you could bump him off. He hasn’t done anything wrong. There are others in the profession with a frightening capacity for destruction .............Well maybe not on such a scale as this, but we let them walk around---fly around, whatever---because they’ve never shown any intent! We issue them licenses, cheer their heroics, drop their names every chance we get if we happen to know them at all. Collectively they have saved the world a hundred times over! I may have sent out a telepathic summons for this board of inquiry, but this young man is still an American citizen, and-"
"Is he?" barks a man from the NSA. "There’s no record on him anywhere! His wallet contained a perfectly forged driver’s licence from a nonexistant state, a library card from some imaginary city, and something called a Master Card, which may have some political significance. For all we know---and I would not summarily rule this out---he is from outer space! Which is why we’re taking him to Edgerton Air Force Base for further study! Herr Doktor Professor Von X?"
"Ahem, yes. Our preliminary profile, vhile admittedly based on very limited data, shows that der subject is a possible borderline schizophrenic and a definite aggressopath. Such people iss interested only in their own gratification ......... vitch in ziss case centers mostly on finding outlets for a certain---ahnnn---sexual fixation of a decidedly unwholesome nature. For some reason der subject needs to-"
It’s time to use these powers they’re all so worried about. I shuck off my restraints and sit up, "Look, I’m basically a decent guy ........ I mean, it may be nothing to brag about to such emminent types as yourselves, but I go to my job, recycle my cans and bottles, pay my rent on time most months, and generally try to mind my own business. But since all you walking hemorrhoids want to do is haul me off to some
lab, that just don’t sound like a lot of fun to me. So to hell with it! RubberMaid, I understand that you were acting in what you saw as the interest of your civilization, so I forgive you. And I hope I see you again, you foxy thing! The rest of you aren’t even interesting enough to save. Good day!"
Dr. Von X. honks, "Ja, here again iss evidence of za classic sociopathic weltanschaaung. Unable to recognize za reality of anyone but himself! A dangerous enough trait in a person of normal means and abilities, but ven combined mitt zese incredible capabibibibibububuh-
WAS IST LOS!? URK-GACK!!  Oh Mutti, m-m-mmmr-r-r-r-rrrMein HEAD, it is-
Flattening. Losing details. Becoming a crudely drawn syndicated cartoon character.
That one was just vile! Rosalie’s increasing childishness was annoying and weird, and then that whole pantheon of villians leaning over me at the end...       
But what I really found unsettling was all the talk about my "cosmic powers"...
At this point it crossed the line from a simple masturbation fantasy, with the excuseable level of self-aggrandizement that this kind of daydream depends on (that all these insanely fine chicks would even have anything to do with you)...
-into the realm of those pathetic reveries that the REAL losers engage in. The one where you one day wake up to your true godhood and begin exacting your finger-snap revenge on anyone who ever spoke to you dismissively! It’s the sickest fantasy of all: imaginary compensation for all the inadequacies and degradations of your geeked-out wanker’s life.
I’m starting to think that Maybe my whole problem today is the New York setting. I’ve never been there after all. Perhaps if I met her in a place I actually knew about- like those big houses down on the bluffs in Costa Niguel where I used to wax cars! She could be a new client, with the usual luxury sedan & sports car combination; But also a classic 1970’s fuckmobile van (w/ mirrors + disco lights, astrology-sign kitsch, the bed with the shag-carpeted headboard filling the back-) that she wants me to do the inside of, but then...
No. No auto detailing! Don’t want to remind myself of how I lost that job...
But still, some door-to-door job is not out of the question for this. I could be a travelling salesmen, Rosalie as the old Swede’s big fine lusty apple-cheeked milkmaid of a daughter, in flaxen braids and a red rubber ("Durr cows, dey seemsh ter like it!") pinafore-
A delivery man then. The ultimate quickie. In and out. Working for Sears. Delivering a wa- [WHAT’S ALL THIS SHIT ABOUT WASHING MACHINES???]
A big color TV set. Okay...
========# .4
Damn, do I ever love this job! Makes me wonder why the hell I put up with that evil place /// THEME PARK, THEM PARK \\\ for as long as I did! And while I realise I am wearing something of a uniform, it has a certain blue-collar dignity about it. And I have never once had some yahoo in a mouse-eared beanie screaming "THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT!" at me, like this was some immutable law of nature, locked into the very structure of the universe in that defining first millisecond, and not one of the sickest falsehoods ever-
But hey, it’s too nice a day to dwell on things that are forever behind me. At this job they treat me like I’m some Great-Year-Round-Santa-Claus, their benefactor, he who wheels in all these nifty toys!
And even when Fat Eddie, our asshole of a manager is there at the warehouse I only have to deal with him briefly. The rest of the time I am out driving around, through clean streets, under clean south-county skies, with the radio up loud...
Out of these Santa Ana ticky-tacks, I buzz through El Toro and down Route 101 to Costa Niguel. Big houses lined up on the bluffs. Lots of pools and 4-car garages.
The old man at the guard gate is all smiles, lets me in with nothing like the hassles I got when I was just some longhair in a rusted Toyota, trying to get in to wax their cars. Must be this new van with SEARS angled jazzily across the side in huge letters. Instant credibility...
Rosalie Isopreni? That would be 137 Sea Breeze Lane. She’s expecting me, he winks lewdly, as if the woman has something delivered every day just so she can get herself fucked by some gum-chewing lout with callused palms.
Is this #137? That’s what’s on the mailbox, but from the crazy way this drive meaders up the hill it could be leading to the mammoth glass wedge in the middle, the "tudoresque" mansion on the left, or that walled complex (fake brick showing thru fake holes in fake plaster-  desperately trying to pass for a 300 year old Spanish mission...) on the right. So I am lucky that I’ve spotted her.
Kneeling at the base of the steeply-slanted front yard, a trowel in her hand. She’s wearing- It’s the dress this time! Same sleeves that turn right into gloves, but with a deep V-neck that displays the inner of each welling white melon as it pushes them cozily together. It narrows into a pinched corset, then slides down over the rest of her in a slim tube, like a mermaid costume. This doesn’t seem like the most practical clothing to be planting primroses in, but she looks comfortable in it.
It’s overcast out, a wet breeze slithers around us. Rosalie is twenty years older now but still a stone fox, and seems to have gotten her brain back. There is nothing giddy or girlish about her this time. She’s nodding, listening to something educational sounding on a portable cassette player. I approach with my clipboard.       
On the tape player a man with an odd clipped accent is saying: "I told the conductor that I was a respected lawyer in my own land, and I intend to ride to Pretoria in first class. The conductor said to me: You may be a barrister in India-"
"Is that the new John Grisham novel?"
"-but here in the Transvaal you are no better than any other coolie, and you must repair to the third class compartment or be removed at the next stop by the constabulary-"
She hits the stop button and looks up, wiping a blonde lock away from her eyes with the back of her gloved hand. It leaves a smudge of mud on her brow. She smiles, "You must be from Sears! Let me show you where to put it..."
A double entendre?
No. Despite what the old coot at the gate had hinted, she does not radiate the same smoldering libidinousness as Rosalies #1 or 2 or 3. She rocks back and rises smoothly to her feet. Pats her fingers across her shapely red hips. Grins like she's been caught at something. "I don’t usually listen to these books-on-tape, they abridge them ........ Sometimes all those ‘unneccesary’ descriptions they leave out, scenery and such, are where all the flavor< of a work is. Don’t you think? This way."
A trail of paving stones zigzags up the steep iceplant covered slope to a patio, half in the sun and then receding---cavelike---under the imposing glass flank of the house. She leads the way, talking over her shoulder as we climb, "You won’t have to lug the set up this way, of course. What I was listening to was Ben Kingsley reading Mohandas Gandhi’s autobiography. I won’t call him ‘Mahatma’. That puts him in an almost mythological realm- so that us regular people can feel exempt from even trying to explore his principals. His book was mostly his ideas on religion and politics, so if they did leave stuff out, at least you get an idea of what he was about..."
Only her feet protrude, but I’ll be she has on the same red thigh-boots that always accompany these dresses. Exquisite rubberized gams sliding snugly around under rubber. As she hops from stone to stone I notice how restricting the dress is, how it forces her to take tiny mincing geisha steps. Disquietingly close to all that bondage bullshit that I’ve always sworn I am not into, but it is such a HOT effect! And I wonder (as she enthuses about the ‘inner light'and ‘Noviolent Direct Action’) how she might feel about being strapped to the bedposts with bicycle inner tubes...
This high-flown pedantry of hers is a far cry from when she was bouncing on her ass and whinnying insanely. And while there’s much to be said for de-volving into a squirming instinct-driven mass of flesh while in the throes of pure passion (spread eagled helplessly, stretched + tied to the tumescent oaken knobs of her mammoth ornate four-poster!!), the rest of the time I appreciate a woman who can hold her own in a conversation...
But I fear our encounter here could easily go too far in this direction. To where we will be sipping oolong tea and discussing the anti-war politics of Arduous Huxley or whoever for the next hour. And I don’t HAVE an hour! 
Idly I muse that these waxy slick fingers of iceplant covering the slope would be an ideal surface for an outdoor rubber-fuck.
She calls back, "Most of us have our objections to pacifism. And on the surface these are far more reasonable than what the Gandhis of the world propose. But it’s the ‘reasonableness' of selfish souls. You say, well here’s an infantryman, he’s out in the mud, getting chewed up by lice, who stands a real chance
of paying the ultimate price, just to protect a lot of people he doesn’t now. How could this be selfish? But in some ways it’s the easier course, easier than doing something so contrary to every normal impulse, all your emotions about justice, revenge...
"Something you’re stuck with, because you can’t escape the certainty that this is what God wants you to do. Even though you will be reviled, never able to prove your motive wasn’t cowardice; unless you live someplace where they take you out and shoot you for it! I'm not minimizing physical peril---the guts it takes to face it---but losing your place in your society, people fear that too, on a really deep level. They'll go to incredible lengths, compromise their real beliefs, a lot of the evil in the world comes from that, especially since it's so easy to do. Tweek this or that idea a little, tell yourself that God is a lot more flexible about violence than what it actually says in the Bible. We say: ‘Surely He can’t expect me to let some vicious hateful thug, who has no interest in being anyone’s brother, without even a vocabulary of kindness or mercy-' HOOOO!!! That was some climb!"
We’re at the top. She pops the latch on the low gate, turning toward me as she swings it open, her grave eyes scanning my face to see if I have any sympathy for such radical idealism, or if I’m just another knuckle-dragging nationalistic clod...
I tell her, "I like rubber. Let’s fuck!"
Her eyes widen and she gasps like she’s been goosed, but then she quickly recovers- "Uh, sure. Okay!"
We hurry in through the tinted glass doors. She grabs a dish rag and rubs the dress clean where it’s spotted with mud, "You want me to leave this on, don’t you? Oh that is wonderful, you have no idea! Because I like it too! But some people will never get it ........ Oh Lord, just look at that big old lump in your pants! This way!"
Coffee tables lie strewn with old heavy hardbound books. Amorphous /// (HUXLEY! ) \\\ slung-canvas chairs twist like manta rays in the turquoise light. I try to imagine what esoteric positioning might let us ball in one of these chairs. A real puzzle. But she tugs my hand, leads me up the spiral staircase to a bedroom with a jacuzzi, a modernistic central fireplace finished in bulging yellow tiles...
And the same huge carved gothic castle of a bed I’d just imagined her on!
She falls back across one side of the bed. Arches and shimmies and rocks as I peel the snug dress-bottom up, and when it’s far enough up she grabs on and helps. The stuff is heavy, the whole thing must weigh thirty pounds! 
We pull it up until it’s all piled on her chest and shoulders- casting reddish light on a face transported by desire!
She finds a gap in the mound and drives her arms in. They lie criss-crossed over her jugs, buried within the dense folds. This confinement makes me think of those bicycle inner tubes, but I don’t want to run all over her house looking for something like that; and there is one small fold that looks like it just might-
I tug it out from under her arms. It stretches just enough for me to lift it, snap it over her elbows, forcibly pinning them flat! She tries to free them until---satisfied that she is good and trapped in there---she lets out a happy squawk and starts writhing wildly!
Hurriedly I shove my pants down, step on them, kick them and my shoes and one sock across the room and clamber on. I sit atop her, straddling her thighs. Surveying my prize ............. She bounces her hips under me to the extent that she can, her dewy mons veneris just a-buckin'for a fuckin’!
Four inches of alabaster leg bulges from the top of each boot, her thighs steepling together into a shock of dense black bush. Hmmmm...
So this time she is not really a blonde, but artifice can be alluring too. Worldly. Compromised. Seedy. Decadent.
Her legs twist and kick and squirm. Her lean white belly disappears under the unyeilding slick red arc of where the corsetting begins...
I drop forward, my palms landing just below the corners of her parcelled arms, my legs slide frictionlessly along her outspread boots as I position myself, my pecker homing in on that wet ruby rift!
She wriggles, gabbling deleriously, "I’m all trussed up like a Christmas turkey! Fuck me, fuck me, you fucking bastard! I feel so .............. so rubbery! I feel so .......... feel so .......... BRUNO!!"
"AH-HAH!!!" comes a roar from behind us!
I whirl, start to scramble off of her, then remember that she is in at least as much danger as I am, and quickly tug the restraining loop down off her arms.
She sits up, gesticulating meaninglessly in panic, "But Sweetie Pie, this isn’t what it looks like!"
Bruno resembles me except he’s about 20 years older, with greased back hair and an Errol Flynn moustache, "Paranoid, am I? Sad that I never learned to trust? I caught you red handed, you two-timing vulcanized hussy! You think I don’t know what it means when you just happen to be wearing that goddamned perverted dress you’re so fond of ........ on days when something is being delivered?!"
"I was gardening! I like to wear it when I .......... It’s so easy to clean! You just hose it off! But I tripped, you know how clumsy I am! And somehow it- I fell on the bed and it slid up around my arms and-" she glances at my name tag, "Thomas, he’s installing our new TV, was trying to help me get back on my feet!"
"He was installing something, all right! Where’s my gun? Where’s my gun?!" He has flung the closet open and is throwing stuff everywhere, his back to us.
Rosalie shoves the fireplace poker at me, hissing: "Quick! Bash his head in! Kill him! Before he-"
"Kill him?! What happened to Gandhi?"
"Same thing that’s gonna happen to us if you don’t- Oh no he’s found it!"
We race each other out the door and down the spiral stairs. Behind us Bruno roars, "Goddamn it- EMPTY!WHERE THE FUCK ARE THE SHELLS?"
She leads me through the garage to a curving drive carved into the hillside, a high-walled granite well with a colorful tile fountain in the center. Six pudgy gymnasts with wavy tentacles for arms stand in the spray in an inverted pyramid, leering like lecherous morons. In spite of my terror, the way in which Rosalie has been nailed as a hypocrite strikes me as funny, "Bash his head in, huh?"
"Well pardon me if I want to live! It’s not like being out in front of tanks, you know. Standing up for some great principal. You don’t know Bruno! He’s not someone you can- OH FUCK!"
A Land Rover is parked haphazardly, the driver’s door hanging open, pinning her toylike Porsche against the blasted granite wall of the drive- "Let’s go see if my neighbor Lori is home."
Where the wall of rock ends we hop a little cement rail and scurry down this faint trail that wanders periloulsy along the dirt edge of the cliff. Waves slam dramatically against the rocks, echoing like thunder. Then there’s a sharper boom from behind us as a squat cactus next to Rosalie explodes meatily!
Bruno is up on the edge of a drive with a rifle, a wild-haired silloette with the sun directly behind him. A shell richochettes off a rock. Rosalie judges the distance to the neighbor’s chateau, a long haul with no cover. "He’s not a great shot but he does have a scope on there. We’ll never make it. Can you swim?"
"Are you out of your cotton pickin' MIND? It’s a fucking cuisinart down there! And that’s at least 100 feet. At least!"
"No, listen," she pants, "it’s high tide. We jump just as the wave hits, so it’ll be even deeper. And then the backdraw pulls us out, and we swim-"
A bullet shatters my clipboard, which I had grabbed for some reason while fleeing the bedroom. We plunge! 
She plunges rather---a lithe rubber missle, disappearing into the surf through a tiny gap between two big gnarled boulders---while I flap + flutter down slowly, daunted by such a hazardous landing site, and finally wind up just hovering there.
Her head breaks the surface, "Goddamn it, quit messing around! I know a cave under here. Clean sand, some blankets I stashed in a trashbag. Candles, black caviar, a good bordeaux. He’ll never find us! He can't swim, and oh my God it's so beautiful in there, how the light sparkles. We can-WHOOOAAHH!!"
The outward surge grips her, and drags her with utter indifference under an explosion of foam. The sudden drop in the water level reveals that there’s nothing below me but vicious blades of rock. No openings anywhere. Wherever she splashed down couldn’t have been any deeper than a washtub.
At this vertiginous sight my newfound power over gravity begins to slip! I am jerked sickeningly downward before I regain a tenuous control.
Rosalie resurfaces, coughing. "Hurry up, I’m drowning here! Come on, it’s only another thirty feet. Just let go..."
All at once whatever is keeping me aloft gives way, and I’m tumbling toward the jagged grey rocks. They zoom up at me, studded with thornlike barnacles, and maybe that is a nominal deep spot forming there as the next wave shatters itself against the cliff; but as with any falling dream the quickest way to safety is...
As the scene starts to dissolve Rosalie hollars: "Oh no, don’t you fade out on me again, you coward! You started this, and this time you’re gonna finish it!"
I land on my bed with a loud thud, the jouncing of springs, and lay there gasping! Can feel where the end of my dick had started to get goopy from our having almost made it, in that big old bed of hers. Once again I am fucked. Not fucked. Fuck...



A beleaguered sexual minority leads a high tech revolt against the evil Bruno's dictatorship. Will Tommy ever find his way back to reality? Or is THIS reality? Is FRFS (False Running Fantasy Syndrome) a legitimate diagnosis or merely a pop-psych fad? Is our dear Rosalie a true revolutionist or a double agent? Wow, is that a jetpack?! And what's John Williams doing with his Willie Johnson hanging out? It's all just...

by Laika Pupkino


But I can do this. And can even still make it in time if I skip the shower, drive like hell! 
Of course the smart thing to do would be to forget all this idiot pud pounding, get to work...
But I was counting on this to get me through the day, that line of people snaking endlessly around inside that chalet roofed maze of turnstiles. Lines. I am in absolutely the worst job for an agoraphobe. When the stress mounts it gets so like I can't breathe, and then I start to...
I guess the only word for it is hallucinate. The faces of all these wholesome American
kicks-seekers start to change before my eyes .............. taking on the twisted subhuman leers of the mob in that painting of the crucifixion by Bosch, total moral corruption evident on every line of their countenance as they thrust their "E" tickets at me:
A sensible person would say that there are plenty of other jobs out there if I’m so miserable. Quit whining and go get one!! But after work it is all I can do to grab some drive-thru, get home + collapse in front of the TV set. Or go jerk off over the toilet...
On my days off I might say I’m going job hunting...
Yessir, today’s the day, bull-by-the-horns + all that, just gimme another hour here...       Then end up not leaving my place at all; Another volume of HOOTERMANIA on the DVD player or maybe a Starfighter Squadron Delta marathon; Season Four, my favorite ........ these familiar characters with all their hackneyed banter, their signature traits + unlikely dilemnas (Will Azraela X’aan ever be able to rejoin her people and get her wings back after the tragic mistake that led to her disgrace and exile, or is she doomed to "Fly no more, save in my dreams "...) more or less sufficing as my friends, horrible as this is to admit.
And while I KNOW I should go find other employment, there’s no saying that the next one won’t be even worse! Just as Disneyland was supposed to be the solution to the brain-wasting (though initially attractive...) tedium of the freeway-dot factory.
God damn it, I was on top of her! My cock grazing her crinkly pubic hairs, mere millimeters from-
GOD DAMN IT!! Now I’m all the way back to square one! Just like that time last week, when it took me 3 whole tries, after that one with those awful stinger slugs  
getting into the habitat level; and then Rosalie herself getting turned- all swollen and crusted, cracked + oozing and insisting it would be dreamy to just go ahead and let them!
But this is worse! I’m even later, and I am up to my fourth attempt already!
Four? No, that last one was #4. This one is...
========# .5
Fuck it. Just FUCK IT!!
Always wondered how fast this truck could go, and now I know. Doesn’t corner too good though...
Up until now I’ve been a real sap! Imposing rules of conduct on my own goddamn fantasy life- how stupid can you get?!
I flip off the geezer in the booth, smashing through the striped wooden arm of the gate. Maybe I’ll leap out at the last second and let the van sail off the bluff, just for laughs! I mean it, no more fucking bullshit! I know where that gun is, will just shoot that bastard Bruno if he-
Or gee, maybe I don’t know where the gun is. It's all so different here. The house is humungous up there on the hill, big as a castle, a tapering glass helix dominating the bluff. Not a neighborhood this time but one vast estate claiming the entire promontory ........... like Ludwig II might’ve built if he’d liked palm trees. Endless lawns crisscrossed by azure reflecting ponds. Bright beds of flowers. Chinese moon gates. A huge crystal greenhouse like a Victorian railroad station. The drive curlicues through all of this like the printed path on a child’s board game...
She is down at the base of the same slope as before, but is apparently leaving the gardening to her small army of groundkeepers. Like last time, she is in her early 40’s. Lounging in a cumbersome wooden lawn chair as if sunbathing, but it’s even more overcast, and again there is not much of her that the sun’s rays could get at. She is back in the form-hugging one piece suit- a wanton variation that I’ve never seen before, her large tits welling from a pair of snug round holes and a folded aperture that lets everything hang out between her legs, front + back...
There are no neighbors to see, only her employees- minescule forms milling about in the far distance. And from her stern expression (dabbing goo from a pink plastic bottle onto a disc of sponge and smearing it across her knee-) I get a sudden image of her ruling this domain as an irrational tyrant ............. That she dresses like this to drive her workers nuts; and will demand that they all pose as hoops for some surreal croquet match she is going to challenge me to, shrieking "OFF WITH THEIR LITTTLE PEE-PEES!" the first time something doesn’t go her way!
"Ah, you’re here!" she beams, a smile that shatters any impression of cruelty. She had simply been intent on shining her suit, just another of these eccentric rich ladies who like to run around with their boobs and pussies hanging out...
She apologizes vaguely for her exotic garb but does nothing to cover it up. I tell her I don’t mind, that it looks fantastic. Sort of like Inga Babinga’s outfits in those X-rated comic books...
She laughs, "I guess it does. Though I’ve had adventures that would put that girl’s to shame. All in my past, sadly! And you really don’t mind, do you? God, I love it out here in California, the people here are so laid back and mellow! I guess you don’t believe that---I saw you wince---but I’ve lived in lots of places and it’s true, even under the new regime ........... But hey, there is something you just have to see! A new polish I found today. I was sure this old suit was completely done for, until I found this brand that- this shit is incredible! Watch this!"
The patch that she had just applied, covering her right hip, has dried into a pink crust. She grabs a piece of towel laying across her radio and rubs vigorously. The stuff comes off, leaving a dazzling sheen, "Now compare this to someplace I haven’t done yet, like ............ Well foo, I’m all done! But it really is a fantastic product."
When she goes to turn up the little stereo I see that the center of her back is cloudy, scuffed and discolored. I tell her. She says, "That’s right, I couldn’t reach that part. Would you mind terribly doing my back? I know you probably have other deliveries to make today, so I promise I won’t detain you too long..."
She rachets the lawn chair so that it drops flat and then lies down with her hands up beside her face as if for a massage. The shit stinks like it’s toxic as hell, I must remember to only kiss and lick her where her flesh is exposed. I slather some onto her back and start smearing it around, "No, this is my last run for today. I can always say traffic was messed up again. That bottleneck up through Laguna."
"Mmmmmm ........... harder! You really have to rub it in!"
I rub in silence, looking around for whatever is going to interrupt this. Earthquake. Killer bees. Godzilla rising wet and irritable from the sea. This might have seemed like good kinky foreplay an hour ago, but now it just seems like work.
Shit! WORK! Probably no more than a minute or two left now- I’m screwed! I am staring at a nearby fountain, trying to come up with some plausible excuse for being late again when Rosalie impatiently clears her throat. I resume my rubbing.
From the radio comes the indignant tones of a right wing radio host. Harsher than old Limbaugh, more strident, with a tinge of the hayseed about him: "...all of these are examples of what I call liberal folk wisdom. Though that’s a bit of a misnamer ........        ‘Cause it sure ain't wisdom" {audience applause} "And it sure doesn’t come from the kinda folk who built this country!"
I go to change the channel, "Why are you listening to this shit?"
"No, leave it on! Personal reasons."
"And another gem of liberal folk wisdom ....... is this trite little truism that ‘it takes all kinds’." {the audience howls, he must have made some face at them. He sputters comically:} "Buhbuhbuhbuh-WHY?!! You and I both know there is some kinds it will never take! Do they really mean that in order for society to work there has to be a certain number of pregnant teenage glue sniffers? Or, say ........... rubber fetishists?"
She tenses under my hands, hissing, "He’s always going on about that! Ever since we broke up."
"You used to go out with this joker?"
"Used to be married to him. Where have you been that you’ve never heard of us?"
"Yes," oozes the voice, "I said rubber fetishists! These people, back in the bad old days, when things were at their craziest, they had their own social clubs, their own bars, even dirty magazines. Although the magazines, it’s like they couldn’t even do pornography right! I mean, you open a Playboy. Or a Playgirl, if that’s your thing-" {laughter} "And it’s like: Hey, there’s naked people in here!" {more laughter} "Oh God, what’re they doing? Well, we better not let the kids see this! Put it down there under the underwear drawer, ya know? But these particular deviants, in their ‘erotic' publications, they don’t even have the courage, the uh, misguided courage...     like those picture stories in Penthouse, where they’re up on a ferris wheel,
with their clothes comin'off, picture by picture, and they’re both showin'off their teeth like thish: Huhn? Huhhnnn?? Kinda like thurr shmiles are shtuck. But nothing like this for these jerks! Nossir! No fuckin' way!"
The audience isn’t laughing but seems confused and embarrassed.
"You got nobody feeling anyone up. No nudity, No penetration..."
"Hey," I cry, suddenly recognizing the voice, "It’s Bruno! He had a gun! We had to dive off a cliff!"
"So now he’s personally shooting civilians, is he? I can believe that!"
"But what I can’t believe is how after listening to him yammer like this for almost a decade, the fools went and put him in office! It’s damned discouraging .......... After beating my head against the wall for so long, all the letters-to-the-editor and taking petitions around to the neighbors, trying to elicit some outcry over the crap he’s pulling; I saw that all they can talk about isn’t the purges, the New Territories, or even this awful ‘Constitution E-Z’, but what a riot he was on t.v. the other night! Shmoozing it up on all the late night talk shows, or doing his racist impressions of foreign leaders during the big half-time show. The shameless fucking ham! Like how he had the White House cut up and shipped to Malibu," She sighs wearily. "And so just about the time I’m thinking, ‘Well, at least we don’t have to hear him spouting his bullshit on the radio anymore...' He decides he can afford to devote three hours a day to radio. Going back to his first love, he calls it."
Dark days for America, it seems, but at least the asshole is keeping busy elsewhere and isn’t too likely to come barging in here with a gun again...
I ask, "But if you’re his ex, why do you mess around with dumb junk like petitions
when you could be going on talk shows yourself and telling everyone about him?"
The sun seems to be winning its battle with the cloud cover. The polish on her back is dry, coming up like fine powder where I buff it. It leaves her whole surface almost blindingly shiny.
When I’ve finished she rolls over to face me and says glumly, "I can’t. It’s a term of the divorce. I agreed to it, because I had this secret dream of using the three million a year I get to help bring him down! But that pack of leftist burn-outs I hooked up with were more likely to kill each other than mount any sort of serious insurrection! Talking and arguing, arguing, talking ........... Eventually I quit the Havelock Ellis Brigade in disgust, and then I got so depressed I started spending the money on Armani fetishwear and thick-cocked studs from the outcall service..."
"Forget all those sleazy whore-boys," I mutter lasciviously, "I’ll fuck you for nothing!"
A fetching smile breaks through her sadness. She extends her arms toward me in a randy and playful fashion. "I was hoping you’d say that..." 
The big anaroidnack chair is just wide enough for two. I climb into it, into her embrace, and purr, "But please baby, please baby, please .............. Turn off the fucking radio!"
"I will, I swear, it’s almost over! Play with my tits! Mmmmm, like that! We’ll go inside. You’ll love my playroom, it has everything! For as tender or as hard as you want to- Ooooooh yes, do that! Just like that!"
The sun is all the way out now and it’s getting hot. Large drops of sweat well up and glide down the tops of her tits. I smear them around, my kneading palms making faint squitching noises.
On the radio Bruno is still going on about the stupid rubber cultists: "-so it ain’t actually obscene, just stupid looking! Lotta times they can’t even prosecute it as porno, because all there is is these suits, with these heads like rubber bulbs! Hell, there might not even be any people inside them things, for all you can see!"
"Methinks Bruno protests too much! He was the one who liked  the head sacks. Yee Gods, the bizarre shit he was into! I should have kept some of our home videos! That would sure fix the bastard! He wouldn’t be able to get elected as County Butt-Wiper..."
My hands have paused in their teasing circular massage and just sit there, luxuriating in the texture, the softness and heft of these wonders of nature- "But why do you even torture yourself by listening to him?"
"We used to catch his show each day in my ‘geurilla cell’, because he’s such a braggart he always lets something drop. Hints, like before a domestic air strike .......... Then one day we were listening and he started saying stuff about me. By name, or almost! Roseena- the kookie neurotic misguided modern American woman, brain-dead dupe of the crypto-lesbo feminist castration conspiracy! He did these skits about her, like- OH SHIT!!!"
Oily old time radio-soap-opera organ music has started to drone. Bruno is crooning smugly, "Yes children, once again we conclude our show with The Perils of Roseena!" {pauses for applause} "Chapter 96: The Rubber Trap. I bet you were wondering where I was goin'with- with all that talk, ah-hahaha! Well this is where. And it’s a doozy! For in today’s episode Roseena is lured back to that world of perverted sleazery. But first some background material..."
Rosalie curls forward and moans like she’s in severe pain. Right here in my arms, yet she’s miles away.
"Having flunked out of her pottery class at Playtime Jr. College, and losing her sexual harrassment suit against her teacher, Monsieur Poopadoo, Roseena finds herself knocking around all alone in that big house once again ......... This is the house---you might recall---that she was awarded by Judge Manhate after her divorce from her husband Frank. You remember Frank. How he lost his job at the state penetantiary after he was no longer allowed to carry his gun .......... And after his suicide, when she showed up at the funeral stoned on quaaludes, danced on his grave, then seduced the Unitarian minister Jonny Dewyerthing-"
"They haven’t made quaaludes in 40 years, you jerk!" thunders Rosalie, making a gaggle of peacocks that had been been slinking toward us in hopes of a handout skitter away nervously. "Christ, it’s not even good satire! I can’t stand this! I CANNOT STAND THIS!!"
"So what’s the poor girl to do? After flunking every liberal arts class on the curriculum (the ones where you don’t actually have to learn anything) ............ And none of her old causes are gonna take her back, after that fiascus at the Save the Stinkweeds Society; so she decides she’ll try selling stuff door to door. It doesn’t matter what, as long as it lets her feel like she’s not completely useless!"
Suddenly she springs to her feet, "That’s it! I’ve had it! Let’s go!"
"Now she thinks RUBBERBAG is a company that makes ice cube trays, and them little plastic tubs with the lids you snap on to put leftovers in the fridge. Stuff like that..."
"Go where?"
"But a week later, she gets this package in the mail. And when she sees what’s inside there, something powerful stirs. Way way down inside her, like superhot high-pressurized magma burblin' deep inside the Earth-
"Go! Down to the Aroura! Into the blue! I can’t stand this! Shit fuck the devil! Time to give that fuck what he is so clearly begging for! Pitched with powder and shot! I’ll give that sick freak useless! Make him give pony rides in the Caves of Steel forever-" She kicks the radio, hard! It dies in mid snicker as batteries fly all over...
Maybe this time around she is just plain crazy.
I follow her up the trail. She is taking the concrete disks three at a time, in great angry strides, this version of the outfit doing nothing to restrict her steps. And as I watch her bare buttocks wig + wag I get the sickly feeling that yet another of these adventures is leading me pointlessly away from that one thing I am here for. 
Or maybe...
Maybe her endless chatter, these weird plot digressions that pop up again and again, the cartoon sheets on my bed, that cretin on the freeway yesterday who threw a rubber in
through my open car window; everything...
Are somehow all components of some grand strategy of hers. That she means for me to get good and fed up, so that I will finally just yank her legs apart and TAKE it from her! Thus satisfying her fantasy, of brutal uncaring ravishment...
But it seems to me that once you start by letting one forbidden thought in, what’s the next one going to be? And the one after that? My last attempt’s sudden detour into bondage themes was bad enough. Isn’t getting chummy with such stuff, under the aegis of some liberating catharsis, the venting of all your darker emotions (approved by whorehouse madams and best-selling sex therapists alike these days) only going to desensitize you to the real thing? After all, nobody is encouraged to create elaborate fantasies and role-play games about arson or homicide or driving real crazy down the wrong side of the freeway. And these other sorts of daydreams are not (I sincerely hope) accompanied by the built-in Pavlovian reward of orgasm!
She has a tiny phone, is punching buttons as we climb. Then speaks: "M? This is Mrs. Peel, and- Huh? Sure, it’s: These Vials of Bubbles are Inviolable. No? Well I figured that one was old by now, but it is me! Remember when you showed me how you could make the commedia mask tattoos on your .............. On my cellular. Yeah? So what if they’re listening? If we jump on it right now they won’t have time- You’re shitting me! You are? Today? That’s fantastic!! Yes I heard him, and maybe that is what prompted me but do you want dialectically pure motives out of everyone or do you want to use the boat? HUH?! Of course we need it! For ‘Plan V' we- Plan R?! Are you fucking nuts?!! I don’t care if you do have the launch codes, do you want to be responsible for a thing like that? Didn’t think so ............ You’re darn tootin'I want to get my hands on the rat, but- No, I swear! Not one greasy hair on his head until the trial! But remember, it’s Plan V ......... Right, as in‘V for Vendetta’  Yes. Perfect. Fantastic! N’byenow-"
She snaps the phone shut, flops a hand onto the plump arroyo of her cleavage and gasps loudly. Not from having just climbed this hill, but from relief. That she is finally taking action- striking back at her hated nemesis.
As she opens the low gate I see a wild light in her eyes, "Incredible! A hundred cells in twenty different states are mobilizing for the attack, and mine is gonna be the one that actually gets to take out Bruno! We have the Aurora ...... You wanna come along? Make history, get killed, something?"
"I guess I can be late again. To hell with ‘em!" I laugh, this cheesy "rebel forces" fantasy somehow carrying over into my dealings with my non-fantasy employer. Probably not a smart thing to let happen, but right now I just don’t give a shit!
I stumble past shadowy furniture, the living room an inky cave after the brightness of the day outside and the glare from her mirrorlike carapace. A wall of shelves in the pantry, loaded with cans and boxes of well-known brands, opens on hidden hinges to reveal a whole room stocked rubber suits.
She lays one across this padded examination table- "Let’s get you suited up! What are you, about a 38 waist? Just toss your clothes in the hamper there."
I strip down, but then balk at the next step. The only way into this suffocating thing is through a tiny slit /// WARNING: NOT TO PLACE THIS DRY CLEANING BAG OVER YOUR HEAD OR THE HEAD OF OTHERS OR CHILDREN ///in the crotch. Also, the idea of being encased in rubber myself seems contrary to my whole fixation.
"In ya go! Back to th'primordial womb," she jokes, stretching the cavity open.
Then she notices the way I am hanging back, and for a second I see that same terrible look I’d observed on her face when I first spotted her in her lawn chair- cold and stern and judgemental beyond measure ......... But it turns out to be as illusory as that first time, a trick of the light. Hers is a far more amused and forgiving sort of chiding: "Oh for crying out loud! You movement males, I swear! It’s perfectly okay for me to be objectified, that really turns you on! But when it’s your turn its a different story ................ Don’t be such a squeeker!"
Utterly relieved, I laugh a whole lot harder than her comment would seem to warrant. [It’s this penchant I have for grave misinterpretations. Reading "she is furious" or "this dude thinks I'm a fag" into any expression that I can’t immediately identify as friendly. Awkward enough with strangers ....... But with someone who has consistantly proven over the course of 18 months that she loves you madly .......... It eventually caused Daphne to conclude that "all she had" was never going to be enough, and drove her away. But in FANTASY communication has never been a problem. I know what people are thinking because I invented them. Until today...]
She dumps talcum powder all over me and helps me into it, tugging at the rubber tubing, guiding me through a series of arcane contortions. It fits fine. You’d never know it had been stretched out so far. My dick and balls hang out unsupported, a strange sensation, though not as unsettling as this feeling of cold air on
my bare butt. "I’m supposed to run around like this?"
"I like to have something to ogle at too, ya know," she says with a wolfish grin, and walks over to a circle of curved steel vanes like a camera shutter in the wall...
It sheeeeooks open and she climbs in with the aid of a hefty steel bar like a towel rack above it. Her ass hangs on the rim for a second then disappears. I follow.
It’s a swift descent, made swifter by this tube’s almost frictionless surface! An endless row of green spotlights streams past overhead. As I pick up speed the glowing dots ahead me are seldom in the exact top of the cylinder but drifting part way down one side or the
other, indicating where a steep turn is about to send me gliding up the curved surface. 
Now and then the slide straightens out enough that I can spot Rosalie’s truncated silloette up ahead. She calls back, "This doesn’t exactly take the shortest path down to the grotto,
but I figure there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be fun too!"
And then the damned thing is corkscrewing, the green lights ahead of me spiralling insanely as I’m sent into a roll, a roll, a roll, a roll-  
-and without warning I am plunging straight down thru jumbled brightness, some immense stone cavern, slamming into a nylon net down in a deep rectangular well in the obsidian floor. It stretches and stretches toward a blackness that I can see now is water, then yanks me back upward!
Rosalie is up on the edge, laughing. Above her I see our entry point, a cone-shaped copper spout depending from the roof of the cave- a dome of sparkling facets the size of an indoor hockey stadium. She says, "All those loops at the end are going to leave any intruders disoriented as hell! And if we really wanted to get nasty we could always remove the net."
Beneath me a dozen grey fins circle restlessly in the dark water. I don’t think they’re dolphins. I hurry up the iron rungs bolted to the rock.
A rocky underground lake lies on the other side of the polished stone ledge. An old wooden dock angles down then juts out across the surface. A bizarre pink vessel floats alongside it- like an obese stealth bomber with a huge bubble top.
Rosalie walks me down the ramp toward it, "She’s called the AURORA III. This prototype was kind of an embarrassment to Bruno. He’d yelled all through his campaign about what an impractical waste of tax dollars it was .......... and then it turned out to work perfectly! So he had it destroyed. My friend Admiral Hallifax blew up a big paper-mache’d barge instead. Bruno considers him a harmless old doddering nitwit, popular with the old folks and the veteran’s groups but easy to manipulate. It’s all an act, just part of his cover ........... In truth he is fluent in nine languages, plays a wicked barrelhouse piano, and fucks like a stallion! Just an all-around neat old guy!"
"Oh, Admiral Hallifax-" I nod, having absolutely no idea who she means (sometimes I get script-downloads for these scenarios. This time nothing...)
She leans across the slanted hull and places her hand on a scanner. The hatch gull-wings open and a jointed metal gangway extrudes onto the dock with an arthritic grinding sound. She leads me forward down a narrow corridor, one wall weirdly bowed to conform to the curve of the hull, then up into a domed cockpit that seats five. "I’m sure any day now Bruno will come up with his own proposal for a Silent Running Radar-Deflecting Hypersonic Suborbital Tactical Flying Sub, which will just happen to be a lot like-"
"Flying sub?"
"Sure, didn’t you ever watch Captain Nemo, U.S.N. when you were a kid?" she chuckles, climbing eagerly into the pilot’s seat. 
Hundreds of square plastic buttons light up, all these colors giving the cockpit an oddly festive look. The engines thrum sedately and the water around us starts to gurgle and fizz. She nudges the stick forward slightly and water creeps up the bevelled wings, climbs the plexiglass bubble until it closes in overhead. 
She is all business now- steering us between a series
of ordinary illuminated EXIT signs which look strange and out of place in this silty tunnel. I had never associated submarines with quick acceleration, so it comes as a jolt when we shoot forward, out of the cave’s mouth and into the open sea.
Up on the shimmering surface wet-suited legs dangle from surfboards, unaware that this thing as big as a house is zooming past beneath them. She pulls back hard on the stick, stomps on the gas and we rocket straight up, spinning- breeching the surface in a great loud spiralling explosion of water!
"Shakes the water off," Rosalie explains, then levels us off.
We cross Pacific Coast Highway about a mile south of her estate. Grids of residential streets. Churches. Parks with baseball diamonds. L-shaped strip malls at main intersections. We circle one neighborhood, descending gradually, the sub flying slower and slower until she says, "This is the place. Come with me."
She toots a horn that stutters out a few notes of the Colonel Bogey March. Leaves us hovering, bobbing unsteadily on the vertical-thrust vents as we go back into a round-cornered cargo bay. No wait, a bomb bay. There’s a device like an immense revolving steel wine rack but it’s empty. Portholes dot the bulkheads along each side. She pulls a lever and the concave halves of a long hatch in the floor drop open...
With a winch she lowers a railed cage to four people standing in the back yard of a tract home. A neighbor with a garden rake in his hand is yelling at them over the fence, pointing angrily up at us while his dog barks hysterically, running in frantic circles. And he doesn’t seem to care much for their outfits: the same genital-revealing latex uniforms that Rosalie and I are wearing.
As they clamber into the basket one of them offers a rebuttal that involves hefting his cock in his palm and rocking his hips forward. Rosalie snickers, "That ain’t exactly gonna win us any new converts!"
We haul them up. Rosalie asks worriedly, "Where’s Agent 99?"
"She’s coming."
"Coming? How the hell is-" 
She is drowned out by a shrill roaring sound. A red-suited figure (what a figure!) in a jet-pack and a helmet with heavy bug-eye goggles floats up through the hatch, grinning smugly-
     -until the throttle dial on her left shoulder strap refuses to obey the twist she gives it and she continues up past us, shrieking "WHOOOOAAAHH SHIT!" until she is pinned against the ceiling! The engine is on the end of a short boom (rudder + tiny delta wings cleverly incorporated into it) where she can’t get at it!
We try to pull her down without falling out through the floor or being scalded by the exhaust gasses! One of the two men runs over and throws the lever that closes the hatch. Finally the jet engine sputters and stalls. She lands on her feet and topples into Rosalie’s arms, who laughs, "Jesus, woman! You’ve got to stop reading those funny books! You okay, honey?"
"Am I what?" shouts the rocket girl, "I can’t hear shit! Oh man, that was great! You’ve gotta try this! A few bugs left to work out but I figure I can make these for about three grand a piece!"
"99" unhooks the heavy device and drops it, pulls off the helmet and digs earplugs from her ears. Tosses back the glossy black hair that had been pulled across her face by the helmet. Perky features, intense dark eyes.
"Lori!" I cry.
They all turn and frown. Must be taboo to use real names here...
Lori stares at me, shakes her head like she has water in her ears, and stares at me some more. As if she can’t believe I’m real. Perhaps she is trying to decide if I’m a cop or not. Or maybe she’s simply dizzy from flying...
Just to break this weird silence I say, "I
met you last week, at the .......... You know, at the club."
She smiles brightly, "Oh yeah, at the Duck! It’s all right, you can say it. Just look around! Have you ever seen a bigger bunch of eraserheads in your life? We’re all regulars down at the Rubber Ducky..."
"All of you? You mean........." I knew that Rosalie was into rubber in this way, but as for these others: "I thought it was just a political thing. A statement, like."
They all laugh at my naivity, but there’s an inclusive warmth to it. One of the males asides, "Well it’s that, too..."
Rosalie slips behind me and starts dragging her palms hard and slow across my shoulderblades. Says quietly in my ear, "Welcome home, Baby..."
I’d known there were others like me. I had read about it  [I’D EVEN OWNED THAT SWEDISH MAGAZINE FOR A WHILE- UNTIL I HAD A RAGING BOUT OF WHAT I WOULD EVENTUALLY REALIZE WAS JUST DUMB HYPOCONDRIA, AND I WAS AFRAID THAT MY PARENTS WOULD FIND IT IN WITH MY THINGS WHEN I DIED AND THEY CAME TO MY APARTMENT TO ALLOCATE OR DISPOSE OF IT ALL...]; But I’d never before met anyone who shared my proclivities, and being here with them fills me with a mood that’s wholly new to me, wonderful but scary, as if some threshhold has been crossed. This admitting right out loud of the thing that until now could have been deemed hypothetical- leaving me with at least the chance that someday I might be able to say: "Well son of a gun! I guess I wasn’t into that weird garbage after all! Stupid me, spending $17 on that icky sex mag..."
This daydream has taken on such a convincing solidity ......... Like Rosalie’s fingers squeezing the skin over my clavicles as she says, "Guys, this is Tommy. He just joined us today, but I can already tell he’s a real trooper. So what are we going to call him?"
A brainstorming session ensues, with facetious suggestions called out, everyone laughing uproriously over what are in fact some pretty feeble jokes... 
But it seems like all the cool fictional spy names have either been taken or were "retired" with the death of the comrade who once bore them. At the mentions of "007" and "Lancelot Link" there is a brief dip in the level of hilarity in here. 
Finally someone asks, "Say, who’s flying this tub?"
"Probably some pervert." quips Lori, spurring more wild laughter.
Rosalie smacks her forehead, "Hey, who is flying it? What am I thinking? We’re sitting ducks up here! Oh shit- the time table! We need to get moving!"
A chunky redhead woman---not too terribly fat but with these wide hips and a flat pudgy nose---points angrily and explodes, "You just watch what you’re saying! I do not consider myself a pervert!"
99 goggles in disbelief, "What the fuck?! I never said you were, Tanya! Lighten up."
"Now is not the time, people," commands Rosalie, "Please take your stations!"
"But you did. By implying that only perverts are present so one must be piloting the sub! Before that you called us eraserheads! And down at the house, when you were showing off your insanely dangerous gadget, you called Nikita a-"
"Nice of you to keep track for me! Didn’t we already go through this lecture last week?"
"I said not now, damn it!" Barks Rosalie, but they ignore her.
"Maybe we did, but I notice you’re still using words like that! You think it’s clever and daring to ‘annex the language of oppression' by using it in a joking way. But such terms are damaging however they’re employed. A bunch of ‘bloods' passing a ‘jug' around
on some corner might think it’s cute to say the N-word five times in every sentance, but no real African American revolutionary---like my good friend Dr. Aylis Janeed---is going to stand for such nonsense! And if you had spent any time in her consciousness rasing classes-"
"Yeah, well there’s no consciousness raiser like genuine class struggle! Not the kind that comes from liberal sentimentality or jerk-off political treatises, but because their fucking hands are around your throat! Like growing up on the streets of San Diego and hooking for the price of a room at fifteen years old! Sneaking past those ‘Take Back Our Streets' checkpoints to get out to the affluent zones where my tricks all lived. Robbed by the cops, blackmailed into the most unbelievably gross sex by a goddamn social worker..."
Tanya’s face gets a stunned, guilty look; but she can't let it go. She says, "Then someone like you should understand how important it is to only use those terms that empower us!"
"Someone like me? Boy, how’s that for a fucked up little euphemism?" smirks Lori, "Someone like me knows that unless we stand up to them, all this pussy-footing around with jargon doesn’t mean shit! Only a rich cow who spent the first decade of the 21st century in the narcotic embrace of the self-help movement would care whether I call us perverts or Sunbeams for Jesus! When Bruno was having those Ecuadorean peasants gunned down outside that Nike factory, you were on some Arizona fat farm, playing patty-cake with your spoiled brat of an inner child!"
Tanya is pissed- "At least I never slept with the bastard, like you and your sell-out girlfriend! And maybe I have had it better than you. But that does not give you the right-"
It looks like there’s about to be ///// OH BOY OH BOY! //// a real knock-down fight between these two bare breasted rubber bolsheviks, when a shot rings out- deafening in this stark steel hold! It’s Rosalie with a chrome-plated .45. "Now shut up, all of you!"
"Hey," says a slim woman with a long braided ponytail, "Watch the hull!"
"Oh pish! One little hole isn’t gonna compromise us! It’s not like we’ll be hitting mach 5 or diving to 10,000 feet anytime soon. Now shut up all of you! Nikita, you’re our navigator. You and Tanya ride up with me. West, Gordon, 99 and Tommy ......... you guys are on Retrieval Team."
"Hey wait a minute, I’m your co-pilot!" demands Lori.
Rosalie shoots her a long withering look and takes her bridge crew forward, leaving Lori and me here with the two guys. Lori stares down at her knockers, muttering something about "stupid big fat stupid skanky old Cap’n Queeg..."
West tells her, "Nobody else can stand that whining poseur either, kid. And I’ll bet anything Peel just took her up there to get her out of our way. Because we all know back here is where all the action is gonna be!"
The black guy---Gordon---digs through a steel ice chest at the rear of the hold and pulls out a dripping 6-pack of SUPER JOE iced coffees. "But you know, I really don’t know about Mrs. Peel sometimes. What her real motives in all this are..." 
"What the hell do you mean by that?" snaps Lori.
He starts to bring them over, "Come on, don’t get mad! All I mean is .............Well I’m not exactly sure. I know we all talk about how loveable Rosalie is ........ it’s like this is such a given that we all say it by rote now, without really thinking. And I know she talks a great line of post-exploitationist bullshit, anybody can! But there’s her whole weird history with Bruno, that game of theirs. And also ............ there’s this look she gets every once in a while, I call it her ‘Death Ray Stare’-"
Passing the glass bubble of the aft gun turret, he takes a quick step back and peers
down through it in disbelief: "Fuck, man! There’s a bunch of pigs down there!!"
We rush over to see. More police cars than I’d ever seen in one place before are clustered down in the street! A cop is yelling through a bullhorn: "Attention spacecraft! On behalf of Costa Niguel and the State of California, I order you to land and come out with your hands, or your claws, or your uh ......... tentacles-"
The whine of the turbines changes in pitch and there’s a gut-wrenching drop of several meters before we shoot forward at tremendous speed! The four of us stand around the gun turret, slurping on our hypercaffeinated coffee and watching the houses and debris-strewn gullies roll past beneath us. West nudges 99 and grins toward me, "Looks like you’re not the F.N.G. around here anymore."
She laughs, then explains, "Until you showed up I was the ‘fucking new guy’ of this cell. Not as bad as it might’ve been in some units, but still the subject of all the kidding. The rest of these bozos go back practically forever. I got into it through Peel, who I’d met through Bruno- ironic as hell how it all worked out!"
"So Bruno was your..."
"My trick, yeah. I worked for this escort service in D.C., where he
kept asking for me. The pay was incredible, and the status- professionally you can’t get any higher than that! But he was such an asshole I was about to start refusing him as a customer. I don’t mean his perversions, as intense as they are .......... Or even his beliefs, because with that it’s like being in the Red Cross; you don’t consider such things before rendering aid. But finally I felt like I just could not take any more ......... Until he set up this three-way with Rosalie! She was fantastic, both in and out of bed; and more than made up for him! And instead of her being all resentful like I’d expected, we got along fantastic! And so I moved in, sort of the Official White House concubine. It lasted six months---six weird, wonderful and yet awful months---that ended with me and her walking out on him together!"
I like this Lori a lot. She is funny, honest and strong. And in many ways she is even sexier than Rosalie- whose voluptuous ripeness sometimes seems a little too ripe. Too soft. In certain light her creamy white skin seems like some corrupt french waxwork, ready to /// The TROUBLE with BIMBOS /// crumble and moosh...
Lori doesn’t have her pretty fluffy blonde hair, isn’t quite so curvaceously fulsome and fucky. But she is endowed with a lean solid animal grace. Like a pantheress or something.
So I’m almost ready to abandon my playmate of the past 1001 days & nights for this brand new character, to make her right on the deck we drift over the back lagoons of Newport Beach. Except there’s the problem of these two guys here...
And what the hell are they even doing here? Since when are there any MEN in these scenarios?!?
Until one of them says, "Let’s go check out that #1 ballast pump."
And the other nods, "Shit, you’re right! We’d better get that fixed..."
As they exit through a low hatchway Lori smiles, "That was discreet of them! It must have been for your benefit. They usually play trailer-and-hitch right out in front of God and everybody!"
I cough, "Play what?!! NOT IN MY FANTASY THEY DON’T !!!"
"Your fantasy?"
"Oops! I mean..."
"You said fantasy. Aw Lord, not you Tommy! Oh Jesus H. Christ on a Segway ....... You think this is all some daydream that you’re having, don’t you?!"
"Of course not, that’s crazy! That would be ........ Well isn’t it?"
"To you maybe, if you have False Running Fantasy Syndrome.And it’s pretty clear you do!"
On hearing the name of this ‘syndrome' I am inexplicably furious, and also strangely frightened. I snap- "That’s bullshit! You just made that up! There’s no such goddamn thing! I watch The Behavior Sciences Channel all the time, and I never heard of anything called that!"
"Of course not! It doesn’t exist where you come from ............ But for a condition that you’ve never heard of, you seem to have some pretty strong opinions about it! Why do you suppose that is?"
[Yes, why? Why this terrible fear? Nothing here can hurt me...
Yet suddenly I can’t catch my breath and I’m alarmingly light headed! 
Her gaze is level and wise and understanding and concerned. And intolerable-]
And suddenly I am shouting, "Because I just do! Because it’s bullshit! I can tell what’s bullshit, and it’s bullshit!"
"FUCK! No wonder you didn’t seem worried about going on this mission! Rosalie was supposed to screen you for it! Furfussers make incredible soldiers, but it isn’t fair to them! It’s one thing for those of us who are recovering from the syndrome. But to sign up some poor deluded asshole who doesn’t even know that he has it ......... You might as well give guns to a bunch of those losers from the Church of Latter Day Vulcans and tell them they’re playing in one of those hologram rooms! Because you think you’re off in some other world, where the streets are all made of gold, and everyone is happy and contented and lives to be 1000 years old!"
"The streets in my world---the real world---are asphalt, just like anywhere! Nobody lives a thousand years, and they sure as hell aren’t all happy all the time!"
"Maybe not. No two of those ‘real worlds' are the same, and some of them are almost credible. But they all vary so much, how could they all be the real one? Every decade has its own unique escape-hatch fantasies. It used to be space aliens, all that apocalyptic hooey. And when none of that materialized it’s this one of how everything going on around you is this fantasy! I know how persuasive it is- I fought with the shit for years! You’re someplace safe and warm, usually in bed. I was so sure I was dreaming all this up! I just couldn’t accept that I was really stuck in this cruddy world.
"Yeah, but I-"
"And the ‘parascience' quacks aren’t helping any ........... how they encourage and justify this disease with their half-baked appropriations of quantum physics and Buddhist cosmology! Cal Schlagen wrote a funny and horrifying little book about it, all these new hoaxes and delusions, called Placebos for a Dying World-"
"Oh Ghod! Are you talking about that astrophysicist asshole again?"
It’s our two comrades, back from their adventure in the nether realm.
"Please West," barks Lori, "This is serious. Tommy has FRFS!"
I try to get a glimpse of my bedroom, usually at least somewhat accessible (-the dull frosted glow of that creepy, inexplicably ancient ceiling lamp cover, white glass cast with brooding flowers, 30 years out of place in my building ....... Distant feel of hand on prick or Digbert Digbert Digbert-), but to no avail.
 I’m sweating like a pig in this suit, I smell it. Can smell the various faint scents of this craft, and the sugary pink gum that Lori is nervously smacking on \\\ UNIVERSES BLEEDING INTO EACH OTHER BY COSMOSIS /// I see the steel mills and refineries of industrial Hawthorn down there in impossibly minute detail /// NOT IMPOSSIBLE IF IT’S THERE \\\ below the watertight gun turret, as my mind reels \ roils / BALKS \ japes / flails spastically around for any small proof that the life I knew as real-
"Oh yeah? So how come I knew your name?! I called you Lori, remember?"
"We met at the Ducky, just like you said. You were in straightclothes, like you’d just got off work. Sears or somewhere, and you were totally blotzed. You kept going, ‘I wanna fuck a-a-aaaaall you rubber bitches!'"
"HA!! I don’t work at Sears, I work at Disneyland! So you couldn’t have seen me wearing-"
"I didn’t say it was definitely Sears, I said someplace! And how the hell can you work or do anything else at Disneyland when it burned down back in 1999?!"
"It did what? That’s the stupidest thing I- No wait, no! Oh wow..."
Cascading harp music. A montage projected across rippling gauze ........ The first image is of the great cloud of smoke pluming into the sky over Anaheim. Then of how ticked off I became as news flash after news flash interrupted all my favorite adolescent afternoon shows ......... The record-setting lawsuits ......... Those heartless jokes about it that were circulating at my school before the fire was even out .......And the vast 11-story mall that went up so quickly in its place. Just a half mile from the U.C. Irvine Medical Center nuthouse where years later I would-
Nuthouse. False Running Fantasy Syndrome. Was diagnosis. Tests. Frowns. Back in February. Let’s start you out on 15 milligrams. Leave of absense from Sears. Fat Ass Ed the manager was in full Torquemada mode (he’d always said there was somethin' creepy + twitchy + wrong about me!) but he couldn’t fire me. Old patients-rights laws still on the books, even after all these years of Bruno. Who I am also beginning to recall some things about.
This whole flood of old-but-new memories affects my senses like some strange and unpleasant drug. An echoing cubist maelstrom of realities. At this dizzy juncture I am split, bicameral ......... I can see both of my lifetimes, like paper tubes held to each eye and angled away from each other. My life there. A far patchier one over here. And what’s truly horrible is that it hardly matters which of them is true. In neither one did I ever amount to much...
We turn right at some crowded Los Angeles beach, following a long string of shabby tar roofed t-shirt shops and cappachino joints. Helmeted roller skaters point up at us, their mouths agape.
Jim West is arguing, "How do you know he isn’t right? Maybe there’s no such
thing as FRFS. You said it yourself 99: Psychology is a tool of those in power!"
"I was talking about Tanya and all her lotus eater pals. That whole bogus quest to find some magic place where they will never hurt or have doubts again. About therapy as an evil borgeouis hobby! Not about treating real cognitive problems---genuine basket case stuff---with scientific-"
"Ooooooooh, sciiiiiiiiii-i-i-i-ence!" mocks West. His tone is cattier, far less the gruff revolutionist and more like the stereotype of faggotry. But at least he is taking my side.
"A hundred years ago a woman like you, who wanted to be more than just some subservient hausfrau, would have been branded a ‘female hysteric' by these great minds and carted off to a sanitarium. Because you’re unsanitary! You have that hustera, a womb---this is where the whole idea of ‘hysteria' comes from---so of course you’re gonna lose it! Maybe a hysterectomy will unscramble your head. They did that! That was your ‘real science'not too long ago..."
"I know they’re a lot slicker about it today, not so blatant in their biases, but they are still primarily there to uphold the status quo. I’ve read about how people with this so-called false fantasy disease can actually predict stuff, are the only group that constistently scores higher on psychic abilities tests than simply guessing at random can account for! Like they get some inside tip on causality!"
"I don’t believe that for a second," huffs Lori, "but let’s say they can ........... So that makes your whole world a hallucination? If someone tells you you’re just a figment of some wet dream of his, you believe it?"
"I’ll be in his wet dream any day!" whoops West, then he winces in my direction, "Sorry brother, force of habit. The whole queer raunchy humor thing..."
Agent Gordon groans, "I can’t believe I heard that! You’d go for him?" 
"Sure," shrugs West, "What’s wrong with him?"
"What’s wrong? What’s wrong?!" Gordon pulls out a small black plastic comb and shoves it against my upper lip, "Look at him! He looks just like Bruno! I mean look at that! It would be like balling Satan himself! No offense, 99..."
West stares at me, "Holy
shit! He does! What a fantastic opportunity!"
"I don’t think so." frowns Lori, "He might look like the digitized Bruno you see on the tube, but in person he’s a lot younger. And it’s too late to try sneaking him in there, with Pussy Galore and her girls already taking out the guards..."
The shoreline beneath us is becoming less and less urban. Houses sit perched on cliffs dotted with grassy bushes over crescent coves...
Suddenly Rosalie’s voice cries out over the intercom, "Oh my! Interceptors."
And then, before we can even properly panic they have streaked past us! Three on each side, coming so close that the sub shimmies + bobs. They’re those weird new F-38’s-   twin cockpits connected by a chunk of wing, their undersides bristling with deadly finned javelins. Gordon sighs with relief, "They didn’t fire!"
"They will, now that they can say they’ve given us a warning," frowns 99 as they circle back around us, "Let’s hope the toy homing-missles I knocked together can really take out those big air-to-airs! Damn, where did I put those? Did I leave them at home?"
But then thin green rods appear from nowhere, angling down across miles of sky so that it looks for an instant as if the fighter jets are suspended from them. When the beams disappear there are holes in their engines. The smoke that churns from them is far blacker than their contrails had been. They begin to lose altitude. The perspex lozenges peel from their tops and tiny seated figures cannonball out, trailing fat nylon worms that blossom into parachutes.
"Who said the DEFENSAT system wouldn’t work?" chuckles Rosalie’s voice from the overhead speaker, "We can thank my friend at the Pentagon for that! We’d better win this, or his dick will be in the deep fryer!"
But the right-hand cockpit of one jet doesn’t eject. It’s so close that I can see tiny hands pounding futilely on the glass before it slams into the top of the cliffside and explodes with a sharp whummp!A messy orange fireball rolls down amid tons of dirt and dust and rocks. It leaves the rounded cement corner of someone’s swimming pool hanging in the air ........... Death before my eyes.
My guts spasm and twist, some obscure set of muscles I never knew I had! And I know this marks me as a snivelling neophyte in combat, but I can’t help it, my mouth starts going like some disconnected jabberbox: "Oh fuck! That guy is cooked! Smashed! Cooked! All I wanted was- goddamn it I just wanted the sex! Some kissing. Squeezin' some nice titties. Her pretty legs ......... that rubber on her. That guy is dead! And I’m flying to Malibu with a bunch of old t.v. characters ........... And I’m late for work. Or no, what do I mean?! Getting back to work, to that warehouse. Sears, where they humor me like I’m a mental case, and I guess I am .......... Misplaced my whole universe, what a screw up! He flew right into the hill there. And it’s really, really real! Why couldn’t  I just fuck her there in the laundry room that first time? Shoulda been so simple. Any idiot can beat his meat, can’t he?"
Lori cooes, "None of that ever happened, sweetie! Somewhere inside of you, you know that! I know how strange all this seems but you’re getting better now. Finding your way free of the illusion, of that sense of being a spectator in some false-front world that keeps you from ever really living. I know, God do I ever! And we all want Rosalie in the laundry room, but she’s spoken for..."
"By her twerpy old Admiral!" snorts Gordon, "And that’s another thing about her-"
"Don't start on that now, damn it!" groans Lori, who doesn’t want to get sidetracked from my emotional state, my ‘reality problem’. But Gordon doesn’t take the hint-
"Yes, I know you’re really protective of her---and that’s a commendable thing in a dyke---but what is it with Peel and these fascist pigs?! First Bruno, and now this one! Power tricking is one thing, but she actually likes the senile old fartbag!"
Lori glowers at him, "That ‘old fartbag' just saved your ass, bucko! And she fell for him because he was one of us! Or he is now, anyway ........ You should see the spiffy rubber uniform he had made for himself!"
My horror over the pilot’s death is already fading. As if watching some movie I am swept along to the next scene, caught up in the bustle of preparations: Gordon peering into the eyepiece of a length of pvc pipe jutting up from the deck, fingering a calibrated plastic dial set in its side. West jacking clips into side arms at a fold-down workbench. Lori testing the winch’s rachet, dousing it with WD-40. They unhook the lift cage and slide it into a corner, replacing it with what appears to be a pink booger the size of a bean bag chair impaled on a lug wrench...
Lori takes in a deep breath and slowly exhales, "Beautiful, isn’t it? Unprocessed Malasian rubber. Like raw opium must look to any devoted junkie. The primal substance of all our dreams! No wonder they run amok down there..."
West pulls the big lever that opens the bomb hatch and we’re struck by a briny wind. The big slot gives us a much better view than we’d had through that cramped bubble with the 50mm gun and the steel tractor seat down inside. Scrub brush blurs past under us, then immaculate green lawn. 
West yips, "Whoooeee! Look at all the fucking fucking down there!"
Couples flicker past on the grass below, locked in lustful embrace. One partner---usually female---in bright rubber, the other---usually male---naked or nearly so, the ground around them littered with army fatigues, kevlar vests and secret servicemen’s garb.
The mass of bodies grows denser. Duos, then triads, then vast indecipherable cluster fucks! The Aroura III creeps along at about 75 feet, flying slower + slower.
Anti-aircraft guns, unattended, droop from their mounts like spent weenies. A rubber-clad Chinese girl, on her back beneath a great thrusting walrus of a man, her luxurious black hair fanned out around her head like a halo, gives us a cheery "thumbs up" before her eyes slam shut and she loses herself in her duty to the cause, her red heels digging ruts in the lawn.
Then they have scrolled past. We’re hovering now, the deck under our feet lolling around goofily. Someone whispers, "Perfect, just like the computer sit-sims predicted. Right down to the color of his bathrobe bathrobe!"
A lone figure has appeared on the lawn in a shiny salmon diamond-quilt robe, pointing a shotgun up at us and jabbering in a faint squeaky voice: "COME DOWN HERE AND FIGHT LIKE A MAN! "
"No. How about you come up here and fight like a woman?" asks Rosalie casually as she saunters in through the hatchway. "Don’t worry, kiddies! La Femme Nikita’s got the stick. I wouldn’t miss this for the world!"
A thick yellow extension cord droops from the winch motor to a galvanized junction box with a large button on it resting on Gordon’s knee. He stares intently into the bomb sight- "I got him!"
"Then get him," says Rosalie tightly.
With a deep sinister rolling villian’s laugh he jabs the button and the 150 pound mass of rubber drops straight down- the reel of cable whirring brassily as it unwinds...
Bruno stares up idiotically, seemingly more intent on identifying
this strange amoeba hurtling toward him than on avoiding it...   
At the last instant he swings the gun up to shoot it, but not before the pink blob hits him square in the face, enveloping him down to his elbows! He tries to run but he is dangling, yanked right out of his slippers, his legs jigging frantically as he is reeled in!
Once he’s inside the ship lurches forward. It banks nimbly then goes into a steep climb. Bruno swings on his tether, kicking his feet and yelling, "M’fffa-mpffflt-mullp-plupp-mlp!"
Rosalie regards the suffocating man with icy contempt. She relieves him of his weapon, prying it from the rubber with a loud, rude viscid sound. Then she and Lori each grab a leg and pull. Bruno pops out with an even louder, ruder sound and crashes down onto the hatch, wheezing horribly.
He is naked, strangely pale, the bathrobe having stayed in the mass of rubber. It yawns over him like a weird rayon labia. His hand goes immediately to the top of his head, which he gingerly explores "My hair! You pulled out half my implants out with that crap, you cunt!"
"The prisoner will remain silent!" barks Rosalie. In her rage her whole jaw is stretched, lined with deep parallel creases- making her suddenly seem much older.
Bruno laughs contemptuously, "Listen to you! Still playing your idiotic People’s Army games .......... My my, what a jolly bunch of freaks you’ve assembled here! My writers are sure gonna have fun with this episo-"
With a sickening crack the butt of the shotgun slams into his cheek, "THE PRISONER WILL REMAIN SILENT!!"
"AAAAAAAAAAWWWGG!!!" groans Bruno. He rolls onto his side, twisting in agony!
But still he snorts, "You gaw no idea how mush twubble yer in, Girlie! I mighta been inclined to be a lil' leenyint wiff ya, on account of you ain’t‘zackly right inna head! Ya let theesh com’yanish bastids talk ya inta some ...... Oh Chrisht, thash gonna need sti’shes! Dat’s da f'anks I get fer makin’ you a shelebrity! Thanks to me, ev’ry day millionsha people get a good laugh over yer pat’eddic exshploits-"
She clubs his naked flesh- battering his ribs, his kidneys! I have to turn away. Walk over to a porthole and try to tune out the awful sounds. Cumulus clouds jumble past, soggy and dark, then incandescently white,  then dark again; making the rounded room brighten and dim strangely.
I hear 99 cry out, "For God’s sake, don’t kill him!"
A raspy voice, hardly sounding like Rosalie, grunts, "Are you suggesting that I’m not in control of myself?! Believe me, I wouldn’t let him die this quick!He might piss blood for a while, but he’ll be around to spend years and years ina prison cell the size of a phone booth. So get your bloody hand off my arm!And what the hell are you looking at, faggot?!"
Lori/99 and the two gay guys come over to see how I’m doing (and I think they might be trying to stay clear of their crazed captain as well...).
"You know, it’s not like he’s some foot soldier, deserving the decency you should show to captured enemy troops," says Lori wearily, sounding as if she is trying to convince herself in the face of such brutality, "His role in this doesn’t need to be investigated. He boasted about his crimes, and built monuments to a hundred massacres! So if she is getting carried away ......... I know it’s not pretty, but you haven’t lived through the shit we did. ‘Least not that you remember..."
Behind us Bruno screams and screams. I’m afraid I might start crying, or puke or something if we stay on this subject, so I say, "I thought you’d want to escape detection, dive right back into the ocean. Why are we still climbing?"
West says, "To dock with our starship, The Priapic. We’re going to the moon. To Tycho Caverns, where the Rubber People live. They didn’t care much for those Apollo assholes, but they sure like us! I hope you’re fertile, because most of  their men were killed in the Great Depressurization of ‘07, and they need able bodied studs-"
"Knock it off, you jerk!" snaps Lori, "If you had even an inkling of what FRFS is like---never knowing what’s real or not---you wouldn’t tease him!"
Bruno has stopped his inhuman howling. I turn, fearing the worst- but he is up on his elbows, scowling, a gory mess. Rosalie draws the shotgun’s bloodied stock back, ready to wallop him again, "Had enough?!?"
He roars: "No! I LIKE it!"
I cringe, assuming that he is egging her on out of some insane stubbornness! That he would rather die than show any compliance or remorse...
Then it dawns on me that he had meant just what he said. There had been a squirmy, excited quality to all his agonized flailing around!
Rosalie lowers her cudgel, "This isn’t a game, Bruno! You’ve got some real Crimes Against Humanity to answer for! One half-assed little beating won’t even come close to atoning for it- especially if you’re enjoying it. You are one evil son of a bitch!
He blubbers coquettishly, "I am! I am! I’m ba-a-a-a-a-d! I been a naughty, naughty despot! PUNISH ME!"
"Whatever you say," shrugs Rosalie. She reaches over and pulls the big lever.
The hatch flops open, dumping him into the thin air of 22,000 feet. Ten randomly-spaced oxygen masks fall from the ceiling & dangle there like hospital-theme party decorations. Bruno drops away, a pinkish white cupie doll tumbling crazily. He calls plaintively, "I love yooooooooooooooooouuuu-"
"Shit," croaks Rosalie, with a weary remorse that seems to have taken her totally by surprise.
She stares at the receding form, muttering shit!' over and over with increasing intensity, then whirls toward Lori- "Quick! Loan me your jet pack!"
"There’s not much fuel left! And I’ve never even flown it at this high an altitude," cautions Lori, but Rosalie already has the thing strapped on and has swan-dived into the rectangle of blue sky! Soon she is just a teeny red oblong down there. The silver droplet tracking alongside her flares brilliantly to life!
Lori screams into the com-set on her wrist, "After them!"
The ship noses down and we all tumble up the deck (luckily around the big hatch-   those thick doors flapping + banging like storm shutters) until we’re wedged up against the aft bulkhead. Thirty seconds later we all go sliding again---with a flattening pressure---back onto the floor. My eardrums are aching like hell. We stagger woozily to our feet and peer down through the opening...
Rosalie is flying along, hands hooked through Bruno’s armpits, her neck straining like she is trying to gain altitude by sheer force of will! But their combined weight is too much for the puny engine. Mountains gyre below us- all drab chaparral and dry jagged ravines.
The sub eases gently down until it’s right over them. Rosalie sees us and unclutches one arm from Bruno long enough to make a grabbing motion in the air.
99 asks her wrist-com, "You guys see that?"  
To me the answer sounds like a chicken gabbling in a tin shed during a hailstorm, but it seems to satisfy Lori, "Alright Nikita- use your magic touch!"
A mechanical arm---jointed in at least places---appears from under the sub and grabs the silver pack with a big tong-like hand, just as the jet engine farts out a plume of black smoke and dies. The arm lifts them into the hold and sets them gently on the deck, then withdraws...
Bruno’s face is frozen in a somehow comical expression of terror. When Rosalie hugs him possessively and asks again if he has had enough, he gargles,"Yes. Alright. Anything..."
"Mmmmmm," she purrs, "I’d say your rehabilitation is well under way!"
                                ...........................    -Leopold von Sacher Masoch
She dresses him up like The Gimp from Pulp Fiction. I won’t go into all the sordid details, except to say that henceforth he won’t exist as a nefarious Force of History, but as some lowly slathering thing encased in head-to-foot ("RUBBER’S TOO GOOD FOR YOU...") black leather.
As she rides him around the hold, West muses, "Weird, isn’t it? Rosalie and him back together, with Bruno down on all fours in his beastie-suit! It’s like we’re all right back where we started from. Well, except for Jim and Ella being gone, God rest ‘em. But now there’s Lori and Tommy, so it all evens out!"
I am shocked- "Where you started from?! You mean with him? This dickwad is a friend of yours?!"
"I wouldn’t call him," West squeezes the word out with difficulty, "a friend ........... It’s hard to explain. Off and on, between his ventures into politics, they’d get backtogether---to everyone’s horror---after she went on and on about how awful it wasand how she was never, ever going back! Pretty much like what just happened. Pushing someone out of a plane sends a fairly unambiguous message, and yet here they are."
Gordon frowns, "You see? That’s the sort of thing I’m talking about .........This shit goes way beyond some normal dominance/submission game! Did you see the way she was wailing on him with that shotgun?!!"
"I’m not saying he’s good for her," shrugs West, "But for whatever reason ..... When they started the relationship none of us could imagine what she saw in him. We all knew who he was from the radio- there’s no mistaking that voice of his! But we figured that what Rosalie did was her business. Even after people started leaving our club in droves to get away from him! But as their game progressed, in his outfit with that chomp in his mouth, he sort of faded into the background...
West grabs the last iced coffee, shakes and opens it and guzzles half, "After a while they just started holing up together, never answering our calls. You expect a couple to do this when they’re newly in love, but the changes in Rosalie didn’t look like any kind of love we’d ever seen her in. She was always so happy and bubbly, even with that abusive shit Frank Baldini! This looked ....... grey. But they were adults, even back then, so---like I say---what they did in there, with all that medieval hardware they had laying around, was ultimately between them...
"But then he escaped! I’m not sure how, Houdini himself couldn’t have gotten out of the way she had him. We helped her look all over town, putting flyers up on telephone poles: LOST GIMP. $50 REWARD...
"And we had all but given up on finding him, when he turns up on t.v., running for city council on a moral-decency kind of platform. Saying how he’d shut down the Rubber Ducky, Wild Oscar’s and Phyllis’s Phetish Phair. He might have won too, but we nabbed him right in the middle a speech he was giving ....... Got him back to their condo and into his nasty black suit- him yelling the whole time how he was finally free of Rosalie’s spell, free of the ‘demonic false-ecstasy of perversion’! He sure sounded like he meant it! If it was up to me I would've let him loose ........ But Rosalie saw through his protests and ignored his codeword for ‘No really- let me go!' .......... and soon had him re-gimperized and whimpering happily!"
"I never heard any of this. This is all from before my time with them. Rosalie never really went into it." says Lori with a nervous false blitheness, as if dreading what might be revealed...
"The second time he escaped he ran for Governor of California. He was a lot harder to catch by now! We didn’t manage to nab him ‘til he was Governor Elect- after he won on a platform of seceding from the Union and putting a thousand foot high wall around the whole state! We made it look like an assassination---used a shitload of incindiary bombs!---so they wouldn’t come looking for him!"
I sort of remember this now. The bellowing from the editorial pages over ‘this craven terrorist attack’. And it still seems underhanded of them to me: "But if he won that election fair and square, what right did you have-"
Rosalie canters up on her animal. Hard to tell what he is thinking under all that upholstry, but he’s docile enough. Rosalie’s voice takes on a lecturnly tone, "I’d hardly call it fair! That ‘flag-burning workshop' they raided at his opponent’s headquarters was a total frame-up. And anyway, he was only using the electoral system so he could destroy it! Pretending to play by the rules until he could get into the big chair, and declare himself Emperor of All Known Space For Eternity...
"But the truth, and I think it’s about time you chumps got a good dose of the truth-   Especially you 99, get back here this instant!"
"I just needed to use-"
"I don’t care! The truth is Bruno never really wanted to rule the world. It was never about conquest and glory. But for him to become so powerful for a spell that it would make his subsequent capture and debasement all the sweeter!"
"My God!" I shout, "Are you saying that all this, overthrowing democracy, these wars and everything, were all just part of some sex game between you?!"
Lori says hurriedly, "No, not between them- I get what she’s saying! What she’s talking about is what Bruno was thinking, the apocalyptic mindset ....... The unconscious motives behind so many of these would-be conquerors. Secretly hating the very people they’re leading ......... and wanting to take ....... take the whole place ........ down with them. What
this sociologist Deforest Kai called .......... Rosalie?"
She is looking at Rosalie, who stares back at her with no warmth or fondness whatsoever. I’d seen "multiples" emerging before, on talk shows and such, and it had always seemed kind of a put on. But this is totally unnerving ........ It shines from her eyes, like when the vicious movie alien decides to shuck off its disguise to let you see its true form, and the depths of its contempt for such a weak and gullible species!"
"Told’ja so..." intones Gordon in a faint, childish sing-song.
But the rest of them are goggling like dimwitted fishes as Rosalie sneers,
"I never gave a shit about your insipid little cause, or liberating the stupid masses! Why do you think I was doing so little to help?! Ennui? Revolutionary burnout?" she mimmicks some compassionate loser, "‘Pooooor Rosalie, hiding out in her mansion all day, she seems so suh-sad, and l-lost!' HA! I was biding my time is all; Letting him enjoy his brief moment of glory. Because the harder they fall, the louder they squeal! Ain’t that right my precious gelding?"
When he doesn’t instantly respond she whacks him across his only exposed feature---his eyeball---with her riding crop, "Answer me, you snivelling shit!"
West stammers, "What about all the people who had to live under his vicious regime- just so you two sickos could get your rocks off?! Like the ones hauled on barges out to that fictitious ‘rehabilitation colony' and just dumped out there!"
"The people? The people fucking loved it! Didn’t they all rally behind him? ‘Give us order! Tell us what to do, what to believe!!' This freedom we will be restoring to them will make it all the more glorious when I let him loose again! And next time we’ll really give ‘em what they want- BOOOOOOOOMMM!!! " cries Rosalie, making a furious salad-tossing gesture with her hands. She drives her pointy heels into Bruno’s haunches, making him rear up on his hind legs like a performing stallion as she throws back her head and bursts into a chilling laugh that soars into a long ragged hysterical shriek!
I turn to Lori, "I suppose you’re in on this too!"
She gulps pitifully, "I swear Tommy, this is the first I heard of this!"
"Oh ............. Come off it!" cackles Rosalie, "Like we’re the monsters and the bunch of you are so fucking innocent! You were all thrilled to be hanging around on the edge of the most magnificent sex-game of all time! The whole hemisphere was our bedroom- a coast-to-coast dungeon! And oh- his Great March South! He wasn’t conquering all those
crummy jerkwater states because they had anything to offer us!"
Lori groans in pure agony, "Aw shit. You don’t mean any of this, girlfriend!"
I mean it more than anything I ever said about our ‘friendship’, you pitiful twit! You and the rest of these pawns ....... But Bruno! Our exquisite dance together across the pages of history..."
"No, this isn’t you! I know you Rosalie!"
"Believe what you want, you always did! That ridiculous alternate world you imagined coming from, with those cars you drive around standing up and whatever all goofy shit it had- and everything there had the stupidest names! The dreams of a born loser! But when those of us with greatness in them dream ......... Any pissant can promise his gal the world, but only my man ever came so close to actually doing it! A world in flames, every napalmed village getting me hotter! And next time- oh, next time! As that great social visionary Shoko Asahara said: there’s only one way to maintain control of the entire world forever! That limited atomic strike that damned fool M. was plotting might have led to some effective disarmament, which would have jeopardized the final phase of our game- AN ENTIRE PLANET SACRIFICED TO OUR PASSION!
"None of you has ever seen even a fraction of my underground fortress. We will be down in those impenetrable caverns, the last remaining humans ............... Not ‘Adam and Eve’, because we certainly won’t be spawning anything---tedious life- pointlessly multiplying and eating and sleeping and shitting all over the place!---but will simply be savoring the extinction! Playing rubbergames, endgames, each one darker than the last!! Down in our house of ............ Uh, what would be the word for the opposite of miracles?"
It’s a simple precaution. You’d think they would have figured it out by now.
Conveniently, Gimp and rider are poised right on the crack of the bomb hatch.
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It’s the triumphant over-the-top awards ceremony from the end of  the original STAR WARS film. Air base inside a cave. Harriers, the hoversub, and ungainly Star Fleet shuttlecraft like big toasters on pontoons parked behind us. Everyone standing in rank and file as Admiral Halifax strolls down the line (in his rubber uniform with shoulder thingies like fat-bristled brushes and rubber medals that look like some kid made them...), dispensing Citations of Valor and long-winded avuncular homilies.
He’s a gabby old fuck, shouting over the blare of this peppy march music that John Williams has composed (John Williams likes rubber too!) for the occasion. Lori and I are talking discretely behind our big aching smiles, like ventriloquists:
"For me? What do you mean you did it for me?"
"Somebody had to make sure that their madness wouldn’t continue! But I did it right then because I couldn’t stand for you to have even a hint of suspicion that I might have been in on their-"
"You’re taking my opinion way too seriously, if you did that for me!"
"You bet I take it seriously! I love you! From the instant I spotted you here, it was like I was right back in one of those sexual fantasies, that I used to call: BEAUTIFUL BIG-DICKED TOMMY IN THE RED RUBBER JUMPSUIT-"
"You actually did this? Or is this an FRFS memory?"
"Who the hell knows? Maybe I have had a relapse, and all these detailed memories of how I used to dream about you don’t go back any further than when I flew into the sub and saw you there! But they feel so old and familiar to me- God, this disease is a head fucker! If Rosalie was here I could ask her, ‘Did I ever tell you about having had such and such a fantasy?’. But now... But if it was you, you’d remember, right?"
"I do recall meeting you just a while ago, but I don’t think it’s from any reality that you would recognize. I don’t suppose you were ever a superhero..."
"I’m afraid not. Well, when I was a kid I used to pretend I was this one cartoon character---BOUNCING BETTY!---from a bad t.v. show we used to have. She had a costume a lot like these. It was supposed to be some miracle stuff that the Space Pixies had given her, but now that I think about it, it was really rubber. But half the girls I knew used to pretend they were her, and I always knew I was only playing. No, my life was pretty normal and uneventful until I got here four years ago." says Lori. She looks miserable. I want to hold her but we are standing at attention.
She sighs, "Though I’m sure you wouldn’t think it was normal. Even other furfussers have a hard time with my Home Reality, it’s so different than any of the worlds people described in my group! Their idea of a major discrepancy was that they used to get their hamburgers at McDougal’s
instead of McDaniel’s like they do here. And then I would share about missing the taste of Snarfelpuppies from Wingwackamazoo’s. See what I mean?"
The Admiral, his entourage, the camera crews with their fierce lights are pretty far across the cavern from us now. With all the attention on them we take off, leaving a pair of gaps in the formation. We're heroes today, we won't get in too much trouble. I hope...
Where to? Lori points, I nod and smile. We make for the Aurora, its hull hanging above us, held aloft by its three retractable landing legs.
A series of bars welded to one of them forms a ladder up to a circular hatch. Lori pauses with her foot on the bottom rung, "But the fact that it was such an unlikely place helped me accept that it had all been fantasy. Because it doesn't sound real at all when I talk about it out loud. It's all so crazy, it makes my head hurt trying to figure it all-"
I take her by the shoulders and say in my best Harrison Ford, "Shut up and kiss me already!"
A long passionate kiss, then we clamber up the ladder and into the sub...
Down the accessway, heading I guess for the cargo hold- but that unyeilding steel space doesn't really sound like the best place to ball. I recall seeing a couch in this sub somewhere- but where?
But suddenly as we pass an open hatchway Lori gasps, "A laundry room!"
She grabs my hand and pulls me into it, clearly terribly excited. Sure enough what I'd glanced at and taken as torpedo tubes or something turn out to be a row of glass-doored stainless steel washing machines down one wall of the narrow room, and a row of very similar dryers down the other. Six of each seems like way more than a ship this size could ever need; the only think I can think of is that the Aurora III's designer shared our proclivity for shiny laundry facilities.
In the center is a long formica folding table. I heft Lori up onto it. Volumes are spoken as we look into each other's eyes-
Suddenly we hear voices:
"So I says to the Captain, I says: How do I get out of this rubber-chicken outfit?"
"Ha ha! You mean nobody told you about the explosive bolts?"
"No I swear! So he gets this look, and he says to me-"
Two guys, and they're clearly headed this way. Maybe we should just tell them to scram. Or maybe let them watch...
But when I point to the familiar (to me) narrow little door in the laundry room's rear bulkhead Lori nods emphatically, and we scramble inside and snick the door shut. She is up against the vertical bank of steel pipes, our rubber coatings sliding slickly against each other under the bare red bulb above us in its little metal crash cage.
I manage to crouch just enough to place my mouth on her tit, sliding it along the top of the soft dome, but my ass hits the door when I try to get at her nipple. I splay my knees, hunch down, my tongue aching from the straining- Shit, just another inch! Maybe this closet wasn't such a good idea after all. We should really try to get up to the bridge. It's got carpet, the instrument panels going like christmas lights, and the big transparent aluminum canopy with the black rock twinkling above it like stars...
But it's too late, they're here. "Ah here it is. Thought it was further down the hallway..."
The thud of duffel bags being dropped, "It's not a hallway dummy! The correct nautical term is 'axilinear stomp-o-way'..."
Lori startles, this term uncannily close to how they name things in her world of origin. A strange bleedthrough...
She shakes her head---nevermind all that---and reaches up and grabs the metal brace across the water pipes. Pulls herself up to where I can reach her rigid little nipple. She shudders as my tongue dances across its tip, side, top, bottom- flicking and feinting...
"So excuse me if I don't speak squid. I'm USMC. Family tradition and all that. It was bad there for a while when I came out as a tire biter, but me and my Pop ...... we got over that eventually. But he woulda SHIT if I woulda joined any other branch of the service-"
To help her stay up I wrap my arms tightly around her. Our faces close, breathing hotly on each other's. Comfortable enough, and properly aligned, we resume kissing, her bare boobs flattening warmly against me...
Finally. Finally here! No psycho Bruno, none of Rosalie's weird games, hard as Gibralter and nothing is gonna stop me!
Quite late for work I suppose //// EVIL GLARING YELLOW CLOCKRADIO \\\\ but FUCK THEM it doesn't matter, because I quit that horrible job. That world. I know now it was never real, and I'll never be going back!
The Star Wars march thuds faintly through the hull of the ship. Lori hallelujah!
Our tongues slither around each other, wrestle & tug like eels in heat!
Her hands reach around to my ass, to jerk me forward...
As my dick
into her
= = = = >UnghGOD!< = = = =
NOTE: I wrote this novella during the Clinton years, most of PART FIVE during the Lewinski hearings on CNN. A coarse inarticulate right wing crook of a president hypocritically pandering to scary religious zealots felt like a real stretch of the imagination to me...
NOTE: While writing this I listened to the following cds and albums:
The Beatles: RUBBER SOUL /// Jefferson Starship: RED OCTAPUS /// Billy Holiday: THE VERVE COLLECTION (disc 2) /// the Pixies: BOSSANOVA /// Berlin: PLEASURE VICTIM /// Ike + Tina Turner Review: WHAT U SEE IS WHAT U GET (Live at Carnegie Hall) /// the Scientists: WEIRD LOVE /// Captain Beefheart & his Magic Band: LICK MY DECALS OFF BABY /// the Who: QUADROPHENIA /// Luciano Berio: LABORINTUS II (Berio conducts Musique Vivante) /// Soft Cell: NONSTOP EROTIC CABARET /// Lou Reed: CONEY ISLAND BABY /// Shonen Knife: BIRDS & THE B-SIDES /// Akiru Ifukube: GODZILLA SOUNDTRACK /// Eno: HERE COME THE WARM JETS /// Dolly Parton: BUBBLING OVER /// Ali Akbar Khan: "80 MINUTE RAGA" /// John Cale: FEAR /// GAMELANS OF JAVA (Nonesuch ?)  /// Psychedelic Furs: FOREVER NOW /// Marty Robbins: IT'S A SIN /// Prokofiev: SCYTHIAN SUITE (Boulez/Paris) /// the epidemics: YOU CAN BE ANYTHING /// Roxy Music: FOR YOUR PLEASURE /// CRUMB soundtrack /// Love & Rockets: 7TH DREAM OF TEENAGE HEAVEN /// Pharoah Sanders: MESSAGE FROM HOME /// Syd Barret: BARRET /// Screamin' Jay Hawkins: VOODOO JIVE /// Blondie: PARALLEL LINES /// Ramatam: IN APRIL CAME THE DAWNING OF THE RED SUNS /// Bowie:
STATION TO STATION /// Lil Green: WHY DON'T YOU DO RIGHT? (1940-42) /// Henry Kaiser: HEART'S DESIRE /// Hole: PRETTY ON THE INSIDE /// Beethoven's 7TH (Reiner/Chicago) /// Tom Waits: FRANK'S WILD YEARS /// Goo Goo Dolls: SUPERSTAR CARWASH /// Modern Jazz Quartet: PLASTIC DREAMS /// Bonzo Dog Band: URBAN SPACEMAN /// Sly & the Family Stone: STAND /// Jesus & Mary Chain: BARBWIRE KISSES /// Patti Smith: RADIO ETHIOPIA /// X-Ray Spex: GERM FREE ADOLESCENTS /// Thee Midniters: WHITTIER BLVD. /// BRAZIL soundtrack /// the Fugs: IT CRAWLED INTO MY HAND, HONEST /// Boss Hogg: RUBY RUBY /// the Kinks: LOLA VS. POWERMAN & THE MONEY GO ROUND /// Dan Hicks: WHERES THE MONEY? /// Howlin Wolf: CADILLAC DADDY 1952 /// TRAINSPOTTING soundtrack /// STRAWBERRY SWITCHBLADE /// Current 93: IMPERIUM /// LOST HIGHWAY (soundtrack) /// The Cramps: A DATE WITH ELVIS /// CCR: PENDULUM /// Grace Slick: BARON VON TOLLBOOTH VS. THE CHROME NUN /// Hooch: MAXIMUM SHINDIG /// Captain Beefheart: SHINY BEAST (Bat Chain Puller) /// Pain Teens: BEAST OF DREAMS /// John Handy Quintet: LIVE @ MONTEREY 1965 /// Buddy Morrow: NIGHT TRAIN GOES TO HOLLYWOOD /// Iggy Pop: AMERICAN CAESAR /// Miles Davis: BIG FUN /// Hendrix: RAINBOW BRIDGE /// Ravel: DAPHNIS & CHLOE (???) /// Royal Fingerbowl: HAPPY BIRTHDAY SABO /// STUFF SMITH & his Onyx Club Boys: 1936-1939 /// Pere Ubu: DATAPANIC IN THE YEAR ZERO /// Passion Fodder: FAT TUESDAY /// Bowie: LOW /// Louie Armstrong: HOT 5'S & 7'S (vol. 2) /// Bobby Bare: DOWN & DIRTY /// Sonic Youth: WASHING MACHINE /// Camper van Beethoven: OUR BELOVED REVOLUTIONARY SWEETHEART... 


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