I’m chaperoning Opium at the jammed apartment of Fil’s father, Max. We’re wedged into his pack rat life, a shabby little place in Christie Pits, owned by the noisy Porkchops yabbering downstairs. A lot of incandescent lights are on, red paisley pattern wallpaper. Tables and bed are supported by boxes of third and fourth hand war books every chairborne commando must own. A raft of plastic bags fills one corner.
Max always asks me about his son and I never reply.
He nods and mumbles, “Filmore P. Mann. Whereabouts unknown.”
Opium picks her way through this overheated overstuffed crap pad, idly scoping tiny soldier figurines and boxes of hot rod postcards. Her black hair is in long pigtails with plastic devil barrettes. She wears Oxfords, white knee socks, kids training pants and a child-size wifebeater, as if about to finish dressing in a navy blue pinafore with sky blue ribbons. She sucks on a lollipop while examining Max’s collection of scale model WWII British fighter planes hung from the ceiling by fishing wire.
Max is missing his left hand from mid-wrist. I’ve heard a bunch of different versions how it happened, from an inexplicable cleaver attack to the extremely rare Doctor Strangelove Syndrome, where the hand was removed because it kept trying to tear out his throat.
Currently he’s using an old fleshtone prosthesis bought at a garage sale after losing his yearly allotment. The losses are down to Max getting boozed up and taking it off to play up some drunken gag then leaving it on the bar.
Pensioned off from the Transit Commission’s ideological purity division years ago, he whiles away his days building dildo attachments adapted to fit onto a universally swiveling mount he sticks over his stump, custom braced all the way up to the elbow. His dildo arm is twice as thick as his drinking and smoking arm so he’s ended up looking like a tennis player.
Max’s Friday night visits from Opium have been going on for quite a time – months, I guess. To truly get off, he requires a very specific set up. She must wear her child’s underthings and sit in the oversized wingback opposite him, feet dangling as she reads aloud from a dumbed down fairy tale collection – one of those volumes with the pop-up 3D characters. Max then playfully menaces her with one of his dildo attachments, making it rev up and down with suggestive zings. She smiles shyly and continues to read, slow and unsure, as a child of five might. After about ten minutes of this warm-up, Max discreetly wacks off under a big coffee table volume full of those grainy old trench warfare photos from Passchendaele. Opium pretends not to notice.
Cooking up a shot, I watch Max fuck around with his latest contraption, “The Dildonator.” He’s used the mechanism from a reciprocating saw with a massive twelve-inch red rubber dong mounted on a metal shaft. The thing’s thick as the business end of a Louisville slugger. It’s powered by thick cables running to a 12 volt car battery sitting on the floor.
He plans to patent and market his creation through “gentlemen’s magazines.” This new device not only pounds up and down but he’s installed a mini gyroscope to effect random wiggles, waggles and figure eights. Max has been badgering me to ask Opium to take a test drive. Yeah, that’ll work. The chick’s got like an eighteen waist.
“Approximates skilled fornication method,” Max blurts as he waves it around.
He hits an On switch zip-tied to his upper arm and the dong begins a slow articulated rhumba. A hollow section in the middle is full of colored plastic beads. They rattle and clatter as a blue-lit greeting card diode plays the Average White Band tune, Cut The Cake. The thing does in fact wiggle, waggle and wondrously worm its way through a snappy little routine. Opium doesn’t look up from her fairy tales.
After a minute or so the Dildonator seems to get stuck and repeatedly swivels to the left. The motor whines as the mega-dong angrily pogos up and down, as if throwing a tantrum. Max hits the off switch but no dice. The beast howls and dervishes. Its centrifugal force almost throws him out of his wheelchair. Max strains and battles to unlock it from the gyrating base. It’s clamped on tight. He yowls in pain as the thing almost twists off a finger.
The motor bursts into flame, igniting the sparkle-filled red rubber phallus. It quickly liquefies black. Max shrieks as molten effluent runs down to his forearm. I grab the loco dong with the sleeves of my jacket and try to tear it off him. The thing deforms in my hands, its slimy napalm ooze sticking to me and anything else it touches. Pieces of it drip and run onto the carpet. The rug catches fire. I stamp on it but the goop comes up in flaming strings stuck to my boot.
Opium finally springs into action.
“Don’t get water!” I holler. “It’s an electrical fire.”
“What then?!” she yells from the kitchen.
“Something powder! Baking soda. Anything!”
I grab a dirty towel off the floor and swat at my sleeve, now going up. The dong motor spins and screeches. I duck as it hurls its remaining guts in a wild 360. The distended nightmare glob twists and sizzles, strung between me, Max and his chair. He screams again as the dong splatters more flaming black rubber at his face. I try to corral it with the towel. It goes up too, a fiery white flag.
“Hurry the fuck up!” I yell just as me, Max and the rabid dong get hit with a choking cloud of laundry powder. The light blue crystals clump and smoke but finally kill the melted remains of the haywire dildo. The monster buzzes and burps a final time.
Opium stands there, jumbo detergent box in her hands. She wears an astonished grin. Max shrugs, sheepish, picks at the bits of melted rubber stuck to his glasses.
Babalon - Javier Pinon