Sunday, 6 June 2010

Part Six: Body Fuck/Mind Fuck

into skin tight black leggings, the old faithful monster boots, red silk polo neck shirt, black kid driving gloves with golden demon rings - my Satan-S identity.

In those days, before we advanced across the electronic frontier, there were many more bodies and many more mouths to feed them. Accordingly, there were many restaurants and meat joints to shovel food into those mouths and they came and went with the all the endurance of mayflies as the fickle diners of the city flitted from one to another on the ineffable zephyr of the zeitgeist. I slipped on my set and hooked into the restaurant gallery: CafĂ© Economique was rated highly, so I tagged it and set the car to go. It was in the basement of a dilapidated old government building at the bottom of the Terrace and the name was some sort of joke which I didn’t quite get (just like the “Backbencher” on Molesworth - I’d thought it was some sort of joke about the arena, but there were pictures of old fashioned men and women in suits and stuff - I just don’t get it). It had never attracted a regular clientele in the eight months since opening and had been starved of the publicity that a regular scene can generate, so I was surprised to see it rating highly. When I got there I understood what had happened: it had re-done itself andy-style: cold steel, pink and blue neon, lots of black paint. A stage had displaced the tables by the kitchen door and two naked andies writhed around to their tuneless, rhythmless music.

He saw me and squealed “Dyyylllannnn!” He stuck his arms out and rushed at me. I dodged aside but was too slow to get away from his cold, clammy face as it pressed down against my cheek. He was dressed completely in black, his long red hair cropped into a square andy-slice, his beard gone. He carried the andy look with all the sincerity of low-alcohol beer.

“Mwah! Metzger, I haven’t seen you for soooooo long.”

“Yes, I’ve been avoiding you, you little meatlouse.”

“Oh-hoooraggh, Satan-S!” He waggled his finger at me, with a sly grin, as if he got the joke immediately. There was no joke but you could be as rude as you wanted to Curtis and he’d take it as a joke - how could anyone not like Curtis?

“Just get me a table out of the way, all right? Feeling a bit Metzgered, you know.”

“Oh ho ho!” His long thin arms twitched in a shrug of desperate humour. “Not like you to avoid the harsh glare of publicity, eh, my dear? Ha ha ha.”

“I’ll sit over there.”

He scampered in front of me and pressed a scraggy piece of coarse jotter pad like paper into my hand. “Our new menu. Authentic androgynous food.”

I didn’t grip, and it fluttered to the floor. When I was seated I said: “Just bring two bacon sandwiches and a pitcher of water, a black coffee and a Muldoon’s Pilsener, you Metzgersucker.”

“Ah ha ha,” he laughed with affectionate indignation, bowing low over his skinny legs as he hopped away backwards. “Oh ho ho.” He disappeared into the kitchen.

sat at the opposite side of the table in front of me. He hadn’t been there when I sat down and I hadn’t seen him arrive.

“Dylan.” He nodded slightly in greeting.

I sat for while looking at him, wondering how to respond. He looked at me, thinking Mammon-knows-what. Curtis brought the food, and stood just inches away from the Blue Man as he laid out two bacon sandwiches garnished with a little bit of green stuff and a large cup of dark coffee.

“Better be good.” I said.

He stiffened. His eyes narrowed and he looked down his nose at me. “We are the best restaurant in this city,” he said though clenched teeth. “We may be expensive, but you get what you pay for.”

“Okay, Curtis, okay.”

“Everything is cooked to MY OWN EXACTING STANDARDS.”

People from the nearest tables were staring, looking down straight andy-noses and asking themselves “who could be so gauche, so polar as to criticise the food in this most real of places.” Why did every Metzger have to be so fucking uptight? That shit totally stuffed my bandwidth, know what I mean?

“I’m sure it’s totally Metzger, it looks fantastic.”

Curtis suddenly twitched into an over-relaxed smile and spread his long thin hands. “Enjoy.”

He was muscular, well-formed, like a dancer. His face was smooth, ambiguously handsome and paternalistic, but the eyes were red pits, not bloody red but the fiery-orange of hot coals, gaps in his face without surface that looked in to a vast, red, alien universe. I finished the second sandwich and leaned back in my chair. Full, self-confident, I took a long swig of beer, challenging him to break the silence.

“I am Manisola. I come -”


“Manisola. Manisola the Pearl, grown from seed planted in history by the last of the ancient masters. Manisola, the living embodiment of their will. I am here to immanentise the new age of wonders, the age of illumination. You have been chosen to be the first of the new illuminati, to lead your fellows from the material to the spiritual plane. The spiritual pole is my origin, the spiritual pole is your destiny.” His voice was deep and full, the perfect medium for his extraordinary message. He spoke with great urgency and authority. I almost believed it.

“What if I told you that you were a figment of my imagination?”

“You are in a state of ego-led non-perception. You see the world as an exterior phenomenon with you as its centre. The phenomena of reality are -”

“No, no, no. I can prove it. Yesterday evening I had a device implanted in my head, Janus it’s called, and it produces programmed hallucinations. You are a hallucination.”

“The medium of my appearance is unimportant. In terms of your reality, whether I -”

“No, you don’t get it. These are programmed hallucinations. I have been programmed to have a spiritual awakening, an illumination. You are part of the programme.”

“What you believe is not important. I am real. You will be illuminated. Before the last Ice Age, plans were laid with you at their centre. In those days, the Earth spun on a straight axis and there were no seasons. The North Pole was a land of perpetual sunlight and prosperity, a paradise on Earth. A race of mighty people, the root race of the Aryan peoples of today, lived there in harmony with the waves and particles of destiny.”

“Oh, blah-blah-blah blah-BLAH!”

He soldiered on. “Their knowledge of arcane matters was very advanced, greater than mankind’s present skill with science and they predicted the tilting of the Earths axis in a great cataclysm that would destroy their civilisation.”


“That is one version of the story.”

“But not the real version?”

“Mine is the only real version. I alone bring the knowledge of the ancients with me, intact through history”

I shook my head. “I suppose I should be recording this. Then Zac can see for himself.”

we have been brought together. To you, it seems mere coincidence, a series of unconnected events that have combined to produce this experience. That is only half the truth. The apparently unconnected nature of coincidence is organisation of another kind. These events are long-planned, but in a way you could never grasp.”

He was pretty convincing, actually authentic and all that. A little bit dull and pedantic, but I guess that comes with the headspace. It just didn’t move me. There was nothing in the initial material that was especially promising, and I suppose it’s a showbiz clichĂ© to say that the early days of a series are scant indication of what's to come, when the cast and plot bed in. But, while it was well presented, I knew it wasn’t something that was going to work out. Whatever Zac’s plans, he’d have to come up with a motivation considerably more convincing than this he expected me to get religion.

I slipped on the table set and checked out the society and fashion galleries, but Manisola the Teacher was superimposed across all of them.

from Italy, Katy opened a message line to me. “Dylan, hi.”


“I’m over the other side of the cafe with Arthur and Princess Princess.” I peeked under the set and saw them sitting together close to the stage. Arthur was flicking toothpicks at the performing andies. In the media, Katy looked over at the Teacher, who had stopped yattering and was listening to our conversation. “Who’s this?”

“Oh, I don’t know, some virus, I think, the techies at the Ministry are looking into it.”

“Oh, okay. Look, we all thought we might go to a Watties Hot Buttered Love Oven, fuck, then go rockstar. Coming along?”

 “Sure,” I said “Sounds fun.” Manisola stepped back through the media scene and out of my consciousness.

and they were all looking good, as usual: Arthur was a Maori guy, a bit shorter than me, with a puckish face shaved bald tonight and dressed in a plain, grey, single-breasted suit and white rollneck. He was major face working for a private PR company that hired him out to promote whatever mega product was a heading down the tubes at the market. I believe he had just finished pushing some resort overseas and was at present “between engagements”, as they say. Princess Princess was an Asian girl with long black hair that framed her powdered white face, rendering it into a mask of oriental mystery. Tonight she wore a projected hologram, a shimmering cloud of gold. She was Media Coordinator with the Benway Clinic, that operated out of the old monastery that looked out over Oriental Bay (which closed down the day before yesterday, incidentally, as all the staff have switched their meat forms off). Katy had her hair up in a silver beehive and wore a scarlet mini-dress with white, fringed boots; she looked great, like the Nancy that guarded the gate to the US-Web. Outside the club, Arthur took some shots for his fashion hour as we cavorted on the old, burned-out road cars that still rusted in the carpark.

It was Arthur’s idea to do shoot in a Watties Hot Buttered Love Oven. He wanted to capture the decadent kitsch of the Watties' impoverished bad taste. Katy wanted to go to the Kilbirnie branch, which was the subbiest of all, in the heart of the subbiest ’burb of the city area, and then back to her club, for comparison. I asked Katy if this was a good idea, bearing in mind our current status with the Watties, but Arthur assured us it was okay: as long as the footage was good, his PR company would cover us.

We flew over in my car, it being the biggest.

and we had a look through the catalogue. It was a tough choice, all the options were pretty bad. We were very tempted by the Mongol Horde room, but Arthur said the leafy shadows and animal prints of the African jungle room would match nicely with this month’s theme for one of his sites, so jungle it was. The room was quite small, not being a group room (like the Mongol Horde) and the vines and African totem poles growing from the ceilings and floors made it seem more cramped. Hanging from the walls and draped over the chaise were enough vat-grown leopard, zebra and tiger skins for King Kong’s loin cloth (and yes, I know there were never tigers in Africa, but this is the Watties remember?).

Standing in the middle of all this opulence was Manisola the teacher, sporting a large blue erection that stuck out horizontal from his thighs. I laughed out loud.

“What is it, Dylan,” said Katy, looking around at the others, afraid she’d missed something. I shook my head and passed around some Acid Drops to distract them.

The music in the booth was old-style 20th C jungle out-of-copyright-classics: typical Watties, cutting corners. The temperature was turned right up and we were already gleaming with sweat. We popped a few uppers, Tyson’s Secrets as I recall, and began oiling each other down. The Teacher rubbed Katy’s breasts and, although it was obvious that she couldn’t see him, her nipples hardened in response. I stared at her tits and she smiled, cupping them at me. So was the Teacher solid or not? I still don’t know.

Arthur came over and we kissed, our tongues sliding against each other, luxuriating in the sensation of tastebuds rubbing against tastebuds. Arthur looked like a smaller, bronze version of the Teacher, though his face was slightly coarser and his stomach showed the first signs of paunch. Princess Princess stood between us rubbing our dicks together in her thin brown hands, with a wistful look from her glittering, minnow shaped eyes, she began to kiss our chests and nipples.

Katy got down on her knees between us and began kissing and licking each of our penises in turn, Princess Princess joined her and they were soon, giggling swapping our dicks between them. The Teacher was standing behind Arthur rubbing his buttocks and back. Pink, sweet smelling smoke hissed in from one of vents in the roof. Arthur began laughing, and lay back on the warm furs. Princess Princess sat on his face, teasing him with her well trimmed cunt, while Katy lowered herself onto his short fat erection. The girls kissed and rubbed each other. I was feeling kind of left out (always a problem with group scenes) when I looked down to see that the Teacher was sucking my dick, and he wasn’t bad at it either. I wanted to return the favour but I wasn't sure how that would look if the others couldn't see him.

We got down to the tedious grind of it. Arthur got up and Princess Princess knelt in front of him, sticking her arse in the air. He slid his penis inside her and she sighed. Katy pushed me to the ground and sat on my face, squirming, rubbing herself into me. Arthur’s penis began poking at Katy’s cunt so I guided it in and sucked on his scrotum. On and on and on...

I looked around and saw Princess Princess wanking herself, the Teacher taking the opportunity to enter her from behind. She seemed to respond, but in a rather non-specific way. I kind of resented this almost scientific curiosity I had about the Teacher: I really wanted to concentrate on my performance.

this rough rubbing of mucous membranes in a desperate effort to achieve intimacy. In a world where you can shatter your soul into a million pieces and blend it with whoever you wish, there is a something almost tragic about those rutting beasts.

to cool off a bit after we’d recorded enough material. Manisola did his side step with reality out of the picture with an emotionless gesture of farewell in my direction. There were a couple of old wannabes in lounging in the plunge pool, he a pot-bellied rugby-racing-and-beer type, she Mrs Drudge the Cleaning Lady. It wasn’t a pretty sight. We all laughed and gave them a bit of a show, rubbing and fingering each other. The man was soon hard (no injections or stimulants: typical amateur) and he came over to introduce himself.
    “Hi there, I’m Bill. You kids want to make a group scene?”
    We all laughed. “We are a group scene,” said Arthur.
And slammed him face-first into the wall. He collapsed, clutching his face and nose, blood already seeping out between his fingers. The woman gasped, “Ted!” and Arthur ran over, kicked her in the stomach and, as she doubled over, caught her in the face with his knee. He leaned down and shouted in her screaming face: “I thought his name was Bill.”

As Princess Princess sucked me, I carved my initials in the old wanker’s back with my razor. Arthur had brought a wrench with his clothes and began smashing things up, light fittings, driers, taps etc, proper rockstar. Katy was spraying the place with graffiti but I was stuck in place as Princess Princess sucked me off. She seemed to be enjoying herself, but I wanted to tell her not to bother: I hadn’t come for year or more.

Two police cruisers arrived. One of the cops ran into the love cinema and the other three came up to us.

“What’s the problem?” I asked affably.

A junior officer, a thin man, about thirty five with a moustache and big Adam’s apple, said: “You’re in junk this time, Dylan.”

I was confident that he couldn’t touch me but I felt a trill of anxiety play through my body. My voice betrayed a slight tremor: “I’m sure you’re mistaken officer.” I pressed the stud for my car.

“They were Jaffa’s parents. I’m sure I don’t have to remind you that police and their relatives enjoy special privileges.”

Katy gave them a funny look. “They weren’t Jaffa’s folks, I’ve met Jaffa’s folks, I fucked his father.”

“You Metzger, meatcunt,” said the cop, stepping forward, hand raised as if to hit her.

I moved between them and laughed dismissively, trying to sound confident. Behind me, Arthur and Princess Princess were shifting about nervously.

“What is it about you kids?” said the senior Watties. He looked like he was in his fifties, probably had been a cop before the revolution: I was amazed the Watties still had him on active duty. “Why’d you do this? What makes you think you can get away with this shit?”

“Evolution?” I said and my friends giggled behind me. “Well, if you’re not going to press any charges-”

The junior officer pulled out his gun, a big black thing. “I dare you.” he said.

which should have been here by now. I pressed the stud again, several times.

“You've no idea what's really going on, do you? In the back rooms, deals have been made, agreements reached. Things’re going to change in this country, in the whole world, that’s going to mean the death of you and your sort.” I flinched slightly as he spat the last words at me like something foul and sticky.

The others didn’t seem to be listening to him. “What the hell are you talking about, you subbie knob-end.” I said, which enraged him even more.

A rope ladder dropped down just behind me and Arthur hopped onto it. His gyro accelerated upward, carrying him away. Katy and Princess Princess called out to him, but he was gone. I didn’t take my eyes off the cop.

Trying to keep things cool, mellow the situation a little.

The old cop said to Katy “As for you, you realise there’s a general order out on you? I thought you’d have more sense than to pull a stunt like this. Medlicotts won’t help you now.”

“I’ve got a deal with the Nomads. You delete me, they’ll be after you.”

“You think those ludds care about a deal? Once they’ve got your money-” he shrugged. The young cop’s eyes glittered with intent, I could hear his heavy rasping breath.

“Hey, hey,” Princess Princess stepped between them, “Look, just everyone calm down. My clinic’ll pay for the damage, what’s the problem? We can fix these people up, whoever they are. Everything's Metzger, right? It's all totally sustainable.”

The older Watties shook his head. “I'm too old for this crap,” he said and walked back to his car. As he got in, he looked back at Katy, and I could see pity in his old eyes. The young cop didn't move. He was breathing heavily and his eyes had gotten tight and red. It was all going off.

Appeared, assembling himself in front of me from twisting coloured streamers, stitching himself into reality. “I am here, Dylan.”

If he could do here what he did to the sniffer outside Flicker, then we had a chance. A moment later my car arrived, and I thought we’d made it. I started backing off toward the car.

Princess Princess kept a line of chatter going with the cop. “What we’ve got here, I think, is tempers a little frayed, early in the morning, not communicating too well.” She began to walk, one step at a time, back to my car, taking Katy with her. Katy was freaked, face white, shaking slightly, like she’d had some sort of intuition of what was coming.

The Teacher was watching me and I indicated the cop with my eyes, trying to communicate what I wanted him to do. After a few seconds he clicked and raised his arm at the cop, fingers spread. He took a deep breath.

a tingling, then a rushing, then a roaring and I began to shake. The pit of my stomach flipped over and over, threatening to send its contents flying for a second time that night. My arsehole loosened and pursed spastically. The Teacher let out a groan, a low, sibilant, extended grunt, and clutched his head. As I watched, a ripple went through him, like jelly hit with a stone. The ripples got stronger, back and forth, and, all at once, Manisola flew apart into ping-pong ball sized globs, falling to the ground and running away like rivulets of blue mercury. I could feel my head splitting, bolts of pain coursing through it, and I fell back against the bonnet of my car.

right next to me, cracked the moment in two. I can hear them now, right in my ear, hyper-real, impossibly loud, not a recording but something else, something involuntary and inescapable. I looked up and saw Katy collapse slowly. Princess Princess fell with her, not injured, but folding in empathic agony. She shrieked, high-pitched anime anguish.

Not thinking, my head still splitting, I dived into my car. The cop fired, grazing my calf before I could pull my leg in.

I hit the climb button.

Just a cut, and I slapped some faux flesh over it. I switched off my cam and searched for the hip-flask. It was empty, I hadn’t refilled it since meeting the sniffers. Before today I hadn’t touched it for weeks.

I tried to concentrate on my next move, but Katy’s face came to me unbidden and unstoppable. As my head spun, images superimposed: Katy as a teenager during the rebellion; the magic bus when we’d been “steadies”; the opening bash for her Love Cinema; her gaping ruined face as she fell to the car park floor. I didn’t love Katy, I didn’t love anybody, but -

Sharp jags of pain caught my stomach and tears wet my face in a flood, blurring my vision. I wiped them away, I had to think clearly. I’d seen a lot deaths in the scene, a year didn’t go by in which someone didn’t come to a nasty end, but this - this -

I wanted to kill someone. I bashed at the moulded plastic console of the car, bruising my hands. I wanted to kill but I daren’t go back to the Hot Buttered Love Oven because the Watties would be out for me now, I had to find somewhere to hide. There was nothing I could do, no revenge I could realistically pursue. Pain and rage pricked at me, prodding and scorching me to get out there and fucken - fucken - but -

Ah, fuck it.

a couple of mood suppressors and a deep, deep breath. When I felt ready, I plugged in the route for the Ministry. I knew that I’d be safe from the Watties there, and perhaps I could talk to Zac, sort something out, come up with a suitable plotline for revenge. It was six am, so I changed into a subtle business ensemble, purple leggings with a crimson double breasted jacket, black silk shirt and a wide green tie. I didn’t want to attract attention.

I headed to the Glide Time Bar & Grill to grab some breakfast, settle my guts before the next step, try and think things through. Coffee, a bacon sandwich, some juice. The big story in the paper was the continuing break up of the United States: Texas was arming itself for war against the California/Mexico alliance. As if anybody cared any more. After their crimes during the revolution, Texas deserved to be wiped. Mexico wanted to flip some nukes over the border, but the Man With No Name, California’s wise, old leader, was rightly concerned about the effects of fallout. In the local news, the Watties had raided drainage tunnels around by the old Dominion Museum and caught several anti-Medlicott terrorists, representing some obscure Belgian firm that wasn’t named, and confiscated illegal drugs and equipment. By seven, the place was getting crowded, so I drank my coffee and headed for the office.

begging to take part in consumer surveys or “just a free sample, eh, mate?”. Revulsion shook me, not for these poor loathsome scum, but for myself and the system that left them to rot. I suddenly understood how I was responsible for this, how I let this happen. These poor men and women were no weaker or stronger than me, no less deserving of respect or contempt. I wave of sympathy swept over me.

as old as the iniquitous distribution of wealth, entrepreneurship in its purest form. Misery, well packaged and correctly marketed, is a great product: that is the essence of charity. I began to thinking about a beggar’s agency, like a talent developer. I could show these wretches how to maximise their misery for their own benefit. Arlo Makepeace Dylan: Mendicants Inc.

I got to the lift without meeting anyone, it was still a bit early, I suppose, but just as the lift doors went to close Richard slipped in, easily sliding his tall, thin body through the closing crack of door. The doors shuddered, stopped for a second, painfully re-opened, then closed cautiously. I could almost hear the mainframe sigh and click its tongue.

“You’re in early,” said Richard, cheerily.

“I thought I’d get an early start on the weekend.”

“Good idea!” We lapsed into silence underlined by the tired groaning of the lift.

After a moment he said: “No trouble with the...” He tapped his temple.

“No!” I said. “Right as rain!” I paused: “Enjoy the party last night?”

He looked at me quizzically: “Party?”

“Er, didn’t I see you at Zac’s last night?”

“I didn’t go to Zac’s last night. Working late.” he said. The lift came to a halt. “Your floor.”

“Right, see you later.”

NEXT: Shit just keeps getting wierder. In the meantime, here's Five Years from Mr David Bowie.

The photo at the top of this post is by flickr user Newsbiepix and is used here under the terms of the creative commons license.

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