Sunday, August 2, 2009

Bathroom Monologue: Luxuria

What a week to visit, good tourist. There are fifty-two weeks in a year, so it’s easy to toss one away for the next as soon as it’s over. But there are fifty-two cards in a deck and we all respect aces. This is a joker of a week, good tourist.

All seven vices are walking the earth for seven days. Not men stuffing their faces and bank accounts. No mere metaphors. The very vices themselves. Touch my shoulder and we will see them, these gods. Be they gods to you? Demons? Leaches on the back of greatness? To my eyes they are investors. Insecurities Brokers, if you will.

Whatever they are, we must not name them directly. Tread lightly and speak them not, for to speak a vice’s trade when beholding her will alert them all. Silence is the wisest course, as the focus of a vice is untenable.

Look now. Grip my shoulder and see her. You would know her in a crowd of a hundred harlots, though she’s the only one at this dinner. Nearest the host’s seat, hoping to occupy it with him. Let not her modern name fly. This week, let her be Luxuria.

Doesn’t it seem to always begin with her? Easiest to spot in a culture of plunging necklines and micro-skirts. Except she’s not a “her.” She comes off that way because most of her artists are men. Her slaves see the master they want, but her practitioners straddle genders. In truth she’s androgynous, slipping into your bed, getting your toes to curl, and only then becoming what you didn’t want. That’s the trick with Luxuria, making you beg for what you’ll regret. She’ll enjoy it enough for the both of you, and make you mistake being enraptured in her for the actual joy of anything.

What is sexy about her bare midriff? No mortal in the parlor can take his eyes from it. Barely any meat on her flank and they’re licking their chops. What would that bank manager do if he got his hands on it? Copulate with her belly button?

This absurdity is nothing new. Before naked bellies, it was fat butts. Before fat butts, flat ones. And always with the tits. What exactly are a pair of milk-secreting glands going to do for you during sex? They don’t serve as useful handholds. They’re erotic garnish she passes off as steak dinners. But fraud has always helped investors. That’s Luxuria’s business, turning a necessary act and a grand pastime into an industry of insecurity and embarrassment. Hers is an insured portfolio, for if the game of life is to continue, everyone must succumb at least once a generation. In the game, Luxuria can safely tithe life itself.

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