There were no days for Manny, just routine. Every morning he awoke refreshed, healed, yet mindful of the sordid pain that lay ahead. He reached for the remote control on the bedside cabinet, and felt the heavy burden of its promise. Heaving his now muscular naked body out of bed, he ran a hand through tousled shoulder length hair. A short walk from bed to lounge chair, a personal Via Dolorosa, he sat facing the television. Resigned to his fate, Manny raised the remote control, fingers coldly manipulating a well-worn combination of buttons.
Hour after hour, he endured the onscreen depravity. Female bodies, sweating, flexing with hypnotic rhythm. Their breasts heaved with swollen maternal temptation, taut buttocks stretched upon splayed legs. Manny masturbated hard, penis red raw, wrist tendons inflamed by the rapid pumping. Drenched in perspiration, he reached for an erection pill every time flaccidity threatened - timely Cortisone injections easing the wrist pain.
Expecting the Heaven of God Almighty, Manny found himself waylaid and thrust into this human artifice of resurrection – the highwaymen of the future had forsaken their trusty steeds and flintlocks in favour of quantum time displacement and an arrogant mastery of DNA. It was a blasphemous parody of his expectations; a man-made Sodom and Gomorrah for all humanity. Manny partly believed that the manner of his death, suicide, contributed to this entrapment, and sought forgiveness. Self–flagellation was Manny’s chosen conduit to God:
“Take me, oh Lord. Take me, oh Lord. Take me, oh Lord. Let me die so that I may leave this place. Let me take my place in your kingdom. Take me, oh Lord …”
Early evening, the self-flagellation continued. By now, blood oozed from a patchwork of blisters and rips along the shaft of the abused penis. In the early days, before realising the importance of liberal lubrication, the unremitting friction sometimes removed most of the skin. Painkillers and plasters fought the flames but did not put out the fire. Manny howled in agony, grimacing, eyes red rimmed from the tears and torture of his autoerotic penitence – praying God received unsolicited communications from deep within Satan’s realm.
Midnight brought instant sleep, instant relief. In the morning he would awake, healed, refreshed … mindful of the sordid pain that lay ahead.
Stephen Ayres: Copyright 2010