I was out of town for a few days recently. Before I left, I figured the trip might give me a little break from this whole Ratman-and-Monk saga. To my surprise, though, I found I had trouble thinking about anything else. (I've noticed that the Monk's hold on me is greatest when I'm not actually in his presence. The real thing--or the pretend-real-thing--can be too hard to take sometimes; it's easier to have a relationship with my projected version of him. Sort of like most people's relationship to a higher power, when you think about it.) In an aiport bookstore I came across a slightly sleazy looking paperback called Cannibal: The True Story Behind the Maneater of Rotenburg by Lois Jones, about a German man who literally and willingly offered his body to another man he'd found through the internet. The two men evidently got together, and ... well, here's part of the back-cover blurb:
"Bernd Juergen Brandes ... arrived at Meiwes's isolated country home literally to be eaten alive. Escorted to the 'slaughtering room'--equipped with meat hooks, a cage, and a butcher's table--Meiwes assisted Bern in a gourmet candlelight dinner of his own cooked flesh..." (Hey, I toldja it was a sleazy book.)
Now, I should say RIGHT HERE AND NOW that I am NOT into cannibalism, so please do NOT invite me to your home if you intend to serve me to myself. No, the one thing that intrigued me about the scenario (as you can guess, I ended up buying the book, but I haven't picked it up since) was this notion of one man knowingly submitting himself to another with such thoroughness--heading off somewhere to let the other man have his way with him. And that planted in my head a fantasy: the Monk summoning me to his home for some extended period of time. Early on, and again a few months ago, he asked if I was interested in getting together offline, and I said no. Well, sure, I'm interested, to put it mildly, but that would clearly be crossing a line in my real life relationship that I"m not willing to cross. (As hot as this complicated, multi-character online saga may be, I refuse to sacrifice my real-life happiness, or to hurt the Hub. I do worry sometimes that I've already compromised that pledge, but my instincts tell me that's not the case.)
I couldn't get the idea of a face-to-face encounter out of my mind for the entire trip (which was sort of boring, which probably explains why I kept obsessing on this far more interesting scenario). So I came home and proposed to M that I write the fantasy in story form and post it on the "Perils of Batman" Yahoo group, where I used to post bat-stories several years ago. It works like this: I told him the initial premise ("show up at this address in your street clothes; pack your ratsuit and nothing else"), then he gave me the outline for what would happen when I arrived at the compound. As each of seven days proceeds, he will dictate the action and I will write the text, adding in my reactions to whatever torments and treats he throws my way. (The process will surely take far longer than a week to unfold, so I hope nobody's impatient. Given the response so far, I don't think I have anything to worry about.)
There is, as usual, more to be said about all of this, but--as usual--I have too many other things to do at the moment (damn that daylight world!), so they'll just have to wait. Meanwhile, please check out the story and let me know what you think about it.
And, remember, NO flesh-eating, boys and girls. It's only a movie... it's only a movie...
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