Chapter 8 Index Chapter 10

Subject:      CODY: THE STAND-IN, Chp. 9
From: (Mithryl)
Date:         1997/08/03
Message-Id:   <5s2pck$aol$>

                          THE STAND-IN

                      By Cody Ann Michaels
                     c. All rights reserved

	The next two chapters are dedicated to William Burroughs 1914-1997.

                            Chapter 9

	"...there is nothing to express, nothing with which to express,
nothing from which to express, no power to express, no desire to express,
together with the obligation to express." -- Beckett


	I got my computer back.  I was amazed.  They fixed it in seconds. 
Then I was afraid it was on that Fed Ex plane that crashed in Newark.  It

	The more I knew of Smalhausen, the more I felt he was draining me. 
This was something new.  I was used to being whipped, but this was like I
was being eaten out from inside.  He was taking everything.  On the
surface, there were no marks.  At least, non e that he had left.  But I
still had my other clients.  Tom was writing about two twins he was
butchering in Alabama.  Soft, pliant southern cupcakes.  That's not a
redundancy, by the way.  They were twins, but not with each other.  So
they were two twins .  They were also cousins.  To tell you the truth, I
wasn't following it.  I mean, I get stuff from Tom every day about the
girls he's leaving in the dirt or out in the swamp.  Or hanging in a barn. 
He had killed these girls' sisters the week before.  So now he had four
twins on his notches. 

	Smalhausen really did have two phalluses.  I was amazed.  Didn't
it hurt?  You have no idea.  The division was complete, with one ball to
each cock.  Do they?...  You know...  He said for me to lift my skirt.  As
soon as he saw my stocking tops, they bot h stood up.  That wasn't all. 
Watch, he said.  They wrapped around each other in a corkscrew.  Smal, I
said, do you have any idea what you could do with that?  He shrugged, and
the dicks fell apart.  It's just something I do, he said.  By themselves,
the y were each thinner than a regular dick, but not much.  I also noticed
the cat had sliced him on the bias, one being a little larger at the base
than the other, which was bigger at the nubbin.  Which one do you, uh... 
Piss out of?  They both work.  The d octor, well, he was sort of one,
who... I was embarassed to go to a hospital and tell them... have to
explain the cat... you know, so I asked this guy who lived in the building
at the time, who I knew did... tattoos.  It was illegal in New York at
that ti me.  Not like now.  So he had to work out of his apartment.  He
sewed me up.  For him, it was just another form of body enhancement.  He
asked if I wanted him to insert some stones or other objects under the
skin.  But I said no.  Having two penises was enough.  He pulled his
pants up. 

	I felt sort of sorry for him, but to tell you the truth, I wasn't
much interested.  This is the lower east side.  There are tons of freaks
out there.  Smal was just another small cog in the lineup. 

	How could you have known what I looked like in..., when was it,
you were with Claire?  I wasn't even born.  He said he already knew.  He
had always known.  Because I looked exactly like a young Katherine
Hepburn.  That was who he had seen in Claire's fac e in the frantic moment
of passion he was trying to rip through her fishnet pantyhose.  As proof,
he took out a coffeetable book of photos from her career.  On the cover
was a picture from a movie called Philadephia Story, in a long white dress
and wide b rimmed hat.  My God.  It's Kelly!  No.  It's you.  She played a
debutante named Tracy Lord.  For some reason, the name sounded familiar. 
This was before color but one knew she had red hair.  Tracy's ex-husband,
played by Cary Grant, referred to her as "Red."  He said the movie came
out the year he was born.  She was already 33, the same age as my mother. 

	I had my own troubles.  I'd really been bummed when my laptop
broke.  What made it worse was that I couldn't even turn it on to off-load
my files.  Besides my stories, it was filled with tons of jpegs.  Of me
and Kelly and some of our friends.  I wonder if they peeked, the people
who fixed it.  It came back so fast, I doubt it.  But it's hard not to be
paranoid, especially in today's world.  The whole thing may have been a
setup to get me to send it in, so they could rip off my files.  Evidence. 
Oh yeah , it had all the addresses of people who I write to on the net. 
All their letters.  My raw files.  Oh shit, Kyle's raw file.  They could
really do a number on him.  Then there are the congressmen and senators. 
And that nice Air Force general who wants t o look like Darci Kistler. 
Pataki.  Guiliani.  Marv.  Did you hear that they found Marv's name in the
dead dominatrix's little black book?  Yeah.  It was in the Post.  Well,
that doesn't mean anything.  Just because I have someone's name in my book
doesn 't mean they fuck me.  Does it?  I mean, where I get paid.  Not like
our Mayor who says he's going to pay you, and then doesn't.  Most of the
guys who have me are pretty good about paying.  But believe me, if I ever
slept with Guiliani, the money would ha ve to be cash up front.  None of
this "language of the reward" bullshit.  What kind of talk is that? 

	Well, I'm not going to get into politics.  Not tonight.  It's been
a long week.  I need to unwind.  The Times magazine had an article in this
week's issue about Eagle Pass.  I clipped it out and sent it to my
grandmother.  It seems that Eagle Pass is now the crossing point of choice
for the Smoke Road.  The only thing was, for some reason, I had always
thought Eagle Pass was more in the center of the state.  It's not.  It's
on the Rio Grande, halfway between Laredo and El Paso.  Gran's father came
here i n the 1890s from Ireland.  At one time, he was a Texas Ranger, at
least that's the story.  He married a rich widow who had lots of land. 
Which he sold later when he took the family back to Ireland.  Gran's older
brother hated Ireland.  He went back to Eagle Pass.  He's dead now, but
his descendants are still there.  Gran keeps in touch. 

	Smalhausen has been driving me wild.  Ever since he admitted to me
that he cross dresses, he has been insatiable for attention.  As if he
thought I thought it was the most interesting thing in the world.  Smal, I
said.  Get real. This is the east village .  There are fag hags all over
the place.  Shit.  You go in a diner in the morning, and some queen in a
wig and waitress uniform takes your order.  What makes you think you're so

	I got a lot of nice letters this week.  In one, Smokey Joe said
that someone named Dafney DeWitt had been asking about me.  He sent me one
of her stories, "Hard Candy."  It was great.  Really clean writing style. 
I wish I could do that.  I wonder what s he looks like.  Is she young? 
Blonde.  What.  Like Fuller's sister, Donna?  The guy she writes about.  I
might put her in one of my stories. 

	I liked to imagine being trashed in different people's stories. 
Viddler, for instance.  Fiction is such an odd thing.  Mario Vargas Llosa
wrote that "literature is fire.  It's mission is to arouse, to disturb, to
alarm, to keep men in a constant state o f dissatisfaction with
themselves."  Smalhausen is bringing me down more and more as I try to
work on the character.  I think I made a mistake in creating him, but now
that I have, I can't just drop it.  Don't ask me to explain.  I can't go
back.  I just have to see where it goes.  But it's sure messing up my sex
life, I can tell you.  I feel nothing anymore.  Everything is so
mechanical.  The fans outside are blasting; like a B29 trying to take off
from the courtyard.  On the roof of the building next door. 

	Kelly comes in and says I have a customer.  I go and service him. 
It's over quick. 

	I come back.  Smalhausen is out on the fire escape.  He climbs in. 
The odd thing is, he's not crippled anymore.  He walks around on those
spikes and there's not even a limp.  And his back is straight.  If he
looked like a man, he'd be almost handsome.  I know he thinks he looks
like me, but really, he looks like a 57 year old man in drag.  The makeup
is horrible.  Smeared.  No lip lines.  Too much mascara.  The wig looks
like a mop.  It's not.  It's a real wig, but its red plastic hair is
filled with kn ots and tangles.  He's wearing a black poor boy undershirt
for a dress.  How do I look?  I'm almost tempted to tell him, but I say,
oh, fine.  Fabulous. 



	This isn't going to work.  I don't want to write about faggots.  I
know you're not gay.  You're totally hetero.  But you know, this schtick
has been done hundreds of times.  I'm trying to write a novel about real
people.  I'm sorry you have this tendency , you're a nice guy, but could
you just go away and let me get on with my life? 

	You're rejecting me because I'm a cripple, he says.

	Oh God.  They all say that.  Trying to lay a guilt trip on me. 
I'm not.  Besides, you're not crippled.  Just look at yourself in the
mirror.  When I take this off, I'll be crippled.  Well then, leave it on. 
If drag's what it takes to heal yourself, the n do it.  He said he
couldn't.  It... What... What would your mother say?  I... She'd probably
shit.  Or maybe she'd like it.  She always wanted a daughter.  Now she has

	He stared at himself in the mirror.  The dress was too short, and
exposed his panties, which was how he always drew me.  I wondered, what
did that mean>?  The only answer I got was the clown with his pants
falling down.  That was how he saw women.  With their ass sticking out, or
their panties down around their ankles.  And tits hanging out.  Now he was
the same way.  Essentially, exposed. Vulnerable. Stupid.  Except his
panties kept his twin dicks pulled up into his crease.  Probably wrapped
up together like two snakes fucking.  I stared at him.  Smal?  He had this
look on his face.  Smal?  um?  What are you doing?  Nothing.  Two slabs of
meat with a long clit between them.  Is that what that dick artist had
done to him?  So that he was totally self suf ficient.  Wait a minute, I
thought.  The dick was what was split.  That couldn't be right.  Unless
there was something else.  Down there.  His balls, maybe.  What were they
up to? 

	Why is it that men are so fascinated with their peepee tails?  I
mean, you would think they were women the way they make love to them.
Maybe they are.  Maybe the real women are the men's dicks, and we're just
an extension of them.  Sort of an accessory.  To keep them happy.  Other
than that, we're totally worthless.  Smalhausen expected me to be his
slave and worship his dicks.  I was to treat each one with proper respect. 
And I was not to prefer one over the other.  Because otherwise, I might
set off a conflict.  And one or the other would suffer.  And he would feel
it.  He would be torn apart.  Did I understand, Cody?  I said I did. 

	We went back across the hall to his studio.  I felt I was in for a
long evening.  Smalhausen, I said...  Started to.  That's when he knocked
me down.  With his fist.  He'd never hit me before.  Now we're going to
have a good time. 

	Let the bloody mayhem be off camera.  I don't need to repeat it,
do I?  Smal's name was Mistress Erica.  Frau von Smalhausen.  That was his
mother's name.  He transferred what she had done to him through his fists
into me.  Every guy who's wanted to beat up his mother can get something
back.  That was just the beginning.  When he was done, we went to some
bar, and two guys took him apart.  By the time we got home, he was
crippled again.  Mistress Erica was. 

	I felt empty inside as he fucked me.  It might as well have been a

	Just because your mind is dead doesn't mean your body is not

	That double helix up inside of me.  Like dna.  Smal, what is this? 
I've got three tits.  He'd sewn us together.  At the nipples.  Smal, I'm
not a service station.  In fact, I was attached to everybody else.  He was
fucking Frau Smalhausen.  The trailer was incandescent.  It was giving off
sparks.  What are they doing over there? Gran asked.  I was attached at
her fingertips.  They were working me.  I was twisted and turned.  Kelly
was attached too.  Like an attache case under my left armpit.  She was in
side my heart.  I felt nothing.  Maybe it's for the best.  He worked his
urethera up my sinus cavity. 

	I was like a balloon, feeding him energy through my cadeussus. 
The waves went up and down the spirally things.  You've got a nice touch. 
Now snake it in there.  They were spelunkering my insides.  Smal, where
are you?  I'm right here.  I can't see you. 
  You're going blind.  Hey, wait a minute...  You don't have a choice you
know.  There was no way back.  I felt polluted by the time we were
finished.  Sex isn't supposed to bring you down.  Is it?  How do you feel? 
Okay.  That's not what I asked.  How d o you feel?  uh, with my feet. 
What else?  My head?  My heart.  I don't know.  How do I feel?  I'm asking
you.  Where am I?  In Smal's belly.  oh.  Am I... is he pregnant?  How do
you feel about that?  Stop playing games.  Am I pregnant?  No.  oh.  how d
o you feel?  Stop asking that.  I feel fine.  Get up on a stool.  Why? 
Because I said to.  He did.  I did.  Which is which?  We can't both do it. 
You might think that having your tits tied to someone else's would cramp
your movements.  But eventually, y ou get used to it.  You accomodate. 
And you move on.  Actually, the whole trailer park is sort of hooked up
this way.  Most of it.  Although there's a small population of holdouts
out in the woods. 
You can't possibly mean that?
I do.  He put a sock on it.  It's amorphic, if you know what I mean. 
There's a lot of individual freedom left, if you know how to move.  People
with the right moves are popular.  Those who can't adjust get sort of left
out.  If you know what I mean?  The y aren't holdouts.  They're just sort
of isolated within the greater body.  Like photons.  Or genetic particles. 
The holdouts are completely outside, but within the parameter of the camp. 
So they aren't completely separated.  Like Mr. Cuperand.  His tra iler is
in the middle of the park, but he has never really joined.  Then there are
the deviants.  The sexual criminal.  We get a lot of them.  After they get
out.  People on the list.  Who can't live any place else.  They come here. 
We eventually find ou t about them.  And then there's a lot of warping of
the body politic.  Should we keep them or boot them out.  You see a lot of
these guys on the road nowadays.  A whole population of sexual deviants
floating around the country from one town to the next.  Forced out of
Middleboro, they move to Essex.  From Essex to Cardor, to the Sphinx
Hotel.  On the Beach.  The Sphinx is full of paroled rapists and sex
offenders like Kelly, I've forgotten his last name already, and, come on,
what's his name, the guy who killed Jennifer Levin.  I forget his name,
too.  That's why we have the list.  To help us remember.  He's here, too. 
On the circuit.  Making the rounds of Megan's law.  What was I saying?  I
realized I was in Smalhausen's brain.  What is this, Smal?  I w as locked
in.  I couldn't move.  I was pinned down.  I was.... Smallllll get this
off of me.  It was ecquisite.  Better than napalm.  They all end up in
Europe or making the rounds of the Lido you've got to get inside Hilda's
brain.  See how it works.  Wh o died?  She was 58.  Smal's age.  It might
be him.  Or was it her?  Who survived the shootout.  I noticed his brain
was like the inside of a limo.  No.  It was like a...  oh my god, the
colors.  Who made this mess?  Grover.  He should have ... Smal, you and
him, you didn't?  no.  never.  Smal, what went on....  I wanted him to
find me a woman.  Did he?  No.  Ever?  No.  And you hung around him? 
Let's see.  Fifeen years.  Something has to be done about these colors. 
My God, what is all this junk?  It wa s like a cesspool in there.  Smal,
you need a ... I was getting crazy.  What is this?  It's a shower.  The
famous shower.  Why did you want to see that?  I don't know.  Smal, this
is ugly.  You've got to stop.  Don't you have anything beautiful in your
li fe.  You.  Besides that?  He thought.  He was dead.  It was so... arid
in there.  Smal, show me one thing.  One thing only that you think is
beautiful.  Close your eyes, Smal and do it.  Well?  Nothing.  Or it went
by so fast I couldn't see it.  Again, Sm al.  It doesn't have to be long. 
Just do it.  Shit.  All he came up with was a pair of Nikes.  It was the
command. You said do it and... I know.  Okay.  Do it without thinking do
it.  I saw something that looked like the tanned horse skin, maybe the
side of a teepee.  Or was it a bird's wing?> Then he showed me a toy dump
truck.  It was pink and blue.  I wondered what that meant.  A spirit of
play.  Does it arouse you, Smal?  I was blinded by the sight.  No.  Then I
saw butterflies.  Purple butterflies.  What are you thinking about, Smal>
Tanya.  Who is Tanya.  Maria's daughter.  The woman who gave you this
apartment.  When she married and moved to England.  Yes.  Maria's
daughter.  Yes.  What about her, Smal?  Tell me.  nothing.  You can't
escape, Sma l.  I'm inside you, remember?  Smal is one of the people who
write to me.  I get inside their brain and start feeling around.  Pretty
soon, they're doing stuff they never thought possible.  Like sitting here
in a bar in drag, right Smal?  Waiting for a pi ckup.  He had, however,
eluded me.  Something had turned him on back there.  What was it?  I could
feel the burners warming up.  Smal groping the girl.  He said he wouldn't. 
I believed him.  But he thought he would.  Might.  That's what kept him
bottled up.  His fear of what he might go.  He'd been crazy about Maria,
or thought he had.  But she never would have him.  Although she had plenty
of others.  Dozens.  Which she told him about.  On their pathetic dates. 
He just sat there and listened.  And beg ged.  How do you feel about that,
Smal?  Does it make you angry.  It didn't.  He just sat there.  Waiting
for Maria's daughter to show up.  She must be about fourteen.  I had an
idea.  Smal, what kind of picture would you draw for Tanya?  Come on,
Smal.  Show me.  I can't.  Why not?  I can only show it to her.  Oh come
on, Smal.  Forget it.  Everyone has one.  It rimes with Delores.  He
looked down at himself.  All they are are rubber tits.  Pink balloons
filled with water.  Gushing around.  Slapping acro ss his chest as he
bounces.  Taking him in.  It's sort of like a diving suit.  You put it on
to go down.  And then you come up with treasures.  Gifts from the sea. 
Like what?  He showed me this plastic dump truck.  Does that make you
happy, Smal?  Well, no.  But it's kind of cute.  What is?  The truck. 
Using it for pencils and stuff.  Erasers.  It's a toy.  Put it away.  His
mother's house.  The double wide out there on the sand dunes of the
barrier island.  Waiting for Big Betsy.  The second hurricane of the
season.  He had these whimsical little things scattered around the
trailer, and it drofe the old lady mad.  She couldn't stand it.  Seeing
those Barbie dolls.  All over the place.  He was 57 and he collected baby
dolls.  She saw all dolls as babies .  Not full grown women such as
Barbie.  There were also plastic watering cans.  Yellow and blue.  Flashes
of humor on the old lady's retina.  It bothered her.  She wanted
everything to be mauve.  Sapia colored.  Brown.  Her trailer was filled
with shit b ecause she could never make it to the bathroom on time.  And
even when she did, some usually fell on the floor.  But with her eyes it
blended in, so you couldn't notice it.  His touches of color disturbed the
balance.  Riccochetting around the room, or be ing caught in a mirror. 
How do I look, she asked.  He said okay.  She also hated his art work. 
The long legged women with the big tits.  She was obsessed the neighbors
would find out and she'd have to move.  Do you know what moving a double
wide at her age would constitute?  My son the sex offender hiding out in
his mother's trailer.  Where else can I go?  What did you do?  Nothing. 
But I still have the guilt.  Eventually, they find out.  Like the war
criminals.  You carry the guilt for the uncommitted act with you
everywhere.  He knew my wife's name and the business I owned.  No one
around here knew I had a dry cleaning business.  How'd you find out? 
Jesus.  This is the information age, isn't it?  Didn't he ever tell anyone
who he was married to?  Why the secret?  Why the big deal?  What does it
matter if we know his wife's maiden name?  What's he protecting?  Work on
it.  Smal, you run a private investigation agency?  Yeah.  How'd you know? 
There are licenses for people to do most anything.  Just g o down and fill
out a form.  Smal had a diploma on the wall.  It was from a barber school. 
He couldn't do that either.  Maigret asked a question.  Who's body was it? 
Come here.  I'll show you.

Chapter 8 Index Chapter 10