The general’s vision is laser-in-the-night. His narrowed slit-eyed glare is fixed on his object of desire—me–willing it to be controlled, consumed and coalesced, absorbed in him. He is a warm dictator, serrated from childhood abuse, mistaking the lack of the material for need and staunching ancient bloody wounds with food, sex, alcohol, sports, status and wealth; he is boy bully reformed by recognition and contrition. He fears. The cage is constructed from belief, and his wife’s passion-less submission layered with passive aggression ignites his sin, the longing to connect in the only way he understands—the physical surrender that is sublimation of self and subjection to the other at once. I have performed under his lacerating gaze; exacting he is but earthy too. And when we uncouple, he lies back, longing to feel, caressed, his hard skin and muscle beleaguered by the efforts of war, keeping the troops at home and abroad in production, reflecting America’s finest offering, strongest, most capable. But his soft hair, body and head, belie his dual nature. In the brief hiatus from the battle, he laughs, absent from the hierarchy that defines him and shapes his being. Only one wrong choice he made, he avers—and that one has undermined all his achievement, sapped the juju and saddled his joy. All else has been in perfect order.
I met an architect just like me. His lips in their slight, silent, still pressing against mine were soft and fleshy—soothing. Our touch was lock and key, familiar and knowing, his scent intoxicating allure slotted to my cells. He smelled like inhalation after exhale, a need so naturally occurring and fulfilling, necessary. Together we designed space and time, delineating boundary lines, designing layout and structuring aesthetics. We strategically anticipated and crafted the reactions of the other, onlooker and outsider to the place we created—and to each other. He knew just what to say, in the proper lighting. I was an avid fan of cinema and literature. Together we penned with steady hand at romance and sentimentality, made plans for the life of the building beyond the present drawings—to add life and depth to the two dimensional paper. We planned a life together.