"They're coming," he texted her, and then he looked around
at the old room, with its distant furniture, the musty dead smell of his own cigarettes for the last nine years --
-- everything he had been doing by himself all this time.
When he had taken it all in, he looked down again at his device, and her response had arrived.
"Who the fuck is coming?"
"All of them. All four limbs, torso -- the head."
He went and read carefully through every envelope
left scattered around his floors, some for almost a decade. Every single one he had chosen not to fling away into the mornings' trash.
Never those which, every single morning, he'd flung away
like worthless paper.
Usually those were letters from corporations or governments declaring the amount of money he owed them, unaware that the checks were already on their way. But every once in a while,
they were also from some real people
that he no longer cared to hear from.
When he was done reading all the ones he had cared to save,
he went back to the couch and picked his device up. She had responded again. This time it made him smile, just a little.
"What about the penis, and the balls?"
"You never hear me begging for your vagina," he texted back.
Her response was instantaneous. "My vagina is part of my torso, you know that. You're trying to tease me, aren't you?" "Well, then ... your boobs."
She called him up and started yelling. "Look, are you comin
with those too, or not? Otherwise it is not a complete deal. I don't want you to offer yourself to them as a damn eunuch or something just to get yourself to me."
He bit into his tongue.
"No, no. I'm sending the penis and the balls too."
There was a pause in the cricket-song midnight that is
international telephone gateways carefully untapped. She took a deep breath, and said, "Well, how are you coming? What airline? Where do I pick you up?"
Now it was his turn to make her listen to the silence.
"I'm not coming on a commercial flight," he said.
"I'm mailing myself to you, in a small box.
It will arrive upon your doorstep."
"That is the stupidest idea I have ever heard!" she yelled.
Through the receiver, he heard a vase, or something porcelain or other smash in the distance. "They will never let that box through. The dogs'll smell it."
"Cryopreservation. And lots of non-perfume deodorizers,"
"Well don't you think the X-ray guys will notice
there's damn limbs in the damn box?"
"It'll work. Lots of people receive authentic sex blow up
dolls everyday in the mail, and they have realistic body parts. I'll make it look just like that."
There was another long silence, and then he heard a sob
from her. "You've ordered sex dolls?" she asked, with concern.
Now it was her turn to hear something smashing to pieces
on his side, before he responded, "Goddamit, no. But it's not hard to get the instructions online now, in an easily printable format."
"Okay, okay," she said. "Tell me, then. How --
-- how are you going to cut yourself? Into those ... pieces."
His voice became calm as a perfectly thrown stone, skipping
across a salty still lake on the kind of foggy morning you decide to wear a hoodie when you go out jogging. "I don't have to cut myself," he told her. "I just have to imagine it, and it'll happen
"What?" she said, on the other side of the line.
"Really," he responded, voice so calm, there could be no question. "Well, how will you get it mailed? I mean ... how will you mail ... yourself?"
"I'll do it at the doorstep --
-- I've already left instructions for the carrier."
She hung up on him.
He went to his old kitchen, studying the memories of blood
upon the elderly wood and steel, left by the corpses of fish, chickens, and various other things a normal human being may prepare for lunch and dinner.
He never ate breakfast, even though both his mother
and father had told him it was the perfect start to a shiny day. He smiled fondly at that one stove upon which he had made that meal for her --
the one after which she finally walked over and kissed him.
Lamb. He had roasted some lamb on that stove, that night,
for their dinner. She had really loved it.
His device buzzed, and there was a response from her.
"Well, looks like you have everything worked out," she said, and the smell of her doubt was so thick, he could have sworn it was emanating from the speaker on the device.
Of course, that is not how these devices work.
"So tell me one last thing," she said.
"Last time I played with a brick set was like -- well --
-- never. I didn't play that as a child. How the hell am I going to put you together when you finally do come here, in pieces?"
He smiled, and doubted whether this was the time for one of
his stupid jokes.
Then he figured, well, if it was not, then he would simply
not be himself.
"Well," he said, "you know how you insisted I bring my penis
"Well, yes. I would want you as a whole man."
"Well ... all you would have to do is to blow on it.
Then I'll inflate right back into my whole self."
His head sank beneath his shoulders as sounds of
as sounds of catlike shrieking carried across carefully untapped international lines, as did the crashing of various porcelain objects.
My God, what had he done?
This was going to take a lot of mending to be made right again.