How I told it to Mr. Bacardi, that wasn’t the whole deal. Not even half the story. When I first downloaded clips of Cassie Wright, I wanted to see her maybe knitting a regular ordinary thing, I don’t know, out of yarn. Or I wanted to watch her cooking a pan of something on a stove. Just, I guess, reading a book in a chair next to a lamp in a nice room without gallons of hot jizz all over her. On bulletin boards, online message boards, where fans post details about every mole and eyelash Cassie Wright has, every color lipstick she’s wore, guys dissect every blow job, I don’t know, like it was for college-homework extra credit. Cassie Wright was born in Missoula, Montana. Her parents are Alvin and Lenni Wright. They live in Great Falls these days. And, yes, Cassie Wright had a baby she gave up nineteen years ago.
Surfing the Web, I looked for pictures of her vacuuming carpet. Driving a car. With her clothes on and nothing getting stuffed inside of her. Some money orders I mailed, and nothing ever came back. But the first package I got was a Cassie Wright pocket vagina, the premium, limited-edition, numbered version. Number four thousand two hundred. Totally museum-quality. Mint condition. Small enough I’d carry it to school in my jeans pocket, with my left hand tracing the folds and soft hairs of her. In Modern American Studies, I’d sit in the back row with my left fingers Brailling, blind, deep in my pocket, until I knew every fold and wrinkle by heart. Ask me the state capitals of Wyoming or Phoenix, and I’d shrug. But ask me anything about the pussy flaps of Cassie Wright, and I could draw you a map. That pocket vagina, you could press the clitoris and it would pop out. Press it back inside the hood. Press again to make it pop out. I could do this until my fingertips were red raw, about to bleed. I slept with it under my pillow. My teacher Mr. Harlan, in my Dynamics of Science class—one day, handing back papers, he saw the calluses on my fingertips, already cracked and dark pink, and he asked if I was learning guitar. I don’t know. Let’s just say those hours and weeks of constant pleasure weren’t doing Cassie Wright’s vagina any good, either. Let’s just hope, looking at some of the six hundred guys here today, that the real deal is more durable than the latex version. As the vagina started to break apart, I saved newspaper-delivery money until I could send away for a previously owned Cassie Wright latex breast replica. I could only afford the left one, but anybody would tell you it’s the better of the two. Of course, it’s too big to fit in my pocket, too big for under my pillow. It’s too big to do anything but collect dust under the bed. So I mowed lawns. I returned pop bottles for the deposit. I walked dogs. Washed cars. Raked leaves. This part I didn’t tell Mr. Bacardi. How could I? Winters, I shoveled snow. Cleaned the black, stinking crud out of roof gutters with my bare hands. Washed St. Bernards. I hung Christmas lights and trimmed hedges. Nighttime, I’d squeeze my breast replica. Rub the dusty nipple against my lips. Lick it. Tweak it between two fingers until I fell asleep. I drained and changed the oil in big four-door automatic-trannie old-lady cars. Needing the money to buy a Cassie Wright replica, fully realistic sex surrogate, that makes you pretty much the bitch slave of every old lady in town. I don’t know. I went trick-or-treating for UNICEF, and those worm-eaten, starving kids in Bangladesh didn’t see one nickel of the thirty bucks that folks donated. The day the brown package arrived in the mail, my adopted mom called me at school to ask should she open it. Let’s just say I panicked. I told the worst lie a kid can. Told her, No. I said it was a gift—her special, secret Christmas present that I’d sent for to surprise her. On the phone, I could hear my adopted mom shaking the box. She said, “It’s so heavy.” She said, “1 hope you didn’t spend a fortune.” Shame, shame on me. Those lawns I mowed, the dogs walked, the cars washed, I told my adopted mom all that work went into buying her the best dream present ever, because she was such a great, wonderful, loving, terrific mother. And on the phone, her voice melted, saying, “Oh, Darin, you shouldn’t have ...” When I got home, the package sat on my bed. Heavier than you’d guess, a weight between a big library dictionary and a St. Bernard. My adopted mom was gone to her cake-decorating workshop, and my adopted dad was at work. With nobody else in the house, I peeled open the box, and inside, all folded and wadded, looked like some pink mummy. Leathery and wrinkled as a peat bog mummy from the National Geographic magazine. The online auction sold it as being brand-new, a virgin, but the blond wig smelled like beer, and the hair felt patchy where it was pulled out. The inside of each thigh felt sticky. The breasts, greasy. On the bottom of one foot, I found the sort of stem you’d see on a beach ball. So you could blow her up. I unrolled her across my bed and started to blow. I blew, and her breasts rose, they fell, they rose. I blew, and some wrinkles went smooth, but then came back. I blew air into the bottom of her foot until lightning spots flashed in my eyes. Right now, here and now, while I’m waiting to hear my gang-bang number called, the girl with the stopwatch walks past, and I put out my hand. To make her stop, I touch her on the elbow, just my fingers on the inside of one elbow, and I ask if it’s true. What Mr. Bacardi’s telling guys. Could Cassie Wright die today? “Vaginal embolism,” the girl says. She looks at me, then her eyes go back to the sheets of names on her clipboard. Still running her pen down the list of names, she marks a check next to one guy. The girl twists one hand and looks at the watch on her wrist. She checkmarks next to another name. She says it takes a puff of air equivalent to blowing up a balloon, but due to the dense blood supply in a woman’s pelvic region, you can force a bubble of air into her circulatory system. “If a woman is pregnant,” the girl says, “it’s even easier.” In one case from 2002, she says, a woman in Virginia was using a carrot for stimulation and died from an embolism, but anything with an odd shape might trap and force pockets of air into the bloodstream. Other documented cases include batteries, candles, pumpkins. “Not to mention,” the girl says, “soap on a rope.” Vaginally or rectally, it can happen in either hole. “Every year,” she says, “an average of more than nine hundred women die this way.” Each woman dies within seconds. “If you need facts and figures,” she says, “then I recommend The Ultimate Guide to Cunnilingus by Violet Blue. Or the article ‘Venous Air Embolism: Clinical and Experimental Considerations’ from the August 1992 issue of Critical Care Medicine.” The girl looks at her watch again and says, “Now, if you’ll excuse me ...” I don’t know . . . pumpkins? All those years ago, blowing air into my Cassie Wright surrogate, I almost blacked out before I heard the hissing. A faint, soft whisper of air escaping. After filling the bathtub with water, dragging the pink skin of her down the hallway, I held her under to look for bubbles from a leak, my hands spread under water, holding her submerged while her blond hair swam around her face and her eyes stared up. Dead. Drowned. Bubbles swelled at the sides of her neck. Bubbles outlined her nipples and the flaps of her pussy. Wide half circles of little holes, leaking air. Teeth marks. Bites through her pink skin. My adopted dad’s train set, he uses every plastic and glue you can find. With her pink skin spread over the mountains and villages of his plastic landscape, I daubed rubber and epoxy, doctored with clear nail polish and acetate, until I’d healed every bite mark. From my adopted mom’s dresser, the bottom of the underwear drawer, I borrowed a lacy honeymoon nightgown that had been buried there forever in layers of tissue paper. I borrowed the pearl necklace that my adopted mom never wore except to church on Christmas. Dressing the surrogate, I said every opening line from every Cassie Wright video I’d seen. Brushing the blond wig, I said, “Hey, lady, did you order a pizza?” Wiping my adopted mom’s lipstick on the lips, I said, “Hey, lady, you look like you could use a nice back rub . . .” Spraying on perfume, I said, “Relax, lady, I’m only here to check your pipes ...” On my computer was playing a pirate copy of World Whore One, and whatever Lloyd George did, I did the same. Pulled down the pink thong panties. Unhooked the push-up bra. Lloyd and I were both laying pipe when Cassie’s breasts went from a D cup to a C. By now my dick was bumping mattress. She was leaking, losing air. The faster I pumped, the flatter she went. From a C cup to an A. Shriveling and wrinkling underneath me, wasting away. The more I pumped, the more Cassie Wright’s face collapsed, caved in. Her skin felt loose, baggy, and slack. With my every push, she aged a decade, dying, dead, and decomposing as I hurried, faster, pounding mattress, rubbing myself raw in my rush to get off. Pumping this pink ghost. This murdered outline down the middle of my twin bed. Each woman dies within seconds. I never heard the door open behind me. Didn’t feel the draft of air on my bare, sweating ass. I didn’t turn around until I heard the voice of my adopted mom. Her honeymoon nightgown. Her Christmas pearls. On my computer, Lloyd George blowing his load down the side of Cassie Wright’s beautiful face. My adopted mom, behind me she yells, “Do you have any idea who that is?” And I turn, my bone stuck straight out, a pole still wrapped in pink latex, me waving a flag shaped like Cassie Wright. And my adopted mom screams, “That’s your birth mother.” That, the last boner I would ever sprout. No, I never did tell Mr. Bacardi that part.