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Castration Doesn’t Hurt

by Marina J. Neary

Part 3: Happy Hour with a Complementary Freak Show

I was not the kind of guy who would dump a girl after one night. My Mommy raised me better than that. In fact, I’m proud to say that I’ve never dumped any girl in my life. The girls always dumped me. So I figured it was just a matter of time before someone as busy as Rinnie got bored and booted me, just like her two predecessors did. What could she possibly see in me?

Apparently, she saw a very tasty piece of Irish blood sausage.

On our three-month anniversary, when we were sitting at O’Faolan’s Pub, she placed her foot on my crotch, squinted mysteriously and asked in a sultry whisper that sent shivers down my tailbone: “Silly goose, aren’t you forgetting something?”

When you come to think of it, I did forget some essential condiments without which an Irish meal is just not complete. “Gorgonzola on my salad!” I exclaimed. “And mustard sauce on my salmon steak... Thanks for reminding me!”

Rinnie tossed her freshly highlighted head back and burst into a melodic cackle. “How very funny! I just adore your Irish humor.”

Suddenly, her face turned stern. The cackle turned into a menacing hiss. She pushed her hands into the table top, flashing a set of heaving breasts that she glittered for the occasion.

“This is where you get down on your knee in front of everyone and ask me to be your wife.”

Mind you, her right foot was still on my crotch. I don’t want to think of myself as a coward, but that day Rinnie was wearing her signature boots with spiked heels. One twist of her foot, and she would remove me from the marital market permanently. I saw my sex life, modest as it was, flash before my eyes — every wet dream, every whack-off session, every hummer. The tear-trailed face of Emma, my trusty CyBordello playmate whom I betrayed so nonchalantly will haunt me for the rest of my life.

“But I don’t even have a ring,” I mumbled.

“I don’t need a ring. I’m a modern girl.”

“Well, if you’re so modern, then why do you want me to get down on my knee?”

No, seriously, why didn’t she get down on her knee instead?

“I’m not that modern,” she said. “You know how I hate feminists. Look, I’m not some hysterical, avaricious, materialistic Bridezilla. I don’t need your stupid trinkets. I want you, Bailey Griff, for as long as we both shall live. Now, you have thirty seconds to make it right.”

“But... but why me?” I whined. “With all your options, why do you want me?”

“A luxury cruise ship like you rarely enters my shady little harbor,” she cooed ecstatically. “I’m mostly used to fuming little barges filled with scum that doesn’t speak English. I covet your boyish torso, your white skin. I want to drink your Catholic soul from those blue saucers.”

I assumed she was referring to my eyes.

“But above all,” she continued, “I want your snippy, harsh, monosyllabic last name. Rinnie Griff... Doesn’t it just rip through you like a bullet? On my college transcript I may be Mariana Sofia Olenski, but in my heart I’m Rinnie Griff. My maiden name is a joke or some metaphysical mistake. It belongs to a different girl, one who sleeps twelve hours a day and writes thank-you notes.”

To tell you the truth, I kind of liked her real name, even though it did not suit her. It certainly gave Rinnie a new dimension. Mariana Sofia Olenski. The romantic optimist in me insisted that there was hope for her yet. Perhaps, one day this prickly beast of a woman, this horny hedgehog in leather boots would let me tap into her ethereal, aristocratic side and explore it. I already knew I could create fantastic heroines on the computer. The next step would be taking a real-life girl and tweaking her. Then I could truly call myself Pygmalion.

Oh yes, I remembered — I had thirty seconds to make a proposal.

Feeling like a villain from an Indiana Jones movie being sucked by quicksand, I slipped down on the floor, dragging the tablecloth with me.

One of the waiters dropped a tray with Irish omelets and rushed to my aid. “Sir, are you alright? Do you need me to call an ambulance?”

I shook my head no and struggled to assume a more or less gallant pose.

Rinnie grabbed an empty glass from the floor and banged it with a fork, filling the pub with toothache-inducing jingle.

“Attention, everyone! Watch a thoroughly modern girl getting engaged.”

Everyone in the pub stopped eating and stared at us. In addition to free drinks, the patrons were about to get a complementary freak show.

“Mariana Sofia — if I dare call you that,” I began, pausing to catch my breath after every few words. “I’ve been on my knees since the day we met. It is no secret. At first I thought it was just a dream, a hangover hallucination. But now I see that it is my fate to spend the rest of my life on my knees, at your feet. Higher powers, whatever you choose to call them, want this. My last name, my BA in English, my MFA in graphic design, the coffee mug with my family crest from Ireland, my college varsity jacket and my Aran sweater — all those things belong to you.”

Notice, I didn’t say anything about my heart. Some things even a coward like me couldn’t lie about.

Luckily, Rinnie did not notice that omission. She smoothed her hair, fixed her bra strap, cleared her throat and declared:

“Oh, Bailey, you silly Gaelic swan! You sprung this on me so unexpectedly. But, since you are twisting my arm, I have no choice but to accept your proposal. Yes, I will marry you! I know you want to tie the knot immediately, but please, give me three weeks to lose those stubborn five pounds. You know how obvious they look on a small frame. I just want to be beautiful for you. You will indulge this modest request of mine, won’t you, my darling?”

“Take your time, darling,” I heard myself mumble. “You can take three months or even three years. Lose as much weight as you want. Don’t let me stop you.”

Without giving me a chance to get back on my feet, Rinnie threw herself on my neck, wrestling me to the floor, choking me, smudging her cheap lipstick all over my face, squealing and kicking her legs. I saw the spiked heels of her boots flashing above my head.

The patrons of O’Faolan’s Pub jumped up from their seats and began applauding and howling. Undoubtedly, it was the most entertaining happy hour they had experienced in a while.

That night I saw Emma for the last time. She still would not come up on my screen, but she did appear in my dream. She begged me to call off the engagement, as if it were as simple as aborting a computer command. I admit that dream freaked me out. I’ve seen too many B-rated horror flicks where a computer-generated character would suddenly get out of control and possess its creator.

Somewhere on a subconscious level I was kind of hoping that Emma would come to life and save me from Rinnie, but on a conscious level I knew it was impossible. Like it or not, I was going to marry the Bride of Dracula and move with her to Connecticut, where her PhD-bearing, non-feminist agnostic divorcee mother was running a music school.

Proceed to part 4...

Copyright © 2011 by Marina J. Neary

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