“You bitch,” the returning heard whispered into his ear in squealing tone.

What does one do when threatened by a fragile effeminate man in the work environment? Laughing at the insignificance of his purpose would be considered mean, and there is no need to be mean to someone who is harmless to others and cruel to himself; so a simple ignoring was appropriate. Of course, that simple inaction invites his escalation as I worked the espresso machine.

“You are such a bitch,” he whispered, coming behind me and affectionately slapping my arm. “You know someone else here really likes you, and that slut was just using you.”

Slut? Slut! Slut. “I did not know she was a slut,” the returning politely answered.

“Such a big slut. She’s always talking about getting pregnant, trying to find the right guy. I hope you covered that little bad boy with some protection,” the femme whispered, brushing his hand gently against the apron draping the returning’s crotch.

The returning grabbed the toucher’s flimsy wrist, squeezing tightly, and pulled his gentle co-worker close. “You don’t get to touch me! Anywhere, ever. Do you understand?”

The frightened flame nodded in agreement.

The returning let him go to continue work at his assigned station.

“Aren’t we a tough guy,” the small, squeaky voice gleefully giggled.

After a while, the returning’s new friend approached, “What was that about? And, uh...thank you for last night.”

“I think he’s jealous of you.”

“Does he think...does he know you’re not gay?”

“Gay? I have been as happy as they come and I will get there again. I will be gay again!”

“No...no. I mean, does he know...”

“I don’t care what he knows. But you should know that I think I am shooting blanks.”

“Blanks? What do you mean?”

“In an earlier incarnation, I think I had a vasectomy.”

“A man like you without kids? What a shame.”

“I have dozens of kids. I just cannot claim them to all be from my loins.”

“Well, you can fix that, because I would not mind some of that special seed of yours.”


“Yes,” she smiled. “Get it reversed and I can grow someone quite special.”

“Me? I thought you were a slut?”

Instinctively, she wanted to slap his rudeness into respect, but did not want to get fired. “That was really rude. Because we were together doesn’t make me a slut! Maybe you’re a slut? Fuck you anyway!”

“I’m sorry, that’s what heshe told me.”

“He’s such a little bitch.”

“I guess we’re all bitches,” the returning answered, but she was too angry to hear his attempt at humor.

“Uh huh. I am looking for a special seed. I think you might have the manliness it takes. If not, I still like being with you, and I am not seeing anyone else, so... And I am not a slut.”

“Of course not,” the returning reassured.

She walked away to confront her smaller adversary, while the returning continued to make drinks at the espresso station, considering his new place in life, longing for the peace he was once able to find in a place he called “the compound”.

There was a lot for the returning to consider. His muscles, flesh and mind were more vibrant since his gorging on candy. He knew he was coming to life again, and who was returning. He also knew he was returning to a darker place. And now he had to consider unraveling the severed ties that withhold the seeds of goodness from the free world.

Decisions: part of choosing to live. Purpose: byproduct of choosing to live. Combat: a willingness to not be a pawn in someone else’s plan. Violence: a natural part of living. Ecstasy: an exclamation point on living.

Bathroom break.

Walking past the treat of the prior night, a question had to be asked. Pausing as the bodies passed, a simple question was asked: “Do you think of me?”

She looked at him, smiled and nodded.

“Then I must exist.”