The Man from Elephant and Castle


Venal Cunt spread her legs like a vile temptation at the end of the night, face deflected, eyes unplugged. Long and elegant and platinum-haired and bone-white with her sexy puckering lisp. The only color is the childish yellow scrawl of her bush and her pupils like residue in cocktail glasses and the raised red chevrons where she scratches her right wrist incessantly like a fox in a fur-lined trap. Even her nipples are white. She says what do I need to read for, my life is a bestseller. She says don’t take all day. Needy Cock lowers himself into her snob-dry vadge with pragmatic detachment and he cradles her too-small-for-compassionate-thoughts skull while he pushes in, prospecting in vain for as little as a teardrop’s quantity of moisture.

The days run together like yolks. His savings evaporate and his postcards begin to repeat themselves. Surfers march like bowlegged Aztecs into the Rite Aid for sunblock and the bakery in Ralph’s sells cinnamon buns at four a.m. and the gardeners wield their shoulder-slung gas-powered leafblowers like AK-47s and yes the Mexicans are poor as pigeons but they are polite and very clean and it’s no wonder the blacks feel threatened. I’ve never seen so many convertible-driving Aryan teens in my life. Not even on television.

Literature doesn’t prepare you for any of this.

His students shreik and clap. They say, “Say schedule again!”


Needy Cock can tell by the look on the cop’s face that the cop is disturbed by something about Needy Cock’s demeanor. Something doesn’t add up. This is not a by-the-book domestic. Wifebeaters are usually not so. What. The two of them are out in the hallway by the open door of Needy Cock’s flat and his cop’s two colleagues are inside and Venal Cunt is communicating tersely from within the locked bathroom. She refuses to come out.

It’s a beautiful day. A sack of Krugerrand-colored sunshine pours through the skylight, absorbed by the infinite dinge of the hallway. How many times has he plodded down this very hall to this very spot in front of his very door without having noticed that the pattern in the carpet is dollar signs? Well he notices in the extremity of his tribulation and the hallway appears to him as terribly run-down and it strikes him that he is now the working poor, one of Graham Greene’s shipwrecked whisky priests with a twist: an author of books who has recently resorted to borrowing money from one of his villa-dwelling students to pay cash for cafeteria sushi. O, this foot-blackened carpet and cigarette-sooted walls and cigarettebutts on the laundryroom stairstep…

Needy Cock finds that he’s strangely unashamed as a curious Queer neighbor (probably the one who made the call to the cops in the first place) steps out from two-doors-down and steals an avid glimpse. I Will Survive blares defiantly from the Queer’s open door. How many times has Needy Cock phoned the police in the dead of night to complain about the level of the disco music and this, ironically, is the first time they finally come?

“What was the fight about, Ma’am?” calls the cop through the bathroom door.  He’s a freckled bull with bristly rhubarb-colored hair, scratching his chin. His partner is tall and black with close-set eyes and a mustache. The black has a hand hovering near the heavy gun on his hip and more of the essence of his being is concentrated in his pistol hand than in his face at the moment. The pistol hand is worried. How does the pistol hand know that Venal Cunt doesn’t have a weapon in there?

“Was it about money?” the ruddy bull, the spokesman, the one with the degree in sociology, offers. “Was it about debt?”

Venal Cunt snorts. They can all hear it through the bathroom door. A hefty snort of derision. “None of your fucking bithineth,” she screams.

A career criminal couldn’t muster as much arctic contempt for a uniformed cop as Venal Cunt, in the waning throes of her beserking, is spitting at them. Needy Cock has to admit he admires her for it and yet he realizes that his admiration only exacerbates the problem. Like when she was banging him across the apartment with kick-boxing techniques she’d spent the year learning, at Needy Cock’s suggestion and expense, as a way to channel her anger. He’d seen the humor in it. And she’d looked magnificent to him while doing it, too, even as she was kicking his thighs and punching his ear and his balls and knocking him over with a reverse hooking roundhouse and smashing things she had first carefully identified as his before smashing them. A splintered wooden bar stool is arranged like kindling across the bed. Steel-framed pictures are knocked off the walls and stunned with cracks. The phone is smashed and first editions are ripped and stomped-on and strewn about in what looks like the aftermath of a fascist rally.  A fancy soup, still warm, is dripping from the walls and windows.

“Who started it, Ma’am?” the uniformed sociologist with a gun in their living room tries again.

Venal Cunt snatches the bathroom door open. The Bull steps back into a near-crouch in a reflex as she steps forward, six foot two in platform shoes, red-faced but otherwise camera-ready, and she says, “It wathn’t him, it wath me. Can you fuckerth pleathe get the fuck out of our fucking living room a. eth. a. p.? Can you pleathe just go?”

“I’m afraid it’s not that simple, Ma’am,” the Red Bull counters, regaining the force that he’s lost as a man in the bulwark of the law’s tradition. He’s well aware that out of uniform, in a nightclub, in his dancing shoes, he’d be less than a mosquito in Venal Cunt’s ear. He regains his manhood in the Judeo-Christian majesty of the civil laws he has sworn a kitschy oath to protect.

“The discretion to press charges in a domestic abuse call is not entrusted to the private parties involved, for obvious reasons.” He gets out a little notebook. “It’s up to us,” he nods to his tall black colleague and the short blond one with Needy Cock out in the hallway, “…to make an evaluation at the scene, and act accordingly. Taking our observations under advisement, it’s the prerogative of The State,” he gestures out the window, “… whether to press charges or not.”

But they do leave, after a cursory admonition for Needy Cock and Venal Cunt to try to get along, with the tall black nodding at a framed Helmut Newton of a naked, welt-breasted goddess saying Nice picture and doing a double-take as he realizes the model is Venal Cunt herself as a teenager. How far she has fallen. Needy Cock points out the photographer’s autograph on the print. The Red Bull, taking leisurely note of the almost-ornate library that Needy Cock has amassed on tall shelves against two adjoining walls of the living room, inquires if they’re Needy Cock’s books.

Needy Cock lifts his chin and says yes.

The cop says everybody should read more.


Needy Cock closes the door quietly and tip-toes in the kitchen to get a bucket to start the long clean-up. The fancy soup on the walls, books and everything else is hardening. The glass from shattered pictures needs sweeping up. The splintered bar stool disposed of. Prater Violet is a write-off.

Venal Cunt is back in the bathroom and he can hear her crying again. He turns the kitchen tap off and he puts the bucket down and he stands there, face to heaven, hands in fists, stuck in his existential quagmire. He still feels that love. He raps softly and enters the bathroom in order to embrace her and her knuckledboned back is turned to him. Her shoulders are hunched in crying. He tentatively touches an elegant shoulder blade where it raises a soft cotton scallop…  just that hesitant fingertip touch…

…  she spins and drives a steak knife home in his chest. He throws an arm up in a futile defensive gesture and shouts an unexpectedly childish “Don’t!” He grabs at the blow which seems to glance off his chest with a stinging thud. She’s clutching the bladeless knife handle and whimpers and avoids his touch with spider-horror, sidestepping where he snatches at the shower curtain splashing blood.

Needy Cock is calling her name with absurdly gentle indignation. Venal Cunt! Venal Cunt! The pain of the blade in his body isn’t so bad, but the shock of it is sickening, humiliating, awful, for he has crossed a dark border into the Land of the Violent Poor with their tacky knife and gunshot wounds. Even as he grabbed for the shower-curtain, seeing stars, he knew it couldn’t support his weight and they’ll need to buy a new one. Venal Cunt has run into the bedroom in tears and slammed and locked the door behind her. The curtain rings go pop…  pop…  pop…

He’s gasping in the tub, legs over the side of it, the sucking wheeze and bubble of his fatal chest wound. He fingers the copious puddling heat on his Fred Perry shirt and the blade at the center of it and realizes the handle snapped off when she drove the blade in and this warm piece of metal rises an inch from the puckering slit. Touching it’s like tapping a tooth. He recalls that grunt she grunted while shoving it in and he keeps hearing the vitality of it and Christ it’s too funny. The most sexual noise she’s ever made with him.


That night she fucks him. Lights off of course. She strokes the crusted periphery of the wound. Strokes also, with a virgin’s holy awkwardness, the metal itself…which he discovers he enjoys having tugged. She touches it “accidentally,” at first. She touches it again more boldly. She pays it more direct attention, twisting and tugging and jarring it as they lose themselves in the screaming fall towards massive orgasm and she displays the kind of dirty fascination with the blade anchored firmly in his dead heart that he had always hoped for regarding his genitals.

Venal Cunt strokes the jagged edge of the dull glint in the dark room post-coitally cooing. Needy Cock thinks they should have done this years ago. He thinks things could be worse. He imagines all the American girls he will score with this new secret weapon.