Vaginas – Michael Fontana
“I’D LIKE TO ORDER AN ENDLESS SUPPLY OF VAGINAS, please,” I said to the clerk.
“I’m sorry. We’re fresh out of vaginas today.”
“Look, this is the Addict-O-Mart. I am addicted to sex, with a propensity and hunger especially for vaginas. How can you be out?”
“Plenty of penises down aisle 8.”
“Not interested,” I said, even though I briefly considered the option in my head. “The stress of this is going to kill me, you know.”
“You might try a new store across the way. The Dalai-Lama-O-Rama. Sure to soothe your aching soul.”
I shook my head and pounded my fist on the countertop. “Thanks a bunch.”
I did not walk to the Dalai-Lama-O-Rama. I walked out of the shopping arcade entirely. When I passed an alley, a voice emerged from the shadows. “Psst.”
“What?” I said to the sky.
“Psst!” The sound from the shadows called out louder, followed by a vaguely palpable presence behind it. “I hear you need a vagina.”
“I need hundreds of vaginas. Limitless vaginas.”
“Oh I got just what you need,” the voice said with a lilt.
“But it’ll cost you.”
“Name your price,” I said, nearly in the shadows myself.
“Your soul,” the voice said calmly.
“Done. Don’t believe I have one anyway.”
“That’s where you’re wrong. Dead wrong. But I’ll take it if you’re not using it.” A deft set of fingers wiggled from the shadows, touched my beard and then retracted.
I felt somehow lighter, yet more sullen than ever. “What did you just do?”
“Snatched your soul,” the voice said.
“So you’re the devil?”
“No such creature. “ The voice dropped to a whisper. “I’m God.”
“God? God doesn’t deal in illicit vaginas.”
“You’ve been away from me too long, my friend. I deal in all sorts of addictive paraphernalia, from vaginas to heroin. Just giving my creation what it thinks it needs. What it prays for.” God took a whimsical pause. “How often each day do you pray for a vagina?”
“All day.Every day.”
“Not for a full woman, a person, a human being. Just for the tiny sexual apparatus, free of any context whatsoever.”
“Pretty sad for someone of your age.”
“I agree. But it’s what I pray for.”
“And I am giving you what you pray for.”
“So you’re saying, God, that if I prayed for something other than vaginas, I might receive it?”
“Depends on the prayer. How earnest, heart-felt, sincere and serious. You’re very sincere about vaginas.”
“I love vaginas. Don’t like the power they have over me, but love them.”
“You’ve allowed that small article of flesh to become your God instead of me. It’s sad really. Especially when most women can’t stand you.”
“Men either,” I admitted. “Nobody. At least the vagina is a step toward intimacy.”
“Physical intimacy maybe, except for you it’s removed from all context. You’re running from intimacy, not toward it. Your desire is reductive. True intimacy is expansive and contains the wholeness of the other person.”
“But I don’t know how to deal with people.”
“So you’re basically an outcast from the human race, and yet your solemn prayer is for a vagina. Do you realize how ridiculous that is? I mean, if you were transgendered inside and wanted the vagina to make you whole, I could see that. But you want to keep it separate from you but just use it like an inkwell. And not just one, like most people. You want thousands of them.”
“All of them,” I said.
“You want all of them.” God sighed. “And what good do you suppose will transpire if you have all of them?”
“One of them will fix me.”
“You realize how Freudian this all is. Mother issues, trying to retreat back into the vagina. Repetition compulsion. On and on.
“Yes. But maybe the right woman can fix it.”
“No one can fix it but you, and you don’t want to take on that much work.”
For some reason, this made me cry. God handed me a sodden white handkerchief from the shadows. “Want to change your prayer?” God asked.
I did. I stood there and prayed for wholeness. I received neither it nor a vagina. Just God’s footsteps growing distant down the alley, as if on another mission of grace.
Michael Fontana has published two novels: SLEEPING WITH GODS and THE SACRED MACHINE. He lives and writes in beautiful Bella Vista, Arkansas, USA.