You’re ridiculous… You, an adult, reduced to a jittery, malleable mess…
Yes, I admit, I’m surging with giddiness, my heart is’ah-thud-thud-thudering as my entire self is smitten and swooning. I’m a high schooler in the presence of their crush, waiting for the slightest moment of recognition.
As soon as he’s done talking to Geoffrey, will he notice? Oh, I gotta get this shopping trip over, My Love will not be pleased if there is no dinner when she returns home… Oh, I forgot! I need to go to the liquor store! I’m out of her favorite champagne!
There is a sudden, massive embrace, my arms and shoulders nearly converging, the infatuation and panic expelling from my lungs…
I’m staring into his eyes—
My loins quiver—
“I said to Geoffrey, I must, I must speak with him…”
His arms release me into my own delirious orbit—
“You are of the ascendancy in this community…”
There is a patrician formality to his diction—
“You must join us…“
His clothes are of sartorial casualness—
“I ordered—yes, ordered, Geoffrey to contact you…”
He is of exquisite genetic lineage, ordained to rule and reproduce—
“You will join, correct?”
My enchantment vaporizes—
“Oh! I’m so sorry… I—” I’m rambling.
The gloriously aligned pearls of his smile—
“Yes, as you can see…” He gestures to his shopping basket, “I too must return home with this evening provisions. Darlene was just made partner. Extraordinary! So, I want to keep my Queen comfortable upon her throne.” A surreptitious lean into my ear, hand concealing his lips…
The moist, succulent lining of his lips—
“I just got her a stunning Tiffany bracelet…”
I whimper beneath a deluge of doom…
Wait until My Love hears about Darlene’s gift!
“I heard Geoffrey, that repugnant, insufferable, dilettante would be calling you?”
For this evening’s dinner, I’ve been banished beneath the dining room table, my food served to me in forked morsels.
“Yes, I saw Heath—”
“Heath? Christ…Yum. He could tie me up and tie me down all day long—”
Steel and meat jab me in the forehead…
“Shut up… It’s nothing. He just want’s you to join their little cult. It’s not even the fucking Masons, so what’s the point?”
“Don’t be using up your jaw power there, honey bunches of shit. My horny lady bits need ah slurpin’.”
“My Love! Your vagina is of the most—”
“Save your jaws, feminist.”
The champagne is uncorked…
I’m at the sink, washing the viscous excesses of my My Love’s orgasms from my face when she enters the bathroom, her hands clutching a small, lacquer black lock box.
“You’ve been a good little slave, so I’m rescinding your cellphone ban…” She sits the box on the toilet lid, her hands disengaging her necklace with it’s attached, dangling key.
With the necklace key, she unlocks the box, its red velvet lining displaying my phone.
“Take it…” She commands.
“Could you join us next Wednesday? Say, nine-thirty? I know that seems to be the most opportune time for most of us since our wives have to be up early for work…” Geoffrey asks during our telephone conversation.
“I would have to run that by my wife—”
“Of course,” He interrupts, “I will text you the location since it changes semi-regularly… Also, do you have access to a car?”
“Yes… My wife recently lifted by driving restrictions.”
“Okay, good… I know that some of us are temporarily without car privileges, so, we could pick you up if need be.”
“Okay… Do you have any food intolerances, allergies, that I need to know about? Brother Frank loves making baked goods for the meetings, but there has been an outbreak of gluten restrictions since a lot of our wives have been coordinating their dieting…”
“No. No. I’m good.”
“Okay, good… I mean, just to let you know, since you’ve been selected by Heath, you’re up there. And, if you accept this invitation, you will have an initiation…I mean, prepare yourself to be part of the elite.”
“Let me say this, if you do decline Heath, he is gonna fuck the shit out of your wife.”
I receive a text from Geoffrey:
11 Faber St. The old art deco firehouse. Go to the back. Sam will lead you up. But don’t park at the firehouse!
Beneath the pulsing, hazy illumination of an old, industrial funnel light, a man wearing a pinstripe suit stands, a slender black scarf loosely knotted around his neck.
“You’re Sam, I take it?”
The man nods, approaching me as he unravels his scarf.
“I’m—” I halt, the scarf tightened around my head, my eyes shrouded.
Sam’s hands grip my shoulders, leading toward the firehouse.
“C’mon, c’mon…just keep walking.”
Around me, gears clank and clonk, metal rattling.
“Going up,” I hear Sam’s disembodied voice.
I stagger about, my equilibrium in disarray from the blindness, the chugging ascendancy of the elevator making me nauseous.
Occasionally, Sam’s hands intervene, stabilizing my stumbling body.
“How you like these old cargo elevators, huh?”
“Oh, it’s not so bad. Not so bad. You know that line? What song it’s from?”
Blessedly, this elevator barge bangs into its appointed stop.
“All out,” Sam proclaims, metal screeching, his hand pushing me forward.
Behind me, the rusted rotaries of the elevator’s mechanisms grind and rattle as it departs.
The clamor of the descending elevator having receded…
“Come forward, brother!” A voice shouts.
I hesitate, my hands rising to the blindfold.
“My brother! Resist the temptation!”
I comply to the voice.
“Now, come forward! Into the light!”
I step toward the voice, my body entering an atmosphere of swirling applause, men shouting, whooping, whistling, congratulatory pats on my shoulders and back.
As I continue to walk through the din, I hear the voice, “Oh, brotherhood, what a glorious evening! Welcome your new brother!”
As I walk, my path wavers…
“Brothers! Assist the stricken!”
Numerous hands redirect me…
“Now, brothers, please, silence!”
The hullabaloo instantly ceases.
Hands grip my shoulders, halting my walk.
“You’re here now, my brother. You may rest.”
On each side of me, I feel a sentry like presence.
“Please, my brother, kneel…”
I’m forced to my knees.
“Now, brothers, let us recite The Grand Prayer.”
A chorus of monotone chanting begins…
My ears become attuned, attempting to decipher the language…
“My brothers! Be seated!”
Through my knees, I feel the floor resonate with the congregation’s collective compliance…
“To our new brother, tonight, you kneel before us, concealed in the darkness of your ignorance! But soon, you shall become enlightened! Freed! On each side of you are guardians of your initiation! Each of them holds a chalice. In one chalice, soy milk! In the other chalice, Rosè wine! Each of them symbols of our matriarchal oppression! Be, free, brother, drink! Drink! Drink! Drink!”
Behind me, the congregation begins a raucous chant of Drink!Drink!Drink!
A hand snatches a clump of my hair, wrenching my head back…
“Pour the soy!”
Is the last thing I hear…