What Is The Matter With Annalisa
By Caligula Dodge
Colin fell in love with Annalisa quickly. She caught his drift when he was obscure, startled him when he was bored, solved the riddle of him bewilderingly easily and loved him the more for it.
She gave him more space than he'd ever had alone while holding him closer than any woman had. She was good in bed and participated in those kinkinesses that she did not anticipate and shocked him into frightening explosions of pleasure with the improvisations she introduced.
This story would be a short and happy one if Annalisa did not have a mouse living in her cunt. But she did.
They had been together about three months when he first discovered the mouse. He was inside her, not moving. He felt a deep sense of the wondrous fullness of a life that would bring an Annalisa to him. He felt like singing the song of songs in the original hebrew while fucking Annalisa with long, consistent strokes like an opera playing for every sense and every desire.
Then he felt the little feet walk tentatively onto the head of his cock, pause and crawl to its underside. He stopped everything.
"What's amatter," asked Annalisa, pushing the straight brown hair from her forehead, putting thumb and forefinger to his chin, knowing the gig was up.
The feet moved tentatively farther up his penis. He pulled out quickly and was just as quickly completely flaccid.
"What the hell is in there?" asked our hero, understandably distressed.
"Oh just the usual stuff," said Annalisa, nervously, forcing a kiss onto his lips and a rhythmic, almost desperate hand onto his dong.
"Now hold on, here."
"Mmmhh," she said shutting him up with a long, inexpert, and messy kiss.
"Now...Stop!" said he, pushing her away with a trick of masculine strength.
"Hey! Enough! Nothing's happening here until I get some answers, goddamnit."
It was the first time he'd been mad at Annalisa and it turned him on, he was getting hard again. But he remembered the feet crawling and, feeling perplexed, pressed the matter at hand, talking quickly so as not to lose his focus. He was shocked, confused, aroused and disturbed. He had to get to the bottom of this for those feelings to be resolved.
"Now I may not have been with a lot of women, but from my experience and from my own studies in the matter, there is nothing between a woman's labia and uterus that crawls around like a... rodent or something on four feet. So, I'll ask again: What is in your vagina?"
She got up. She looked older in a strange way. Like a teenager that chainsmokes. She suddenly seemed capricious and strange. She had never looked like such a careworn stranger to Colin before. It turned him on. But again, he stifled the impulse, recalling the crawling feet.
He pulled the sheets up to his waist and leaned against the headboard of her bed. He was due an explanation and he was going to sit back and get one.
She seemed truly uncomfortable for the first time since he met her. It turned him on. But he stifled the impulse, recalling the crawling feet.
"Well...," like a guilty child.
"I was going to bring it up...," trying to think of a way to put it skillfully. And finally giving up.
"A mouse lives in my vagina. You never noticed it before and I kind of thought you never would. I mean, none of my other boyfriends did. But you're different I guess."
"What?" said Colin, feeling angry, sad, crestfallen.
"I dunno, it crawled in when I was sixteen. I was scared, but he wouldn't come out. He has claws you know? But it's not so bad. It's like company. When no one's around, he sleeps on my stomach. I'd miss him now, if he left. It's kind of cool when you think about it."
"I dunno, I call him Augie."
"Yeah. I dunno, it's short for Augustus, he answers to it. When I feed him, I say 'here's dindin, Augie.' "
"You feed him?" said Colin. He imagined the dindin with a block of cheese. The picture turned him on. But it made him feel jealous and sickened. He had to leave. He got up and started getting dressed. Annalisa was silent awhile.
"Don't go," she said as he stepped into his untied shoes and made for the door.
"I'll call. I will call you tomorrow," he said and quickly ran out the door. He jumped down three flights of stairs and walked onto the streets of the university town, tying knots and buttoning buttons until he got home.
"So this was the matter with Annalisa," he thought. "Cuckolding me with a fucking mouse. 'Kind of cool,' what the fuck?"
But anger and jealousy as he knew them didn't fit what he was feeling. He felt doomed, alone, screwed mercilessly by a perverse life.
When he got home, he undressed, unplugged the phone, took a dozen cold/sleep pills and a dozen valerian root pills, laid down, got up, vomited and drifted off. It was Saturday night.
He woke just before dawn on Monday morning. He felt sick. Then he remembered Saturday. He felt worse. He forced himself to vomit into the toilet. But the only thing that came up was thicker spit.
He waited until nine. That was when Annalisa had a class to teach. She was a TA, he was a professor, and everyone said they were a perfect couple. He called her answering machine. But she picked up.
"Colin, listen I know we can..." came pouring out of the earpiece.
"No!" he yelled into the receiver.
He called her back.
"Hello, you have reached Annalisa..." the canned voice came out of the earpiece.
That was more like it. She knew how he wanted to say what he what he wanted to say. He felt like he did truly love her like he could love no other woman. He felt turned on. But he stifled the impulse, recalling the crawling feet.
"Hi Annalisa, it's me, Colin, listen, I'm sorry I didn't call you yesterday like I said I would. But I slept all day, I took too much cold medicine. But listen, I'll call you tomorrow. I really can't talk today."
He thought of Annalisa, then of Augie. He couldn't stand it. He made a pot of coffee and started drinking it. Work was the only answer. He began preparing a lecture that he'd already prepared. It was about the black plague. Teaching three courses on the dark ages didn't help him forget what he was trying to forget at first. But the new lecture came out of him with a wind behind it.
That day, the class seemed interested for once.
"They thought it was the devil. But it was just the damn rodents that were killing them!" he boomed. At one point he overturned the table in the lecture hall to make a point.
"Nearly half of Europe. And are we any wiser? No no No NO! We are not."
He had clearly passed the hour and forty five minute period allotted for a lecture. Students were leaving mid-sentence. He barked out an absurd reading assignment. After the moan, he told the students that the populace of France in the 1100s had seen far worse and warned them not to whine.
He went home and drank half a bottle of scotch he was saving and passed out in his chair.
The next morning, hungover and hurting, he got the answering machine the first time.
"Annalisa, it's Colin. Listen, I don't want to talk today. But let's meet on Friday, please. At The Brook. I love you more than anything. I'm just confused and upset."
The Brook was the bar where they first met. He'd made a real ass of himself. More than usual, and he was notorious among the faculty. She took him home after some locals kicked the hell out of him and they fell in love over breakfast lunch and dinner the next day. He hadn't been so hungover since that morning, he reflected.
God, she was his salvation, he thought. He wanted to go to her discussion group, drag her away and take her home right then. But he stifled the impulse, recalling the crawling feet.
He took to repreparing that day's two lectures.
They were about the senseless death the rodents had brought, the pope who built a wall of fire and the flagellants. They were also about how the plague manifested a primal guilt. The rodent-spread plague was a punishment from a god to whom people owed more suffering than they could ever give. The lectures were about how people could give in to that monumental guilt and still live. They certainly couldn't live very well.
Coming home that night, he was exhausted and edgy. He felt as if he'd exposed himself too much in his lectures. Not that the students would notice, unless he flipped over a table or had an affair with a freshman. But he still felt vulnerable, even in his apartment. He wanted to call Annalisa, to lose himself in her and have her soothe his immense sense of dread.
But he stifled the impulse, recalling the crawling feet. He would see her on Friday.
The week passed with him giving loud, slightly off-syllabus lectures about rodents, venereal plagues and primal guilt and putting himself to sleep with something from a bottle.
Friday he taught no classes. He called Annalisa around five. She answered with a mouthful of food. There were voices in the background.
"Oh, hi Colin. We were just talking about you."
"Oh. Are we still going out tonight?"
"Oh yeah, it's tonight. Can we make it tomorrow night?"
"Well, I want to talk to you about something. Come out tonight."
"Is later okay?"
They agreed to meet at eleven at The Brook. In the intervening hours, Colin prepared lectures for the next week, then the week after and the week after. And drank. The lectures were about the dark ages versus the modern age. In the intervening years between the plague and today, man had said no to the guilt that killed him. He had said no to the unforgiving god that required him to go half-willingly to his death. He had stripped rats and pestilence of their divine right. The lecture culminated with an image of St. George facing down a rat.
He went to The Brook at ten to calm down. Putting together the lectures had worked him into a mild frenzy. He had a few drinks with water backs. Annalisa came in with a group of TAs and younger faculty, some of whom he knew. She saw him at the end of the bar and gestured for him to come over. He shook his head and nodded for her to come to him.
She went to him and gave him a light peck on the lips, then another until it seemed they would fuck there in the bar. They stopped to catch their breath and to look at each other. The other words that act like packing material for what had to be said were torn away in that look. "
I love you," Colin said. "But the mouse has to go."
She backed off, still holding onto his hips with determined hands.
"I don't know if it will be that easy."
It was no ordinary mouse, she said. It had been able to dodge gynecologists for years. But she said that, for him she would try anything.
He was a little drunk. He felt relieved. They kissed all the way out of the bar. They made brisk, satisfying love and fell into a deep sleep on opposite sides of the bed.
The last few days of drinking had made sleeping difficult for Colin. He woke with the sun. And pulling the sheet gently from Annalisa to look at her full breasts and the little trickle of hair that ran from her sternum to her crotch, he saw the mouse. It was sleeping in the middle of that trickle of hair. It was slightly paler than it.
He was shocked to finally see it. His instincts took over. Moving his hand slowly and silently toward it, he pounced precisely and gently just as it woke and sprang southward.
It clawed and let out a brief squeal. He sat up in bed and hurled it across the room. It thudded against the wall and landed like a rag. Colin quietly left the bed and, naked, applied pressure to the creature's head and neck with his heel until it cracked three times, finally giving way on the last crack.
He wanted a better look at his adversary. The kitchen table would be a good place.
"Mmmhh nghh," said Annalisa, her eyes opening slightly.
"I'm right here, Anna."
"Come back to bed"
"In a minute, I'm just going to get something from the fridge."
"There's coldcuts and leftovers," she said childishly and fell back to sleep.
He took the body to the kitchen. It was still warm.
The mouse was about four inches long and thinner than a rat. It was different than other rodents Colin had seen. It had a flat face and what seemed to be four fingers rather than claws, and had what seemed a face rather than a snout, and a neck instead of just a body culminating in a head, and a mole under its right eye like Colin had.
Augie's leg began to twitch. Colin firmly grasped his body. And carried him to the counter and pulled a fork from the drawer. And stabbed him until the twitching stopped. And took a knife and cut Augie into more than a dozen pieces. He flushed one piece down the toilet, threw a piece out each of the apartment's seven windows, put one piece under the stairs in the building's basement. He went into the streets and put a piece in the sewer, put four pieces in assorted piles of dog crap. As the kicker, he swallowed the last piece of Augie-- his belly and genitals.
Then he went back to Annalisa's bed and made triumphant, but strangely stale love with her.
"He's gone. Isn't he?" she asked when they had finished.
The way she said the words made Colin feel naked and vulnerable. But in a bad way. That was never how he felt after fucking Annalisa.
"I feel weird. Vulnerable and naked." Annalisa said.
"Don't worry. I'm here Anna," Colin said, but his words had the sound of words that meant nothing.
Everything felt wrong. It was like the director had called "cut" on their love affair and the real lovers had swaggered cynically back to their respective trailers. Sensing this at the same time, they reflexively clung to each other for a few minutes. Then they simultaneously pushed each other away.
"Well I guess we better give Augie a proper burial," said Annalisa.
"I took care of it," said Colin, pulling her toward him.
"What did you do with him?"
"I took care of the burial."
"What did you do?" she demanded, alarmed.
Colin, unnerved already and not accustomed to lying to Annalisa, told her what he did. She was upset demanded to know where every piece was laid. Colin's descriptions were fuzzy. Annalisa put on a bathrobe and ran out of the apartment like a stranger hurries onto a bus.
After five or six hours passed, Colin went back to his apartment, stopping to eat a sandwich on the way. He felt more at ease than he had in a week. He felt blank. When he got home, he took a long nap.
When he got up, he called Annalisa. She wasn't home. He cooked a little dinner and read a bit. He went for a walk and went to sleep. Everything was going to work out fine, he thought to himself, not believing it and not bothered that he didn't.
It was three weeks before he saw Annalisa again. Faculty asked him where she was, if she was okay, said they'd seen her around town, dirty, disturbed and in a bathrobe, asked what was the matter. He said he had no idea. To mention Augie would surely be beyond the pale. They eyed him with suspicion.
He lived alone quietly in those weeks. Drinking a little, eating a little, reading a little, sleeping a little, sticking with the syllabus in his classes and staring at the walls when he wasn't doing anything else.
Finally, she came to him. Thinner, hair dirty, eyes glowing eerily, stinking, she waited in his bed.
"I love you," was the only thing she said.
Relief, lust, shame, rage and longing for a time that would never come back overwhelmed him and drove him to her. They had violent, bodywrenching, squealing sex for a few minutes. When he pulled out, twelve pieces of Augie came out of Annalisa as well.
"Could never get that last piece, guess that will have to do," Annalisa said and passed out a few minutes.
She woke with Colin over her. She was pale, fevered and sweating.
Colin was crying. He was full of shame over the dead Augie and the dying Annalisa. He felt he had done the wrongest thing possible. He wished he could do it over again. He would never leave his apartment, never go to The Brook, never talk to anyone, never disturb so much as a blade of grass.
"I'm taking you to a doctor," he said.
"If you do, I'll die right now," she said with a strange authority. It was a threat.
He yielded. They spent the next few days making love and talking. Sometimes they spoke as themselves, sometimes as other people. She spoke as Augie once. It was terrifying to Colin even though the conversation was a conventional one about the weather and what meals he enjoyed.
Then she said she loved Colin and died with her arms clutched around his neck.
He worked his way out of her embrace, called an ambulance and ate a sandwich a few hours later.
The next few days he split between his apartment and The Brook. Every person he saw made him want to cry.
After awhile all that passed. When the first boils appeared in his armpits, he felt satisfied for the first time since he'd learned of Augie.
copyright (c)2001 Caligula Dodge