Josef Hoflehner, Lotus Pound, China, 2008
There was an abundance of fruit. My house was haunted, and I knew the ghost was present because a certain ornamental dragon, hung from the ceiling, would sway erratically. If I pointed and said “I see you, ghost!” all the lights would go out, but for a second I could see eyes. I made friends with a large rat. I was going to work in a beautiful bar. I went hiking and saw trees turn into octopuses, I think.
On Wednesday, Egyptian media reported that the Egyptian parliament will introduce the “farewell intercourse law” so a man could have sex with his dead wife up to six hours after her passing.
This is how I came to wonder what it would be like for my imaginary husband to fuck my dead body.
Hour One: I died young. I assume a combination of bad news (say, some new, stupid, religion-justified law, like my future children would now have to serve in an Egyptian circus slavery ring) and years of too much butter and nicotine would result in my sudden collapse. (I don’t have all the details. I was too busy dying and all.) A hearse transports me to a nearby facility. This is no ordinary facility. A brilliant entrepreneur lego’d this place between a morgue and a hospital after the “farewell intercourse law” passed. The facility charges men a flat fee for the final six hours with their wives—should these men choose to exercise their final marital rights or not. The staff usher my husband to wait for my body in his designated chamber. The windowless room is bound in colored velvet and the finest Egyptian cotton threaded the sheets. I watch as my already purple and waxy body is prepped, my hair freshly tousled for our final session. The staff carefully shuts my sinking eyelids before I’m placed on the bed. My husband sits in a chair, pulls out a bottle of whiskey and places it next to the provided KY Jelly. This will be the longest six hours of his life.
Hour two: My husband sips, then gulps down his whiskey. I am certain he’s only here to spend a few quiet hours alone with me. The imaginary man I married would never fuck a corpse. That’s icky. We’re not Muslim. We’re not even religious. But, if years of religious ideology masquerading as law convinced my mother that it’s okay for a woman to marry her rapist, could the same ideology infect my husband? Why is he drinking whiskey anyways? He should be at my bedside, with his fists pointed at the ceiling, cartoonishly cursing the heavens for taking me so quickly and begging for some supernatural wonder to revive me back to life.
Hour three: Bedside? Did I say bedside? No, I never said bedside. That was crazy, dead-lady talk. Please go back to your chair and continue to lush down your stale whiskey. He kisses me, and the cheap rose lipstick slides off my pale lips. He caresses my hair. My spirit wants to scream at him, “I will be equally livid about any hint of KY in my freshly-tousled hair as I will be if you fuck my corpse.”
Hour four: My body’s muscles are stiff now, rigid like day-old hair gel. My husband moves in from the bedside to my side. He’s lying next to my body, drunk and trembling. I can’t believe what I’m about to witness. He penetrates my dead body and holds my blue hands. I want the ghostly powers movies always promised me. I want to haunt and torment him. I want him to stop.
Hour four and five minutes: Typical. He’s already dressed again.
I have bizarre dreams, generally nightmares, just about every night. I’m going to tell the internet about them. It will be interesting to see how the real things we call false will translate into a false world that we call real.
So I only remember a snippet of last night’s dream. I got a machine gun tattooed on my entire upper arm. And I loved that mother fucker. (Obviously this one wasn’t a nightmare. It was more of a brilliant idea that came to me in my slumber…)