So this is pretty much as it was told to me: “It seemed like a pretty stupid idea but he felt compelled to carry it out. It was a growing, throbbing kind of obsession. A feeling that he needed to capture, hold, sustain. Even if it was only a temporary fix it would be better than doing nothing. That was the thought and he was driven now to carry it out. He was uncomfortable in the shop, that in itself was ironic considering that it was a distinct discomfort that he wished upon himself. He braced himself and awkwardly wandered into the lingerie department and there was confronted by a baffling selection of ladies tummy and hips control pants. The sizes were of course a foreign language as were the shapes. He stared and tried to aid eye contact with the other shoppers, all of whom were obviously female. He took a silent deep breath, selected three odd sized pairs, all in black and headed to the check out. Of course nobody really took any notice of him or his choices of garment. Each female shopper remaining indifferent and detached in their own personal bubble. The girl at the check out hardly said anything but as he handed over the cash his heart was pumping and his palms and forehead sweating with unfamiliar and almost painful embarrassment. He relaxed visibly as the pants were stuffed into a green bag and effectively disguised as ordinary and insignificant shopping, as if anybody cared. Soon he would be home.
So what was the point? Why tight pants? Why the obsession? Harry had asked himself those questions many times and there never was a proper or sensible answer. That block of feeling couldn't be shifted, that notion of not quite right, that horrible sweated out heat and pressure, the gnawing and unfathomable need, one that stood against all that's normal or acceptable. The notion of being cursed. Harry wanted to be castrated and that was a pretty tough little fact to share. Right now he couldn't figure how that might happen but he just wanted to feel how it might feel. That was why he was wearing the too tight control pants right now (one pair had done the trick). They were tightly compressing his parts right now and though it was not the real thing it felt like...progress towards that imagined, elusive and unknowable state. He thought of himself as gelding, a horse, cut to become more manageable, more compliant, a better kind of horse all round. That was a part of it but Harry couldn't really get to the core of what he wanted or needed other than that he desperately had to have that big cut done.
Here in Doncaster his ideas were safely buried in the most private of places, his own churning head. Maybe in California or Thailand it would've been different, there might have been contacts , expressions, outlets, help lines and darkened rooms where there was discussion. Here he was a plain call centre worker, a voice and keyboard click, insurance advice and sales. On and off he switched himself but then in the spare, hungry moments the obsession arose again and again until it seemed like the only thing that mattered. It seemed that until he'd been done, cut and mutilated he'd feel incomplete, if that made any kind of sense. Like a man who wanted to lose an arm or a leg or an ear, surgically removed or pickled or buried at the bottom of the sea. How can a physically complete man man feel incomplete until he is physically incomplete? That paradox haunted him, troubled and tortured him and drove him. The tight pants produced a feeling, a temporary fix, a stop but there was no resolution here. Something else had to happen. Something that was real.
So Harry kept himself lost himself in daydreams and fantasy, he found cushions of comfort in here, worlds where boundaries had blurred and possibilities were stretched. There were days when it was all straight forward heterosexual sex that was there, calm and predominant, possible without the balls and the spray but all accepted just as a quirk. Mechanically smooth and easy, he imagined. Clean and free from care for both the partners. Harry did worry what any woman would really think, how would she react? Turn on or turn off? There were lots of tastes out there. He stepped across the deconstructed after sex small talk as if it was an alley covered in broken glass. It was a bizarre conversation that he'd design and savour. His justification, his longing, his past experience, the tough road that had turned him this way, it could perhaps be understood. There was maybe a tiny part of a female fascination to exploit, an acceptance, a desire to try and experiment, to feel out the freakish performance. It would be one time only and then never again, so he thought, and there was a strange comfort in that.
Some fantasies went too far; overcome and tied up by Amazons or the fanatical wives of Nazi officers, six foot six, dark hair and eyes, wielding knives and razors, handcuffs and silk scarves, determined to set the world straight on their twisted man hating terms. He was overcome, bound and knocked unconscious. They screamed themselves into a tribal, primitive and hateful frenzy. All shadows and shapes and dancing around. Then at the climax they ritually castrated him with their terrible razors and threw his balls out of the cabin window where they were devoured by hungry Alsation dogs. That played in his head in a endless loop somedays, oddly Technicolored but bloodless and painless. He sensed his own eyes spinning in his head as those images trolled on past. Like a woozy alcoholic nightmare played out in slow motion that turned back on itself in a loop of replay and time slip. Those Amazon's had their revenge time and time again, on the top of a bus, at the call centre desk, in queues and lines and checkouts, in a quiet bar and in the darkest nights. Hot and dirty and played out to the last reel but never truly consummated. It was a life, a kind of life and maybe, most of the time no kind of life when a slow uncontrollable torture runs on and on in the background all the time.
Harry grimaced, pressed himself to try to catch the version of normal that he'd chosen for himself. His daily rituals and compressed body parts mirroring his compressed aspirations. He took to the internet, drew in garbage, digested it, the faux researching was skimmed but kept disconnected. There were others out there, crazy groupings, cults and madmen. It was impossible to fathom it and Harry didn't trust anybody with his secret. It was all to too crowded here in his head, too precious and personal, too painful. Then there were the rare days of denial and forgetfulness. The castration passed away like some grey cloud, his head cleared and he functioned, for moments there were blue skies and pedestrian thoughts. Sports or politics, colours and food and pretty women. These days were few and fewer and Harry sensed a precipice edge before him. Here he was again, sucked into the narrow neck at the middle of the egg timer and then swamped and overcome and ready to fall. He looked at the phone, he pondered mental health help lines, doctor appointments, opening up to a stranger. Not possible, too costly was all he could think.
He browsed knifes and surgical implements on line, he looked at the procedures, medical reasonings, illness and injury, it was all stretched pink flesh and gory detail. That would all pass however as he journeyed through that pain and some sense of pleasant grief (he imagined) until he was set right into his own personal, ideal perfection. Existing in the secret shadow as the conflicted yet vigorous rare human gelding. For somebody special he would form up to be that desirable curiosity and unique experience. He contrived more disguised and improbable solutions and he began to build yet another more dangerous dream. He cloaked himself in ideas and drew up the details, like planning a gym or diet regime that built a perfect body. A one off, shit or bust opportunity. All the risk was his but the outcome could give him his desire. In fiction and in the red tops there always was a willing German surgeon or scientist somewhere who would rescue the tortured soul. He wondered if maybe somebody, somewhere had built a machine...
It was about a year after the pants purchasing outing when the headline and newspaper story caught Harry's eye. “Mystery man found dead on the street was a Mozambique refugee who had fallen from an aircraft landing at Heathrow.” He read the awful details and then noticed, down below that in a black and white tab box his eye was led to another. “Ex-Soviet scientists fix pervs with 'snap you later' ball burster technique”. The article told how a Russian scientist now residing in Switzerland was selling a tiny, self contained castration device to “clients” in the Far East. This one-time use machine, no bigger than a two cigarette packs apparently snapped on and then snapped off and simultaneously stapled, cauterized and sanitized the wound. You then disposed of the whole thing. It was soon to be available for sale on line for use in wider veterinary applications, mainly goats and dogs.
Harry filled in the application form very carefully, the delivery address and the price, 55 Euros plus delivery. Of course he'd lied about most of his credentials and was pretending to be a goat breeder curious to try the device. He clicked the order button and off it went. A week later the carton arrived complete with French, German and Flemish instructions only – no English for some reason. Harry's fingers trembled as he handled the small shiny surgical device. There was the red switch, two settings, a battery compartment (three AAAs) and most tantalisingly of all the opening. It was still all innocent enough looking, no obvious blades or teeth or sharp edges, just an aperture about the size of a cigarette pack and that red switch. Nervously Harry tried to read the instructions. He studied the diagrams and he explored the details and a film clip on their web site. It all seemed straightforward enough.”
Truly I don't quite know what happened next. I was told that Harry did try to use the device and whatever the out come lived to tell the tale...but simply chose not to tell. It just might be that when he got to the point, all systems go, ready to get that (?) thing, achieve that seemingly unattainable state, press the red button, something else kicked in, some other instinct. I don't know for sure. I do know that Harry quit his job at the call centre and headed east, back packing towards the Silk Road searching for a Buddhist teacher, or so some said. An odd thing for a guy his age to do but then again he was pretty odd anyway.