Put That In Your Pipe
By sean mcnulty
The sea was calm. And sky mostly clear blue. A few thin streaks of cloud seemed to be racing towards an island approaching Dolores from the west. Jan Mayen: the fiery isle of the frozen north. Geissel and Walter were on deck discussing Europe’s pain as they watched the magnificent snow-capped peaks of the island get closer. Closer. A stark whiteness entered the tops of their eyes, bleeding out the familiar roadside slush-grey.
Geissel: ‘Imagine if the Nazis were more inclined to cannibalise than they were to gas. And they said to themselves, well, we can’t eat the Jews, can we? That would be beneath us. Men of our taste. We should dine on the finest human delicacies available. And what would that be? Why, us, of course. The master race. The highest quality meat of all. You know, that might have solved us all a lot of problems. If they had just eaten one another up.’
‘All the political world is concerned with these days is the eating of itself,’ said Walter. ‘They will gobble all of us communists up soon enough.’
Geissel was taken aback. ‘You’re a communist?’
‘Not entirely. Bisexual. And partial communist.’
Geissel wasn’t sure which of the two he was more shocked by. But the bisexuality admittedly had him arrested in attention. His own sexual preference, no matter how deviant in the eyes of God it was, seemed somewhat tame when compared to the tendencies of some to swing this way and that.
He wished he had Walter’s freedom. To be able to say it out loud. I’m a...... communist. That’s what I am. What do you make of that, boyo? Put that in your pipe. What he would give of his own life in exchange for that self-government.
‘Did Mrs. Juhl know?’
‘That I was bisexual?’
‘Yes. And a communist.’
‘She did. She knew of both from the start. I can’t say it did not cause her some dismay.’
‘What were her politics?’
‘Ah. There is a story in that which is too long to tell. She was constantly in transit politically. She was a Christian democrat when I first met her, then an eco-capitalist for some time – I wondered back then if it was something about me that caused her to make the switch. But then she switched again. She became a civil libertarian in her thirties. I think I preferred her when she was a civil libertarian. I don’t know why. I disagreed completely. But she could be very sexy in those clothes. And in her last days, she identified as a communitarianist.’
‘A communitarianist? Is that not the same thing as a communist?’
‘No, it’s different. She swore by community action but wasn’t in favour of the sharing part. She was a greedy communist.’
‘It must have made the bisexuality issue difficult. I mean, if she didn’t like sharing.’
‘Oh no, the capitalism part of her still remained and it enabled her to view me as property. Basic property she worried little about losing. Somehow she knew I could not be unfaithful. And she was right. But I can’t tell you how many times – anyway, how about you, Father Geissel?’
‘I beg your pardon.’
‘Do you have an issue with it? My bisexuality. After all, your church is strict about such things, is it not?’
Geissel stammered when answering: ‘Oh yes. No. Well, if it is an issue, perhaps, just a little. But not entirely.’
‘You’re a good man, Father Geissel,’ smiled Walter.