Saturday, September 20, 2008

Short Story: Shorty’s Paradise by T. Coraghessan Boyle

ad yet another story, Shorty’s Paradise by T. Coraghessan Boyle in the Narrative Magazine for the Short Story September Challenge being run by CB James. I am enjoying exploring and reading short stories online. I have found many nuggets out there. This one is pegged as a sex story.

“Shorty’s Paradise,” is taken from T. Coraghessan Boyle’s novel The Inner Circle. This concerns sex research of varied "subjects" as they say, collecting data. Here the two scientists are involved in doing field research on the habits of coloured prostitutes. There they are caught the police in an unflattering position, which compels them to carry a letter for all such future research saying,“in the event that the nature of his research takes him into localities where the purpose of what he is doing might not be clearly understood.”

This has an interesting topic. Although it is pegged as a sex story, it s not titilating in that way. It speaks of sex research, not the sex act. The story is clinical. The narrator is interested in facts, collecting datas rather than anything else.

"My ears rang, my head ached, my eyes felt molten, and nothing, not even the details of the most arcane sexual practices could arouse me from my torpor—not coprophilia, incest, or sex with barnyard animals. I just nodded, held the subject’s eyes, and made my notations on the position sheet."

Although he does admit getting aroused talking to coloured prostitute.

"I remember being moved by her simple, unnuanced recitation of the facts, the sad facts, as I hadn’t been moved before. Unprofessionally, I wanted to get up from my chair and hug her and tell her that it was all right, that things would get better, though I knew they wouldn’t. Unprofessionally, I wanted to strip the clothes from her and have her there on the bed and watch her squirm beneath me. I didn’t act on either impulse. I just closed down my mind and recorded her history, one of the thousands that would be fed into the pot."