Entry number five or six in my series of shorts about a third-shift psychologist. Special guest-reference to the work of Andy Reynolds, fellow New Orleans SF writer — check his stuff out here.
Nocturnal Admissions: Swine & Roses
Ever since I helped that smooth guy from Cafe Envie get over his affair with a sexually-frustrated ghost, my practice has begun taking on the occasional supernatural client. A number of them, unsurprisingly, have trouble integrating into modern society.
Andy is probably the one who gave Circe got my number. Dream girl? I can’t date clients. Pixie? It was more of a Chelsea cut. But manic? That’s exactly what her appointment that night was about!
“So,” she began, “after some bro-y sailor spread gossip about me being a battleaxe just because I wouldn’t line his crew up and blow ’em all in a row like a trained seal, I had to skip town for a couple thousand years. New Orleans seemed like a fun place with the vampires and all.”
“That’s just for tourism,” I said.
“Whatever helps you sleep at night.”
“That’s what brings you here, but what brings you to my practice?”
“I don’t know anybody in the city and I have absolutely no cultural referents with which to get to know anybody, and I think I’m starting to go stir-crazy. I’ll go out to a bar and people will start talking at me about whateverthefuck TV show I’ve never seen and I just nod vacantly until they trail off. Trying to talk to them about Aeschylus doesn’t get me anywhere. When I asked this one dude if he was into Euripides he made the woooorst double entendre.”
“There’s nothing wrong with not being into the bar scene.”
“What’s wrong is that I’m going to wear out both my literal and metaphorical magic wands.”
“Have you tried online dating?”
She chortled. “Briefly. I don’t know what kind of data OKCupid stores on its users but I’m worried they’re going to notify the police if they realize what I’ve been doing to the guys who send me dick pics.”
“Well, do you have any hobbies?”
“Other than fricking my magic wands out of sheer boredom? Not really. I was into farming back on the island but that’s not really feasible when you live Uptown. I keep the lights on by selling former-dudes who sexually harassed me to Cleaver & Co. but that isn’t exactly luxurious income. Mostly I just kinda hang around and keep in touch with the few demigods who still use ICQ.”
She knew how to use the Internet, needed a side hustle, had a significant sex drive and seemingly little in the way of empathy. I decided to make an inspired suggestion at the risk of getting myself pigged.
“Have you considered joining FetLife?”
“No, what’s that?”
“It’s a…” I held up a finger to let her know I was thinking because, honestly, how do you describe it in a professional setting? I’m vanilla as all hell, but I don’t have that high school mindset where I look down on people who have better sex than I do. “It’s… a discrete web community where people with… sex… interests… find people to do… the kind of interesting sex they’re interested in.”
“You’re going to need to unpack that a bit because my great-uncle liked to turn into a swan while he was chasing tail.”
“That’s kind of what I’m getting at.”
She looked taken aback, but didn’t reach for her pigging wand. “My tail is not into getting chased by swans.”
“You totally don’t have to go that far if you don’t want, and it’s the kind of scene where you can talk all that out with partners ahead of time. Some people are actually just kinda… into pretending to be animals and sex isn’t necessarily involved. You might even be able to work a second income stream out of it — can you turn people into animals other than pigs?”
“Yeah, but real animals though; not Pokemon or anything.”
“Could you do real animals, but in not-real colors?”
“Then if you ask around online, I think you’ll find a community of guys willing to pony up for some time with you.”