The Flesh Eaters
Dolores didn’t expect to spend the last year sewing pubic hair into a disembodied silicone vagina, but that’s the way it happened. One day, you’re working at the 7-11 on the corner of Tujunga and Magnolia, and the next day, you’re submitting your job application at a place your mother will refer to from this day forward as “the dildo factory.” In fact, it’s not a dildo factory. They make many things here. In the three and a half years that she’s worked at this place, she’s spent six months stringing anal beads, fourteen months assembling penis pumps, and two months boxing vibrators. A year ago, she found her niche: masturbators. The name sounded like something for which you should spend your Sunday mornings confessing, but in fact it was just her and four other girls in the far corner of the warehouse bent over a never-ending supply of thermoplastic rubber that had been molded to resemble the vaginas and assholes and entire rear ends of famous porn stars. At this point in her career, Dolores didn’t really think about what she was doing anymore: her head bent inches from the factory sculpted labia of a woman she’d never met as she poked the thick needle into the rubber surface and threaded another plastic pubic hair through the fake flesh. Sometimes she wondered what the real women were like. Somewhere in the Valley, they were famous actresses. On the internet, their images were beamed to places Dolores had never been in order to make men that Dolores would never meet happy, if only for a few fleeting moments. The demand was so great that Dolores and the other girls could hardly keep up with the pace. And right now, it wasn’t even the busy season. Come fall, the boss would hire another half dozen girls to work a second shift. The trucks would pull up to the back of the loading bay with increasing frequency, carting the boxed vaginas off to parts unknown. It made Dolores sad to see them leave, like watching your children head off for their first day of school. How would you defend them from the world? A week ago, Dolores was the last one leaving, and without thinking, she walked over to the table, picked up one of the boxes with a vagina in it, and dropped it into her bag. It was heavy—remarkably so—and she wondered briefly if the camera mounted in the corner where the wall met the ceiling had seen what she had done, even though she had turned her back to its prying eye. At home, she removed the vagina from her bag, set it on her dining room table, and considered it. On the cover of the box, the woman whose vagina it was had been dressed up like a waitress and was holding up her fake vagina like she was serving it for dinner. Dolores supposed that’s what men wanted: some piece of you offered up like a slice of pie for their consumption. To be honest, the thought didn’t make her mad. It made her lonely. As the sun set outside, and the room glowed with the golden hour, she had to believe that there was someone out there who would want the person Dolores really was, served on a platter, whole and ready to be eaten. Perhaps there was one man for whom she—meat and bone, organs and innards, blood and matter—would be enough to sate.