I dream of Jeannie and she is there. The tinkle of the coins tasseled about her waist wakes me. The skin of her is ivory and perfect, white as my dreams. When I awake, Jeannie’s blue eyes stare at me.
“Good morning, Master.”
My eyes rove: the shirt and tie on my chair for today, the soft curve of abdomen flesh where Jeannie’s legs meet her torso, the long lashes downcast to avoid my gaze. The soft plump of women’s bodies where they curve out all alienesque has always turned me on. The fat protecting the meat protecting the womb.
“How long have you been here?” My voice is desert wind in a dry throat. Only now I realize I’m still laying down. I prop myself on an elbow and look at Jeannie, sitting like that at the foot of my bed. She does not face me but the wall. I take in her profile.
She turns to me and says, “A while.”
She looks at me with eyes like children’s; they are the eyes of drawn women. It makes my cock hard while simultaneously revolting me. To test her, I feign casual and ask, “Alright then. Make me some breakfast.”
Jeannie nods when she says, “Yes, Master.”
She springs to her feet, which are dainty and small and curved like high heels. The sheer mesh of her flounced pants belies a tight figure. I watch her leave my bedroom, her white skin everywhere except where it isn’t, hidden in the usual places by hot pink fabric coiled in a rope pattern.
I smell the eggs later, brushing my teeth. I spit.
When I hear Jeannie coming, I crawl back into bed. In my suit. She enters with a platter of hot food, my favorite foods. She sets it at the end of the mattress and says, “Would you like anything else, Master?”
I am a child going too far playing feet from a cliffside but I say, “Yes. Feed me.”
I work as a manager in human resources at the most influential corporation of our time. I am responsible for the disbursement and distribution of what we formerly called “human capital,” but we’re phasing that out and replacing it with “organic operations.” Today, I cannot focus.
Jeannie’s hips spreading gently from the apex of her torso fill my head. Hips hitting disembodied hips. Two jutting bones casting the thinnest shadows underneath. The hips are doing the bump. The fat along Jeannie’s hips and ass ripples as it slaps against another pair of her hips and ass, and the rippling is in slow motion.
Visiting the corporate restroom, I quickly scan for others before letting my dick out into the air. This is not what you think — no, I do not masturbate here. As I urinate, I am ashamed at the sight of my damaged genitals; after accidentally leaving a cock pump on too long, my whole dick is now purple, swollen, red and tender. I worry I’ve done permanent damage.
Back at my desk, concentration is impossible. Jeannie is at home, waiting for me.
I dream of Jeannie and she is there, waiting for me. Behind the spread of an open door, she stands in the kitchen smiling. I am comforted. “Jeannie,” I say, “how are you?”
She is so beautiful it hurts, beautiful in all the ways white TV women are, beautiful like me, and I am comforted. “Master, that’s a silly question,” she says.
I laugh. “You’re right. Have you cooked anything?”
My gaze lands on a table of meat. Jeannie has been busy — she’s prepared three giant meats in glistening sauces and marinades and glazes. There is an obscenely pink honeyed ham, a dripping pork loin, and a plate of glossy prime rib.
As I eat, Jeannie does not speak at me or to me or with me and I am comforted. The woman of my dreams.
It is still in need of testing, this genie woman, but my mother believed in the devil and I am unsure about what this woman could be — but even if she is of the devil, and sex is proof, I’m still no better off by not having sex with her. Either way, I’m sharing my bedroom with the devil.
After eating, I ask Jeannie to receive me and she does. Then, I ask her not to sleep with me.
On the elevator the next morning, my secretary stands silently beside me. I’ve never seen her all in red before, but today she is there unmistakable: red pencil skirt, red button-up blouse, red lips, red heels. I am an observant sentinel behind her. I adjust myself.
“Alice,” I say, “I hope you didn’t get into too much trouble this weekend.”
Her laughs may be forced. My mother taught me to look for the devil in the eyes of women and here I see the devil in Alice’s eyes.
“Well,” she says, “it’s Tuesday so…”
To stifle my aggravation, I pull out the sly little foxes of memory, put them on my lap, and pet them. Jeannie last night and not Alice now.
Although the relationship between Alice and I has been benign for years, mostly consisting of me appreciating her beauty and she being a competent if not enthusiastic secretary, she in the last months has shot darts of hatred in my direction. Women are confusing and devil women still are worse and she is dressed in all red, for Christ’s sake.
She is a good secretary, though. For years, has been. But today, she is all in red.
In the bathroom, my dick is still a purple mess of bruises. I am unafraid of the devil.
I dream of Jeannie and she is there. I part the lips of the doorway to reveal her inside. She stands in my kitchen in that hot pink getup, her bare feet twisted and curved to balance her on just the balls. She wears a tiny pink hat.
“Jeannie, it’s good to see you.”
“It’s good to see you, too, Master.”
“Jeannie, what do you do all day while I’m at work?”
“Oh, Master,” Jeannie giggles, “I wait for you to come home, of course.”
I smile. I am comforted.
Jeannie moves her petite body aside to unveil the bounty she’s prepared for me. A veritable Thanksgiving feast. While I eat, Jeannie stands in the corner.
I saw a movie once where robotic women were hidden in wardrobes when powered down. You opened the wardrobe doors to find one bare woman’s torso after another’s, all different ethnicities and hair types and breast sizes, hanging from hooks.
The next morning, I am in the car commuting to the greatest corporation of our time. The radio plays a song and I tap the steering wheel and the traffic is light enough for me to feel free. I think about the night before, about Jeannie’s comforting body, both on mine and kept securely in the closet.
At work, Alice wears a new perfume. She has never been married, but now I suspect she has a boyfriend. She is not so young, in her early thirties. The red, the scent — she can’t outrun her own nature. I watch the bob of the back of her head as she answers my phone. I adjust myself.
This is not about sex. It’s about the devil. It’s about where to look for evil, and where to find it. Women in women-skin.
In the bathroom, my cock is not so purple anymore. I feel light. My insomnia has completely gone away in the last three days, too. It has been sumptuous, to feel so good.
When I get home, I ask Jeannie to get on all fours and bark. Then, do it again without the hot pink clothes.
I dream of Jeannie and she is there. She waits.
At work, Alice’s hands are smooth and gentle on the telephone. I watch her movements like a puppeteer stringer man, pulling onto something but caressing, too. She is not moved by my kindness, the gaze of my best softness but she is unmoved. Why?
In the bathroom, my cock is almost back to normal and hard and I am alone. I am moving quickly, quiet and purposeful in the one stall made for shitting. I am masturbating furiously but silently and it is Alice in skirts and heels and faceless only asses and legs forever and it is Jeannie, my Jeannie, of course it is Jeannie.
It is Jeannie, strung up between two slabs of meat, it is Jeannie on a hook, it is Jeannie, my Jeannie, god perfect. I am close now and it is Jeannie spread-eagled, and gasoline, and a match.
At home, Jeannie has made another beautiful meal. How many meals now? I’ve forgotten. She is gorgeous frying bacon on the stove because I requested it, and I don’t pause before asking “Jeannie, put your hand in the pan.”
Kayla Miller is a rambunctious queer gal with an MFA. She currently lives in the Wild West of Vegas, but hails from Jonesboro, Georgia. She is the author of the fiction chapbook See & Be Seen & Be Scene, published by [Five [Quarterly]], and will be headlining the 2017 Agnes Scott College Writers’ Festival alongside Claudia Rankine and Patrick Phillips. She writes about ugly folks doing ugly things.