My one and only female was an acrobat on the mattress, and the truth is, I miss her still. This was just before the Second Coming — before He came, bearded and sandaled with blessings and rage, and ruined all we hold dear — when space and time were warped enough to drop a superhero into the suburbs. I was a gay man living in a nondescript Pennsylvania town; not a congenial match, I’ll admit, surrounded as I was by churchgoers and conservatives. One day, Wonder Woman leapt over my home and landed in my just-mowed front yard. The petunias needed watering, and I was outside in a pink bunny costume I sometimes liked to wear around the house, to keep in touch with the animal nature of the human being. Somehow, I had become ensnared in the pricker bush and needed saving.
She looked just like I remembered her from the 1970s television show: gaudy gold tiara with the communistic red star, bullet-repelling bracelets, truth-inducing lasso at her hip, a bikini bottom that showed the outline of her plump vulva, a breastplate barely covering her bunched-together tits, mushroomed black hair and those icy blue eyes. And, of course, the red plastic boots in which no respectable drag queen would be caught dead. Her outfit was really an unwise invitation to sexual assault. I nearly told her so.
She rescued me from the pricker bush. I thanked her, then she looped her flimsy lasso around my nice shoulders and yanked it tight. I was still holding the tin watering can. My bunny ears flapped a bit.
“I have you in my truth-inducing lasso,” she said. “Now tell me — think of the Rod Stewart song if you’d like — do you find me sexy?”
“I rather do. But honey, that outfit has got to go. You should fight crime less scantily clad. The criminals will be inclined to take you more seriously.”
“This from a man in a bunny suit,” she said.
“And really, that hair,” I said. “It’s a bit puffy, don’t you think? It’s not even humid out.”
“All right, goddamn you, enough truth,” she said, taking back her golden rope.
“I need to lie down. That last leap over your house exhausted me.”
“Lie down? On my bed?”
“Work with me, please. I’m having a crisis.”
Wonder Woman was having a crisis on my front lawn. “Oh, what the hell,” I said. “I’m between boyfriends. Let me escort you in. But I’m telling you, you’re losing that outfit. It’s an affront to the aesthetics of my home.”
Of course, I would have preferred Superman, with his square pecs and pulsating bulge, but comic-book heroes were hard to come by. One took what one could get. Wonder Woman stripped and lay atop my goose-down comforter. Nobody had told her of the modern woman’s penchant for genital grooming. Her pubic patch was an impenetrable morass, long enough to braid. I trimmed it with my electric razor — not bald, because I find bare genitals dull and uniform, but just enough to grant the necessary access and still retain scent and flavor. I knew more about female machinery than all the straight men in Pennsylvania.
Wonder Woman had a Wonder Tongue, ten inches long and heaven on any given rectum; a Wonder Mouth that worked like a tornado; a Wonder Cunt, beautifully muscled and mighty enough to ruin the day of any uninvited penis; a Wonder Clitoris, as long as her pinky finger, long enough to make me feel right at home. Her Wonder Orgasm shot from her center like Old Faithful; it glazed my face and restyled my hair. Wonder Woman made the sounds Wonder Woman makes when in the throes of ecstasy.
Afterward, she said, “I’m depressed, Bunny, and in need of salvation. I’ve tried liquor and Christ. Neither worked.”
“Wait here,” I said, and went into the bathroom, where I kept my stockpile of antidepressants, pills I had been hoarding for years: Paxil, Wellbutrin, Zoloft, Prozac, Ativan, you name it. “Try these,” I said, and she swallowed every last pill in three large gulps with a bottle of sparkling water.
“How long ’til they take effect?” she asked.
“Ummm, two to three weeks, usually.”
“Hold me,” she said. “I’m feeling bloated.”
“I will, sugar, but first we really need to do something about that hair. I’ll be right back.”
Ramon, my barber — not my stylist, my barber — was over in fifteen minutes. He was a bit awkward and sweat like a fat kid, but he was a maestro with scissors and a comb. When he saw Wonder Woman’s puffy mane, he gave a little yelp and shielded his eyes. We put her in my bathrobe and sat her on a barstool in the kitchen, where light streamed in through the sliding glass door. Ramon did a quick diagnosis: “Sun damage, split ends, slightly dry scalp; she’s been using a five-dollar shampoo from the drugstore, and I see no evidence of conditioning. Honey,” he said, “you have really let yourself go. But fear not. Ramon will fix this mess.”
The transformation was astounding. The cut accentuated her chiseled cheekbones and large oval eyes. It was shorter than I had wanted, but Ramon is the expert, and he seemed pleased. After he rubbed product in her hair, it was spiky and wild; she reminded me now of a punk-rock girl from ’82. When Wonder Woman looked in the mirror, she started to sob, and we both consoled her. “It’s gorgeous,” I said.
“It’s really gorgeous,” said Ramon.
“Just what you needed,” I said.
“Honey, you look eight years younger,” Ramon said, “believe me.”
She eventually smiled and thanked us. On his way out, Ramon said to her, “You don’t happen to know Wonder Man, do you? Or, better yet, Wonder Boy?”
“I’m not sure they exist,” she said.
That evening, again: Wonder Tongue, Wonder Cunt, Wonder Orgasm, and a glazed face. Wonder Woman made the sounds Wonder Woman makes when in the throes of ecstasy.
We held each other long into the night. She told me the story of how she became a Wonder. It was a story I already knew from the TV show, but I pretended to be hearing it for the first time. My heart went yakkety-yak for her. With a ten-inch tongue that twirled like an electric mixer, who needed a penis?
The next day I took her to my job, because I was afraid to leave her alone in my house. I worked on a construction crew because the pay was great, the physical labor beneficial, and because I had somehow inherited my father’s talent with power tools. We were building a three-story office structure. There were twenty of us on the job: carpenters, masons, electricians, etc. When I arrived with Wonder Woman at seven a.m. I called an urgent meeting, and we gathered out front by the scrap pile.
“All right, ladies, listen up,” I said. “I have Wonder Woman with me today. I put some clothes on her, so you apes won’t be scratching after her all day. She’s here to help, so please be thoughtful. She needs a little change of routine, that’s all.”
I saw Wonder Woman glance at the stacks of wood, the piles of brick, the bags of cement and the various table saws. With her Wonder Speed, she circled the half-built structure several times in a red-and-blue blur. A minute later, the office building was finished, sparkling in the morning sun. The windows were in and the plumbing operational.
There were hoots and hollers and a general din of approval.
“All right,” I said. “Let’s call it a day, girls. Our work is done here.”
As my coworkers dispersed to their pickup trucks, shaking hands as if they had finished the building, George ambled up to me. “Hey,” he said, “maybe after Wonder Woman splits, you and I could, you know, get together some time.”
“Oh, I don’t know, George. We’ll see, okay?” and then the girl and I skipped away arm in arm.
Again, that morning: Wonder Woman made the sounds Wonder Woman makes when in the throes of ecstasy.
I put on my bunny suit because I needed to feel animal. Wonder Woman drew a bath and painted her toenails purple. I sat on the toilet lid, tended to my cuticles and watched her.
“I think I’d like to try a girl, Bunny,” she said. “Nothing against you, I just feel like exploring. I don’t know who I am anymore.”
“Oh, I know the perfect lesbian. She’d love you. She’s a bit butch, but she has a striking figure and very sexy voice. She’s a bike courier.”
Wonder Woman said, “She’ll do.”
Becky came over that night, and right away, they retreated to my bedroom. Wonder Woman made the sounds she makes when in the throes of ecstasy. I stood at the door and listened to the slurping and groaning, to Becky saying, “My God, your nipples drip honey!” Then I sat in the den and sulked. This jealousy wasn’t natural for me. I speculated about a possible metamorphosis within.
Everywhere in nature, the animals were behaving strangely. The weather was doing weird things with the clouds and the wind.
Afterward, Becky said, “I’m in love and taking her with me. My face is glazed, and this is a first. We belong together.”
“The hell you do, bitch.”
“You can’t stop me, bitch.”
“I’ll slap your bitch face,” I said.
We wrestled until Wonder Woman came in and separated us. I was grateful, because Becky was kicking my ass; my bunny suit was restrictive and I couldn’t grapple effectively.
“Stop fighting over me,” she said. “Becky, I know I promised I’d go with you, but I only mean about forty-five percent of what I say these days. I can’t leave Bunny.”
“What do you mean, you can’t leave him?” she said. “You’ve only known him a day.”
I said, “She’s only known you for an hour, bitch.”
Becky tried to assault me again, but Wonder Woman held her steady. I was filled with glee that she wanted to stay, that she felt loyalty, appreciation, and a fondness for what’s right.
We made hot chocolate, and I learned that Wonder Woman suffered from all the woes of the common female, except with her, the woes were wonderized. Her biological clock was soon approaching midnight; she thought she’d make a talented mother but fretted that no man was a proper match.
“You could adopt,” I said. This did not please her much.
Her hamstrings were showing signs of cellulite, her breasts were beginning to hang, and the wrinkles around her eyes were, I had to agree, screaming “Look at me.” “Any plastic surgeon could fix all that one two three,” I said, and she cringed at the thought of suction and a scalpel. The new haircut notwithstanding, she feared she was not nearly as pretty as women on billboards. “Who is?” I said. “You don’t think I want to be as pretty as women on billboards?”
“But you are pretty, Bunny.”
“I am, I know. But I’m also a good deal younger than you, and I’ve been taking care of my skin for years.”
The 600 pills she’d swallowed the day before hadn’t yet taken effect. All that week, while
I was at work, she moped around the house, took long naps and emptied my kitchen of every piece of food that contained a fat or a sugar.
On Tuesday, I came home and discovered her trying to seduce the Chinese-food deliveryman. She was chasing him round the dining-room table, yelling in a mock Chinese tongue, which I found exceedingly offensive and which frightened the poor young man. I reprimanded her, and she assured me it was only a lapse. But on Thursday, she cornered a willing pizza delivery boy; I stepped through the door just in time to preclude coitus on my washing machine. I couldn’t have her corrupting those newly arrived to our shores, or not yet old enough to elect a government official.
Clearly, something had to be done. This midlife crisis was happening a bit soon for her, and our society was worse off for it. Burglars and hoodlums everywhere rejoiced about having one less comic-book hero on the scene. The nightly news portrayed more carnage and mayhem than usual; people were tense, and wide-eyed bums mumbled about The End. Plus, I needed her gone; George had asked me out three times that week, and three times I had to decline so I could care for my affected supergirl.
The day after the incident with the pizza boy, I called my therapist. “Doctor,” I said, “Wonder Woman is not well. She’s tried liquor, Christ, construction work, a new haircut, sex with a gay man, sex with a lesbian, and six hundred antidepressants. Nothing has worked. I am now what you call desperate. Please prescribe.”
He said, “Has she tried sex with a Jewish psychoanalyst?”
“Let’s give it a try,” I said.
“Bring her in straight away,” he said. “I might know the trick.”
When we arrived, he instructed me to wait outside. “We’ll try another dose of 600 pills, plus some heavy-duty hypnosis. This will take time. Choose a magazine. Order a sandwich.”
In a minute, I heard Wonder Woman making the sounds Wonder Woman makes when in the throes of ecstasy.
When she emerged an hour later, she was gleaming anew. Dr. Schwartz was standing behind her with a glob of glaze stuck in his nose hair.
“Bunny,” she said, “I am a beautiful, confident woman who needs neither husband nor child to feel fulfillment. I love myself madly. Skinny women are unhealthy. Dr. Schwartz is a handsome man with much virility, and I will visit him weekly.”
So that was it. Wonder Woman packed that evening, and we spent one last night together. For the final time, I heard her make the sounds she makes when in the throes of ecstasy.
We both shed tears for our coming estrangement, though I had no idea where she was headed. I felt blessed to have known her.
Things didn’t work out with George and me; I was soon between boyfriends again. It wasn’t long before the fire and flood came, the horsemen, the slaughter. And sometimes now, alone in the night, not another human being for miles, snug in my bunny suit, I think of Wonder Woman and hope she remembers me. If you ever see her out there in the slick, crime-fighting costume I suggested she wear, bursting with the self-esteem of despots, tell her Bunny — her beloved Bunny — says hello.
This story first appeared on NERVE in 2007.
©2007 William Giraldi and Nerve.com.