OK…did you read Monologue #1? It’s one entry down. Go ahead. Read it. I’ll wait…………………………..ok, good. The second monologue features a woman named Nyx. From here on in…it gets darker…

©Joshua Alan Doetsch

When the pain comes, squeeze this.

The usual phrase is “bite the bullet.” Around here, we just say squeeze the rubber dildo. We call him Bob. My name’s Nyx. “Bob” is the most statistically common name for imaginary friends. “Nyx” is the goddess of night and the daughter of Chaos, riding through skies on her chariot, spreading primordial darkness, making even Zeus wet his pants.

Now what kind of tattoo would you like?

Hmm? Oh, Bob helps us point out all the wonderful places a male customer can get his wee-wee pierced. We also let people squeeze down on him during the worst of a piercing or tattoo – it’s quite cathartic – a little fringe benefit we give the ladies.

Truth be known, one in five guys don’t seem to mind either.

But pain’s not going to be a problem for you tonight, is it? You know, I’m not really supposed to condone getting drunk before receiving a tattoo, technically, I’m not supposed to even work on you.

I won’t tell if you won’t.

Got Bob? Good. What do you want?

This one? This tattoo…I…I’ve had it for a long time, but trust me, you don’t want this tattoo. It’s…

…hey, goodnight Steve. I’ll lock up when I’m done.

That’s Steve, our tribal rope guy. Please don’t ask for a tribal rope – everyone wants a tribal rope tattoo, everyone asks for one permanently branded on their bodies without even knowing what they mean – again and again and…it’s like asking a guitar instructor to teach you “Stairway to Heaven.”

Don’t get me wrong, Steve-o’s a good guy. He was born on St. George’s Eve, which means he’s doomed to rise as a vampire after death…according to Romanian villagers. Lots of ways to hit that pitfall: conceived on a holy day, born the seventh son of the seventh son, mother didn’t eat enough salt, too much salt, born with teeth, an extra nipple, excess hair, two hearts…

You were born on Christmas? No kidding? Children born at sermon time on Christmas can see spirits. Am I serious? It’s peasant folklore – they took it pretty seriously. Then again, Yugoslavian gypsies believe that a pumpkin left out too long becomes a sort of rolling, growling vampire.

Pretty silly.

But you’ve gotta wonder, do kids smash pumpkins on Halloween for fun…or is it some last remaining shred of a dormant survival instinct long forgotten?

My landlord says it’s all ridiculous. His dad had a uni-brow. He’ll be a werewolf.

I don’t know what my father’s eyebrows looked like.

There are worse things than not knowing your father…

Whoa…look at me – freaking you out with werewolves and predatory pumpkins. Don’t usually open up like that with a customer. You’ve got the ear of a bartender. You get that a lot?

So about your tattoo…no, seriously, you don’t want mine, it’s…it’s a Germanic rune – a symbol for the incubus. Incubus – a male sex demon that creeps through windows, at night, and forces itself on women.

Why would you want that?

It looks pretty?

Hey, you’re the drunk chick with a dick in your mitt, so who am I to argue? Where do you want it? Hold still.

You know, it’s funny, you choosing this symbol ’cause it’s just so pretty. Back in the nineties, Reebok released a line of women’s running shoes. They wanted to go with the whole strong, independent woman shtick, and, without researching, took the name “Incubus” because it sounded nifty, and it wasn’t trademarked. Later, after shipping the product, it came to their attention that the name on thousands of boxes of running shoes for strong, independent women, was the name of an evil, male spirit that pounces on sleeping women, crushing and tormenting its victims as it defiles them spiritually and physically.

That had to be one hell of a memo.

The Incubus running shoe was recalled.

Nike had a good laugh.

Learned that little bit from my history professor, he was born with a caul and thus, is immune to drowning and evil spirits.

Lean a little to the left…good.

According to the Malleus Maleficarum, the Inquisition’s guidebook – an incubus can reproduce.

Female demons take the semen from men and give it to male demons to give to women. Wrap your mind around that shit job. Legions of demons waking up Monday morning saying, “God, if I have to deliver one more load of jizz…”

The devil takes the sperm of wicked men and corrupts it further. The children born are demonic things.

Children of monsters are monsters…

You know, in the Victorian period, they put those ruffled skirts on chairs and couches so the legs were not exposed, because that was not proper. They were that uncomfortable with themselves that the naked legs of furniture offended them. But hey, when they found some deviant humping the family couch, he couldn’t say, “Look at this slutty piece of furniture, with its bare legs showing, it was asking for it…”


Just a sec, my cell is vibrating. There.

Funny how cell phone commercials are for the higher class of actors while collect call commercials are a sort of limbo for damned celebrities – dead, yet they walk.

Am I a what?

No, I wouldn’t label myself a Goth so much as I’m interested in the Gothic. Goths wear black lace and envy the dead…I just wear black…sometimes lace.

But yeah, Gothic is like…seeing through hypocrisy through a pair of dark shades.

Shelly, Poe, Ann Radcliffe, those are the oldies, but then, in the nineties, Gothic claws its way out of the ground. The Big Bang came when Silence of the Lambs won best film.

Then bam!

King and Rice rule the shadow realms of the genre as Hades and Persephone – Hitchcock spawns illegitimate children like a demon stud – Quentin Tarantino, John Carpenter, the Coen brothers – now vampires and zombies and chainsaws, oh my! Suddenly Dorothy is wearying a black vinyl corset, combat boots, and a safety pin through her cheek, Kansas is overrun with zombies, and the Wizard of Oz just got shived in the communal shower.

And I’m not just talking horror novels and slasher flicks – Gothic seeps into everything, paints it black. The O.J. Simpson case, political discourse, TV news, AIDS discussions, serial killers, repressed memories, molesting priests – everywhere lurks Gothic themes, plots, and characters.

Quoth the Raven, “O.J. did it!”

It’s a genre that says the past possesses and all must pay their due.

You ever watch Oprah? Goth Queen – she is the freaking ideal. Forget all those little kids in white makeup, reading cutesy suicide poems and waxing Byronic between shifts at Starbucks – she is the dark prophetess of fate, eating fat-free desserts in an ebony castle in the sky.

Just turn on the TV. Oprah will set the stage and paint for you grand Gothic epics full of victims, villains, and unfortunates. True to form, the victims are sublimely innocent, easy prey. The villains seem to embody all that is evil…but then we learn they too were victims once upon a time. Their evil becomes inevitable. If you were molested as a child, you’ll be a molester in turn.

No way out.

Sins of the father.

Children of monsters are monsters.

Oprah is fatalistic in a way that would give Edgar Allan Poe a boner. And what do you do with that kind of a Conqueror Worm but spread the seed and now every channel has a day time ring master parading legions of freaks, midgets, and deviants – all misunderstood phantoms of trailer-park rock operas.

And many of these guests are addicted to drugs or sex or abuse – “addicted” being our modern word for the Gothic “haunted.” Now isn’t that more romantic? “The needle tracked heroine was haunted by heroin.”

An online rumor says Oprah was born with an extra nipple, and you know what that means…

But she has two masks. One minute she’s the priestess of fate, and the next she’s advocating transcendence. “I was a welfare daughter just like you…how did you let yourself become welfare mothers? Why did you choose this? I didn’t.” Now it’s the angel craze, self empowerment programs, the inner child movement, Taebo. “Self transformation is as easy as a fairytale wish, just click those ebony slippers and repeat after me…”

Gothic pessimism, or New Age Transcendence – which is it Oprah?

Did you read about the Vegitarian Cannibal? He is somehow both at once. Lord, even the great serial killers have gone flakey. He probably drinks overpriced Chai Tea, holds weekend get-togethers where they discuss past lives and power animals, his being the lemur, and sign ordinances that force kids to Trick or Treat before the sun goes down.

I bet he has a pony tail.

Then there’s the messed up guy at the other end of the apartment complex. He was weaned too early. According to Montel, he’ll grow up violent and abusive, secretly loathing women. According to the Gypsies, he will rise as a blood sucking monster. Either way…

The Inquisition said that God gives demons permission to wander the earth. The more they offend God, the more permission they have to punish the innocent. The incubus often preys on women during holy feasts, to offend God, according to the inquisitors. But those feasts days were taken from pagan feast days and those correspond with full moons and any cop can tell you that all the crazies and predators come out during a full moon. More light.

Hey, don’t drop Bob. You’ll be missing him in a few minutes, trust me. Are you aware that during King Tut’s excavation, his mummified member went missing? Yep, somewhere in this wide, wide world, someone has his petrified penis. Insert stiff joke here.

They say that an incubus doesn’t have a physical body, but can manifest by gathering particles…they come out of nowhere.

An incubus doesn’t have real eyes, they see spiritually…the better to find you.

An incubus doesn’t have real ears, they hear thoughts…the better to catch you.

An incubus doesn’t have a real mouth, but they can from an artificial tongue, teeth, and lips…the better to seduce you.

This next part might hurt more. Hold on to Bob if you need to. In Germany, if a mother gripped a horse collar to ease the pain of childbirth, it’s said the child would become an Alp, a sort of nightmare incubus. It entered the victim through the mouth with its long tongue…or in the form of mist or a snake. Hold on to Bob.

The villagers used to burn the babies out in the yard. They’d look for little batwings or black eyes or little tails on their little bodies. Did my mother ever wish she lived in a simpler time, when those kinds of reminders could go up in smoke?


Smoke break.

Want one? Suit yourself.

I never knew my father. The cops never had a name to give to my mom. Sometimes, I stand in front of the mirror and I try and stretch the bat wings and wag the tail I know are there.

Then the pain comes and what can you do but squeeze?