‘Netsuke’ by Rikki Ducornet
From The Collagist:
My Practice belongs to a shelf in the Devil’s Kitchen. Insulated, above suspicion, I take my pleasure and am sustained by the sorrow of others. Their carnality. The ceaseless ebb and tide of human inconstancy, negligence, cowardice.
In the world I know, everyone is betrayed sooner or later.
The Practice is not of my own making. I mean: it is an inheritance of a kind. I have wandered its maze since infancy. I do not know another way to live. I often wish I did. The Practice is the inevitable extension of my own private dilemma. It is lethal, and yet without it I would perish. Assiduously, I portion out its poisons. Assiduously, I orchestrate the days. Like a game of chess, the Practice proposes an inﬁnite set of circumstances. Or, rather, not exactly inﬁnite. For I begin to—and this admission is terrifying—to see how redundant, how compressed, the games are.
My clients are thwarted, famished, and lonely. Inevitably, sooner or later, I seize upon and penetrate the one who has wanted this from me from the ﬁrst instant. Or has taken time but has come around to wanting it. For a client, fucking the doctor is always perceived as a triumph. Although I am always curious from the start. In this way I am made. If the client is attractive I cannot help but wonder: is she/he fuckable? An outrageous determination. And yet: fucking is the one determinism. The one inevitability. In this way it is exactly like death. You know you’ll fuck, be fucked; you know you’ll die and maybe be murdered. And maybe murder.