“WRITERS! Have fun while earning a few extra bucks writing erotica!Giantess magazine needs stories about gals who grow to gigantic proportions! Send sample of work to D.L. Publications.”

I circled that ad in this morning’s paper and left it lying on my desk while I went to work, staining the bookcases of an art director. This man had, among other artifacts, a pair of delicate porcelain plates, each picturing a single sperm making its reckless journey toward an egg. By mid-afternoon this man had only one such plate. It wasn’t necessarily our fault; it just sort of happened. The woman I was working with thought we should leave a confessional note but I thought it might be a better idea to tell him that a squirrel had come in the window, jumped on the dresser, smashed the plate, and left as suddenly as it had arrived. I thought we should scratch the surface of the dresser to suggest destructive claw marks. Lili decided it might be better for her to blame it all on me, seeing as the client was a friend of her brother. That was how we left it.

I came home and wrote a letter toGiantess magazine, including a story I had written several years ago. I don’t happen to have any giantess stories lying around the house so I sent them something about a short man, hoping they might recognize size as a theme.

I worked today for Marilyn Notkin, stripping the paint off her bedroom windows with a heat gun. I was at it for half an hour when I blew a fuse, at which point I set down my heat gun and headed downstairs to the basement fuse box. On my way back to Marilyn’s I popped into the first-floor apartment and joined Kim in watching a few minutes of “Oprah.” This morning Oprah’s guests were people who had forgiven the unforgivable. One woman had testified on behalf of the man who had stabbed her twenty times. Another had embraced the drunk driver who killed her only son. She invites this fellow over to her house for holidays and Sunday dinners.

“He’s like a second son to me now,” she said, reaching over to take his hand. “I wouldn’t trade Craig for anything.” The felon stared at his feet and shrugged his shoulders. I was thinking that a lengthy prison sentence would probably be a lot more comfortable than having to take the place of the person you had killed. I thought it was funny and was laughing when I heard, in the distance, a high-pitched whine like a car alarm but no, not a car alarm. It was shrill and relentless and I was trying to identify it when I remembered the heat gun and ran upstairs to Marilyn’s bedroom, where the flaming windowsill had just set fire to the sheer white curtains.

The smoke alarm was screaming and I froze for a moment, watching the curtains change color. And then I was hugging them to my chest and pawing the flames with my hands. I wasn’t even thinking, I was so afraid. The fire died in my hands and afterwards, desperately trying to cover my tracks, I wondered what I might say to someone after burning down their house.

“No, I mean it, I’m really, really sorry and just to prove it I’m not going to charge you for today’s work. My treat.”

The editor of Giantess called to say he’d received my letter and thinks I might have potential. He introduced himself as Hank, saying, “I liked your story, Dave, but for Giantess you’ll need to drop the silly business and get straight to the turn-on if you know what I mean. Do you understand what I’m talking about here, Dave?” Hank told me his readers are interested in women ranging anywhere from ten to seventy-five feet tall and take their greatest delight in the physical description of a giantess outgrowing her clothing. “Do you know what I’m talking about, Dave? I need tohear those clothes splitting apart. Do you think you can do that for me?”

It seemed to be something I might be capable of. Hank offered to send me a few back issues and I said it sounded good to me. Later in the afternoon I took a walk to the grocery store, wondering what might cause a woman to grow to such proportions. I think it must be terribly lonely to stand seventy-five feet tall. You’d have no privacy and every bowel movement would evacuate entire cities. What would you eat? A roast chicken would be the size of a peanut. You might put away five dozen but leave with the feeling you were only snacking.

I am working this week on the Upper East Side, assisting a decorative painter named Jeffrey Lee. The clients are renovating their fifteen-room apartment on Fifth Avenue, converting one of the bedrooms into a bathroom for their dogs. I had never in my life witnessed such wealth until this afternoon when Jeffrey and I had lunch in the apartment of the project’s interior decorator. I was amazed by the splendor: a Sargent painting in the drawing room, a small Bosch propped up in the kitchen room after room filled with treasures. The decorator wasn’t home so Jeffrey and I had lunch in the kitchen with an estimator and three burly men who had come to replace the dining room windows. I expected that we would sit together and marvel at the grandeur, but instead Jeffrey Lee made a phone call and the men talked shop window talk, the dullest shoptalk on earth.

“What do you think about those one-and-three-quarter seamless pane liners?” one of the men asked. “I worked with those up on East Eighty-Fourth and, let me tell you, they’re a pain in the ass to hoist, but the bastards glaze like you wouldn’t believe.”

“Hell,” another man said, tugging at his T-shirt. “I wouldn’t give you two cents for a Champion Eight. I’d rather double-pane three-quarter Stets any day of the week they’re worth two dozen Champions just on installation alone. Double-bind those Stets with a copper-bound Toby Steelhead and you’ve got yourself a window.”

A window washer arrived at the door and the installation foreman pointed to one of his men, saying, ‘Byron, why don’t you take Mr. Clean into the dining room and give him a few pointers on those new Moldonatos?”

The window washer said that he’d been doing his job for thirty-two years and could probably handle it on his own. He wasn’t quite ready to start working, so he lit a cigarette and began talking about the recent tragedy involving Eric Clapton’s young son, who fell something like fifty floors from his living room window.

“That was over at Seven Fifty-Seven, wasn’t it?” the foreman asked.

The window men nodded their heads.

“Seven Fifty-Seven’s got those Magnum Double Hungs that start eighteen inches from the floor. Christ, that’s low. That Clapton character should have had a goddamned child guard and that’s all there is to it!”

The window men agreed.

Then the window washer told a story about a young guy, first day on the job, who fell six stories while washing windows that could have been cleaned from the inside. “This kid didn’t know an Acorn Tilt and Turn from a hole in the ground. So he’s out there putting his hooks into get this the awning rings! Goddamned awning rings couldn’t support the weight of a house cat but he digs in and WHAM falls six floors.”

The window men shared a moment of silence.

I asked if the young man died and they all moaned, exhausted by my stupidity.

“Of course he died,” the window washer said. “You can’t take more than a four-story fall, not in this town anyway.”

Then Jeffrey Lee got off the phone and said that, given a choice, he’d rather fall from a higher floor as it would allow more time for his life to flash before his eyes.

The window men said that all depends on the life you led. And then they changed the topic and began discussing women.

In today’s mail I received two copies ofGiantess along with a letter from Hank, who writes, “Please keep in mind that stories featuring continuous, spectacular growth are among the most popular with our readers.” The magazines contain stories titled “A Growing Girl,” “Blimper” and “The Big Date.” There are illustrations and ads for videos, one of which is titledTrample and Crush. This is a publication for men who long to explore a vagina the way others might visit the Luray Caverns. Reading it over I noticed that, once they start growing, the women become very moody and aggressive and the knee-high men seem to love it.

My sister once gave me a magazine called Knocked Up and Gun Toting, which featured nude, pregnant women sporting firearms: pistols, hunting rifles, Uzis you name it. I don’t imagine Knocked Up and Gun Toting has a very wide circulation but I’m certain its subscribers are devoted and happy in their own way. Still, though, like with Giantess, I have a hard time sharing their fetish. I shudder at the thought of nipples the size of manhole covers. Beneath the surface the Giantess reader seems to be a man who longs for his infancy. He looks back fondly at the time he was dwarfed by his mother and scolded for soiling himself. And that’s just about the last experience I care to reflect upon. Sure I received a few spankings but I never considered them a high point. I moved ahead and got on with my life. Didn’t I?


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