Ah! Father! This intrigue of nonsense! In myself I believed to see an omnipotent, all-knowing Alpha-Male, impervious and invincible to any and all confusions of the heart; troubles of unrequited love, emotive manipulations: Always, I walked a straight line into the lives of any and all I desired, to then leave them breathless, enflamed, slaves to my every whim. Coolly, with deft calculations, shamelessly I would captivate them with my looks, ensnare them with wit, to then hold them hostage until the moment would come, always inevitable, when the intrigue would wane, their allure grew tiresome, or simply, without warning, I would unexpectedly crave isolation: So it happened, Father, that, with age, I did come to approach and finally to guiltlessly accept my peripatetic love life; self centered, preoccupied with my own pleasures, feigning interest, yet principally engaged only in the glorification of my own ego to the detriment of many: To find me, follow the trail of shattered, weeping hearts, for I have broken so very many. The long, winding trail that crosses the globe, over and over: The trail of corpses. At the end of it, my own now lays gasping for air: Flummoxed, disturbed, distraught and in shock: Halfway through my life it would appear that I have been served a bit of my own Machiavellian, wanton ways, and just this tiny wee dose has left me senseless in despair, finally enlightened as to the bleak gravity of my transgressions. So here I am. I have come to confess this most hideous of sins: A lifetime of demonic lusts that culminated and erupted in a tryst so shamelessly brazen, so vile, that I feel as though by it I have been branded in fire. Somehow, now that I have tasted the foul savour of my own, pitiless and self-serving lust, I can no longer live with myself, for I feel as though I have been transformed into a kind of devil: Possessed and invaded by a daemon. I met her. I met her in flesh and in the blood. In retrospect, I feel as though I have met my own self in the guise of a woman. Her reputation, quite legendary in certain circles, had preceded our meeting. I knew well and proper that with her, I would be playing with fire, but nothing, nothing at all, would stop me: From the moment of introduction, to my integral surprise, in me she would show no interest whatsoever: She was aloof. Unimpressed. When questioned, flippantly she claimed never to have heard of me, as if I were some nameless back room bookkeeper in a shoe shop, or a common civil servant. That assertion I am near convinced was a ruse, though presently I am sure of nothing, save for the searing pain in my heart, and an unusual taste of isolation, formerly sweet, reassuring, restful, full of relief; now bitter. The nonsense of it! My own cherished, beautiful solitude now turned to loneliness, common as gutter sludge. I have come to confess a lifetime of sins of the flesh, of gluttony and of shameless, guileless indulgences, never repented, never regretted.
It was at a Fancy Dress Ball when, finally, we met, when finally, as it appeared, I came face to face with my own withered, dying soul. All around was confusion and movement. The finest ladies in sparkling attire. Hoards of gentlemen fitted out in black masques. From afar, I saw her dancing, whirling about on the marble, seemingly passed about like a party favour: Taking gloved hands into hers, twirling and pirouetting, then gliding off to the arm of her next partner. Every time our eyes would meet she would turn her gaze: No masque had she, only a fan of ostrich plumes, and a black spray of aigrettes tucked cunningly into her coiffure, which she wore pin-tucked and curled high atop her head. Waltzing and whirling my way through the chaotic merriment, I purposely and repeatedly veered to approach her, in hopes that she would accept my outstretched hand, yet each time I would draw near, she would only spin round, to whip me across the face with the feathers of her headdress, black as tar, that contrasted sharply with her voluminous, multi-layered gown of sunflower yellow taffetas, chantilly laces and diaphanous organza. Each time I drew near I could smell an intoxicating perfume of warmth: Fields of dryed out, rotting roses, baking and sweltering in the heat, laced with a kind of heady incense that left me in a muddle heretofore unknown. Finally, with my white-gloved hand, I reached to grasp her, forcefully from behind, at which point, with the deft snap-twirl of a ballerina, her face was flush against mine, and our eyes locked. Keeping my gaze, with nonchalance she handed me her fan, with long spidery fingers captive in tulle mittens she reached up to remove my masque, without a word, without an apology, to then tie it around her own face, now batting her eyes through it. Lifting up her fan to offer it back I could feel a kind of rush emanate from it: The sweetest, most erotic scent of sweat that took up residence in my nostrils. Like a creeping, invading virus, I could feel it enter my blood, which pumped furiously as we danced off key, strangely isolated in our own separate universe. This dance, which saw me bewitched and under spell, led us, both equally drunken and stupid, to a long corridor that stretched so far into the distance that it seemed as if it went on into eternity, all paneled and gilded, with sparkling crystal chandeliers and sconces flanking yawning doors, all closed. First peering down into the depth of it, she looked up at me, her aigrette feathers quivering as she removed my black masque from her face, and tossed it on the floor as she took my hand, and, in a rustle of taffetas, led me away, so far that the music faded to silence, and we were alone: As it now appeared, there was no end to this hall: Just an eternal suite of scintillating crystal, glistening wood, and doors….still more doors. She threw herself seductively against one of these, and, her face now bare, looked up at me. The fire, it was not only in her eyes, but seemed to erupt from beneath her skirts, through her bustier, with licking flames that crept up between her bosom. With her right hand, she reached high up to take a firm, pinching hold of my ear. With her left, she opened the door, and both of us fell, tumbling into an opulent chamber of damask silk draperies, lyre shaped lounges and cabriole legged chairs, all gold and vibrant, canary yellow. Intoxicated on the vapours that enshrouded her, now so heavy as to fairly blind me with their dank, rosy musk, I began laughing, until I was summarily shut up by her mouth, and her tongue, which seemed to move into my head the way her scent flushed its way into my blood, turning it to liquid amber: I felt as if the whites of my eyes had grown yellow, and, were a pair of horns to burst forth through my skull, I would not have puzzled. Tearing at each other like wild beasts we rolled about the floor, until her massive sunflower ball gown became a kind of mattress, my black cloak a cover: I felt as if she had wiggled her way into my body, and from the inside was tickling it and tantalizing it in the most delicious ways. Our silent waltz on the floor became increasingly intense. Her mouth, her hands, her hair, every part of her body seemed to seer its way into mine. She was in control. Every time I tried to speak, or groan, my mouth would be filled with some part of her. Finally I resigned to close my eyes and let her take charge as she mounted me and rode my body like a horse: Slapping and whipping it, scratching and spitting, all the while filling me with her amber liquids that smelled and tasted like the heat and fires of seething passions of bestiality. Of these I drank willingly, never knowing from whence they came, or what they were, knowing only that I craved them, hungered for them: Each time I would reach to return her caress I would be whipped, spanked or pinned down. Each time I opened my mouth it would be fed with her body, and all the while I could hear her gasping, moaning, in turn cackling and laughing. When finally I tried to open my eyes they would be blinded: She spat in them. Licked them. Held her fingers spread open in my mouth, to fill it again with a rush of nectar, all sweet, yet dry and suffocating, burning my throat. Finally, as I began to feel the convulsions of my own innards threaten to erupt, I felt her fingers leave my mouth and encircle their way around my throat. It seemed as though she were strangling me: Tighter and tighter until I gasped for air as my body released its passion, and I fell into a swoon that first seemed made of blinding yellow light then dimmed to a murky black haze, and, ultimately, to oblivion. Shivering and naked I next found myself sprawled out beneath my silk-lined cloak with the light of dawn creeping through the soaring windows, all draped and swathed with bouillon fringe and gossamer lace…and still…this scent in my nostrils…this taste in my mouth: All over my body an oily sweat of wilting roses and amber, yet in the room, I was alone. No trace of her. No evidence that she had even existed, though every item of garment I sought out as I redressed reeked of this perfume. My socks. My shirt. It was as if they had all been laundered in this liquid then pressed in its steam. Now, I carry it with me, everywhere I go: Nothing will get it off, so I bring it here, to this Holy Place, with head bowed, and misery in my heart. I bring it along with the audacity to beg forgiveness, though I know I deserve it not: For how many times have I myself brought such punishment unto others, desirous only of my own pleasures? And how many times have I left some poor soul naked and weeping, covered in my own stench, equally indelible? How many times have I remorselessly done unto others what she, this woman did unto me, I who was willing, who drank of her nectar as if it were the very wine of Heaven, and laid there, spattered in her eruptions, delighting in them, lapping them up like a crazed animal in heat? Is it not said that there is no sin so black that it cannot be forgiven? Even these? Even these that went on at that Ball… At That Bal a Versailles?