• Vol. 04
  • Chapter 09
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Strap me Signori

I liked it when Signori strapped me in. Something about the way he sized me up, circling slowly and surely, less a shark or a lion than a wattled turkey performing a death dance, all bald and fleshy, and domesticated, and delicious. He stopped short at my side, reached over to the butcher’s table and took hold of a tape measure with all the strength and sleight of hand of a – forget the turkey – I had it now; he was a cattleman, adroit and agile, waving his white lasso, wrapping it softly around the skeletal waistline, whipping me up into a private frenzy. Dio mio, what a wicked wife to delight in the cold, professional touch of a turkey-faced tiger.

But corsets do not slip on seductively like silk slips, you know. I clutched and wiggled and loosened with the quickening of my pulse and the shallowing of breath. Signori approached. I could hear the inner-leg of his starched suit rustle before I caught sight of him behind me in the mirror, his eyes fixed on the small of my back with blank indifference. What if I breathed deeper, flushed my cheeks?

I watched him watch me, convinced myself he wanted me, convinced myself he loved me, loved the curve of my hips and my breasts all freckled and billowing and beckoning. But Signori continued to lace from top to bottom in stony silence and fidelity; he did not shake or sweat, he did not lift his eyes to meet mine in the glass, he did not bend and whisper in my ear: “Turn around and let me -

“Forward,” Signori said, as if he didn’t know me at all. Taking hold of my hands, he placed them with precision at the base of the bustier. He tugged, I anchored, and eyes rolled to the sky. I felt my organs shift and squeeze, I felt his teeth grind, I felt my heart pound against the bars of an ivory corset cage. “Signori, mi amore, don’t you ever let me out of here alive!” I tried to cry, but fell short of breath, as if by divine intervention. Wicked woman!


Strap me Signori

To indulge such thoughts, shame on me! To speak those thoughts aloud, shame on him and me, and his wife and his family and mine. And how did I get here? What am I doing?

I winced a little with the pain in my chest and puffed: it will be worth it. It must be worth it. All for the love of him. For darling Joseph, my faithful husband, my quiet American, the very man who likes me steel boned.