Chris tightened his stomach as the Cupid Worm thrashed in his hand. It dropped onto the plate with a hollow plop and for a moment laid suspended in mucus, its new freedom an invisible weight. Then, with a violent slice of a knife, Suree chopped it in half. Chris gagged.
“Just give it a moment,” his date said with disturbing optimism. The worm halves wiggled while, slowly, the two bleeding ends congealed and rounded. After a few seconds two worms, quite alive and active, squirmed in chorus.
Suree popped one of them into her mouth and motioned for Chris to do the same. He did.
“Two halves of a whole, a single shared soul . The things we do to find love,” she whispered through dry, thin lips. No, he thought, the things we do to get laid.
Suree wasn’t bad for a rebound. Behind the horned-rimmed hipster glasses, flat nostrils and sloping shoulders was raw material a better man could shape and exploit. But she was no Trudy.
“You know in India, some couples do this every day? They make love into their 80s,” she said sheepishly.
His anger rose. To think love could be reduced to this, a digested enzyme, an acidic chemical reaction from glorified fish bait. He and Trudy had known each other inside out, and love still didn’t work. There was no miracle cure, no Viagra for the soul.
They both jumped and stared at each other, flushed. Wow. Chris readjusted his pants. Suree fanned herself with a quick, fluttering motion, her eyes wide.
“Karmic, trantric, orgasmic…are we there yet? Are we in love?”
No, Chris thought to himself. But suddenly I’m not so opposed to the idea. Maybe an artificial love was better than none, or maybe that’s all love was after all.