From Ugly Stories For Beautiful People (2007)


Extract from the personal journal of Dr Andrew Rasmussen,
Senior Consultant, The Gill Clinic, W1 : -

It started with Lisa I’Anson.
There’d been rumours before that of course, of disappearing artists, fashion designers, literary critics and of a sudden dearth of cafe philosophers in Paris, but most people simply closed their minds to it, refusing that such a hideous disease could exist. Even in medical circles Its existence was almost brushed under the carpet so that now, despite its several year history, it still lacks a proper clinical name. It’s referred to simply as “It”, as in “has he got it?”, or “did you read that so-and-so has it?”
But after Lisa I’Anson, no-one could deny Its existence, as she succumbed so publicly, falling ill in the middle of a live broadcast of a late night TV show. And that’s when I realised that this wasn’t just another hypochondriacal rumour circulated by a paranoid Press, but was a real, and utterly terrifying disease that made Ebola look like a touch of the sniffles. The broadcast was replayed endlessly over the following weeks, but I’d actually seen it live, as I lay in bed unable to sleep, absent-mindedly scanning through the channels. It was almost as if I knew something was going to happen, something so profound that it would alter all human culture inconceivably.
She was fronting a broadcast from a tribal gathering in Somerset, and had been spouting her usual pseudo-babble, when in the middle of a sentence (“a phat bass and junglist rhythms on a distinctly Balearic handbag tip” if I remember correctly; we spent months poring over the recording to see if there was some kind of phonetic trigger to the seizure), she stopped talking and released a massive, bowel-clapping fart. Then, a puzzled expression on her face, she tried to continue talking, but despite her odd mouthings no sounds came out. Instead there was a sickening cracking of bones, and a strange, wet slopping sound, her abdomen folding in on itself as her pelvis cracked open inside her skin, and her chest folded inwards and downwards with a nauseating sucking noise like a basin draining of water. Within seconds she had collapsed into her own rectum, her painted fingernails momentarily clawing at her sphincter to prevent the process, before these too were lost within its pink ring, and the Channel Four camera was left focused stupidly on her contentedly pulsing anus.
The director had quickly interrupted the broadcast, but even as the late-night adverts for telephone chat-lines and local car-dealerships flashed across the screen, I couldn’t shake the image of the throbbing fleshy doughnut that was all that was left of Lisa I’Anson from my mind’s eye.
No-one had ever seen anything like it, and her condition was a talking-point across the nation for weeks. However, everyone just presumed that it was an isolated incident, a rare biological occurrence like spontaneous human combustion. But it seemed as if within only a month or two of her succumbing, dozens, if not hundreds, more cases were coming to our attention.
Its early victims were almost all clubbers of various kinds, which led to speculation that it was somehow related to prolonged and excessive Ecstasy use, or that it was perhaps triggered by a certain combination of Ecstasy and cocaine, or a specific ratio of E and other amphetamines. Because of Its unusual nature, studies were even made where the relative wavelengths of sound were examined, and compared to the volume of the PA systems used in It hot-spots. From the Government’s point of view this had a relatively beneficial side-effect as, fuelled by a rabid and ill-informed campaign by the tabloids, Ecstasy-use stopped almost overnight, those few people who refused to believe what they perceived as propaganda being treated as pariahs by their peers.
It was at this time that I started my research work on It, and I have to admit that for a while, I too believed what came to be known as “The E Hypothesis”. However, while the majority of its victims were clubbers, (sometimes whole Clubs would be discovered to be full of tiny throbbing arseholes, pulsing away in time to the regular scratch of a needle at the end of the groove), I noticed a small number of other victims that seemed to contradict the prevailing belief put forward by the likes of “The Express” and “The Telegraph” that “normal” people couldn’t catch it.
A few literary theorists had also been found, in cafes, in their offices, sometimes in the Archives of busy libraries, their fleshy ring-pieces resting within feet of their new Structuralist manuscripts, or winking smugly at the screens of their word-processors. This not only confused the medical community, but it also raised panic amongst those who believed that these old Academics, many of whom didn’t even drink let alone take Class A drugs, must somehow have caught it off their drug-ridden student-body.
But as we blindly thrashed around in the dark for a cause of the disease, let alone a test or cure, the number of victims started to number in the thousands. There seemed to be no link between the increasing number of cases - sex, age, life-style, sexuality, race - all seemed irrelevant. There seemed to be an unusually high incidence in the Capital and relatively few cases in the North, but there seemed to be no carrier agent in the water or the food chain that could account for this.
And as artists, journalists, fashion designers and television executives all started to rank amongst high-risk groups, we had to admit amongst ourselves (whilst regularly releasing reports of new breakthroughs in research) that we were stumped. British and French film-makers were high-risk, yet their American counterparts had yet to suffer from a single case. “The Times” had lost almost all of its staff (A.A. Gill being the first to go, disappearing so far up his own arse that he was one of the few cases who almost ceased to exist - his succumbing only being verified by microscopic analysis of his keyboard and the discovery of a few trace rectal cells), while the likes of Gary Bushell continued to pound out “Eastenders” trivia at an unaltered rate.
It seemed hopeless.
Homeopaths and faith-healers regularly proffered fraudulent cures, whilst others claimed that a combination of crystals could align the body’s disturbed energy matrices and thus prevent seizures. Fundamentalist Christians claimed It was the wrath of a vengeful God on hedonistic behaviour, while some groups, most notably the Californian “It Transcendental Astral Pioneer Group” claimed that to to journey up one’s bowels was to raise oneself to a higher plane of existence.
If they were right no-one could say, as they all succumbed within months of their formation.
In the established medical community, we became so desperate, that even the likes of twisted old quacks like Dr Emanuel Kokoschka, so-called expert of psycho-sexual disorders, was asked to help with research into a cure. I remember seeing him once at a Conference in Brighton, and the first thing that struck me about him was the distinct relish with which he went about his work. I saw him demonstrating the culmination of his feverish efforts, and almost salivating as he fitted his Kokoschka Rectal-Brace TM, to a nubile young club-chick, licking his lips as he pushed the rigid stainless steel frame into various of her orifices, and wrapped the apparently useless metal struts around her pert, young breasts.
But the breakthrough came, not from any member of the medical community, but from a most unexpected quarter. On Thursday the 11th of November 1999, the cause of It was discovered, and along with it, a cure.
It was during a broadcast of BBC2’s Late Review, watched by some million viewers live in their own homes, that this breakthrough came, and again, I was fortunate enough to see this pivotal moment of medical history live. Whilst discussing the Turner Prize exhibition at The Tate, guest reviewer Waldemar Janusczak (many of the show’s regulars having unfortunately succumbed to It) was holding forth on one of the video-installations and claiming that it was a zeitgeist-capturing work that effectively reflected (with ironic distance, of course) the Pre-Millennial tension of the contemporary artist, when there was a sudden, sickening crack. Janusczak twisted uncomfortably in his chair, as he released a long, slow fart. His sternum started to noticeably crease under his shirt, and I, along with a million other viewers, watched the scene in terrified anticipation, knowing what was happening, but praying that it wouldn’t.
It was then that Tom Paulin, apparently unaware of what was occurring at the other end of the table, announced in his laconic Irish tones, “This is just a collection of rubbish by a bunch of talentless no-hopers.”
The cracking and squelching stopped, and I watched in rapt awe.
“You can’t possibly be so final, the works of Emin, for example......,” Janusczak coughed out, like most It victims unaware of his predicament, and the snapping continued as he slid under the table, his torso being sucked into his bowels as he spoke.
“Ah, rubbish,” said Paulin. “It’s all utter twaddle. It’s the sort of thing a sixth-form art student would produce if he was trying to be clever.” And the noises stopped again, and Janusczak, reluctantly nodding in agreement, popped out of his own rectum, as if being born again.
And then the stunned Mark Lawson realised the importance of what he had seen and spluttered something about a cure for It, for this was the first time that an It seizure had ever been reversed. For unbelievable as it seemed, the noted poet and critic, Tom Paulin, had discovered something that had eluded the finest medical minds in the world.
He had discovered a cure for It.
Once the cause had been verified as indeed being unembarrassed pretentiousness and shameless strivings to be street, the Ministry of Health issued a massive leafleting and television campaign warning of risky behaviours. White kids had to stop pretending to be Jamaican, hanging loose and sputtering cod patois; whilst those with no direct links to America were advised to stop using American argot and wearing T-shirts emblazoned with the logos of baseball teams they had never seen. Middle class kids were told that assuming a working class accent was incredibly high risk behaviour, as indeed was their parents’ leanings towards pretending to be wealthier and more successful than they actually were. The expressions “keeping it real” and “respect due” were found to be an almost guaranteed trigger for It, the leaflets warning of their danger having only half of each expression printed on two separate flyers (employing two different printing firms).
Whole sections of libraries were deemed to be high-risk - in many institutions rows of modernist and postmodernist work were pulped lest they lead the unwary into danger, and the modern French literature section disappeared altogether. The Ministry’s spin doctors (themselves a high risk group) came up with the It equivalent to their predecessor’s “Don’t Die of Ignorance” campaign, the rather simple phrase (for fear of the disease itself), “Call a Spade a Spade.”
Thus all pseudo-intellectualisation ceased - no more Marxist analyses of bus timetables, or revisionist theses on “The Carry On” films. And I have to say, for I was one of them, it seemed as if out of the hideous spectre of It, had come the promise of a future Golden Age. Rock stars could no longer claim their music was a political statement, but had to begrudgingly admit that it was trivial rubbish that they had banged up when drunk; politicians could no longer avoid answering questions by giving pre-prepared, convoluted and deliberately obscufcating statements, for obvious lying and half-hearted bullshit was also a primary cause of It.
And of course, the Italians had to finally admit that they were not great lovers.
It seemed as if Mankind was suddenly placed in a world of total honesty, where things were as they appeared, and people concentrated more on what they actually believed rather than what was fashionable to say.
However, and I’m ashamed to admit that it took me so long to see this, as it was in fact about two years after the cure had been developed, there was the inevitable downside. At first it was just a few minor annoyances, those things that irritate without really drawing your attention to them - the never-ending Oasis on the radio, The Guardian’s and Times’ exclusives on bordellos in Tipton and sexual peccadilloes of Coronation Street stars; the RSC’s dozenth season of Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals and re-enactments of selected episodes of “Classic Blind Date”, for example.
But it only really hit me how profoundly the disease had impacted on the world when I went to the Tate to see the Sensation II exhibition. As I walked around the gallery there was just row after row of the same kinds of canvas. The cream of the work of Britain’s most exciting young artists consisted almost entirely of paintings - no videos, no installations, no happenings. There weren’t even any photographs. There were just paintings, all of them figurative - man at a bus stop; couple on the beach; a Scottish castle..... and dozens and dozens of pots of flowers. And all of them painted as Classically as possible - no primitivism, no Expressionism or Impressionism. Just flowers. On tables. In pots.
Even the likes of Damien Hirst had produced row after row of still-lifes, although he had tried to challenge the disease (and the ever-vigilant curators) by exhibiting his famous bisected cow with a cardboard notice stuck to the case saying, “This is just a bit of rubbish I knocked off - nothing special really,” written on it.
And as I left the gallery and flicked through my copies of Take A Break and Loaded, I looked at the people around me, some genuinely happy in this new dumbed-down world, but some reading their Rugby magazines with a smile and a glint of quiet desperation in their eyes.
So now, even though the number of new It cases has dropped to a slow trickle and our funding has been cut, I think I may have finally found a cure, an alternative cure, a less costly cure, for this terrible disease that has changed everything. Dozens of It cases have been cured with a simple enzyme derived from the liver of the turbot, of all things. In my hands lie the possibility of curing most, if not all, It patients, and of providing a vaccine for everyone else. I’ve taken the vaccine myself and have suffered no ill-effects.
But it’s a great, a terrifying, responsibility. For days now I have been staring at Lisa I’Anson’s anus as I consider the possible repercussions of my actions.
Perhaps for now I’ll just sleep on it, leave it till tomorrow.

After all, I’m tired, and Proust takes some concentration.


From Ugly Stories For Beautiful People (2007)


A Fable in two indistinct parts.

Bob and Jane loved each other.
They knew this because they frequently told each other so.
"I love you," Bob would say.
"I love you too," Jane would say, giggling.
"Please don't ever leave me," Jane would say dolefully.
"I won't," Bob would say, tightly grabbing hold of her. "I need you too much."
Yep, Bob and Jane loved each other.
And they knew this because that is all they ever talked about.

They sat on the grass in Hyde Park, the hot August sun blazing in the clear blue sky, the scent of rose and honeysuckle blossom carrying to them on the warm wind. Invisible birds sang their harmonies over the steady tinkle of water falling from the fountain.
"Do you know what it is I love about you?" asked Jane.
"No," said Bob suddenly looking serious, for this was a conversation about their love and thus of great import.
"It's your strength," said Jane stroking his flabby bicep. "You're so big and strong I always feel secure with you, you know? I always feel safe."
"Fwom all de nasty monsters 'n' things," added Bob.
They liked to talk in baby-voices. They did this a lot. Because they loved each other.
"Yes, that's wight," said Jane snuggling into his chest like a little fluffy rabbit.
"Aah, my little fluffy rabbit," said Bob. He may have been boring but at least he was perceptive.
He cradled her in his arms as she nuzzled under his jaw.
"And do you know what I love about you?" asked Bob.
Jane nuzzled more actively by way of response.
"I love the way you're so fun, and natural and genuine. I feel so relaxed when I'm with you." Jane looked up at him with her big brown eyes, and smiled before hugging him tightly. She liked what Bob had said. No-one had ever called her fun before.
Bob liked what Jane had said to him. He'd never been considered anybody's tower of strength before, either.
"I love you," she said.
"I love you too," he replied.
The hot sun blazed overhead. On the other side of the park strolled a bare-chested man carrying a cooler-box, sweat running over his proud London gut, his cries of "Beer! Coke! Lemonade!", carrying on the warm air. Occasionally, they could hear the shouts of a small group of flushed and panting schoolboys as they played football, their discarded T-shirts acting as goalposts.
Bob and Jane watched the scene around them, as they lay on the warm grass, holding each other's hands. Nearby they could see other couples talking, kissing, drinking beer, simply sleeping next to each other, and Bob looked down at Jane, and thought how beautiful she was.
She reminded him of himself.
"We're so lucky," said Jane. "I mean, look at all the other couples here, and none of them love each other as much as we do. We were destined to be together, weren't we?"
"We'll always be together," said Bob. He smiled at her and gave her a little peck on the cheek. "Other people can't understand how we feel about each other." She smiled and gently kissed his ear. "If we ever split up I don't know what I'd do. It'd be like losing an arm or something."
Bob smiled. That lovely gap-toothed, tartared smile that reminded Jane so much of Tom Cruise. "Don't worry. Nothing will ever split us up," he said. "We'll never be separated."

Bob and Jane's friends used to say they were joined at the hip.
Of course they hadn't seen their friends for over a year now, but they didn't care.
They loved each other.
They sat in the living room of their flat, the warm wind blowing through the large open windows, the curtains dancing in the wind. Outside they could hear the sounds of laughter and "The Beach Boys", and the occasional whiff of sausage and burgers burning on barbecues.
Bob and Jane were tired. Being in love really takes it out of you after all, and still warm from their joint shower, they snuggled up on the stuffed cushions of the sofa taking sips of red wine. Bob rested his head in the cushion as the world ambled on outside. The cushions smelt of burned oils, Egyptian musk and lemon. They smelt of Jane.
Bob loved the cushions.
"I got a letter from Jess yesterday," whispered Jane.
"Really?" To be honest, Bob wasn't particularly interested - Jess had nothing to do with them. But then he remembered that maybe Jess had said something about their it could be important. "What did it say?"
Jane scrunched up her nose like a little hamster as she tried to stop herself from sneezing. Bob gave her a big hug.
"Oh, I can't remember," Jane said. "But do you know how she addressed it?"
Bob shook his head.
"She addressed it to Bob and Jane! See! Everyone thinks of us as a couple now," said Jane.
"Just one big blob of love," joked (well actually he meant it, but he used a jokey tone in case even Jane thought it was too sad) Bob.
Jane didn't think it was sad. She thought it was the most lovely thing Bob had ever said. And Bob only ever said lovely things.
They kissed and then lay back on the sofa watching the birds and squirrels in the trees opposite.
"Look at all the little natures dancing around," said Jane.
""Little Natures"?," said Bob. "Aaaaaaah."

"Bob," Jane said, as they lay snuggled on the sofa. "Am I, you know, any good at "it"?"
"How do you mean?"
She looked down and played with Bob's shirt buttons. "You know. "It". Am I any good at it? Do I make you happy?"
"Of course," said Bob, "You're the best I've ever been with."
And this of course, was true, although if he had any complaints, it was that he would liked to have done it more often. But this wasn't just some naff macho urge to do it as much as he could, he reasoned, it was because he loved her so much.
He loved her so much he wanted to almost be a part of her, he wanted to get inside her, and to be joined with her in a way that simple sex just couldn't allow.
That's why I'm frustrated, he thought to himself (often), because I love her too much.
Jane on the other hand loved Bob so much that the thought of making love was almost overwhelming, it was such a special joyous occurrence after all, that, it should, like New Year's Eve or Christmas only come once a year. (And indeed Bob did). But when it came it should be milked to the full. (As indeed Bob was). She liked it rarely, but when she did......
That's why I don't like doing it too often, she thought, it's a special thing that shouldn't be ruined by becoming common-place and everyday. I used to love having sex before, but now? Now it's special. I just love Bob too much to spoil it.
And so, as they lay on the sofa ("You're the best I've been with," "No, you're the best I've been with," "No, you're......."), they ignored their doubts, and reasoned away their problems.
Because they loved each other.

Bob and Jane decided to go for a walk. They loved Sunday evenings in the summer. The long days, the lush trees, the tranquility.
Bob had always liked to go for quiet Sunday afternoon strolls with his first girlfriend, Emma. Emma was his first love, and as such, if Bob was honest with himself, his Ideal for a girlfriend. He'd tried to convert his other girlfriends into becoming Emma-clones, tried to create the same in-jokes, to repeat the same little trips and weekend-breaks. Unfortunately, none of them had been wholly convincing until Jane.
He loved Jane.
Jane didn't know about Emma. (Hardly surprising considering Bob's unconscious love for her had precluded him from ever mentioning her). To be honest Jane didn't know herself. She'd been a Goth when going out with Darren, and had tried to read Chekhov and Kafka when going out with Crispin. She'd worn dungarees and gone on protest marches when seeing Mark, and smoked mountains of dope and listened to Pink Floyd when going out with John.
Now she was going out with Bob.
Now she loved their in-jokes, their little weekend breaks and their quiet Sunday afternoon walks.
She loved Bob.
As they walked down the quiet street, they talked, as they always did, about themselves.
"Why do you think we don't see our friends anymore," asked Jane.
Bob seemed to vaguely remember that the people he used to talk to in the pub didn't like Jane, and that the people he used to see her with didn't like him. He had trouble remembering their names. Oh well, it couldn't be important.
"I don't know," said Bob. "They're probably just jealous."
"Yeah, you're right," said Jane. "It must be really depressing for them to think they're in love and then see us and see how sad their lives really are."
"Exactly," said Bob. "That's probably why."
They stopped walking and stared into each other's eyes. Bob caressed Jane's cheek and she tilted her head towards his hand. Then, almost crying with the sheer joy of it all, of being young, in love, and with the person you love, they kissed.
A shrill high-pitched scream split the air.
Bob and Jane turned and saw two people, a man and a woman, screaming and running down the street away from them as fast as they could. As they rounded the corner to the next street, Bob and Jane could hear them shouting, "It's horrible! Someone do something!"
"What was all that about?" asked Jane looking up at strong, manly, big-dicked Bob.
"I don't know," said Bob. "Probably just jealous. They can't handle seeing true love. Maybe seeing us made them realise how shallow their own relationship was."
"That's a lovely thing to say," said Jane. But then again, Bob only ever said lovely things.
They continued to stroll down the street, Bob savouring the hint of Jane's perfume over the aroma of cut grass and exhaust fumes, while Jane felt secure, her soft palm held in Bob's masculine grip. The early evening sunlight was diffused by the leaves in the trees, dappling the pavement with a mottled light.
"I love you," said Bob.
"I love you too," said Jane.
They stopped walking and kissed each other again. They really couldn't help themselves. Indeed, so engrossed were they that they didn't hear the tranquiliser dart whistle through the air.
Bob and Jane fell to the ground as one, their lips still touching despite their owner's unconsciousness.

* * *

When they awoke, the first thing they thought of was each other. They hugged.
"Are you alright? Are you sure? I don't know what I'd do if I ever lost you," they said as one.
"Die probably," said a well-spoken but monotone voice from the other end of the darkened room.
"Who are you?" asked Bob and Jane.
"Fascinating," said the man.
"Who are you?" they repeated.
"Oh please excuse me, I'm forgetting myself. I am Dr Kokoschka, and I am overseeing your case."
"" asked Bob.
"Yes. You see it's really the most amazing thing I've ever seen."
"What is? What do you mean?"
"What do I....? Well, look at you!"
Bob looked at first himself, then Jane, her big brown eyes, her soft skin, her glossy hair that chose just that moment to flop over one of her eyes. He caught a hint of her perfume over the smell of antiseptic. God, he loved her! Jane looked at first herself then Bob, his square jaw and defined cheekbones, his broad shoulders, the tension in his muscles as he sat, ready to protect her.
Bob and Jane shrugged their shoulders. "What?"
Kokoschka, a lonely-looking middle-aged man who had obviously never been in love, stood up behind his desk, his slicked back hair reflecting the meagre light. "What? I mean, what?". Just look at you. Are you blind?"
"Love is blind," replied Bob.
"But you weren't born this way?" asked Kokoschka.
"We were born to love each other," said Bob.
"But can't you see something rather.....unusual about the two of you?"
"Yes, of course," said Jane.
"And what, pray tell, is that?"
"No-one loves each other as much as we do," said Jane.
Kokoschka sat down in his chair of leather and polished gold, and stared at then, stroking back his hair with an open palm. "You don't seem to quite understand." He stood up, and pressed a switch, a square light the size of a cupboard glowing on the far wall. On this he placed a piece of black celluloid which Bob and Jane instantly recognised as an X-ray.
"Look here," he said. "A complete merger of the cardiovascular and pulmonary systems....."
"Two hearts beating as one," said BobandJane looking into each other's eyes.
"One leg gone, joined into a composite limb!"
"We'll always walk the same path, two destinies intertwined," said Bob, Jane thought rather romantically.
"Three cerebral hemispheres! One completely merged!" said Kokoschka jabbing the X-ray.
"But that's one of the great things about being in love," said Jane. "Realising you have the same opinions, growing to think like each other."
"But you're not individuals!" screamed Kokoschka. "You've turned into some kind of fleshy blob. You can't do anything on your own! You can't even think for yourselves!"
"Well, if the two of us are one "blob", then I must be two fools, one for loving, and one for saying so," said Bob. Jane smiled. Bob was so romantic and clever.
"But even your lungs have grown into each other, it's, it's....."
"I love the air Bob breathes," cooed Jane.
"But you have to be separated for your own good!" said Kokoschka pulling the X-ray away from the wall. "You can't live like this."
"We can't live without each other," said BobandJane. "We'll never split up."
"Well, what about a trial separation. We'll start with your brains and then....."
"What's the matter with you?" said Bob. "Have you never been in love?" ("I bet he hasn't," whispered Jane.)
"Rubbish, there's no such thing as love, it's just the encounter of two weaknesses."
BobandJane stood up, outraged at his suggestion.
Kokoschka continued. "How can anyone truly believe that there's such a thing as romantic love? It demands the impossible, the absolute, the sky on fire, inexhaustible springtime, life after death, and death itself transfigured into eternal life!" He glared at them, exasperated.
BobandJane looked into each other's eyes, and then shrugged their shoulders. "Yeah," said BobandJane. "That sounds about right."
"I love you Jane."
"I love you too, Bob....."
"You have to be separated," said Kokoschka, taking a syringe from his desk. "Even if it must be done by force."
"No!" screamed BobandJane, lunging forward as the Bob arm clenched its fist and laid Kokoschka out.
"The poor man," said Jane as they escaped the hospital. I feel so sorry for him not having anyone to love."
Bob squeezed her hand tightly. That's why he loved Jane.
She was always thinking of other people.

Later that night, BobandJane lay snuggled up in bed, candles flickering in the corners of the room, the aroma of the oil-burner filling the room despite the open window.
"What a strange day!" said Jane as she caressed Bob's gut. "Hasn't the world become an ugly place if two people can't even be in love without everybody thinking it's strange and unnatural."
"That's because there's so many sad people in the world who haven't found what we've got," said Bob. "Jealousy is a terrible thing."
Jane kissed his chest, her soft palm moving down to his inner thigh, and a six-chambered heart missed a beat. She moved up to kiss him, cartilaginous skull and flexible thalamic tissues stretching as she did so. He caressed her waist and moved down, his calloused hand passing over the three-socketed pelvic girdle and down the twisted calcified femur. She moved round on top of him, ligamental hinge in the pelvis closing, skin stretching, internal and external intercostal muscles extending on their ossified rib-hinge, and sat on him, teasing him with her nearness.
BobandJane started to pant, three lungs filling with air, joined bronchioles oxygenating the blood as it was pumped from a common aorta through Jane's common iliac artery, then vein, back to Bob's venae cavae.
Bob loved Jane so much he wanted to be part of her, and he always felt frustrated that simple sex never let him get as close to her, as into her, as he would like.
He picked her up by her hips, shared cartilage stretching as he did so, and lowered her onto it, a small gasp coming from BobandJane's lips as a joint hypothalamus ordered the sudorific glands into activity, and BobandJane started to sweat.
Good, thought Jane. I like it dirty.
Despite their shared brain, they didn't really know each other at all.
BobandJane heaved and thrusted on the crisp, warm sheets.

They looked into each other's eyes and smiled as they made the two-backed beast.