Oracular Vagina 2 (Jessi Guilford)

Fiction. A sex-change patient recovers from surgery to find herself mute, and vehicle to a truth-telling genetically engineered vagina. World leaders arrive to consult said vagina, and there may also be a wacky neighbor. Companion site to Oracular Vagina Takes Her Place, which no longer exists as such.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

JOYCE SIMMONS LUDENS, the VEHICLE’s mother, arrives to consult the VEHICLE

(Originally posted July 25, 2004)

The VEHICLE’s duplex, Sunday, 8:30 AM. The VEHICLE has just gotten up, and is starting coffee in the coffeemaker. The plan is to drink some coffee and flip through her trial issue of Vogue Transgendered and maybe do a little home-furnishing shopping later in the afternoon, barring a new World Leader showing up to consult the ORACLE.

The Oracle is the Vehicle’s vagina. The Vehicle used to be a man named Edmund Ludens. Post-operatively, the Vehicle has not yet picked a feminine name for herself, and it’s something of an open question whether or not she could say it if she did, as she’s been unable (unwilling?) to speak since the operation. The Oracle, though, speaks when spoken to, and has become a minor celebrity, and / or scandal, and / or Republican Talking Point, for her perverse habit of telling the truth, advocating Former Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders for President (maybe – this is also kind of unclear. No formal endorsements yet), predicting the future, and so on and so forth.

None of this being the Vehicle’s idea, of course, except for the sex-change operation bit.

But so. You know the drill. Knock on the door. It’s the Vehicle’s mother, JOYCE SIMMONS LUDENS, who never calls before she comes over (which is all the more remarkable because she’s been living upstate, near the Oregon border, in Arcata, CA, since the second divorce, and so it’s kind of an undertaking for her to get to Los Angeles). For a 55-year-old woman, she’s kind of attractive. Black hair, maybe a little overcoiffed, and of course it’s the shade of black that lets you know it’s dye, or maybe even a wig. But no glasses, and pretty hazel eyes, and she does water aerobics twice a week at the Rec Center so she’s in decent shape, and all things considered she’s the kind of lady who’d offer you some dried apple slices if you got stuck next to her on a bus or something, and she never once complained about finding her sweaters mysteriously stretched out when Edmund was a teenager. But:

Ludens [singing]: Everybody knows when your children grow
Sometimes they will go hither, to and fro,
A parent’s just someone for babes to outgrow.

I tried to be supportive, maintained motherly love,
Drank up a thousand quarts of Zinfandel and port ‘cause
I was sure the TV was just being distortive.

Ludens: I’d like to tell you you’re a woman now.
But tell me, please,
Where is my daughter, in this vaudeville?

Ludens: You must be aware, the parts you have down there,
God didn’t put them there to put them on the air,
And He surely never gave them thoughts to share.

If you so desired a politicking life,
You could find a guy who needs a politicking wife,
But what you’re doing only brings on stress, and strife.

Ludens: I’d like to tell you you’re a woman now.
No blood, no womb,
No name or childhood, how can I say?

[VEHICLE begins to cry silently]

Ludens: You know I love you, dear, daughter, son, or queer,
But what mother could cheer a daughter with a beard?
The girls at the salon see me and point, and jeer.

A vagina’s not a Senator or twat,
It’s just a little spot for when you tie the knot,
And womanhood is not a thing which can be bought.

Oracle [interrupting]: I’d like to tell you you’re a woman wise.
It’s clear you love,
But why drop your pain on this sad child?

Oracle: She didn’t make this choice, doesn’t have a voice,
You must stop this noise – have compassion, Joyce,
You always knew she wasn’t just one of the boys.

[LUDENS begins to cry quietly]

Chose her for my vessel, sorry it’s distressful,
I needed a symbol, she’ll still be successful,
But your charge must end in deus ex dismissal.


(For an out-of-sequence scene with the Vehicle's father on OV1, click here. Otherwise, continue to here.)


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