Now I won't go so far as to say that going into an Adult Book Store is a dehumanizing experience; it's just that I always feel I'm going to die when I walk into one. Obviously, it will never be of my own volition, I'm just a participant in my own demise. It is, as you say, to be my own destiny. I always go out in the same way. I'm facing the north wall of the book store, and have just reached for the newest and most explicit Bondage and Discipline publication. The Evening TV Newscaster will report that a huge man who looked like a gorilla with homemade "LOVE-HATE" tattoos on his knuckles will decide that it might be against my best interests to read that kind of book. He will, with blubbering belly, gritting teeth and bulging veins on his forehead, using great strength of will and authority, position a lead pipe across the top of my skull. With a great cry that expresses the utmost justification and joy, he will shout, "I got me one of them there 'fxxxxxg' perverts!!" He will turn slowly and maliciously toward the gay s/m section of the store, where the number of people present dropped immediately to zero. Compounding this psychodrama atrocity is my acute awareness that the music playing is incessantly loud and blaring. It is either a type of 'Just-you-and-me-Baby' music totally distorted by the volume, or it is the AMTRAK train for Topeka going through the inside of the wall knocking out partitions as it proceed down-track. You don't actually hear the music as much as you experience it. Unfortunately, it is not unlike the experience of a pigeon blessing you from a fifth floor roof overhang.
Of course you area already aware of the 'Code of Ethics for Customers of Adult Book Stores'. It may be unwritten, but totally understood:
Fact: No-one must ever speak to, with, or about any other adult, consenting or not;
Fact: Eye contact is avoided with others at all costs; (view only pornography)
Fact: Do not in any way, recognize the possible existence of any other human being.
On one occasion, I was in the State/Lake Book Store in Chicago, when a complete stranger to my world entered boldly, and with unnerving audacity whispered "hey buddy, wanna buy some beaver shots..." into the pregnant silence of this last sanctum sanctoris. Needless to say, the volume was deafening. It reverberated and resounded throughout the store with such force that the pubic hairs on the vaginal pocket of the inflatable rubber life-size 'Let Cindy Love You' doll were blown away. She, of course, is the little number who hangs out behind the counter with her mouth wide open in total die-belief of the size of things to come. I tried to find a place to hide from this intrusion. There was absolutely no place available. (I also discovered that the 'lady' who was featured in the 'peep booth' was unable to perform.) Fortunately for all of us, this culprit was apprehended by the management, forced to buy one of those cute little Doctor Johnson's Marital Aids and barred forever from the premises. I am sure that we all appreciate swift justice.
That one personal experience taught me the value of compliance to this peculiar, but needed, 'Code of Ethics'. I had just spotted Volume One, Issue One of 'EROTIC SPANKING FANTASIES' over at the Danish World Adult Book Store in Milwaukee. I stumbled into, and practically over and through, an elderly gentleman in my haste to capture this much desired treatise. At my high rate of speed, I was unable to stop my forward momentum. During this brief lapse of memory, I looked this person full in the eye, grasped his shoulder in an attempt to steady our precarious positions and, oh my God, "Pardon me, Sir" blurted out of my mouth. All three of the sins in one action. My fate was severe. He bought the 'ESF' magazine that I wanted while I was forced by the Management to proceed to the section of books published by Chelsea Library, thumb through the illustration-less pages, and while blinded by my tears of shame, read aloud to the first female to enter the store, any paragraph of my choice. I stood motionless and frozen with fear for almost four hours before any female entered this place of ill-repute. When she finally appeared, she pushed the door open with speed and agility, and entered with great speed. Well, as luck would have it, her name was Butch. Although my discomfort was minimized, it was not alleviated. She stood before me and let out little hissing-like sounds as I read. Upon completion of this monumental humiliation, all of the customers in the store stood before me and proclaimed loud enough for the world to hear: "You creep!
Certain standards must be maintained. We have a Code of Ethics. After all, this is an ADULT Book Store...."
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