by James Warner
Wanted: a suitor who will play the zither under my balcony every night for seventeen years, while I refuse to confer on you the charity of a single glance. The edifice of masonry surrounding us will then crumble into the swamp, releasing a fragrance like oregano and bitter almonds, as was foretold by the gypsies. Bring a well-oiled, long-barreled revolver, for protection from my husband.You: a virgin so beautiful you can start a war by raising your eyebrows, but tormented by such an unnatural timidity that you once refused to undress in the vicinity of a macaw. Me: hunchbacked bootblack resigned to my fate, but blessed with a prodigious member. Meet me for a night of interminable debaucheries, in a brothel filled with the lugubrious scent of faded gardenias. None of my first or second cousins needs respond.
Where is that woman with the voracity of a panther, whose astute touch made me shudder with the certainty I was destined for annihilation, as we writhed together in anguished violence while covered with orange blossoms? It is whispered she fled across the mountains, pursued by five albino colonels. Are you perhaps her sister?
Mulatto concubines required to help me locate, by the lost Carthaginian arts of divination, a forgotten spot beyond the ends of the earth. There we will waltz in spectral ballrooms, finally dying of a form of congenital nostalgia that is indistinguishable from love. I will bestow payment on you once I receive my military pension.
Full-blooded Indian aviator, three hundred years old, with a facility for clairvoyance and sleepwalking, seeks same. It will be best not to make our situation public. Share with me an occasional game of dominoes and the painfully lucid understanding that we have been forgotten even by death.
Executive of the United Fruit Company seeks woman with no trade union connections, and with the bawdy yet baleful humor of an emerald smuggler, for consummation of a forbidden lust. First send a daguerreotype.
Carnival queen with the amorous instincts of a rainstorm, I long to hear you wail like a manatee while you deprive me of my innocence in the hermetic twilight. Forty three years, five months and seven days later, following your funeral procession through the dusty streets, I will realize you were the only woman I ever loved. Melancholy hazel eyes a plus.
I hope to find a man whose anxious caresses can induce me to levitate, who can make me burst into flames by loosening my muslin bodice, and who by frolicking with me until dawn can force diamonds to procreate. Is this too much to ask? I will settle for someone who knows how to deal with plagues of winged cats.
James Warner is an assistant editor at Identity Theory. His stories have appeared in Agni Online, Narrative, and elsewhere. He believes that One Hundred Years of Solitude is the greatest twentieth-century novel, and that parody is a form of homage.