Processing

A police officer shouldered his way through angry people shoving belligerent people into chairs or out of the room. He brusquely dropped a small metal cage on his desk before throwing himself into his seat and sighing heavily.

The woman across his desk looked up from her laptop and grinned without mirth. “What have we got here, Officer Jacobs? It’s too early for my birthday.”

“Incoming, Kelise. Booking nearly a solid pound of the city’s hardened criminals.” He tugged his hat off and rested it in a vintage blond wood inbox from two retirees ago. He scanned his desk for a mug of coffee he was sure he hadn’t finished, but found only an empty glass. “This is what I went to community college for? I should’ve majored in journalism.”

“They pay you too much for this.”

“My fault for agreeing to volume and not commission.” He looked up: his coworker’s hands had left her keyboard and she was leaning pleasantly into his space. “You don’t have enough to do, Officer Weeks? Would you like to process these unredeemable souls?”

“No, no, Yisroel. Have your way with them. I just like to watch.”

He snorted and unlatched the lid of the cage. “That’s what they all say, isn’t it, gents.” He reached inside and extracted a tiny person, pale in his nudity and wriggling fiercely, and dropped him into the glass. It was too tall for the tiny convict to climb out of, and it amplified his weak voice just enough to make out over the din of the precinct. Yisroel woke up his laptop and opened the department site. “Name?”

“I didn’t do anything wrong!” A two-digit number was ineptly painted across his narrow chest in thick black Sharpie, warped in the curve of the glass.

“Name?”

“Can’t you hear me? She’s my girlfriend, we live together!”

Yisroel pursed his thick lips and slowly rolled his gaze to the drinking glass. “Name.”

“Wyatt Blevins.”

“Address?”

“526 Deerfield… you know, the place your goons kidnapped me. The place where I live with Alice Neal, my girlfriend.”

Yisroel entered approximate numbers for height and weight. The department’s antiquated software didn’t accommodate details below half a foot and half a pound. He checked off on the green banner asking if the perp was an anthropole. “You don’t appear to have any ID on you, but I must advise you that falsifying personal information is itself a prosecutable offense.”

The naked man struggled to find a comfortable stance in the glass’s concave bottom. He tried leaning against the side; his skin was even paler where it pressed against the glass. “Don’t I get a phone call?”

“You’re entitled to one call, and an attorney will be provided to you if you cannot afford one.” Yisroel started to doze in the dull repetition of this threadbare, compulsory script. “You’re entitled to the presence of an attorney during questioning, as was described to you at the site of your apprehension.”

“Let me call Alice. She’ll explain this to you. She’ll tell you who I am and that this was all a misunderstanding.”

Yisroel’s eyebrow twitched. “You may not call the defendant. Do not waste your one phone call on a forbidden call.”

“But we’ve lived together for three years! My name’s on the title of our house!”

Far behind and above the tiny criminal’s head, Kelise shot Yisroel an impressed leer. “Sounds like he’s got all his ducks in a row, Officer Jacobs. Do you think maybe you made a mistake with this one?”

The tiny man twisted to look at her. “Hey, come on, man. I’m completely naked in front of her. Can’t you cover me up or something? This isn’t cool.”

Yisroel gusted a laugh that ruffled the tiny man’s hair. He pulled out his notebook and checked it against the number on the man’s chest. “Neither is sexual assault of an incapacitated individual, creep.”

“Oh, that sounds serious.” Kelise’s eyelids fluttered. “How’d you take him alive?”

“She’s my girlfriend,” the tiny man yelled, his voice ringing in the glass. “We’re in a relationship! I’m not some stranger that broke into her home. It’s my home, for fuck’s sake!”

Yisroel’s long fingers lifted from the keyboard. “All right, sir. How about you tell me your side of the story?”

“I’ll make some popcorn,” said Kelise.


I was curled up in her palm. We went to sleep like that, it was just a lazy Sunday afternoon nap. Both of us were naked, we’d just gotten out of the shower. She likes that, you see, getting all clean and then slipping into a nice clean bed and having a sleep on a Sunday afternoon. Sometimes she likes to fool around. Not always, but sometimes.

I mean, did you see her when you broke into my home? She’s gorgeous. She’s the fulfillment of all my dreams. Her family’s German and Spanish, and she’s got these mischievous eyes and smart, knowing eyebrows. She just looks at you, and she looks like she knows everything you’re trying to hide, and the corners of her lips naturally curl in this coy little smile. Even when she’s not smiling, like if she’s staring at TV, or when she’s asleep. She always looks like she knows something funny about you.

All right, all right. I was lying in the palm of her hand, because that’s where she put me. That’s how she brought me in from the shower, in her fist, gently but firmly. She slipped into bed, and she spread her long, thick brown hair all over the pillow, and she kept her hand with me in it next to her face. That’s how she liked to doze off, looking at me lying in her hand. Her fingers are long and tapering, and they arched over me almost protectively, like she’s reminding me I’m hers. Well, of course I’m hers! I wouldn’t leave her for a million bucks. She’s like winning the lottery, why would I leave?

So I’m lying there, and she’s staring at me with her huge, golden-brown eyes. Yes, of course I’m naked, I just said we got out of the shower. Is this when you cops play dumb, hoping that the criminal trips himself up by saying too much? You’re not listening to what I’m fucking saying in the first place, Officer Palooka. Alice is my girlfriend, and if the city ever ratifies differently sized relationships, she’ll be my fiancee. I see that look on your face. I think you know I’m innocent, you’re just misomicrotic. Which is funny, you know, considering… I mean, systemic racism within the police department. I’d think you’d be more sympathetic, but I guess everyone needs someone to tyrannize, huh?

Alice held me in her hand from the shower to the bed, and she let me rest in her hand while she stared at me. Yeah, I was naked. She likes me to… this doesn’t need to go in your report, but she likes to watch me play with myself. It’s her idea, she tells me to. And I’d do anything for her, so I put on a little show like she likes. And her big, puffy lips spread in a smile that sets my heart on fire, and her eyes get that dreamy look, and I wish to Goddess I were large enough to scoop her up into my arms and hold her tight, just once. Best I can do is hug her thumb, sticking up right next to me, going lax as she gets sleepy.

I’m not even trying to, you know, climax, I’m just putting on a show for her. She likes to watch me, it’s something partners do for each other, okay? And she smiles and licks her lips, and Goddess, when the tip of her tongue comes out and parts those lips… well, it drives me crazy. She can do things… that’s none of your business, but she’s incredible and generous. I would die for Alice, and I bless the day she chose me.

She licks her lips and smiles, and I… er, perform for her, and she blows me a kiss and closes her eyes and goes to sleep with a big sigh. I know she’s happy then, but what about me? Now I’m all worked up and she’s gone to sleep. I’m there, lying naked in her soft hand, her lovely fingers curling gently over me, and I’m like, what’m I supposed to do with this? I finished myself off, so to speak, but I’m still wound up. Her heat is coming up through her palm and filling me like… kinda like perfume, but kinda like magic. It’s like her life essence is flowing up into me and filling me, and I’m lying naked in her hand with nothing to do.

She’s my girlfriend. I just wanted to love her. I do love her, I love her more than anything. But I couldn’t just lie there until she decided to wake up. Alice could sleep for a couple hours, and she’d be mad I didn’t get her up sooner, but she didn’t tell me when to wake her up. I don’t know what she’s got planned for the rest of the day. I mean, obviously, if I know we’re going out to dinner with friends at seven, then I’ll… heh, this is funny. I saw a cat do this once and it’s super effective. You know how a tiny little guy like me wakes up a big giantess like her? You just run your fingers over her upper lip. Hundreds of tiny little nerve bundles are packed in there, it’s super sensitive. I used to kick her nose or tug at her eyelashes, nothing like that worked, but just one stroke of her upper lip, that ridge along her lip, and she’s instantly awake. More often than not she starts swatting at her face, so I gotta duck and roll away quickly, but it works.

I didn’t want to wake her up, this time. I just wanted to love her, you have to understand. She’s so big and gorgeous, she’s like a goddess to me. I wasn’t going to hurt her, there’s no way I could hurt her! I just wanted to love her.

I slipped out of her palm onto the bed. I watched her eyes, and her lenses were running back and forth under her lids, you know, REM stage sleeping. She’s deep into it. I just walked across the sheets in front of her throat, and I slipped under the sheets and started to pull myself up on her shoulder. Her skin was warm and smelled like that French laundry soap. You know the kind, it’s like the quintessential scent of bathrooms, if you had to make up a stereotypical bathroom. You probably don’t use it but I promise you your grandparents thought it was fancy. What do I think you use? Probably something with shea butter and activated charcoal that comes in a wrapper in block print and a beard for a logo.

Look at that, Officer Weeks knows what I’m talking about. Am I right?

I’m trying to tell you, you can’t possibly know what I’m talking about. I’ve seen pictures of same-sized couples, and I get it. You see nice tits or a nice big ass, and you go a little crazy. You want to stick your dick in there somewhere. And I don’t know what it’s like for you, but the closest I can come to it is, try to think of your dick as alive. Think of it as… like a sci-fi movie, where temporarily you can put your consciousness into your own penis. All right? So it’s not just you sticking a part of yourself inside a woman, but you’re sticking your eyes and ears and taste buds and all the skin around your entire body inside all those parts of a woman you want to boink. You see a big ass, now think about what it would feel like to watch those huge cheeks swelling all around you, until your vision’s blotted out and you’re sandwiched in two huge walls of sensual, jiggling flesh, and all you can do is ride along with it. Think about what your dick would go through, rubbing it in her butt, and now think about that all around you, surrounding you, what that’d be like.

That’s what it’s like for me all the time. All. The. Time. No, I’m not trying to excuse anything, I’m just saying. I have to keep myself in control all the damn time, and I’m good at it. It’s not like I can force myself on a woman against her will, right? She can pin me down with her big toe; she can twist my head off easier than a bottle cap. If she doesn’t want me to do something, I can’t do it, and more than that, I don’t want to. I’m not a rapist, all right? I’m all about consent. My girlfriend and I love each other very much. You don’t have to understand the mechanics of it, but Goddess damn it, I’m still a person, a kind of person, and Alice loves me, and I’m crazy for her. Fuck my size, but if you don’t know what it means to want to completely lose yourself in someone you love, then I’m wasting my breath, Officer Dead-to-the-World.

No? Neither of you? Really? Wow. Then I don’t know if this is going to make sense to you, like I’m speaking Greek. You know that expression, “it’s Greek to me”? It just means something’s incomprehensible to you. The Greeks have a similar expression, “it’s Hebrew to me,” and I think Israelis say “it’s Chinese to me,” like there’s a hierarchy of harder and harder languages. Or maybe they just go around in a circle and eventually some nation says “it’s English to me.”

Look at you two. Totally glazed over. There’s a huge world full of amazing, incomprehensible, beautiful things out there, and all you want is getting high and Taco Bell. Times like this, I’m tempted to throw myself into an active sidewalk and let one of you big, stupid oafs snuff me out in a flash, because there’s more of you than there are of me, and any one of you is a hundred times bigger than me, so I wonder what the point of fighting is. You live in a world of magic and mystery, and all you’re concerned about is who some musician-du-jour is dating and some fabricated, publicity-whoring argument on social media. And people like you are enforcing the law? Fuck me sideways.

Oh, like you care what me and my girlfriend have going on. You’ve already decided I’m guilty, so all the reality and facts and truth in the world don’t mean anything to you. You’re just looking for a bad guy to complete this simple, stupid story you made up in your head, and I fit in your fist so why not me. You don’t deserve to hear the rest of my side of this, it doesn’t make any difference—

HEY! Tell her to get that coffee pot away from me! Fine, I’ll tell you the rest. You gigantic fucking assholes.

The sheets were pulled up just over her chest, so I walked under like a cave of bed sheets and crawled onto her shoulder. Really easy to do, easiest way to climb up onto her. Yeah, I’ve done this before, and she was awake for it and liked it. Oh, but don’t put that in your report, facts might alter your goals. I pulled myself onto her shoulder and crawled over to her collarbone, and there’s this hollow behind the bone where her shoulder rises gently to her neck… it’s amazing. Her skin is so soft and it smelled so sweet after the shower, and her warmth is intoxicating. I laid there for a moment, just soaking it all in. I can curl up and fit perfectly in the hollow behind her collarbone, like we were built at the same time.

I guess I wanted more, though. I climbed up to her neck… see, she’s lying on her back but her head’s turned to the side. All her hair’s spread out to the left, and her face is turned to the right, and her hand’s right in front of her face. I don’t know where her other hand was, I didn’t go looking for it. It could’ve been by her side or lying across her belly. …I’ll thank you not to talk about my girlfriend that way, you fucking boor.

You’re high-fiving each other. Why are we pretending to go through this insulting charade?

I climbed onto her neck and I rested there again. I placed my ear on one side, and I could hear the quiet roar of wind running up and down her throat, slowly, in her sleep. I pressed my face right against the ridges along her throat, her trachea. No, that’s not weird, it’s exciting to get to know the inside of your lover, all the inner workings. A woman’s not just the illusion of everything you see, the projection of what you think it all means. She’s blood and glands and tendons and bone and tears and hairs and everything. I love everything about Alice, all of it, the long, transparent hairs on her forearms, the way her pupil twitches, expanding and contracting, when I put my face so close to her eye I can see my reflection in her lens. I love picking the bits of chicken from between her teeth when we go out for tacos. I like being personally responsible for keeping her clean and making her look good, as much as I can. No, that’s not gross, but I wouldn’t expect you to understand because it’s not trending on YouTube.

I moved my head over and placed it right on her jugular. The blood runs so hot there, and her pulse rocks my head as her blessed system carries nutrients and oxygen throughout her entire massive body… Goddess, a woman’s body is just a fucking miracle, and it’s wasted on you two. You have no idea. I closed my eyes and listened to her pulse. It makes me smile, how nothing more than her heart beating can move my head like that, it’s crazy. I love listening to her body work. It tells me how healthy she is, reassures me how long we have together. I reached my arms around her neck to hug her, but I can’t even get a quarter of the way around. It’s mostly me just flattening myself against her skin, wishing I was a part of her, just to get as close as possible to her, I love her so much.

That’s rude. Fuck you two. I don’t need your approval.

Her jaw was right there, so I pushed myself up and carefully crept up her neck. I didn’t want to wake her, that’s why, I just wanted to love my girlfriend while she was asleep, just enjoy this quiet, magical moment. No, that’s not what the problem is, I’ve done it dozens of times before and she didn’t mind. She’s told me that’s okay before. Yes, she did, but you won’t put that in your fucking record. No, she didn’t explicitly say it this time, but we’re in a relationship and she’s said it several times before, it’s okay if I go crawling around her as long as I don’t wake her up. You assholes will edit that how you want, I know, you’re not happy unless you’ve got a helpless little person to kick around. I know what you are.

I crawled over her cheek, because it’s big and flat and there’s plenty of room for me. Her ear was to my left, and I wanted to swing around and kiss it, but it’s really sensitive and I didn’t want to wake her. No, what I really wanted to do was take a running leap off her head and dive into all that lush, beautiful hair of hers. It glistened in the afternoon sun, and it was warm with her body heat, and it smelled like perfume and her own personal musk. I wanted get tangled in it, wrap it all around me, fall asleep in it.

You surprise me, Officer Jacobs. You almost look like you’re imagining how good that could feel. Careful, you might accidentally develop sympathy for people who aren’t you.

This was about when Alice woke up. I don’t know what did it, I wasn’t doing anything unusual. I was watching her eyes, they’d settled down from before, so she was deep asleep. I was thinking about lowering myself down to her lips… you can imagine why, I don’t need to spell it out. But that can be really dangerous if she yawns or if she dreams about eating something, I guess. I really was just lying on her cheek when her other hand came up and brushed against me. I saw it rising over the horizon of her body, and I was in an awkward position to try to dodge it, but she’s my girlfriend so I just let her fingertips run over me. She was gentle, I figured she knew what was going on.

But she screamed and she swatted me, and I rolled off her face and landed on her pillow, and she screamed again and nearly destroyed my hearing. Then she started swearing at me and she called you guys. I was trying to shout up to her but she couldn’t hear me, and I couldn’t understand anything she was saying. I just wanted to know what was wrong. Yeah, she looked pissed, but I didn’t know why. I wanted to talk it out with her, but my hearing was shot and she wouldn’t come back to bed. It’s impossible to get anywhere, crawling over rumpled sheets, and even when she walks slow she can put a lot of distance between us in a moment. I didn’t want to drop to the floor and chase her, because if she’s in a mood like this she might try to stomp on me. I decided to just wait in the bed until she calmed down, but then you assholes broke in and took me away.


Kelise grinned across the desks. “Quite a story, Officer Jacobs.”

“A likely story. Sounds completely believable.” Yisroel nodded.

“I bet it happens all the time and we never hear about it.”

“We don’t sound very good in it, though, do we?”

“We sound like the bad guys.”

“Cogs in a corrupt and soulless system.”

“A little guy has no chance in a system like that. Chips are stacked against him.” Kelise sat back in her chair and shook her head.

“You two think you’re so funny,” the tiny man said, his voice ringing sharply. “But I told you, nothing I could say would make any difference. You wasted all our time with this bullshit, pretending to give a rat’s ass about what really happened. This is just another form of bullying for you.” The little figure slumped, then sat down in the glass, hugging his knees and shivering.

“Aww, so defeated,” Kelise said, rising again to look at the tiny man. “What if I told you we were going to let you go?”

A teeny-tiny little middle finger rose up, not even reaching the lip of the glass.

Yisroel reached over and gave the glass a gentle shake. “No, really. Your story sounded reasonable. And yeah, we’ve seen domestic situations like this before. All the time. Someone gets sick of their little pet boyfriend, calls us with a plausible story, and that clears up her problem. It’s an easy out, us doing the dirty work instead of them.” He sucked his teeth and looked at his partner. “But we know what’s up.”

She nodded. “You can’t work this long in law enforcement without seeing every ugly side to humanity. Shit, I think cops and people who work in fast food see the worst in humanity.”

The tiny man looked up at her, then at Yisroel.

“You know what we do in these situations,” Yisroel said, “is we just hold you in the tank for a little while, and eventually she cools down. She thinks about it, starts to feel guilty, calls us up, says she doesn’t want to press charges.”

“Really?”

“Then she comes downtown to collect you and takes you back home. It’s a hassle, yeah, but whatever. To me that’s a better solution than all the booking, having that shit on your record, not being able to get a job, blah-blah-blah.”

“I hear the make-up sex is amazing,” said Kelise, grinning down at the glass with the naked man in it. His eyes were two little dots that blinked like stars.

Yisroel picked up the glass and gently dumped the tiny man back in the metal cage with the other offenders. “Fucking bitch,” one yelled. “What about my phone call,” cried another. “Why are you putting me in here with them,” screamed the little man.

Yisroel closed the lid and latched it. “You wanna do me a solid and take these guys down to detention? I’ll buy you lunch.”

“Lombardi’s,” Kelise said, rounding the desks and picking up the sides of the cage. Tiny hands grabbed at her fingers. “I’m gonna need to burn some calories for that: I’d better take the stairs.” Yisroel watched how her utility belt rolled over her swaying hips as she walked off, turned to press the push bar on the door to the stairwell with her butt, then slipped inside with a smirk.

Yisroel looked at his screen and stretched his neck before closing the window. All that was lost was a name and a fake height and weight. Over the roiling conversation in the precinct he heard a loud clatter that rang off into the distance. He pulled out his wallet and counted his paper money. Pizza, three times in a week: that couldn’t be good for his heart.

Her chair creaked when Kalise sat back down in it and called maintenance.


Photo by Gregory Pappas on Unsplash

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