International Writers Magazine: New
York Fiction- Extract - From our Archives
Satan, she was known by many names, all of which related to that
most alluring and reviled aspect of the female physiognomy. They
called her: La Concha, La Zorra, La Cajeta, La Almeja, La Panocha,
La Pepa, La Chocha, La Cuca, La Chucha etc. But most workers referred
to her as La Creta.
Like all petty tyrants,
La Creta was also an ardent moralist, and enforcing morality has always
been a potent tool in enforcing repressive regimes, though the brutal
nature of industrial bakery work, with the heat, humidity and ambient
flour in the air was hardly conducive to sexual activity even among
the most hot-blooded Latin Americans.
Nevertheless, she made what she could out of it, and if she detected
even the faintest hint of scandal, she instructed her agents to widely
diffuse the details to all interested parties. Though most of her meddling
hardly rose above the level of schoolyard mischief it nevertheless had
a corrosive affect on an illiterate, half-wit workforce most of which
spoke not a word of English and lived in a permanent state of culture
shock, having fled the jungles of Peru or the depressed villages of
Bulgaria to suddenly find themselves navigating the complex, dangerous
maze of working-class New York barrios.
The Spanish and Bulgarian workers, neither of whom spoke English and
having no lingua franca of communication, communicated by a primitive
system of monkey-see, monkey-do which led to a lot of expensive misunderstandings
and had a broad comedy aspect right out of the most ridiculous Abbott
and Costello movies from the 1940s, where foreigners were either depicted
as imbecile fruit peddlers or slightly sinister dudes with moustaches.
The reality of the situation was a melding of the stereotypes - slightly
Stupidity breeds conservatism, because people feel more comfortable
sticking with what they know, and if they know nothing they never get
off the dime. This innate social conservative environment among the
workers aided La Creta in her mission of riding herd over them. The
women were afraid for their virtuous reputations and the men lived in
fear of being exposed as philanderers, so La Creta was plowing fertile
terrain when she diffused innuendos of sexual indiscretion. In this
she was aided by the occasional real instances when a Spanish woman,
having given herself to a low-end lothario and thereafter considering
him to be her real property, went berserk in the factory and assaulted
him after he had done with her and associated himself with one of the
other women. This happened only occasionally, but with enough regularity
to make it a credible possibility and it lived as such in everybodys
mind. For this reason intimations of scandal were received with solemnity.
La Creta had no pangs of conscience about shattering other peoples
domestic arrangements, reasoning that she herself had been forced to
endure it, and it had all turned out for the best it was all
well and good that fornicators and people of unsound moral persuasion
be obliged to sample the bitter harvest that they had sowed in the crooked
rows of their perversity. In the infinite and vacant Hall of Mirrors
that existed behind her delicately fragile doors of perception resided
the ephemeral illusion that by enforcing morality in the workplace,
she was setting things right and that her interests as a manager and
those of society at large were fortuitously commingled like a pure source
of virtue emptying into a placid, crystal lake of harmony and order.
Some women, she knew, were whores by nature, unclean vessels willing
to destroy everything around them to satisfy their bestial carnal desires,
inviting strangers into their marriage bed, corrupting their innocent
young children who were forced to witness their vile behavior, while
their husbands unwittingly toiled at bone-crushing jobs to sustain them.
Their men came home utterly devastated from their labor, to a dinner
prepared by a stinking, soiled vixen still reeking with the odor of
the man who had lain on top of her, his seed leaking out of her and
soiling her undergarments.
La Creta crossed herself and prayed The Virgins forgiveness for
even contemplating such horror. Satan was everywhere, ever ready to
sneak into the mind of the most sanctified. Like a rodent he would tear
through walls of concrete with his vicious fangs to infect the unguarded
But if she disdained that poor, vulnerable class of woman who could
not tap the wellspring of virtue that would enable her to resist the
temptations of the flesh, her most virulent loathing was reserved for
the male, with his arrogant, macho preening and wholly animal appetites.
Hers was a fury so total and all-consuming that she wished she were
a titan who could stamp her foot to crumble and destroy all of mans
creation, everything, leaving nothing but dust and ashes.
El Hombre! The most accursed word in human creation. He who had dominated
and humiliated her, violated every part of her, deceived her and robbed
her of her last shred of humanity. This, this mindless and soulless
butcher of humanity, creep, chiseler, dictator, liar and begetter of
bastards! All her life she had chafed under the rule of men. Her mind
sparked with indignation at how, as a child, she had been forced to
serve her father and brothers back in Ecuador. And they were the best
of the lot! The men she had met in the larger world, rough men with
their tight jeans, moustaches and gold chains, and controlling all the
money! They had treated women like their personal chattel! How many
men had she run to in order to escape her father and brothers, only
to have to flee back to her family once she had discovered these mens
true nature. On all sides humiliation!
It was not the penis she disdained, that tedious little nozzle that
men followed blindly like the deluded desert wanderer mindlessly putting
his faith in a worthless divining rod. That insignificant joke of nature
dwelt beneath her contempt like a childs party favor that you
pulled apart and it gave an insignificant snapping noise (it never would
occur to her that in the utter ordinariness of her mediocrity she had
never inspired a gleaming, rocklike erection deserving of admiration).
No, she reserved the unbounded depth of her contempt for the sheer size
and bulk of mens muscles and their physical strength. All men
were imbeciles! She had never met one yet who would challenge the intelligence,
resourcefulness, determination and endurance of the woman, who provided
the social cohesiveness that enabled continued survival of the race
against all odds. The evidence of female superiority was anywhere you
cared to look: in the legions of women such as she who toiled endlessly
like insects to raise children and maintain families while the men,
unable to hold jobs, loafed at home or languished in jail smoking cigarettes
and playing dominos. Men! Take your eye off them for one minute and
they were sure to cause trouble like children.
The only thing that kept men in control was their relative physical
size and strength. This was an insurmountable obstacle, mens physical
bulk (though the trend was gradually shifting, with men getting softer
and women overtaking them in some areas. Even so, the balance would
not shift in her lifetime). It was as though an alien race had landed
and was dominating the female through sheer bullying and oppression,
appropriating all the resources and physically subjecting the female
to endure endless intrusion of the penis to boot. Like an immense Nazi
concentration camp without fences.
In her unguarded moments La Creta would daydream about the mating habits
of spiders, wherein the female was immensely more huge than the male,
and after she had absorbed his seed necessary to make babies, she would
simply kill and eat him.
© Dean Borok March 2008
San Juan Bagels Parking Lot
La Creta dwelt in perpetual fear of
the parking lot, separated from the factory by the Taliban shish-kebob
garage where resided the The Forty Thieves of the spicy halal chicken
and rice wagons
Passion of Nino De Jesus
Dean Borok (extract)
Niño de Jesus frequently had marveled at the fork lift truck
on his way to work and one day, when the proprietor had left the gate
unlocked, he snuck in for a closer look. Climbing up the ladder on the
side and peering into the control booth, he noticed that they had left
the key in the ignition. After all, one might reason, who would steal
such a monster? Only a crazy man!
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