Picking up the story where it left off, the controversial protagonist of cult classic Diary of an Oxygen Thief retools his advertising skills to seduce women online. It’s a pursuit that quickly becomes a dangerous fixation, often requiring even more creativity and deception than his award-winning ad campaigns. Dazzling, daunting, and darkly hilarious, this spellbinding sequel is a spectacular indictment of a modern love twisted beyond recognition.
This title was previously published as Chameleon on a Kaleidoscope.
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I knew if I wanted to have sex with a girl within the first three seconds of meeting her. After that, it was just a matter of how much I was willing to put up with to make it happen. This period of putting up with their bullshit was what women called charm. On dates with girls I didn’t even like trying to get into pants that didn’t even fit. Rummaging around inside them looking for what? Had this always been the case even before the drinking? If so, all I’d done was exchange one addiction for another. Far from being free, the prison had just gotten bigger. And they just sat there, protected by the romantic rules of engagement, categorizing my attempts at fucking them. How did I compare to the guy last night? At least he paid for dinner. And wanted children. He was taller too. I was happy to let the gargoyle in my midriff drag me to within fucking distance of these creatures, but even I couldn’t make myself pretend I wanted babies.
Bobbing and swaying in front of my face as we ascended the steps to her fourth-floor Elizabeth Street apartment was the real reason we’d been together three years. Our evening stroll had been cut short by a rainstorm, so once we got inside we shook off our wet things. We lay across her bed and chatted. Ordinarily this would have been enough to get the ball rolling, but I was still not confident enough about making a move. I had already discovered that working for a bad ad agency required just as much energy as working for a good one, and I had an early start the next day. If we didn’t have sex soon I’d be forced to stay the entire night. Did she want me to leave? Time to call her bluff. Making an overly dramatic announcement that I had better go if I was to be in decent shape for work the next day, I began to say my good- byes to that magnificent world-class ass.
“You hug it like it’s a separate person,” she said, thawing a little.
“You’re accusing me of having an affair with your ass, behind your back?”
She was pissed because I hadn’t picked up on her latest hint that we should live together, get married, have children, and die of old age in each other’s arms. These hints had more recently taken the form of exaggerated street mimes. The huge overacted crazy-eyed smile she reserved for babies was subtle compared to the impossible affection conjured up in the presence of every old couple we encountered. Especially, for some reason, if they were Asian.
I resisted the urge to respond or acknowledge because I knew that once the subject was brought out into the open, it could never be put back in the box. There was no way I was going to marry her, but there was no way I’d be allowed access to her ass if she knew this. I hoped that my silence would indicate that I was still open to the possibilities, but it was only a matter of time before something would need to be said.
I felt sufficiently encouraged by that halfhearted smile to spank her gently through her cotton knickers. This led to touching and tickling, pecking and pouting, and after she broke away to brush her teeth, turn out the lights, and close her laptop, we progressed to sensual half-lit sex. She fluttered up and down on me with such delicacy I was reminded of a winged nymph as she effortlessly hovered and dipped.
The rain persisted outside, and as she leaned back to scratch gently under my balls, I got a perfect view of her small dancer’s breasts, backlit by the amber glow from the desk lamp. I stiffened inside her and her body immediately straightened as if we really had become one. I wanted to say I love you, but it was too risky. She would surely see through it for the manipulation it was and stop what she was doing. I toyed with saying You’re lovely, but this just felt childish. I adore you was merely I love you lite, and oh baby was completely meaningless.
“Fuck yeah,” I said at last.
Well, at least it was honest.