Reginald’s Blow Job From God(win)

For most, the notion of burial is surprisingly sentimental. One would be shocked at just how sentimental considering the majority of people spend their lives dreaming of escape from the place they were born. At least, any people worth an aspirational damn. But some don’t get a choice in the matter (whether it means returning to one’s city of birth or to a place one never resided at all). Least of all when they’re the foremother of modern feminism. That is to say, Mary Wollstonecraft, so commonly conflated with her Frankenstein-writing daughter, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. Setting a precedent for the daughter who essentially killed her (for yes, Wollstonecraft Sr. died a month later as a result of childbirth, as most women do at least metaphorically), Mary, who would eventually become Shelley thanks to the last name of Percy Bysshe Shelley–better known by his Romantic poet nickname of simply Shelley–did her own fair share of “catting around.” If that’s what one needs to deem having a healthy sexual appetite regardless of whether a man is maritally tied to someone else or not.

Mary Jr., too, had a predilection for the married man, which is why she and Percy took their affair across the continent in a sort of attempt to make it less palpable to the British “scene queens” that ostracized them upon their return. As though to further thumb their nose at tradition and propriety, the two were married shortly after Percy’s first wife, Harriet, offed herself, presumably in a final show of proving that the Wollstonecraft-Shelley alliance would forever live under a dark pall. And, to be sure, it did. Perhaps this is why the nascent presence of Frankenstein in Shelley’s mind was born into the world (unlike many of her fetuses) on a trip to Switzerland in 1816 with Lord Byron, John William Polidori and Claire Clairmont (Mary’s stepsister who probably also had a few go-arounds in the boudoir with Percy). One can only imagine how terrible they must have all been at charades to have preferred conceiving of ideas for horror stories instead to pass the time. Meanwhile, during the fraught existence of her daughter, the remains of Mary Sr. were, for the time being, peacefully resting in the St. Pancras Old Church Gardens with her–for once–lawfully wedded husband, William Godwin. A sentimental sack who once wrote of Mary in the wake of her death, “I firmly believe there does not exist her equal in the world. I know from experience we were formed to make each other happy. I have not the least expectation that I can now ever know happiness again.” This didn’t stop him from getting remarried at the turn of the nineteenth century (Mary expired before making it to that point, checking out in 1797). But even so, maybe there was a kernel of truth to what he said, as it is Mary he ended up buried with in the gardens of the very church where they were betrothed (even if that old bag of bones that was his second wife ended up there as well, after outliving him for a spell).

Reginald had been a longtime fan of the godfather to anarchism’s work, and of course a requisite appreciator of Wollstonecraft’s own radical philosophies. Yet not fan enough to realize Godwin wasn’t really “there” when he had made the pilgrimage, oh so ironically, all the way from the Dorset coast to see him. To pay homage. Naturally, there were other pursuits on his mind in London, like finding a by-the-hour bird who could pay him a bit of homage as well in exchange for more conventional payment. He was having a lot of hard luck in the sleepy (and cruelly named) town of Studland. Upon arriving at St. Pancras station, he immediately made his way to the church so as to get his respects out of the way and move on to even more pressing matters pertaining to his own Frankenstein (Alice Cooper enthusiasts, amounting solely to Wayne and Garth, will note that as a “Feed My Frankenstein” reference).

He might never have known that the only “essence” truly left in the tomb was Mary Jane Clairmont, that aforementioned “old bag of bones,” were it not for the off-handed comment of a professor passing by with a female student he clearly wanted to impress with his knowledge. He remarked, “Now here Hilda, you’ll surely note that while this gravestone might bear the names of Wollstonecraft and Godwin, the two were moved at the request of Mary Shelley, whose final wishes were for her parents to join her at the Shelley family tomb in Bournemouth.” Reginald could feel himself going cold. Bournemouth, as in an under one hour bus ride from Studland. He could have been visiting the source regularly so long ago. What kind of sodding acolyte was he, he had to ask himself. Not a very devout one, it appeared, and he rather wanted to punch the pompous prick who so blithely just shattered his illusions of being in the midst of greatness when, in fact, all that greatness had gone permanently summering in Bournemouth. He might as well turn back now were it not for his carnal desire to fuck someone, anyone, within at least ten years of his thirty-five year old age bracket (the Dorset coast was fond of playing host to the sixty and over set, as it were–either that or an onslaught of the child-riddled “family unit”). So, with a heavy heart, he set out in the direction of SoHo for the Red Light District.

Yet getting sucked off was not enough to dull his thoughts of Godwin–glorious Godwin. Underneath Reginald’s nose this entire time. How could he have been so blind to the environs of his own county? So out of step with the cultural cachet in his own sandy beach of a backyard? The earnest prostitute (a vague contradiction in terms) couldn’t help but notice his rather overt lack of interest in the job she was doing. “Is everything awl right then? You want me to go at it from a different direction?”

He looked at her strangely. “I mean, I don’t really know what other direction you could go at it from–” He gasped as she quickly changed tack by licking him from his arsehole and balls and then managed to make her tongue extend up the bottom of the shaft just before the tip. She did this for about a minute before reversing back to the front to pay attention to the glans, a few more licks getting the desired effect and sending him on his way. And he knew just where he would be going now that he had been enlightened.

***

It wasn’t a town very adroit at making use of having a famous literary connection, having turned the Boscombe Cottage residence Percy had intended to give as a home for his mother before she passed into, at one point, a technical college–as opposed to preserving its original iteration while he lived in it with Mary Jr. A massive residence that also still boasts a theater, which, at the very least, is open to the public. Though unfortunately, Reginald missed that two hundredth anniversary commemorative performance of Frankenstein.

But what did any of this have to do with Mary Sr.? Or Godwin for that matter, who was forced into a new burial place because of his non-anarchist views on love. Who was probably quite content to have remained in St. Pancras, just as Mary likely was. Or at the minimum, she probably would have preferred to be exhumed for the benefit of a final resting place in her beloved France. Oh the British with their strange affinity for a country that rather despises their infiltration. But no, it is the sentimentality of the living that makes (after)life such a burden for the dead. For if Mary Jr. could have just left well enough alone, Reginald might not have wasted his well-earned dole money on a trip to London. Then again, was this Godwin’s roundabout present to him from the great beyond? An overpriced suck and fuck? Where was the utilitarianism in that?

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