He was a large man with a hedonistic love for food rather than of fellow mercy. As he bent over the table glaring at me, I felt a mere fly; and he a giant chameleon-like spider that despised what he was about to consume.
“We have all of them,” he said, tapping his sausage-like finger on the desk near my folded hands.
Trying to convince him I was human, I sat upright and composed my shaking self, “What, well, what do you mean?”
Don’t play innocent with me. You love them don’t you?”
Not waiting for a response, he continued spinning his web.
“Yes, yes, I get it. Who would not like someone so soft, gentle, innocent and cute?”
“No, no, it’s not like that! It’s just a hobby … a kind of research I was doing … I mean I really love …”
“Love!” He chuckled back at me in all his Chris Christie-ness. “You love them? Really?”
“Well, not love, I mean I like them …”
“Ha, ha, really? So twelve-hundred images equates ‘like?’”
He carassed his cheeks with his hands.
“Okay, I cut you off, please continue. Let’s hear about this research.”
He sat down, paying no attention to the squealing chair beneath him and crossed his giant arms peering at me attentively?
“I didn’t do anything wrong. I like pictures, okay? I don’t know what it is about them, but they are so appealing, cute, and … well, impulsive. I never hurt anyone in real life. They have a kind of iridescence in their faces, a kind of youth along with an uninhibited action that is really appealing. I wanted to know if others felt this way.”
“By downloading pictures?”
“Yes,” I shot back trying to gain momentum and confidence. You say fifteen-hundred images, but how many are illegal?”
The political prosecutor ignored by request for a moment.
“You joined a fetish site? Did the folks at Peachy Fur Tails help you with your research?”
I knew he was weaving this web around me. I knew I should not talk to him without an attorney, but the whole thing was so humiliating. My personal life, what I do in private, spread to everyone.
There he was, a hungry giant, sifting through every stale, rotten morsel hoping to find just a little something to eat. His men, the police, kicking my door down, in SWAT gear, with automatic weapons, as if I was the North American leader of ISIS.
I was now a middle-aged patient getting a forced colonoscopy by a doctor whose meticulous expertise was how to do so by causing as much pain and discomfort as possible.
They were only pictures, I told myself. How bad could it be? The funny thing is that I hardly looked at them, almost all of them. My love of them, it’s funny in a way, but maybe, just maybe that love made me squirrel away their lovely, erotic images in hopes of savoring them for another day.
He could lie. He could exaggerate. He could twist and turn the narrative so that the paranoid reader would eat it up. The media would do the same, replace this with that for effect, no cares if my “escape away from life” costs me my life.
I could tell the truth, but at what cost?
“Don’t we all like nice, firm tails?” I said to him.
He was not amused and wittingly shot back, “You left out one important detail.”
He then pulled out a manila envelope and dropped it on the table.
“How do you explain these?”
We both paused.
“Go ahead look at it. We’ve got all day,” he said checking to see if he had leftover food between his fingernails.
“My hands were shaking as I pulled out the photographs.”
“Two counts,” he said … and a video.”
“Two counts? Of what? A video?”
I looked at the pictures and was stunned. I remember seeing them. ”
But they were not pictures I like!” I blurted out.
“Tell me why they were on your computer?”
“I am not sure. It must have been a moment thing. You know how one can get worked up looking at things online, especially us guys. We end up saving images we don’t really like at the moment. We lose our senses, don’t judge well. Are these illegal? I don’t get it.”
The big man grinned at the spilled confession, and said, “Why let’s describe what the Statement of Charges will detail. In Exhibit One, Subject A is devouring the other subject, Subject B’s nuts. The next picture, Exhibit Two, Subject A is going at Subject B’s ‘fussy little tail.’ Subject B is grimacing with nut residue on its face. These are not adult.”
I was barely able to speak but tried, “but the video?”
“It’s good you asked. I am beginning to like you. The video is ‘too horrible show.’ All of them are. That is what we will tell the court and the media. These are too horrible to show. That you had nearly fifteen hundred images of these cute … fuzzy little tails?”
“I don’t understand. Out of all these pictures, I just have three that are crossing a line. Don’t so many of these prove that I have no intent?”
“No, the fact is that no one cares about you. What matters is that you have two counts, and we can add the third if you don’t confess. The federal maximums are 5 years per image and ten years per video. You could serve a maximum of 20 years.”
The giant paused with great satisfaction and leaned forward.
“That’s what I think you should get. And then there is the registry, so even if you get out earlier, you will be on there for the rest of your life. Good luck getting a job, finding a house, or having a life.”
“20 years! I did not hurt anyone. These are artifacts of a subject, not the subject. They happened once … You cannot lock people up for being curious, for clicking. I am not going out and hurting people!”
“Preaching is not going to help you. As far as people are concerned, you are a monster. They want you humiliated and murdered. Everyone in the court system hates you. If you take this to court, then I will show the video and all the evidence, everything. The jury will hang you.”
He grinned, biting his nails, while leaned back again, as if rocking in slow motion.
“Let’s be fair, we put the dumbest asses on the planet on juries. They hate you before the trial begins.”
He stopped for a moment and looked compassionate.
“Look, I can help you if you admit guilt now. If you take it to trial it does not look good for you.”
His merciful façade made me break down. I started to cry.
“Look, you are a sick, sick man. My advice is to plead on the two counts, get your ass in therapy before the trial, and maybe you won’t do 20 years.”
I finally understood that I had to lose my nuts to gain my life: