"Subject O.G.," Eva typed. "Age fifty. Successful engineer."
She considered the screen carefully. The initials, of course, had been changed according to her simple code, and the age had been rounded down to the nearest decade. But the last entry was reasonably accurate: his profession reflected a man's personality, and should not be disguised unless it was absolutely necessary to avoid identification. Even then, it had to be done with sensitivity, so that the displacement was not too violent. In the case of a world-famous musician, Eva had altered "pianist" to "violinist," and she had converted an equally celebrated sculptor into a painter. She had even turned a politician into a statesman.
". . . As a small boy, O.G. was teased and occasionally captured by the pupils of a neighbouring girl's school, who used him as a (fairly willing) subject for lessons in nursing and male anatomy. They frequently bandaged him from head to foot, and though he now asserts that there was no erotic element involved, this is rather hard to believe. When challenged, he shrugs his shoulders and says, "I just don't remember."
"Later, as a young man, O.G. witnessed the aftermath of a major accident which caused many deaths. Though not injured himself, the experience also appears to have affected his sexual fantasies. He enjoys various forms of bondage (see List A) and he had developed a mild case of the Saint Sebastian Complex, most famously demonstrated by Yukio Mishima. Unlike Mishima, however, O.G. is completely heterosexual, scoring only 2.5 +/- 0.1 on the Standard Mapplethorpe Phototest.
"What makes O.G.'s behaviour pattern so interesting, and perhaps unusual, is that he is an active and indeed somewhat aggressive personality, as befits the manager of an organization in a demanding and competitive business. It is hard to imagine him playing a passive role in any sphere of life, yet he likes my personnel to wrap him up in bandages like an Egyptian mummy, until he is completely helpless. Only in this way, after considerable stimulation, can he achieve a satisfactory orgasm.
"When I suggested that he was acting out a death wish, he laughed but did not attempt to deny it. His work often involves physical danger, which may be the very reason why he was attracted to it in the first place. However, he gave an alternative explanation which, I am sure, contains a good deal of truth.
"When you have responsibilities involving millions of dollars and affecting many men's lives, you can't imagine how delightful it is to be completely helpless for a while - unable to control what's happening around you. Of course, I know it's all play-acting, but I manage to pretend it isn't. I sometimes wonder how I'd enjoy the situation if it was for real."
"You wouldn't," I told him, and he agreed."
Eva scrolled the entry, checking it for any clues that might reveal O.G.'s identity. The Villa specialized in celebrities, so it was better to be excessively cautious than the reverse.
That caution extended to the celebrities themselves. The Villa's only house rule was "No blood on the carpets," and she recalled, with a grimace of disgust, a third world country's chief-of-staff whose frenzies had injured one of her girls. Eva had accepted his apologies, and his check, with cold disdain, then made a quick call to the Foreign Office. The general would have been most surprised - and mortified - to know exactly why the British ambassador now found so many reasons for postponing his next visit to the United Kingdom.
Eva sometimes wondered what dear Sister Margarita would have thought of her star pupil's present vocation; the last time she had wept was when the notice of her old friend's death had reached her from the Mother Superior. And she remembered, with wistful amusement, the question she had once been tempted to ask her tutor: exactly why should a vow of perpetual chastity be considered any nobler - any holier - than a vow of perpetual constipation?
It was a perfectly serious query, not in the least intended to scandalize the old nun or shake the sure foundations of her faith. But on the whole, perhaps it was just as well left unasked.
Sister Margarita already knew that little Eva Merrick was not meant for the church; but Eva still sent a generous donation to St. Jude's every Christmas.