What blinding rage would overwhelm me were I not equipped with this aculeus. In temperament a dust storm just beneath the surface, I feel my skin elided from within, husked, scoured by the grit of a thousand leagues, liquefying all my common sense in the hot desperation of a summer’s drought; I am, at all times, seething. And would this evil in me not take shape, would this lustful frenzy not take me entire, were I not blessed with this machine to empty my disgust. Would I not go buzzing over the lawn, leaping and capering rabid, were I not an aculeate creature, a living steam engine, blustering when the pressure proves too much to bear. I admit to my perversions, one and all, whose consummation would ensnare me in sin’s immortal carapace; but as I can sting, I do sting, and sting myself all through the night, lonely and envenomed. The metamorphosis comes quickly. Relieved by that sudden violence, I am as placid as a pillbug uncurling, as forthright.

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