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An Excerpt (Chapter 20) of Doc and Fluff by Patrick Califia, read by Hyena
Written in the early nineties but set in the apocalyptic future, Doc encounters Fluff in a bathroom of the home base of the Alamo Angels biker gang. Together they kick start a chase up the West Coast, leaving destruction and mayhem in their wake. The pair winds up in the slums of Portland, where they settle in with a community of sex workers and dykes. This is where we meet them in chapter 20, as Doc and Fluff’s relationship continues its downward slide.
This is not an easy book to read. It whips seamlessly in a triangle between erotica, politics and traumatic sexualized horror so quickly that the lines get blurred and you’ll be left wondering what went right and what went wrong. The descriptions of cruelty within the queer scene are both brutally accurate and disarmingly naïve about the nature of abuse. The ending is controversial. It is a messy book. You’ll hear me read things that I don’t agree with, Doc’s definition of “limits” for instance, and Fluff’s exoticizing description of her friend.
Despite all this, the story of Doc and Fluff sticks to the back of my mind, haunting me with deeper questions about the nature of many queer and kinky spaces: the abusers that find harbor in places that are thought to be safe, and those that will make you feel unwanted or unwelcome just for being yourself. Twenty five years after its publication, the book feels dated but shockingly relevant.
I am also struck by Fluff as a character. I’ve never read someone like her before and doubt I’ll ever read someone like her again. I have a lot of feelings about her and hope as you listen that you can learn to love her too. Just like the book, she’s not perfect, but she’s unique and terrifying and only human, like the rest of us. I could talk about her for days, but I’ll let her speak for herself.
Voice and Description by Hyena
Editing by September
Production by Free Radical Radio