I wrote this book, a short novella called As a Machine and Parts, about a man who finds himself slowly changing into a machine, a la Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis but with fewer traveling salesmen and cockroaches. The As a Machine and Parts titular machine is concerned that as he becomes more metal and less human, he will eventually lose his ability to love his girlfriend (“awwwww” is the correct response to that plot).
At some point before the start of my story the Machine, before he went full toaster, was 100% human, and therefore entered into mutual relationship with his human girlfriend. However, with real-life inter-thing relationships, mutual consent isn’t always a priority. A lifestyle called object sexuality forces literally 10s of buildings, rollercoasters, and concrete walls into unhealthy relationships with crazy people every day.
Object sexuality is a real thing, apparently, and is defined as “a pronounced emotional and often romantic desire towards developing significant relationships with particular inanimate objects.” It’s perhaps important to acknowledge just how one-sided and kind of rapey object sexuality is. That’s why I’m giving voice to the vocal chord-less in this, a series of posts that I really, really wanted to call “Shut Up About the Dogs, Sarah Mclachlan! Buildings Are Getting Raped Out There!” but I’m not sure Sarah Mclachlan is relevant anymore.
The Eiffel Tower Needs Some Space
In 2008, 37 year-old San Franciscan, Erika Eiffel, married the Eiffel Tower. No, the shared last name isn’t to implicate an incestual relationship; she actually changed her name to Eiffel. Say what you will, but considering her exes—including an archery bow named Lance, the Berlin Wall for a brief period, and even an F-15 fighter jet during her time in the United States Air Force (a love affair for which she was eventually discharged from service; the F-15 got to stay—fucking misogyny), the Eiffel Tower is quite a step up.
There may be a few ladies out there with a Parisian persuasion who totally get what Erika sees in this 1,063 foot riveted beast of a land penis. Unwilling to lust over good ol’ fashioned red-blooded American culture boners like the Space Needle or the Washington Monument, these women say, “damn, I’d like to ride the lift up that shaft—” Stop! Turns out, El Eiffel is La Eiffel (I don’t know French definite articles…but I do know what a definite article is, so that’s got to count for something). That’s right, he is a she. And by the way Erika describes her wife—”Her structure is just amazing. You know, she’s got subtle, subtle curves…”—I almost don’t care that to appreciate those curves one would have to fly to Paris, buy a lift ticket, and pray for that .0001% chance that nobody is watching while you get awful with the Eiffel . But that’s not the kind of hope I was raised to believe in. I’d rather just eat cheese and jerk off to a Frank Lloyd Wright documentary.
The former soldier and current punch line to every joke made by every Air Force soldier since, organized “an intimate ceremony attended by a handful of friends” to solidify their bond. These were all Erika’s friends, no doubt. Erika mentions nothing about the rest of the Eiffel family—not Eiffel Pillar, Eiffel Rampart, not even the physically deformed cousin Eiffel Plateau who sadly isn’t long for this world; that’s what happens when glaciers from the same family get together.
Maybe the Eiffel family was invited, but perhaps the Eiffels just don’t agree with same sex marriage. I mean, it couldn’t possibly be the case that the Eiffel’s aren’t a real family because the Eiffel tower isn’t a fucking person.
What would Eiffel’s parents say?
Considering that the Eiffel Tower’s erection (heh) wasn’t unanimously supported to begin with, original tower designers Maurice Koechlin and Émile Nouguier are probably happy that their baby is now loved, even if by dirty American porc.
During the tower’s planning phase a group of architects and artists, led by Charles Garnier drafted quite the heated condemnation of the tower, published by Parisian newspaper Le Temps in 1887 (yes, that Charles Garnier, the mind behind Panorama Français, The Cercle de la Librairie, and lesser known Bâtiment Stupide). The petition, though irrelevant considering it was written after the tower was already under construction (typical lazy artists), reads with a beautiful verbosity that, should my kid ever be called ugly by a stranger, might make me consider for a moment that perhaps my kid is ugly, and that strangers, despite their stinky vans and poisoned candy, maybe should be trusted. Who could argue with conviction like this:
“We…protest with all our strength, with all our indignation in the name of slighted French taste, against the erection…of this useless and monstrous Eiffel Tower … To bring our arguments home, imagine for a moment a giddy, ridiculous tower dominating Paris like a gigantic black smokestack, crushing under its barbaric bulk Notre Dame, the Tour Saint-Jacques, the Louvre, the Dome of les Invalides, the Arc de Triomphe, all of our humiliated monuments will disappear in this ghastly dream. And for twenty years…we shall see stretching like a blot of ink the hateful shadow of the hateful column of bolted sheet metal”
Eiffel seems to have been the awkward nerd of 1880’s France. It makes you wish for a “Proud of My Honor Roll Tower” bumper sticker to slap on the back of the Nouguier and Koechlin’s new-fangled Daimler wire-wheeled car. Luckily, self-esteem for the lanky tower isn’t a problem any longer with Mrs. Erika Eiffel by her side.
Does all this Eiffeling get you excited? Check out my novella As a Machine and Parts for an equally classy exploration of a person-on-non-person action. At least click the above link and read about the book.
What’s the next person-on-non-person situation I’m going to explore on this blog? I’m not sure. Come back often to find out, or subscribe to never miss a post.
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