I was born with a short tail, which my parents decided not to have removed when I was a baby, since I seemed to take so much pleasure in it, curling it around my own wrist, whipping it on my buttocks when I was itchy or testy, and dragging small objects into my crib with it. When I was old enough to realize none of the other kids had a tail, though, I became furiously ashamed of it. I said nothing to my parents, who had gotten quite used to it, but when I went to school I pulled it forward and squeezed it between my thighs to stop its waggish commentary. At home I subjected it to horrors: sat on it, hung weights from it, clamped clothespins on it. I tied it to the doorknob and tried to run away from it. I failed, but I did manage, in time, to subdue its temperament, and to keep it coiled, barely twitching, in the seat of my pants. It even shrank a little, atrophied from lack of use. When I finally got it out and had a look at it for the first time in years at the end of high school, it lay limp and slightly damp across the palm of my hand like a part of someone else's body. I had to coax it to move, a nerve-wracking process like learning to wiggle one eyebrow, writing, or practising scales, after which I had to slouch into my bedroom to masturbate. In time, though, it came back to life.  
  It thickened and grew lithe. At night in bed it explored, violating me shamelessly. Every morning I had to perch on the sink and wash my dirty tail. My freshman year of college I fell asleep after a late night of study in my best friend's room. Sometime in the night we shoved the books off the bed, turned off the light and climbed under the sheets. I remember her hard back against mine. In the morning I woke up with a yellow highlighter marker under my right shoulder blade and an uneasy feeling. I slid my hand down and felt my tail; it was slightly tacky, and the longer hairs at the tip were stuck together. My friend rolled over and looked at me. I started explaining: my tail wandered in its sleep, I had no knowledge or control, it had happened to me many times, it should have occurred to me that something like this might happen one day, I should have kept my jeans on, I didn't mean it. I stopped. She gave me a long, strange look, her brows knit. What? I said. She plunged her arm under me, closed her fist firmly around my tail, rolled me onto my side, my back to her. Then she guided me inside her. I lay there staring perplexedly at the wall while she panted and strained behind me, sketching out a new world for me.