Miss Estelle Irtin
Outward appearanceLarge woman in her early 30s. X Files T-shirt, tie-dyed gown, leather coat with Indian fringe. Generally pugnacious air, softened as she reads a leather-covered book.
Inside informationSince 1991, Estelle has been in love with Saddam Hussein. The Saturday Independent ran a photograph of him swimming. His delighted smile seemed to stare up at Joy itself, his bare shoulders promised an exotic body . Estelle desires his olive skin, his dark and dancing eyes, his cheesy grin. Saddam makes Estelle feel like a loosened girdle.
Her husband used to masturbate at night next to her when he thought she was asleep. He was small, pale, and pretty, and left her for a man. She became obsessed with Saddam: his terrible childhood, his beatings with tar-covered sticks. Part of her thinks she could make him good through love, kissing his closed eyes. Part of her can see his penis, very clearly.
What she is doing or thinkingEstelle has found a rare volume -- The Wit and Wisdom of Saddam Hussein . This is one of the jokes: what is that a rich man keeps wrapped in cloth, but a poor man throws away? Answer: the results of a blown nose.
Saddam called his secret police The Apparatus of Yearning. That is tattooed on Estelle's smooth, white arm. His political prison was called the Palace of the End. He made building-size statues of broken hearts. People paint portraits of him in their own blood, out of devotion.
At home, Estelle has a canvas waiting, a brush and razor blade.
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