The final installment of "The Voyeur Mafioso" will be posted tomorrow. I am currently working on a collection of short stories, so to whet your appetite, I posted my favorite to this blog in installments.
Writing this story has been a labor of love. With this particular work, I've gone through a minimum of twenty separate drafts, and almost constant fine tuning along the way. This is my first attempt to make my main character an unreliable narrator. He justifies and rationalizes his vocation immediately, but one gets the sense he may be lying to himself. I'll leave it up to you to determine how you will perceive of him.
The story is also an attempt at a feminist narrative. We live in a world where certain men routinely violate women's boundaries. The deliberately unnamed protagonist may not find the content he records especially arousing or sexually charged, but he carries water for those who do. His hard work and the risk involved give him a kind of clinical detachment. He's a cog in the machine and knows it, but also is resigned to his fate. He was a failure and an underachiever earlier in his life. Now his life has some purpose, though the audience may find it deplorable.
The fact that an organized crime syndicate is funding these sorts of acts is crucial. It confirms that a black market exists for the content they peddle, and that what is clandestinely sold is in fact illegal and immoral. But before we stake a claim to the high ground, we must consider the world in which we now live. With the rise of the Internet and related technology, real privacy is becoming sparse.
Many people take risks by recording graphic videos and pictures. I'll go a step forward and say that there is a chance some of mine are floating around out there, too. As so many do, I posed and primped for past relationship partners, sometimes at their request, sometimes because I enjoyed the ability to seduce someone who meant a lot to me.
I don't suppose this is a comfortable read for anyone, but it was never written as such. Every detail is presented through the perception of one person. We have to trust his judgment, which as we know is called into question. He may be lying to us, the readers, and the rest of the world. In a purely first person account like this, there are no other characters to balance out the rest of the plot. Either we accept his reality, or we reject it.
Are these the ramblings of a chronic liar and deplorable person? Or, do you pity him and feel sorry for his lot in life? There are no right or wrong answers.