I was in the library a few days ago when I began reading a demon-erotica book.

Illustration by Bella Shah.

Wait, that’s misleading. It was a demon-human erotica book, not your plain old demon-demon erotica book. Well, that’s pretty misleading, too. Let me explain. I was in a nice comfy chair in the library, reading my math textbook; at least, I was trying to read my math textbook, because math authors love to make their books intricately dull. So, to combat my boredom, I picked up a nearby book, and it turned out to be about demon-human love.

Now, you probably have a lot of questions. The first being, of course, is the book available for checkout? To my knowledge, it is, unless the weird guy who was reading over my shoulder and breathing loudly took it. I won’t tell you the specific library it is in because I don’t want to embarrass the head librarian or whoever authorized the purchase of this book. However, I will say it is in the rather ugly-looking one, straight in the back and to the right.

Of course, more conservative readers will probably want to know why such a crude book is in a University facility, why John McCain wasn’t elected President and where their guns are. But in the book’s defense, it rescued me from an awful afternoon of math reading. Have you ever tried to read a math book? It’s more boring than public television. Math is the awkward friend who you had to sit with on the bus or at the lunch table, back when we had buses and lunch tables and friends. (Note: this also applies to Math majors.)So was I relieved when I picked up “Pleasure Unbound”? Let’s just say it was like being released from a jail cell, which had a length and width of x feet and a height of y – 4 feet, and in order to make bail I had to calculate how many would fit inside a blue whale.

The book was interesting, to say the least – barring setting, plot, character development, narration, imagery and rhyme scheme, all of which I didn’t pay much attention to because I skipped to the erotic parts. But it was particularly extraordinary because the author made demon anatomy just like human anatomy. This is, of course, imperative to a romance novel, as you really can’t write about human-goldfish love or some other mixed-species story. To me, it was a completely new idea, and it raised some important questions.

Let’s say for argument’s sake that Heaven and Hell actually exist and there are demons in Hell who are physically like you and me, although a bit nastier in the head. Does this mean there are toilets in Hell that demons and humans share? It very well could. Suddenly, Hell doesn’t seem so bad, because you would at least have access to a bathroom every now and then. Though rather than toilets, there would most likely be Port-O-Potties that the demons tip over when you’re inside.

Also, consider the evolutionary ramifications. Could demons be a more complex hominid, one that can read minds and fly and torture things creatively? Should we, as humans, want to be demons, even though we traditionally frown on them because we can’t fly ourselves? These are all intriguing questions, and not readily answerable. I must have mulled over them for a long time because when I looked up from the book, the people in the surrounding chairs had left, presumably to inform the library staff I had smuggled in a naughty book. The library was also closing.

Not that I was embarrassed. In fact, I was glad to have happened across the novel. It made me think differently about demons, Hell and what constitutes literature. And I think that’s what they mean when they talk about the Michigan Difference. So to those naysayers, and anyone else who frowns on paranormal romance, I say this: Can you help me with my math homework? It’s still not finished.

Will Grundler is an LSA freshman.

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