It had seemed, for a while, that he could live perfectly well without sexual contact, and he'd been surprised at how easy it was to kill that part of himself. But he'd soon discovered, much to his unpleasant surprise, just how strong was his need for simple human touch. The loss of that tore at him daily, troubled him both waking and sleeping. Sometimes, he would dream of a woman simply touching his cheek, or of himself holding her head against his chest. The woman in these dreams might be Judy or Linda, even Sharla; more often she was faceless, an abstraction of femininity.
Always, he would awake from those dreams with an overpowering sadness and the familiar knowledge that this deprivation could not be alleviated without the risk of further betrayal and the eventual certainty of absolute erasure. Both pains were too extreme to face again. Better, it seemed, just to let his soul die slowly, bit by lonely bit.