Or, Still More For Nothing
I tried to groan, Help! Help! But the tone that came out was that of polite conversation. – SB
To the youth of the world, gazing toward me, awaiting tips on sexual success: be extremely wary of anyone with a fetish for playing barbershop.
His pants were around his ankles; he had an uncapped bottle of poppers in one hand and electric clippers in the other. To my credit, I did think, “Is extreme arousal the best time to give or receive a haircut?”
By the time the poppers wore off he’d shot his load. I had no hair.
I am upset because I am on the verge of having nothing. Ditto being.
What’s next? Shall I rage against the sun? Or time – that’s a good one!
Idiocy is believing special rules have been made, and just for you. The
compensation is feeling part of the popular crowd. So tremendously
The stripper boys this evening are more attentive than ever. It used to be obvious I’d be getting it elsewhere for free. Now – not so much.
The black muscle hunk arrives to breathe on my neck. He wants me to buy a private dance. Optimistically speaking, it is entirely possible that I could die before it came time to pay. And die happy.
Some people rely on virtue. Personally I find that being broke, while not nearly so glamorous, is vastly more reliable. For goodness it helps to be broke.
A cap of dark stubble and a bushy gray beard. Although I have occasionally acted like a crazy person, and very frequently felt like one, this may be the first night I have actually looked the part.
Aside from when I wore a bandanna and a ponytail and then I was 18 and thus, I hope, excused.
Am I excused?
That is all right. I did not expect to be.
Life is random and appears so. Absolutely everything is accident and
chance. Everything except bad luck, which has been meticulously, even
divinely, designed and tailored to oneself. This particular pimple,
exactly now. This latest arrogant cuss who has divined those few perfect
cruelties to which one is not yet inured.
With such precision our infections are embroidered! For each small
opening, exactly the right despair. A job by chance, a random marriage,
and suddenly here it is: the perfect cancer.
After we’d been out all evening – first to coffee, then to dinner – my aunt turned to me in the car and broke the news, “People find your gentleness disconcerting.”
Gentleness gets out of hand and runs roughshod over my life.
Guillame has some requests. He would like to kidnap me, knock me unconscious, and abuse me. His daily emails are just full of ideas!
There’s a problem however. Guillame is very shy and entirely tenderhearted. He’s going to need a lot of guidance if he’s ever going to be a halfway passable kidnapper and assailant.
The only abuse Guillame can think of is forcing me to suck his cock (Guillame you evil monster!) but then I suggest that he is welcome to punch my chest and slap me in the head as well. He promises to try.
G. regrets to inform me that the walls of his apartment are very thin so that, while he hopes I’ll put up lots of resistance (until the washcloth soaked in imaginary chloroform) actual screaming is out of the question. “Moaning is probably OK,” writes G.
I assure him that I will put up plenty of fight. And curse him under my breath.
We here at the Bureau of Truth and Misinformation would like to attest,
again, that it is possible to feel at the same time totally lucky and
I may be nobody with nothing and no chance of much but that doesn’t
mean I’m not grateful, grateful as anyone would be who has all that I
This elderly man in his floppy hat in the chair across from mine – for the last hour he’s been penciling his Sudoku as he gums a cookie. Now I look and he’s struggling with the thick plastic wrap on a bottle of poppers.
Unnecessary to mention, really, that the cafe is in Montreal.
Are poppers actually legal in Canada? Or is it in the gray area, i.e. the cops have better things to do than bust gay guys who like to self-administer small doses of brain damage while masturbating?
He doesn’t look like he’d survive a whiff, the shaky old duffer. Perhaps he intends to pop a Viagra and self-deliver.
He pick pick picks at the hard red plastic wrap. This is a very fashionable cafe. A croissant is nearly six bucks.
I remember my pal Vito in Bangkok who tried to pry the cap off a bottle of poppers with his teeth till the whole damn thing exploded and took an incisor as well as two in the back.
Finally I say to the duffer, “That plastic sure is tough, isn’t it? I can never do that!”
But the old man wants no part of me or my help. Is he making progress now? What happens when he gets the cap off?
Sometimes I can almost hear them, the voices whispering. Should we tell
him? Absolutely not! A little even, just a smidge? No, he must know
Which is a punishable offense in New York, Amsterdam, and Rome.
Which is generally looked down upon, even in those areas in which it is officially tolerated.
Which is welcomed only in minor places, in West Bengal and Laos and certain parts of Oregon.
Which is not only onerous to the general public, but burdensome above all to he who is afflicted with it.
Which used to be acceptable for women. Not anymore.
How this guy managed to sneak up on me, here in the video room at the Oasis Baths, I have no idea. Considering that he is wearing enormous rubber galoshes and gigantic rubber bib overalls, overalls so big he has enough room to put both his arms inside to beat off.
I’m not sure what his fantasy is, exactly – but it seems to mean a great deal to him that I will even tolerate it in my vicinity.
I think I’m supposed to press myself against him – though how he can feel anything at all inside all that rubber is a mystery to me.
As I watch he takes out his delicate penis and thwacks it against the rubber, pleased as a boy with a paper clip. He is not old but his hair is colorless; he wears glasses and seems overwhelmingly sad, as is appropriate for a man indoors dressed for a cataclysmic storm.
It upsets me that I must always understand exactly nothing. Why can’t I know a little? Would it interfere so much if I was given even the slightest inkling of the plan?
BACK TO TWO
A thing that is difficult: to pretend you are unconscious while a hairy film student crawls naked over you and shoves his thick tongue in your mouth.
You can try it yourself or you can just take my word for it.
The game he wanted: I’m a mean jock looking for a room to rent. I show up late and look bored as I sniff around his messy basement room. I need a place where I can bring my girlfriend.
As I sneer toward the bathtub he attacks me from behind. We grapple against the wall until he whispers, “You’re losing control.” Agreeably I slump to the floor.
I’d recognized the problem as soon as he’d answered the door. My assailant had the body of a baby bear and eyes like Jesus.
I felt absolutely totally safe.
How difficult it must be to be Guillame. Anytime he mutters, “Gonna fuckin’ rape yer ass in an alley”, the victim pipes up, “OK sure whatever! I know just the alley! Private yet atmospheric! OK to bring a blanket?”
Naturally even while playing dead I’m worrying, am I doing it right?
Stockholm Syndrome sets in early. Slipping in and out of mock unconsciousness we fight, I cry, I plead for mercy, but then things get out of hand, deteriorate, and soon we’re making out like a couple of lovestruck puppyboys.
Oh, terrible, tyrannical and relentless gentleness, don’t you see how we suffer? To all our attempts at perversity, tenderness adheres like lice. Why, in the name of depravity, can’t you give us a ten minute vacation? Let us be as awful as the world, as bad as the weather.
Guillame brandishes the washcloth soaked in imaginary chloroform. Just one more time, he says. Please? Play dead.