I can’t stop thinking about the “Sex Junk” video

Perhaps you’ve seen it.

This piece of sh*t is a week old and its faults have been thoroughly legislated by the internet commentariat at this point. I am not hauling this beast into the town square over my shoulder like it’s a fresh kill. I am just here to say… “Wow. can’t stop thinking about this thing.”

All week I have been laying in bed at my horrifying apartment getting devoured by scabies and unable to sleep, staring at the ceiling with this farting beat playing in my head, over and over. So much had to go wrong to make this happen.

People with authority had to hear the mic drop punch line “my sex junk is better than bagels with lox” at least a dozen times before the cameras were turned on—and nobody said anything. Before, during, or after. There was time. There was so much time.

The director, whom I assume came up in their career filming content for the QVC Network, tried to create a kinetic concert film experience and ended up producing a perfect simulacrum of a high-school auditorium midday assembly hostage situation, completely on accident.

An entire crew of professional filmmakers made the choice to stage this techno-wobble almost-dance with a minimum of set and props and a maximum of empty space, emphasizing flop sweat bleakness in absence of anything else. This was OK.

The editor, faced with a mountain of footage from this Nuremberg execution of a pop science presentation, decided it would be wise to incorporate the brief sequence of Bill Nye punching a laptop spacebar like he’s fucking Deadmau5, and no silent hero transferred that bit of footage from the edit to the trash.

Netflix, who put up the money for this and presumably had the ability to pull the plug, decided to go ahead with the delivery of its unviable baby, resulting in untold suffering for all who had to witness it. It was traumatic and unjust. Marriages were ruined.

William Nye, the scientist, did not watch the first 30 seconds of this and speedwalk TF to the parking lot for an unfiltered Camel and some perspective. This from a supposedly reasonable man. A man of science. A science guy.

The audience did what any of us would do in this situation—froze, stuck stock still and breathless, like innocents forced belly-down onto the cold tile of a bank during a robbery. They appear in this footage as our surrogates, damned avatars of douche chill. The backs of their unbobbing heads are haunting.

Ostensibly, I agree with pretty much everything and like everyone that’s going on here. That’s what makes this so uncomfortable. This is ostensibly a vision of a world I asked for, and it’s like looking in the mirror at your smile and seeing screaming Bloody Mary instead. I can’t stop thinking about this video. It is a curse that will outlive my mortal soul.

A Journey Through The Sandwiches—Grilled Chicken

On stage in a darkened theater, the audience a fair bit shy of halfway full, a dark-skinned dancer bathed in blue light gyrates silently inside a silver ring suspended in midair, her eyes obscured by a mask made of golden leaf. The play, in which she appears so far to be the only cast member, is called What if Nothing We Can Say Will Save Us. The program is a sheet of paper, cobalt black, with no text. Meant to be enigmatic, to me it mostly inspires curiosity over how much it cost to buy the ink to print all of the copies, considering that by its weight, printer ink is worth more than oil, gold, and human viscera. The show so far is not inspiring, but I maintain an open mind. Something compelled me here tonight, after all.

When the dancer crashes sickeningly to the floor, there are gasps throughout the audience, muted screams, and some even take hurried steps toward the stage with an aim on rendering some sort of assistance—but the eerie absence of a back of house response is suspicious enough to stay our urgency. Moments pass by agonizingly before the dancer is inevitably raised up, suspended in the air by a previously unseen cord, her body hanging limply but apparently unharmed. The tension dissipates, to the relief of many. Everyone reclines back in their seats. There is some grumbling, at least from me, at the amount of aggression toward the audience the play has demonstrated so far. A half-hour so far without dialogue, the movements of the actress barely motivated, no meaning to be divined in them at all, at least not without deploying the most tormented logic. I unfold the program again, reassuring myself that there’s really nothing there, at least nothing that I’m clever enough to get. I decide I’ve given enough of a chance to the production. No one protests when I leave.

I exit the theater and emerge onto an empty street, the rain-slick asphalt reflecting streetlamps and neon signs, their brightest points of light diffusing in the mist. Across the street, beneath the dark sky, the luminous sign of SONIC DRIVE-IN beckons like warm fire in the mist. I cross the road, avoiding puddles. It’s one of the ones with the rubber tables outside, where you can sit and enjoy your meal in the open air. The fluorescent light is not what you would call transgender friendly, but so be it. Through the speaker, I order a crispy Asiago Caesar chicken club sandwich, and cold water. The red wine from the theater bar I ordered for myself was cheap, bitter, and by now was giving me a headache—that, or the dreadful show.

My sandwich arrives and I consume it at the table, in small bites. It’s very dry. Asiago is a type of cheese, reminiscent of Parmesan, and if present within the sandwich is only so at levels undetectable. This is not a good version of the grilled chicken sandwich, but my body says that it will do. Too late to do anything about it, anyway. Everything is oversalted, covering a lack of flavor and finesse. I consider what it means that I’ve spent my whole night making bad decisions. At some point, one of the high schoolers sitting at the table across from me calls me a slur word for a gay man. I’m not sure exactly what I did to deserve that.

Photo Credit: Dairy Queen

Take a Cotton to Fantastic Slights

The first thing I did when the Son of God materialized in my living room one night was take aim right between his eyes with a Tec-9 submachine gun. “Put up your hands, creep,” I told him. He responded by hovering in the air with arms outstretched, emitting warm light.

“What in hell is the meaning of this?” I asked him. “You weren’t invited. You’re a goddamn vampire—I have to let you in.”

“Do you know in your heart that I am Jesus Christ?”

“I had a feeling. Nice robe. You’ve come to kill me, haven’t you?”

“I am here to wash away your skepticism; I’m here to welcome you into the light of the LORD. I exist, Sarah. I Am.”

He spread out his hands full wingspan, emitting a golden glow. A gust of wind scented with the air from a far-off beach ruffled my hair, stinging my eyes; songbirds trilled; all around me I could hear a celestial chorus, angel voices, harmonizing in a language that I had never heard.

After a moment of the strange sensations, I cleared my throat. “This is all very impressive, but seeing as how everything you’re doing can be done with illusive stagecraft and trickery, I choose to believe this is an elaborate prank. And also, felony trespassing.”

“I am your one choice for salvation!”

At which point my trigger finger shivered and I blew off Jesus’ head. He hit the floor like a twenty-pound sack of rotten Idaho potatoes. The glow went out of him like that.

“Oh, Jesus!” I shouted to the room, suddenly empty. There’s something about the violent death of the only other person in the room to make you feel acutely aware of how utterly alone you are. How open to attack you are by, say, an air-to-sea high holy missile, which will probably be arriving imminently, as soon as the G-man hears you’ve killed his son.

Which only raises further questions. How does this message get relayed? There’s no witnesses. Does he already know? They’re the same person. Oh my lord, what if I just killed them both?

I peeked out the window and saw the fabric of the world dissolving, ripping apart from itself like wheat in a thresher. “Oh, fuck,” I said. “I’ve destroyed reality.”

At which point I put down the machine gun and began to perform CPR on Jesus. Blood spurted from his lower abdomen, where three bullets penetrated him below the ribcage. A fourth took off part of his ear, and a fifth one went into his eye. The other eye was staring, unfixed, and I was like, this motherfucker’s dead. And as I was breathing a rescue breath into his mouth, it occurred to me, hell, he’s come back from worse, right? Rome killed him last time, and Rome was friggin’ brutal.

Which reminded me of the Resurrection. Of course. I dipped a finger into the ashtray and drew a crude crucifix on my forehead, hoping this would stave off any possible attack from the Undead Risen Christ. And then I took the machine gun back into my grip. Backed a chair into a corner. Peered out the window, from behind the curtains, carefully. Outside, stars were blinking out of the night sky, leaving nothing but a yawning dome of infinite black. Well, no takesies-backsies. Excepting a few beautiful flowers indigenous to the island of Japan, this universe sucked dick. As it collapses, I empty my clip into the once-sheltering sky. Thus we surfboard into nonexistence. Friends, I’m sorry. I am so, so sorry. I hope you have time to grab a Bud Dry before the end, here, and forgive me. I simply know not what I do.

Photo Credit: Getty

 

kill me violently with a machine gun

The following is a work of fiction. Free association. When real events are described, they are moments long past. Many things in the text did not happen. It conceals no greater urgency, and is uncomfortable to read. 

Rip me limb from limb. I deserve to be destroyed.

Kill me violently with a machine gun. Everyone deserves to be killed.

Paint the commons with my viscera. Blast my guts into the wall.

The first thing you need to focus on upon waking is your own destruction. Implore to others. Stab me violently with knives. Run me through with rusted spears and polearms. Throw me off a tall building, or a short one, onto spikes. Lay me down in dark traffic. Hold me underneath the water.

“Drowning,” the psychiatrist said to me across the desk, reading back my own words, from all those years ago. “That would be a good way to go.”

My mom was twisting awkwardly next to me, unsure of how to receive the news that her creation had spoken of its own demise quite earnestly, at some point, with the woman across the desk.

“Do you remember saying that?”

I smile, not meanly. “Yeah.” It’s the only thing that I remember, the aspect that makes the memory click. I’d forgotten I had ever been here, otherwise. I was on a lot of drugs the last time I came here. I’ve remained on drugs a lot.

These things happen. I don’t remember things. I get flashes. Vomiting wood and plant matter in the headlights of Joel Wynn’s car, somewhere. Some curb, some space of land that exists only in my memory as an island, ending at the reaches of its light source, only mystery beyond.

Kill me violently with a machine gun… everyone deserves to be killed.

My body twisting in the bed beside my mother, eyes open, half here, half out. Lights up and the lack of hurt, the pragmatism of what is to be done right now, a voice on the phone that I don’t understand, words from my mouth they can’t either. It’s all so incredibly funny.

Everyone deserves to die. Especially me.

I wake up in the king bed next to my mother, turned away from me across a barrier of blankets cold and thick. The room feels like my childhood, hermetically sealed. There is a serene chill to her bedroom. There always has been, and I wake up to it now, remembering nothing. I know that she is sad. I don’t remember anything. I don’t feel anything at all.

I won’t recall this episode until some years later, when she mentions it to me, the pills that I was eating on the floor, my disorientation on the phone call. “You didn’t even know who you were talking to.”

“What? When was this?”

Didn’t remember. She carried that for two years, I never carried it at all. I left it in the bed. To this day, I don’t remember what the phone call was about.

These are what you call your medical emergencies, these little stretches where you stick your fist inside your chest and start to pick at the walls of your heart, with chipped nails. You get somewhere beyond navel-gazing. Your hand is up inside you. Pulling. Wrenching. Kill me or come loudly. What do I want? What do I want? Am I going to goddamn find it in here?

A rising heat of anxiety attack. Look up out the window, in horror, at the trees. They live peacefully. Swaying in a gentle breeze. They are watching you die.

In the coffeeshop I avoid catching my face in a reflection and ask myself if I ever think I’m going insane. And then I sip my coffee. There’s a moment of clarity. I say “yeah”, aloud.

This sort of thing happens all the time. I am always coming back from it. Back from the bathroom floor, the precipice, the haze. Hey, you should kill yourself! No, not now, later, later, that comes later… Calm down.

You’ve got so much left to do.

Photo Credit: Weapons Man

entr’acte, exeunt, intracting

I am beginning to cocoon myself. Alone beneath the open sky I pull and pluck at disparate strings, thin to the point of nonexistence, barely matter, from the air, twining them between my fingers into thread. Unlike spider’s silk, my threads are coarse, peppered in color, irregularly shaped. The patterns of my weaving are rough to the eye and jagged to the touch. There is no elegance to my construction. It is miraculous, but that is all.

I begin with my torso, twining the threads about me upward and downward in turn, thickening the center of what will become my cocoon. I am protecting my most vital points; tight, but not uncomfortable, my chest and stomach press firm against the weaving when I breathe. I am beginning to imagine how the next few years will be.

I twine new threads down my left leg, straining against the bulk of what I’ve already created. Over hours I cover the limb, beginning with the fat part of my thigh. It feels less imperfect, more secure, inside the casing I’m creating. I resist the urge to tighten it; there must be room for bloodflow. I hope that time will make me smaller.

I wrap my second leg in thread and marvel at the reality of my creation. It is beginning to be difficult to imagine an alternate, prior existence. I am encased, I am myself. I must internalize the new reality, a mental readjustment proving easier, more automatic, than one might initially expect.

I begin my arms with apprehension; the more that I continue, the more difficult the work becomes to undo. There is a point that I will lose my ability to escape what I’m creating. This I consider, as I twine the tendrils down my forearm, asphalt gray and hardening.

In order to ensure that my cocoon will be impermeable, I now begin to wrap my head. I will finish the construction blind. It is the only way to ensure that my head will be protected; to secure the webs around my nostrils, ears, the fine contours of my face, I will need dexterity. It is difficult to decide what last to cover—my nose, my eyes. I seal my mouth without concern. There is nothing left for me to say.

Now I have become as like a being otherworldly, my shape wide and irregular, save for the flesh of my hands and feet, protruding from my stiffening sleeves as I commence the final step. This is the point of no return. I lay myself upon the ground and begin to bind my legs together, lashing them into a rigid plank, inarticulate. I wrap my feet to one another til they form a rounded tip. I wiggle my toes, and tighten.

The work grows harder as my body fatigues, but soon, it will all be over. I lash my left arm to my chest, and bind my fingers flat against my body. I place my right hand on my heart, using what little space remains between my other arm and chest to squeeze in my uncovered digits, these last five fingers of bare skin. The web will seal my hand, in time, inside the space beneath my other arm. The key to making it secure at all is to stay as still as I can be. The inexactness of the seal creates the weakest point of my cocoon, but is not so due to oversight. I stretch my fingers, and try to feel my heartbeat as it slows. In years’ time, I will need the space around my fingers slack, when I use my unbound hand, finally, to break free.

Photo credit: Zdzisław Beksiński

thunder clack

Low rumble overhead from clouds colliding in the night. Inside the cloud a woman hovers, naked, soaked, and screaming. She does not want to fall.

More swollen clouds butt heads adjacent to her porous vessel. The wind is swirling. The membrane tears with a great rising roar of release. She is falling down.

Bolts of lightning tear through space between the earth and sky, blasting down into barren rocks. Flashes of electric light illuminate her silhouette. She does not seem to be in motion, but each new image sees her lower still, drawing ever closer to the earth. Her hair wraps around her face and reaches for the disappearing sky. In the distance it looks peaceful; in her ears is wailing wind.

The night is cold and dark without the moonlight. Between the white-hot bolts, a plaintive rest. It’s almost not unusual, tonight, scored by rain falling in sheets dispersed.

There is no impact in evidence. No echo. Eventually assumed it must have happened. The rain continues. It becomes a violent storm. There is no body in the morning. No new pond or crater. No real witness to the end. No story to tell. Nobody clamoring to hear one. So this almost never happened. No storm. No clouds. No fall. The ripples of the impact touching no one that you know, at least. And in the morning, after all of this, the teardrops on the blades of grass that sparkle in the day’s first light are indistinguishable from dew.

Photo credit: Uh, this iPad mini case.

Another Fun Thing that We Could Do, IN SPACE

I hope that you’re enjoying the occasional lunchtime sandwich thing. I get fulfillment out of writing them—heck, it’s my pretty earnest hope that we’re all getting something out of it. Hungry, maybe.

Anyway, that’ll continue. But I’ve been brainstorming this evening, yes I have… some tornadic inspiration! This most blustery eve. We’ve figured out how to make the site a lunchtime hotspot. But what about the nighttime? What about… Twitter After Dark…?

I propose we do a nocturne journey through the art of space music. I don’t know shit about it. Neither do you. Let’s discover it together…

All… freaky-like…

…In the Dark…?

Youtube Rabbit Hole (Tell Me You’re Not Down With This): And the Stars Go With You

Photo credit: pics-about-space.com

I just wanted to get home

I was leaving the Walgreen’s after work and shuffling down the sidewalk toward my car. I just wanted to get home. I didn’t have a bag with me for what I’d bought: two jugs of tea, and a sort of meat snack, bacon jerky. I was overzealous, declining a bag. As I walked, I dropped a tea. Two liters of Arizona Iced Arnold Palmer’s Half and Half Iced Tea & Lemonade Zero Calorie, cracked open at the seal and sideways, spilling out onto the sidewalk, pooling at the edge of some kid’s shoes. His mom was standing with him, looking at something else. I saved what I could of the tea. I mumbled “sorry.” I lurched out into the parking lot, having saved more than half of the tea. It was just beginning to rain.