The Gland Incoherence

Has it been long enough to write this? It’s only taken me what, a year?

In all seriousness, there have been a mix of things keeping me away from the keyboard, from the unacceptable excuse of  laziness to an increased quality of my life (such an increase, in fact, that there have been no gripes to catalog). That said, one of the chief reasons is that this story is unpleasant; yes, most of my stories are unpleasant, but this one is worse. Sure, one could suggest avoiding it for the time being, but not only have I already postponed too many Gripes (don’t worry, Fini – we’ll complete your tale someday), there is an importance in getting this one out of the way early.

Because it’s nasty.

Whatever, enough build-up. On we go:

The Gland Incoherence

After a somewhat bizarre trip across the state of Oregon (we’ll get to this another time), fellow writer Funky and I found a temporary home in the apartment of our friend, Garrett. He was living on the second story of a popular downtown complex, splitting rent with a friendly middle-eastern man named Abdul (who soon, from a mixture of general discomfort and strange American antics, would be moving out). There we cooked slabs of fish in whiskey, slept in a sweaty pile atop randomly assembled mattresses, and chain-smoked enough cigarettes to personally incite climate change. In a simultaneously fun and impossibly bleak way, it was a perfectly enacted stereotype of the urban, white, twenty-something lifestyle –  communal, loud, directionless, indulgent, and somehow still quite lonely. Jolly Oswald was there, too.

On the second night of our stay, a tragically misinterpreted light appeared, something I took as a lifeboat to fight my grubby first-world emptiness with; this light was a young woman. Yeah, that’s where this grease-stain of a story goes. Good old unreliable Mack fucks it up again, combining his classic weakness with impossible ignorance and desperation that is (admittedly) often seen, though not usually implemented in such a catastrophic way.

Her name was Ysabelle. I mean it wasn’t; she went by Jasper, then revoked it (“call me by my real name,” she once asked me soulfully), then took back revoking it because fuck it. So we’re calling her Ysabelle. Just let that one slide.

She was an on-and-off nonbinary, hetero-but-sometimes-bisexual-polyamorous, semisexual nymphomaniac who was in love with two other people upon the time of meeting me (one of them being a trans woman who had recently reverted to identifying as male again, because they had just completed a stint in prison and wanted to fight for custody of their alienated children). Also, she was pretty nice. Also also, she had cervical cancer (this is important and you should remember it). Also also also, I’ve been thinking about giving up on this story ever since beginning this awful paragraph, but I won’t because it’s literally been a year since I’ve contributed anything to this literary pile of refuse.

The first night we met, she sat down on Garrett’s couch and told me that she had fallen madly in love with me. I asked her what made her so sure about this (we’d been talking to each other for about an hour, now), and she kissed me instead of answering my question, because it was both easier than improvising reasons behind a falsely proclaimed emotion, and I was too much of a shithead to ask for anything beyond spontaneous and rudimentary sensual gratification. That night, we slept in the same bed, but there was virtually no touching – though this detail may seem a little arbitrary, it left an incredible impact, as we were so immediately close and yet without a shred of intimacy. Beyond that first kiss, there was nothing.

Fast-forward a handful of days, and all of that would go tits-up.

See, roughly around the time of meeting her, I reacquainted with another young woman (don’t worry, she had a weird older boyfriend at the time, so this doesn’t quite go the predictable route, at least not immediately). Her name was/is/will likely remain Sofia, and I very much liked/like/will continue to like her. By like, I mean feel gross romantic things (I like her more than I dislike cherry candy, which is a really big deal if you understand how much I truly despise cherry candy, and also this is another thing you should keep in mind for later). When Funky and Oswald proposed we go and see Sofia, I was on-board in a way that lacked all subtlety and grace; witnessing the activation of my Attention-Seeking Vacuum, hindsight provides the understanding that Ysabelle was probably made nervous by this pitiful display of need, and opted to come along as a chastity belt rather than a guest. I was too dense to see this, as my empathetic skills had crash-landed at an record low, and I honestly believed it would be a wise idea to bring her along. It wasn’t.

Shortly after we reached Sofia’s house, it was painfully obvious where my attention would be for the remainder of our visit. Within minutes, Ysabelle had spread herself on Sofia’s living room couch, telling me that she was tired and wanted to take a break from all of the socializing. When I attempted to rejoin said socializing, she grabbed my pant-leg and drew me back to where she was lying, showing me a tattoo that ran the extent of her forearm. Terribly paraphrased by my garbage memory, it said “I was birthed from the rot and the flowers, and when I die I will at last rejoin them.” She told me the words bore great significance, but wouldn’t reveal what significance that was; when I asked again, she demanded that I admit my mutual love for her, and after I responded by saying nothing, it was her turn to repeat a question. I choked out something along the lines of “I don’t think so,” doubtlessly sounding like an intoxicated Muppet doing an impression of a deaf person trying to whisper across a stadium (this analogy solely exists to communicate my inability with tact, please don’t read into it).  The response I gave upset her, but I couldn’t really tell (refer back to that Muppet thing I just apologized for), so I went out with the rest of the squad to drink water that tasted like runny mud and was also a muscle relaxant. Jump to a couple of hours later, and we were back at the house, loosened up and acting like a bunch of assholes.

“I want to go back to the apartment,” Ysabelle said.

Feeling genuinely terrible, the cruelty of the situation hit me like Ron Jeremy’s wrecking ball. Though not enough, I was very remorseful, and offered to ride back on the bus with her (none of us drove at the time). On the way home, she shared much of her life with me, some stories truthful and others clearly fabricated, and all I could think was “I have ruined this person’s life,” which was admittedly an amazingly dramatic thing to be thinking, but it gets worse so hold on a second.

The events took place as follows:

We arrived at Garrett’s apartment, and nobody we knew was home. Abdul had some friends over, and they were playing a game in the living room, dance music pounding from a speaker near the balcony.  A sinking feeling filled my gut, sickening but difficult to explain, and I couldn’t keep my sight from locking onto my own feet.

Once we retreated into the bedroom, Ysabelle shut the door behind us and threw me a small bottle of lubricant. I almost dropped it, and when my eyes unlatched from what she had given me (I swear to God, I thought it was lip balm at first), she began to tear her clothes off like they were on fire. It looked like a bad eighties commercial, where a glam-rock girl with a pixie haircut and Member’s Only jacket is knocking shit off the shelf like it’s going out of style, and apparently this is supposed to be selling you Levi’s jeans. Only I didn’t want the Levi’s jeans that Ysabelle was selling me, so I stood there like a scarecrow and watched as my reality became a hilarious nightmare.

“I want you to fuck me,” she hissed, trying to tear my shirt off and scratching my back. Her nails reminded me of a movie poster I saw once, where a werewolf was ripping his claws through the screen, making this face like “I don’t give a shit, I’m breaking the fourth wall!” However, in this case, the fourth wall was the skin between my shoulder blades, and it wasn’t a Joe Dante film.

Soon enough, we were on the floor. “Put on the lube,” she was snapping at me. “Put on the lube.” I had never used lubricant before, and this whole ordeal was ludicrously weird, but I did my best to comply. Uncapping the container, I spilled way too much into my palm, and began mashing it inelegantly against my partially flaccid penis, the liquid far colder than I had anticipated, dripping onto the carpet and sheets beneath us. The scent of artificial cherry flooded into my nostrils, and I began to wretch, trying to pretend like I was stifling a cough as vomit threatened to eject from the back of my throat.

“Is it on?” she asked.

I tried to nod, propping the balance of my body onto one elbow and hurling the lube angrily across the room, the frigid sensation that once coated my balls transitioning into one of heat, awful stinging heat, as though the substance was attempting to drill into the follicles of my testicle hair. My thighs trembled and I began to sweat, but the combined tension and extremity of the moment prevented me from articulating this pain, so I said nothing.

“I shaved my pussy,” she gasped, her speech greatly worsening the sense of impending sick. “Put it in.”

Biting my lip, I began to enter her, but like all other happenings within this story, such an act did not go as planned. There was something inside of her, something bulbous and fleshy that was so large in size, it seemingly left a bulge in the skin above her groin. The sight and feel of it shocked me, and my mind returned instantly to her cervical cancer, my hand brushing over her skin in attempts to recognize what I was dealing with, the rough hairs of her shaved vagina scratching my open palm as I resisted the urge to break my own neck.  There was something wrong here, and although I was worlds away from being a sexual expert, it was all too apparent that this was a special sort of case.

Pulling back from her, I stood up, grabbing my underpants and sliding them on at lightning speed. Our gazes connected, and she too shot up, whipping a blanket like a cape about her shoulders and sprinting into the bathroom. Upon Garrett’s mattress, I sat alone, sliding back into my clothing and doing my best to ignore the stench which now filled his room.

When she returned, she was weeping. “I don’t know what you did to me,” she cried, holding out her bloody hands, squeezing her legs together with a tuft of toilet paper jutting out the front. “Do you have something?”

“Something?”

“An STD, do you have an STD?”

“No,” I scrambled for the right thing to say, fidgeting awkwardly in place. “I don’t. For sure I don’t.”

“Then,” she tilted her head down, shadows casting dramatically across her face in the shitty lamplight, “I think you found it. The cancer; you found the cancer.”

Although I have no clue how such a thing works, or if one is actually capable of “finding” cervical cancer with their botched erection, there was no doubt in my mind that whatever had just transpired was deeply wrong.

That night, once Garrett and Funky had returned, we all laid down together and watched an animated movie. After she had fallen asleep, I brought Garrett into the hallway and told him about what happened. He had been drinking something at the time, and upon gaining this information, pitched his cup against the plaster wall, glass shards and extra-pulp orange juice cascading through the air. “I care very much about her,” he said, stepping about the glass (we were both barefoot). “I haven’t told you this before, but when we first met, she told me that she loved me, and we also had sex too, and I also found the cancer.”

“What?”

He spoke frantically – “I mean I found it, the cancer. I found it, too. I touched it with my penis.”

I shook my head and he disappeared through a nearby doorway, quickly returning with some traffic cones he’d allegedly stolen. Setting them on either side of the mess, he clapped his hands together as though dusting them off, then headed back into the apartment. The cones, along with everything else, remained there unattended for days.

The following morning, we made coffee and sat out on the balcony. She was leaving to see her doctor soon, to discern if anything new and/or horrible had occurred inside of her body. I dumped a comical amount of Funky Mannequin’s raw tobacco into a rolling paper and nodded along, beginning the second stint of chain-smoking that would prove to rival the first. About halfway through my massive smoke, she proposed to me.

“Let’s just get married,” she said. “We love each other, we can just get married and go wherever we want to.”

Politely as I could, I declined, so she took a bus to Vancouver and asked the no-longer transgender parolee if he would like to marry her instead. He also declined, so she stayed in Portland and drank the baby to death.

Oh, you thought I was going to end on a funny line. No, that’s seriously it, that’s how this story ends.

Sorry, folks.

A drawing of Ysabelle, made shortly after our unfortunate encounter. Yeah, I know I’m an edge-lord, sorry.

 

Next Up: Seven Sinks And The Bridge Of Despair
And Maybe Then: The Unplanned Interference
And Eventually Someday: Acid-Master Reverend Stu’s Californian Romp
And Then Eventually Someday Somehow After All That: 260 Miles: The Borderline Homoerotic Tales Of Traveling Way Too Far On Foot And Getting Ticks On Your Nutsack

Obscured Social Pursuits

Within the parts of the world where infrastructure is secure, food abundant and the people free, many become concerned with trivialities. These largely superficial concerns of the educated and well fed masses take on a bizarrely disproportionate value. Some of the concerns are rooted in legitimate grievances, such as gay rights and institutional sexism. Those are serious problems that infringe on the quality of many people’s lives. The strange thing that seems to so often occur within the affected communities of these issues is a total abstraction of the real intention and point of it all. Instead of seeking to create a just and reasonably equal society where people are not punished for characteristics beyond their control, many people want to be specially recognized and given exemptions to various conventions of society. Now none of this is true for all of the people involved with these matters, but there is a significant enough group of these demanding individuals that I believe it merits attention. Now when making observations on these people’s behaviors it is tempting to simply dismiss them or address them rudely for the sake of comedy, a fair impulse given the often unintentionally comedic nature of their exploits. However this is not a productive means of accomplishing anything, to aggravate the “community” of particular righteous individuals in such a way would only serve to strengthen their misplaced ideals and stall any effort to amend their approach to social justice. Now the people of which I speak have no official structure, they can be found anywhere. They do not have any consistent forms of identification. The thing that makes them distinct is their bizarre and often unproductive approach to the various social inadequacies present in industrialized and civil societies. Instead of seeking unification and all embracing appreciation for all people regardless of their condition, they want very explicit identifications for themselves and public acknowledgement of their unconventional behaviors/thoughts/beliefs/interests. Many of the things they claim to seek affirmation for are simply false constructions, likely made to make the individual feel special. They will demand ridiculous things such as “LGBTQFOCHZ only spaces” or to include imaginary pronouns on official documents such as licence and job applications. When these demands are not met or people refuse to recognize their fantasies as reality they often retaliate with anger and extreme self righteous indignity. The trouble with these types of people is their insistence that they are fighting for legitimate social issues. This makes it difficult to decry their absurd arguments as doing so would make you seem a bigot. I believe it is essential to end this immature behavior as it inhibits genuine progress. If genuinely bigoted people choose to do any research on the matters of their contempt they will likely find an abundance of this insincere and provocative trash. This encourages negative attitudes towards oppressed groups and no positive change occurs. I have seen in my personal circle of acquaintances some disturbingly misogynistic opinions inspired by the aggressive and misguided actions of radical feminists. Every person is responsible for their own thoughts and actions, I do not seek to blame feminists for sexism or convoluted pronoun users for trans-phobia. Nonetheless if you are a part of a minority group and you choose to be exceptionally public with your thoughts and ideas about social justice issues, you must expect people to take some notice and to form opinions on what you say. The more radical and obscene your message, the more radical an opinion people will have. Instead of seeking to further divide humanity with the addition of sixteen different genders and extra bathrooms for queer students in schools and a myriad of social distinctions and denominations for the fantastical imaginings of one’s identity, let us embrace ourselves for what we truly are, human. Gender and sexuality are legitimately inconsequential. Rather than make these things the center of our highly individualized identity we ought to consider them unimportant and natural characteristics. Recognize each other for the beauty of our ambitions and ability to love. Doing so will overcome all unnecessary animosity and strife. Love and honesty are the true means to a fulfilling existence.

Floor-Sleepin’: Ep. 2 – The Perfect Pussy

It was Sunday, November 30. A friend of mine, Branson, had come to collect me so we could venture into downtown for some jolly co-operation. Initially, we had plans to go to a sword shop… because why else would Branson want to go downtown except for the chance to gawk at lethal, sharp metal sticks.

Branson’s initial intention was to show up early, to be my alarm clock, as we like to say, and force me awake so we could embark on our metropolitan escapade. I had already been up since an ungodly early hour (as is the nature of floor-sleepin’) and was the one telling him to get up.

We made our way to his house to kill time and wait for another friend, Kyle, to not show up. He wanted to go at the mention of “sword shop”, then proceeded to take a shower, after which, he informed us that he was going to sleep instead.

We headed into downtown, bundled up against the cold and incessant wind. Downtown Portland plays host to a thing referred to as The Saturday Market, where people peddle their wares and food trucks congregate. We parked, paid, then set out to find this sword shop. It was a bit smaller than expected and was stocked with an assortment of various weapons that I wouldn’t trust Branson with. There were actual swords, assorted knives, flails, and other such dangerously named items, along with replica Master Swords that pined for our wallets to empty themselves.

After perusing for a few minutes and deciding our money best be spent elsewhere, and definitely not on regret, we left to check out the rest of the hipster bazaar. We chatted and explored, hoping maybe we’d run into somebody we knew.

At one point, I remembered something I read online: Oregon is the most booziest state in the country. I mentioned this to Branson as we were walking at which point, apparently, the words “this place” were spoken, and one of our fellow pedestrians figured this would be a good opportunity to regale us with a tale that was smoldering a profane hole through their teeth. A Russian woman with short hair wearing a coat that looked a little too big for her and a scarf, who I shan’t name mostly do to the fact that I’m a bit scared of them finding this post, turned and asked us a question:

“Can you answer something for me?”

“Um, sure.”

“Why would anyone in their right mind cut their dick off?”

Initial reaction to laugh stifled, I replied with a half-hearted “Ummm… I do not know.”

She went on to elaborate: She had seen, I think/hope to all hell, a video of a man getting his genitals cut off and reshaped into a vagina. This baffled, and assuredly, disturbed her. However, the end result was apparently a sight to behold. She called it… “the perfect pussy.” She described it in vivid detail as to the size and shape of it and its lack of hair. She couldn’t get over it. She had seen the perfect pussy. I thought maybe the subject of the video was getting a sex change/were transsexual. She asked if we knew what they called a person who would do such a thing, to which I replied “transsexual,” but she already had an answer:

“‘Fags.’ We call them ‘fags.'”

Russia must be really weird because that’s not how we use that word…. Which I guess makes The UK even weirder, I guess. Regardless…. This is where things get even more Portland. The woman tells us that she is a filmmaker and she has made music videos for bands like Guns N’ Roses (which I’m pretty fairly kinda certain that she hasn’t) and she was wondering if such a “spectacle” would be good to include in her next video. Heh, heh… NOPE. I suggested that the shock value would make it rather interesting to which she agreed. Branson pursued the music video angle a little further and asked her what sort of work she had done and asked where to find it, if she maybe had a business card. She gave us the name of a supposed YouTube account (I pulled my iPhone out to type it in, because “Oh, holy shit, if this was for real,” but Branson strongly suggested I put it the fuck away) which I later tried to find, but no cigar.

She eventually, thankfully, finished what she had to say, and bid us farewell. Deciding that we’d had enough of Portland for one day, weeks even, we headed back to his place to unwind and warm up, but not before stopping at Fire on the Mountain for some tater tots.

[Next: Ep. 3 – The 2nd Annual MacBook Pro Shitting of the Bed]

Babies Don’t Care

I recently read a blog post by a genderqueer individual. I went into the essay with a large amount of skepticism (I mean, come on, the title was “Forced Femininity Saved My Life: One Genderqueer on Male Privilege“), but it ended up being pretty awesome. It was about the individual (born a girl) identifying heavily with men and taking on the male roles in society (both good and bad), but having an abusive, insecure, mentally ill, cheating father as their primary role model. They took on all the father’s traits, and believed that they had to overpower the women in the family, and be a huge douche bag like daddy. Once the person’s father left the family for another woman, and once the author hit puberty (thus being “forced into femininity,”) they came to realized the shitty, shitty human being they would have been (and how they would have probably been arrested and/or institutionalized for their behavior) if they had been born male, after all, and if their father had stuck around. The article becomes an important message about how disadvantaged men are in society, from how emotionless they are supposed to be to how they are charged/prosecuted for domestic abuse in comparison to women.

However, my skepticism was rewarded in the beginning. Title aside, the introduction nearly completely turned me off the post:

“One hot July day in New York City, 1990, I was born a child. I was pulled from my mother’s womb and I was examined. I was determined to have a vagina. It was declared on my certificate that my mother, woman, and my father, man, had given birth to a baby girl. That was the first experience of the life-determining effects of American society’s gender binary, swaddled in pink, not blue, certainly not purple or some other, more ambiguous color. Pink. Moments out of the womb and before even receiving my name, I was being wrapped in gender.”

Everything about it made me shudder. “Determined to have a vagina,” specifically, really got me going. It’s a completely unnecessary, self-absorbed way to say that the person was born with a whispering eye. While a technically correct statement, it doesn’t take a whole lot of research or observation to see if a babbs has a dick, a cunt, or both.

While I’m nitpicking, being born with a vagina wasn’t the “first experience of the life-determining effects of American society’s gender binary.” The person doesn’t remember being born; nobody does. The first experience sounds like it should have been hitting puberty, because their entire life up until that point, the person had been raised like a man by the father, and didn’t give a single care about gender.

As a whole, one of my largest gripes is that babies don’t give a shit about blankey color or what’s tucked between their legs. That isn’t what they’re screaming their heads off about. What upsets them is the fact that they were just evicted from their cozy cave, the lights are way too bright, and they don’t have the words to express how startled they are.

The color is for the parents to have something to go off of. Now, of course, “It’s the parents’ problem for forcing the child to conform to the sex they were born with!” But what in the hell are parents supposed to do? Read the child’s mind? Know instinctively from the get-go that their child, while born a female, identifies more with men? Purposefully give them an androgynous name so the child may determine in several YEARS which gender they are?

I don’t harbor a disgust for folks who don’t feel comfortable in their own bodies. I sympathize; that has to fucking suck. Living your life feeling like a stranger to your downstairs must be confusing, itchy, humiliating, and more. It takes a lot of self-reflection to figure out who you really are, and being genderqueer doesn’t help with that. But there is a point where the self-reflection becomes self-inflating, and the author of the article crosses that line, even if just by a hair in comparison to the folks on, say, Tumblr.

After the intro, the author suddenly gets it together. The article becomes a worthy read. They even go on to say, “I was born a normal, healthy girl.” Was that so bad?