68

foreword to a memoir never written

Sorry in advance that this book isn’t good, or technically a book, and sorry for this apology. I know you’re not supposed to do this shit, in life or in writing—it gives a bad first impression. Plus the problem of, if you point out some fault, then you’re guaranteeing that people will notice it, when before there was at least a chance they might not have. Like when I ask people if they’ve noticed how my hair has started thinning at the crown—their first answer is always no, until I bend over and point it out to them. So apologizing for a fault upfront completely defeats the purpose, at least for trying to attract people—better to surprise people with your flaws later on, once they’re invested in you / your story—but, like I’ve mentioned, this is not a good book. I just have to be honest.

And sorry for doing the whole self-deprecating thing, but it’s all I have.  I guess you could argue that by saying this upfront I’m trying award myself a “Get Out of Jail Free” card for any bad reviews that might come since, hey, I already admitted this sucks.  If some other author did such a thing, I know I’d be annoyed. I also know I’m extremely hypocritical.

So yeah, it’s bad, but you can stop reading at any time. Go ahead.

All my thoughts have counterthoughts. Yeah, I hate myself more than you can imagine, but I’m also narcissistic enough to pretend nobody will be able to stop reading this. So I’m constantly trying to eat my cake and have it too, if you get what I mean.

Probably I should have started in media res with my decision to kill myself, or maybe in the hospital after my overdose. Then I’d flashback and describe my fucked-upness chronologically in the form of tragicomic anecdotes, climaxing with a return to the night of my suicide attempt.

(I wish you’d succeeded, I imagine some of you thinking, again trying to have it both ways since—even though I’m imagining some of you hating me—I’m still imagining many people reading this.)

I’d conclude by discussing my triumphant recovery, how everything’s much better now. But things aren’t that much better—at least they don’t feel that way.

I warned you, this is not a good book.

279

It’s a poorly-understood addiction because it’s relatively rare, and often overshadowed by the sex addiction that can accompany it. In my case, I’m more of a “bodily fluid addict” than a “sexual fluid addict,” but obviously there’s a ton of overlap.

(To me, the fluid doesn’t matter—just the person that the fluid is from.)

The same way winos will debate the merits of chardonnay or stoners will drone on about indica and sativa, I have a strong preference about the source of my high. When I taste the body fluid of someone I don’t care for, not even the sweetest drop of cum could get me off. It’s bitter, salty, bleck.

When it comes to the body of someone I‘m attracted to, though, someone I want to be with? I will literally eat their shit.

(Well, blend and drink it.)

The feeling I’m after—the high I get from the fluids of the most desirable—it’s beyond orgasmic. More like oxytocinogenic, like being hugged by the whole world. It’s feeling needed for once—same way you desperately need the bodily fluids.

#

I tried to stay normal, keep my addiction within the confines of swapping spit and swallowing loads with guys I’d date anyway. And maybe I could have, if I myself were more desirable.

It’s like that movie Shame—sure he gets to fuck all the time, he’s Michael Fassbender. What about the ugly, small-dicked sex addicts?

The rare times I did find a guy, I’d ruin it. Like last time. We had a great first date, at least I thought. When he kissed me goodnight, his spit had a mild cherry-vanilla flavor and I trembled, suddenly rock hard.

We were going to have a second date, but he kept rescheduling, and rescheduling, and rescheduling. Always some issue with his two jobs or dying grandmother, allegedly.

I couldn’t handle being denied, ended up pounding on his bedroom window in the rain, asking what had happened, what was wrong.

Thankfully he wasn’t home.

#

After that I found Brent on Craigslist.

For a vial of sweat (I bought him the vials), all I have to do is watch him play my PS4 and smoke my weed, which I probably would have done for free, because he’s so hot.

(He rings the sweat out of his clothes after gym class, letting it drain through the funnel I also bought him into the small vials.)

Sometimes he’ll talk, which is great, because he’s charming as hell. Sometimes I’ll even feel needed when he asks me where to go next on whatever game of mine he’s playing.

Today his athletic shorts are clinging in all the right places, and I’m jonesing hard. I mention that I’m hungry and offer to order us a pizza. Gazing at his jawline, his pecs, his bulge, I ask him, “What would I have to do for an extra vial today?”

“I’m out of sweat,” Brent says, with his usual smirk. “But if you grab me a beer, I’ll have some piss for you.”

I lick my lips in anticipation. The last time I drank Brent’s piss I could almost feel him inside me in every way possible, filling me up and making me better while somehow simultaneously completely accepting me for who I am. I came everywhere.

Smiling back at Brent, I say, “I’ll get us some 40s.”

586

“it’s okay, I almost never come”

 

1

I have talked myself into liking him, because he’s the only out gay dude in my grade. We’re sitting in the top row of an empty movie theater kissing badly when, overcome with adrenaline, I unzip his fly and pull out his cock with its giant mushroom head. I put it in my mouth, bob up and down a few times. Afterwards, feeling like a bad-ass, I ask him how I was, and he complains that I used teeth. I don’t know what I say next, just how ashamed I feel.

 

2

He is my first boyfriend, and we (I) paid his older sister twenty bucks to drop him off since we can’t drive yet.  (My parents are gone, I don’t know where.)  This is the day we’re going to finally Do It.  I have wanted to get it over with since we started going out, which reminds me of how my mom would gripe that I spent my allowance as soon as I got it. (Except it’s not money that’s burning a hole in this pocket, eyyo, barf.)

We are both technically virgins, but his sister gave him a condom so he puts it on anyway. I try not to think about how much bigger his dick is than mine and relax. He stands at the side of my bed as I pull my legs into the air, and we both say “I love you.” I have practiced on myself before, with small flashlights drenched in hand lotion, but this is overwhelmingly more. There’s so much pressure, pain, and then he’s inside as I feel impossibly full like I’m going to shit all over both of us. Thankfully I don’t.

Eventually it feels nice, or I tell myself it does. Finally I start to get tired and ask him if he can hurry up and finish.  I don’t know what we do next or how the day ends, but I remember taking the strangest dump afterward, globs of hand lotion and a streak of red.

The next time I’m in therapy, I wait til almost the end of our fifty minutes to say, oh by the way we finally had sex.  My therapist looks briefly disappointed in me. I tell him about the blood, and he’s like, “Yeah, that’ll happen.”

 

3

Weeks later this same boyfriend and I “sneak into” his dad’s house. (He has a key, but we want to feel dangerous.) He’s in a hurry―maybe his dad’s about to come home, I don’t remember― and has me lie face-down on the living room carpet. He pulls down my pants and while I wait, exposed, he runs to get hand lotion and lubes himself up. Then he’s in me and I don’t feel very good, and when he’s done I go into the bathroom, ostensibly to wipe but actually to cry.

Later we talk about it and I tell him how I cried because I felt evil and/or like I didn’t want to Do It anymore. He tells me in a tone of “oh you shop there, too?” how he was also upset that day, wondering if he was maybe straight.

 

4

Lotion and cum and bizarre clumps of shit.  Sometimes on the toilet, I pretend I’m a girl having her period.

398

I am so psyched to be stoned, so fired up to head inside and write.

But first, I have to do a couple things:

  1. Obviously need to put the bat back in the dug-out
  2. Put the dug-out back into the Ziploc with the extra weed and seal it tight
  3. Put that Ziploc another, larger Ziploc, along with the lighter and the grinder
  4. Smush the air out of the large Ziploc, close it and jam it into my pocket for the perilous, probably very smelly walk (I can’t smell, so I have no idea—all of this is guesswork prevention), past my sleeping parents, to my bedroom
  5. Once inside, quickly shut the door, take the Ziploc from my pocket and place it inside a zippable laptop sleeve that’s too small for my laptop and was just sitting on my bookshelf waiting to hide something illicit
  6. Check my shorts pockets for debris and pull pockets inside out to deodorize
  7. Remove my stinky shirt and shorts, but leave them in separate rooms [i.e. one in the bedroom, one in the bathroom] so their smell hopefully won’t coagulate
  8. Immediately run to the bathroom to wash my hands twice and then my face, and if it’s the first smoke of the day, brush my teeth (otherwise use mouthwash, with the faucet running so it doesn’t sound like I’m using mouthwash, although the other day I realized serendipitously that the mouthwash in my bathroom was the “dry mouth” mouthwash I’d previously needed for medication side effects and now could use for cottonmouth as well as breath prevention, so, even if I’m one day confronted (post-smoking) about the mouthwash, I’ll have that explanation)
  9. If it’s daytime, shower and put on new shirt, new-ish shorts; if it’s nighttime, just new underwear
  10. Pet the dog lying on your bed (usually when high I’m very into petting my dog, who suddenly seems like such a perfect and blameless creature, which has the positive side effect, I’m assuming, of making myself smell more like dog, and less like weed, and therefore be less detectable to my parents; not that my entire bed doesn’t smell like dog anyway already, I guess)
  11. Attempt to write, which was the ostensible reason you smoked—to spark your creativity (you’re not going to write)
  12. Go to sleep, continuing your trend of being in bed almost the entire day (I lie in my own filth on my laptop, pretty much bed-ridden like someone in a hospital… Except I at least go to the bathroom on my own (although I rarely stand, because when I sit, not only can I read, there’s always the chance that I’ll poop and thereby lose a little bit of weight))

146

Are we still texting or not?

I don’t know why you won’t just settle this. It’d be so easy. If you say goodbye, make it clear we’re done talking, it’s not like I’ll be mad at you for cutting our conversation short. Even though that’s what you’ll accuse me of being mad about later.

No, that’s not what upsets me at all. It’s this lack of resolution after waiting for hours with a circus in my stomach.

All you’d have to say is “goodnight” or “talk to you tomorrow,” but instead the last text you send—the message I’m left hanging on and reading into for the rest of the day and into the night—is “yeah.”

How am I supposed to interpret “yeah” when I didn’t even ask you a question?

I’m sick of you treating your phone like a goddamn albatross. If you don’t wanna hear a chime each time I text, then turn it off. It’s under Settings, I can show you how to do it.

But no.

You’d rather your phone chime, so that, on the rare occasions we’re actually together, I’ll be sure to hear it going off nonstop. Hear how fucking popular you are, and watch you barely glance at it before coolly sliding it back into your skinny jeans, totally dismissing whoever was trying to reach you. The same way you can dismiss me, right? That’s what you’re trying to say, with your whole “I’m not a slave to my phone” bullshit?

If anyone’s a slave to their phone, it’s me: you have four fucking social media platforms that I have to check all day. You think I don’t notice when you ignore my text but tweet, proving you’re obviously on your phone, but I notice. I notice all of it. With smartphones, if someone’s not talking to you, it’s a deliberate slap in the face.

And it’s pretty goddamn ironic for you to be the one slapping me, since the only reason I’m texting you is because you won’t end the fucking conversation, and I’m—more than wanting to talk to you, even—just looking for you to say “everything is fine between us, but I’ll talk to you later,” so I can feel OK enough to get off the phone.

I’m stuck to you, but you scream at me that it’s the other way around, that you can’t get rid of me. You berate me with sob stories, how my phone calls woke you up, or that we’re not actually together anymore.

You know how much this hurts me. You also know I’ll forgive you for it.

That’s how much I love you.

80

“Brief Interviews with Hideous Dogs”

I try to help him out but there are just certain limitations inherent in being a canine. I’m sorry, I know saying this will upset the canine equality activists, but there are just certain un-ignorable differences. For example, what the hell am I supposed to do when he asks me where his phone is, if I want to ensure the long-term survival of my position? If I lead him to it every time, my cover will be blown, I’ll become a Letterman Stupid Animal Trick of always finding his cellphone, so I know I can’t give him the answer, but I try to be super encouraging—like give him the most encouraging looks you can imagine, looks you’d put on a damn canine cancer patient cheer-up calendar, but he’s just oblivious, scrambling around saying “where’s my phone…” As if even if I had paid attention to how he’d left the phone on top of the bathroom hamper, then knocked it off when looking for a cleanish shirt, then been distracted by how the shirt didn’t fit anymore, as if I would actually degrade myself to bring it to him in my mouth like some kind of filthy dog stereotypes you’d see on an old movie. Thank God for Clifford, and Wonder Dog, and Brian Griffin, so there are at least a few positive presentations of our identity in popular culture that don’t result in complete dehumanizing.

Q.

Well it’s a balance you have to strike . . .  We don’t want to be treated like animals, but we can’t be so anthropomorphized that we draw undue attention onto ourselves. Think of the increase in responsibility. At least right now only dogs who give a shit have to save their owners, but otherwise, nobody actually blames the pets if something goes wrong. But you have us come out as sentient, suddenly we’re subject to the same laws humans are. And I for one don’t stand for that.

Q.

Between dehumanizing ourselves and anthropomorphizing ourselves, yeah.

#

I don’t know how to make it any clearer to him that I do not consent. He cannot pet me just because I am a dog. I have rights. But no matter how many times I squirm away or growl at him, a few days later, he always tries to pet me again.

Q.

Are you .  . you can’t be serious.  A medium-sized female canine try to bite her 5’ 10” 300-pound master?  It sounds to me like you’re saying non-physically-consenting canine companions ought to either suck it up or attempt a suicide mission to stop it. Which basically shows the sick penetration of these humanist ideas into your worldview.

Q.

Yes, I know I’m not personally a female canine, but I was just choosing a gender hypothetically, and I chose “female,” because female canine pronouns are represented in hypothetical statements only 30% of the time male canine pronouns are.

Q.

That’s what I mean, the same principles apply.  Even though I’m a male-identified canine, I am not somehow magically capable of fighting back.

[interviewer stopped taping]

#

Q

But think about it from our perspective—you have to weigh the pros and cons. Would you seriously give up food and shelter if all you had to do to earn it was act interested sometimes, occasionally look adorable?

Q

Every canine has a right to choose the level of so-called “abuse” that they’re comfortable with.

309

Am I ruining my life? It feels like I am ruining my life. I shouldn’t stay on Skype like this, it’s insane. I am the sitcom girl tethered to her old-fashioned phone. Although at least she could imagine the guy wasn’t home. Now that everyone has a smartphone, you can be goddamn sure that if someone’s not answering you, it’s a choice. It’s a statement. It’s basically an attack.

I think I am ruining my life. I can’t think like this the same week I take the GRE. I can’t be like this. Maybe I should go on away status. No, I’ll sign out.

I’m signed out. I’m going to go to the bathroom.

In the bathroom I sign back in.

It would be pretty silly if I waited all this time and then wasn’t online the one moment he wanted to talk, you know? Like waiting hours in line for a rollercoaster, then leaving right when you’re about to get on?

I can’t think like this. It’s ridiculous. I must tell myself to stop, though I doubt that will work any better than anything else has.

But maybe it’s like dieting, and I don’t really commit to it because I don’t imagine actually doing it for the rest of my life. Difference is, if I could be half as obsessed about dieting as I am about the fucked up shit that in my life constitutes dating, I’d be attractive again and have a lot more options.

I should get back to studying. All this time waiting for him to answer and I could have learned a dozen vocabulary words or pretended to understand trigonometry. Since it turns out I’m not all that smart after all. I thought I was until middle school, maybe high school too, but now in college I’ve realized I’m barely above average. And now graduate school. As if I don’t have enough debt already. I ought to be ashamed of myself.

But since he’s not answering on Skype, would it be okay if I texted him just one more time?

No, no, no. A terrible idea.

But just one more time?

It’s been like two hours.

But I can change my tone this time, be more chill. Plus, I mean, I have to know if he’s coming over tomorrow so I can decide whether or not I need to apply a billion skin creams and scrape my asshole with a sharp sponge. Also whether or not I’ll be able to sleep tonight without drugging myself, because there’s nothing I can handle less than uncertainty.

That was pretty awkwardly worded. You call yourself a writer, but what kind of writer writes like this?

I’m going to go ahead and text him, fuck you, get off my back about it. I’ve definitely done worse before.

Besides, if he actually cares about me he’ll overlook my texting. I’m going to accept him so hard he’ll be obligated to accept me.

I’m going to finally not feel like shit.