There’s shit rolling down his legs but you suck him off anyway because he’s watching you with wet eyes and wet teeth, do it like you fuck your own mother, do it like you inject mercury. You’re behind the fish market, grazing up against the bins they use to throw out the organs. He’s probably dead, but he was there as you wiped the blood from the corner of your mouth. Eden’s breast of bitches ran you down in front of a little girl and her mother, but Eden was always sore at you because of money or sex. The hobo, dead and alive, clenches and cums in your mouth. Such a pretty boy doing such an ugly thing. But you’re already walking away, running a sleeve across your lips. You skirt along the cars. The sun’s in your eyes and Eden’s bitches are thorough. Sometimes, you crack your foot against the potholes so they catch you. Sometimes, it feels good to let someone else flagellate. Beady waves you over. Is it Eden again? And she laughs when she sees your bloody lip. Beady’s a tanned bag with dewy, stretched eyes. She’s either from Japan or China or both but she keeps quiet about her past. Do you mind, Beady? but she throws a thumb at her stall and folds her arms. You give her a kiss and crawl under the plastic table full of fish bone jewellery.
There’s Beady with her firm shoulders. You can taste her.
The local pervert cooks you dinner for one needle. You made sure to sweat a little so he lays a plate of bao over his erection. His girl is out, working her sharp fingers into pig fat. I love the way they laugh. Not laughing. Screaming. You burn your mouth on the steam and he hands you water. You’re still bleeding. He presses his forefinger into the wet patch on your thigh. It sinks in deep. I love the way they laugh. He’s talking to Eden through your fourth bao and he’s swinging on the apex, limbs shaking, get it right you fucking faggot, mum and dad are six feet down, you ain’t got noone but me, and there’s a flourish, a silence, a tongue between the teeth. You throw yourself onto his back and push a bao down his throat and he’s Rorschach purple as he mottles, throttles under your hands. But the tone goes flat, bitch hung up on me, and his hands skitter over his face. She’s been beating you again. It’s not a question but you grunt through the pork. Try not to get too excited. She loves to win. You want to tell him he’s wrong – that you’re human, just like him. You almost ask him if he likes to win too, but he sagaciously says, I’m nothing like her, I don’t need to prove myself, and the scars twinge on your chest and the bao goes down hard. The mercury hits the divot in your skull. There is nothing left. I love the way they laugh.
His name is Adam.
You met Eden at the Greyhound back when she was doing shows, lipsyncing Madonna in sequined skirts. It was a night of splintered edges and open wounds. You were slumped in the smoking area and she was stood in front of you with her excess heads sucking each other off in the depth of her back. Eden to you was a tree trunk with tits. Bold slashes across the face and the fuckmefuckyou swing in the hips. Old Fag beside you said, be careful, kid, she’s a stomper, and she was there, in between his legs and you could imagine the purple ridges of skin between her fingers as she squeezed. Amidst the howls, your eyes met and for the first time in your life, you were hard. She could touch the ceiling with the crease in her cranium and her dick kissed the balustrade, but it’s the tiger scars, the flagellation, the ovarian scourge (countered, contained) that made you buckle, mandible raring – yes, yes, YES. Garlic crusher fingers split you down the middle. Could have died. Would have died. If you weren’t cumming so hard.
Sometimes you go back to drink. Most times you go back to get skinned.
Beady throws you her flask and says, I see Eden’s girls stompin’ round the market, lookin’ for you. What did you do this time? but there’s no answer because the cops are milling round the bins. Dead and alive. But mostly dead. What’s wrong with your leg? Beady scopes for bones with a particular sheen – in gutters, grates, at the bottom of the bins. She once found a pearl in the bloody swirl of cast offs, only to bowl it down the gutter. Are you still seeing Adam? You tell her yes because you don’t lie to Beady. All them twins do is hurt you. It wasn’t a question but you reply with a smile. There’s a cop looking at you, fingers grazing her brow. The whiskey goes down wrong and Beady beats the broad of your back with her great hands. My husband used to breathe this stuff. Gotta take smaller sips. The husband is elusive. He’s the scars on Beady’s wrists and the drape in her left eye. He was only like that ‘cus his mammy loved him too much she cut him up down there so he couldn’t fuck ennybody. So he liked to beat women up. S’only way to be how everyone was telling him to be. You’re not sure what she’s trying to say but you take smaller sips. Beady’s got a hold now. Valleys and hills in her brow. That’s how it’s supposed to be. Do you unnerstand? You say, that’s how it’s supposed to be, drunk staccato, an echo, but she’s shaking her head, lip curled. That’s what they say. They all say that. The more you say, the more it ‘comes real. Unnerstand? You tell her you do. You look back at the cop. For a moment, you think your eyes lock but she’s so far away, you can’t be sure.
Here’s a common fantasy: cheese grater grunts in the tired tiled hollow of Eden’s bathroom. A curl off your arms and an edge off your legs. Pink Floyd’s The Wall. Masturbation is a hesitation round yellow tape that cast your hands in iron. This excess flesh (a bell curve from the crease in your armpit to the column in your chest) feels like the blue skin cast from chicken ribs – a perverse rancour, bitter to the touch. Your father pilfered surgical knives from work, so you use one to do what you have to do. The mercury hits the divot in your skull. There is nothing left. Carve. Liberate. Sway.
Adam’s girl comes home with layers of pig fat on her skin. She’s 156 with a mean mouth and red fingers stained from (I love the way they laugh). She kneads them on the steel, stains, strains, and sometimes steals their teeth. You’re on the couch and Adam’s sticking a needle into the antecubital, for letting me touch your pretty face. Adam’s girl, Pig Girl, hovers at your left. Look how many molars I got, fingers spread, red, around yellow hats. It was Adam who found you bleeding out on Eden’s bathroom floor and, unlike his sister’s soft appetite, you were reeled in by his voracious keen to inflict and you were, are, nothing more than a hollow fish, a toothless pig. Catch any tongues? Adam’s girl, Pig Girl, laughs, caught a few but they just writhed around in the gutters. She prefers the slaughterhouse because the fish market’s not meaty enough for her (one’s called a market, the other’s called a slaughterhouse). And though you’re passing out you can feel her barb fingers dance over the wound in your face and she says, Adam, how long are you going to keep this up? and he says, as long as you come home with molars.
They are good at pretending.
On Sunday nights you drink at the Gatehouse with the boys. They watch LCD porn and drink fifty cent beer (Ass Fucking Yellow Sluts and cast off VBs) and Supreme Leaders T and H recount their greatest rapes. You’re the dog boy, not yet initiated, so you glean the scum from the toilet and uncap the beers as they become thrown, dazed, and hazed in ass fucking and alcohol. You’re a week out from uncapping your own beer, so the boys are raucous more so than usual. You think maybe they look frightened. Maybe they look anxious. But they’re so far away, you can’t be sure. Who’s it gonna be, boy? You thought Pig Girl, at first, only because you didn’t really like her. But no, it has to be someone special. Then there’s Madonna and sequined skirts. Someone special.
Eden knew something was wrong but there wasn’t a name for it back then. When you knew something was wrong, you told her you loved her. She likes to trace the ridges on your chest, fanged Lhotses, twin peaks of scar tissue. Like you tried to rip yourself out of your own skin, and she wears another like a body suit, foundation, wig, heels. When you woke up in hospital, your father said, it’s a mental illness – there’s nothing biologically wrong with you, and you could see the puncture wounds in his white pockets. He could never look you in the eyes after that.
As if you were too far away.
You told Eden and she laughed and said, my daddy’s dead, and kissed you in a chokehold. And it’s there, when she throttles and fucks at the same time – the kaleidoscope acidity of desire and denial. They come hand in hand, a twisted bondage. And it seems so natural for her to straddle you and for you to groan under the weight of her hips. Bonno and Clydette blowing the muzzles of their BAR and 20 gauge. Mercury Boy and Faggot Girl in perfect unity.
Adam injects mercury into Pig Girl’s lip and throws her against the door. They call it rape season – twenty episodes of quiet violence and an epilogue of insouciance. Because Adam’s the original sin and Pig Girl is the cunt; it’s the monotony of scattered molars and smashed needles. You watch, because we need a witness. There’s no point doing it if there’s no witness. That’s how it’s supposed to be. Afterwards, Pig Girl crushes the molars beneath her feet and sits beside you in silence. Episode one. Emplace. Situate. Who’s it gonna be, boy?
The night before your initiation, you arrive at the Gatehouse late. It’s near empty. Supreme Leaders T and H are popping beers on the leathers, watching-not-watching a Black Bitch Getting A Good Hard Fucking. T tells you the boys are out, hunting for faggots with their stompers and hard edged teeth, and H pulls his dick out and starts stroking but he’s not really there. Come watch with us, T says, so you sit across from them and watch H squeeze his dick in 4/4 to the girl’s screams but nothing’s happening, and T’s staring at the screen but his eyes are off centre like he doesn’t know where to look and it’s then, it’s then you realise that they are both ill. Could be they’re dying. Could be they’re sleeping with their eyes open. And you think of their fathers and forefathers who sat in the Gatehouse before them, drinking and jerking and raping and stomping, and how it’s the code, and how between that and womanhood there is an empty space, and how you’re hovering there in that space like nothing else ever existed or will exist and the only way out is to drink, jerk, rape, and stomp, because that’s how it’s supposed to be.
So who’s it gonna be boy?
But before you can reply the boys bang in, roil the air with their sweat and red knuckles, and they say Eden, but you just stare at the screen, watching the black bitch get a good hard fucking.
On the day, you go to the fish market to see Beady but her stall’s not up. It’s gutting hour and there’s a churn of fishermen by the bins, elbow deep in organs, grinding cigarettes and spitting chew. You ask them where Beady is but they go, dunno a Beady, boy, who s’at? and they say there wasn’t a Beady at all. Like the scars on her wrists and the drape in her left eye she’s inverted, nothing. In the space between the bins and fishermen, the guts and the callused fingers, Beady is erased, and there’s the swell inside the column in your chest and you see the shadows on the ground and the police tape licking gravel (such a pretty boy doing such an ugly thing) and you can’t help but laugh and laugh and laugh because it’s there, it’s there where Beady and your inversion rests.
They stomped me good, and they did. You can see the signature of her face in the drunken blue of dusk and she looks like a broken oyster in her crude shell make you bleed, lever the knife, consume. Her makeup’s shifted, not so unnatural, not so sharp, and she’s soft, wet, and unsound. Her wig’s gone too and you can see her Adam’s apple pulsating, stretching the scars into etched grins, lewd, gross. In that moment, you think of how God is a man and how Eden is the bark on your chest, a flaking, itching echo of your father’s pilfered knives and that sudden, bidden desperation. And there’s the local pervert, your flagellation, her brother, and his girl, Pig Girl, and the yellow molars swathed in red. Episode One. Emplace. Situate. Episode Two. Foment. Actuate. And you say to her, I hurt myself, like it’s an explanation, and she says, I know, and it’s the consent given at gunpoint. And so it’s you, condensing her and seizing her just like the girls in the Gatehouse (4/4 and off centre), and you’re nothing less of a god. It’s Mercury Boy and Faggot Girl being how they are supposed to be and when you look down at her, as you tear away her vocal chords, you are warm and you are sound because she’s never been so far away.
©Yuki Iwama, 2016