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Authors: Justin Chin

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BOOK: 98 Wounds
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ueen

The Cock of Last Resort
. I am in an alleyway, a basement let-in, the leather blindfold firmly in place, gripping my eyes until I can feel the moist condensation of sweat between the fragrant leather and my short-sighted eyes. The puffy eye pads press into my eyeballs so tightly that I see green and purple phosphenes as if I were on acid watching a Grateful Dead lightshow but there are no unwashed hippies here, no skanky flower-children that never grew up nor teenage converts to the nostalgia trip, just the sound of shoes and boots scuffling around me, flies unzipping, the smack of cocks in hand, the ale smell of crotches and unwashed pubes, the occasional grunt and cough, the sticky smack of semi-dried lubricated cocks against flesh.
The Cock of No Contest.
There are those who will grab your head and there are those who will grab your ears like a teapot short and stout. There are those who will hold your shoulders and those who will try to reach down and pinch your nipples. There are those who you will feel nothing but their cocks in you as they are busy pinching their own nipples as hard as they can. Then there are those who have absolutely no idea what to do with their hands.
The Cock of Dreams.
Cocks fill my mouth, caress my tongue, poke blindly at my lips, slap against my cheeks, one by one they drip their load into my face, in my hair, dribbling down my chin, down my throat, on my lips, on my tongue, and I take it in like so many deep breaths, the last gasp of a drowning dog. The very first time I had a cock in my mouth, I gagged so hard, I vomited so much I scared myself. The man fled the toilet stall. At that moment I decided that I will never gag again, no matter how large or mean or deep the next cock got. I practiced with fat marker-pens, broom handles, shampoo bottles, beer bottles, carrots, cucumbers. I practiced on the dog to make sure that I could tolerate even the most disgusting cock. I practiced hard and, like musicians training for the symphony, I got to Carnegie Hall.
The Cock of Wine & Roses.
Once I was falling so fast that I woke up in a pool of piss. Once I was falling and when I woke I was falling and when I got up, I was still falling. There is a guy that I meet with sometimes, our relationship is wholly undefined, he is not a hustler, at least not in my eyes, but someone I pay. Not necessarily with money. But that is a different story altogether. We agree on a number and it is his job to get me that number of loads. We use dice for this, sometimes one die, sometimes two. He blindfolds me and puts my wrists and ankles in shackles and ties me to the bed, he puts a gag in my mouth, he saves his load for the last one of the session. In the meantime, he gets on the phone and calls phone-sex lines and party-room conferences, he gets on the computer hook-up sites and invites anyone to come and feed me. He takes pictures of the men who come through to feed me. I know, I can hear the click and whirls of the Polaroid camera, I can see the flash through the edges of the blindfold. After the session, after he empties his cock into my mouth, he unshackles me and holds me while I cry like a whipped child. He whispers into my ear, describing the men who I have eaten from. He never shows me the pictures though, in my imagination, I like to think that he masturbates to them in private, maybe he sells them to other people, saying, “Look, here's a picture of a pig, a real pig, (oink! oink!) do what you want to do to him, here's his address.”
The Cock of Understanding.
When did you learn how to suck cock? The artist Louis Nevelson was once asked how she created her art, and she replied in her croaky Bette Davis voice,
Honey, how do you eat a peach?
Sucking cock is nothing like eating peaches. It is nothing like sucking even as the prominent verb/ continuous tense of its namesake suggest. Suck: To draw into the mouth by inhaling; to draw from in this manner; to draw in by or as if by suction; to suckle. In my youth, terrified by the crudeness and suggestiveness of language, we called it “eating ice cream.” But it is nothing like eating ice cream at all. It is nothing like breathing, it is nothing like art. It is its own act, its own tense, transitive verb, noun, dangling pronoun. Oh, how it dangles. It is its own universe, not made of atoms but of stories, so many stories you wish you were deaf.
The Cock of Love.
Once, I considered pulling all my teeth out. I had met a man who promised me nothing but load after load of jism from his beautiful cock and I had partaken of it enough to believe him, it was his suggestion. The gum job, the selling point men who have gotten so decrepit that that's the best they can offer on phone-sex lines, sight unseen, all that's known is a mouth, void of teeth, just a fleshy wet slobber to face-fuck. I chickened out at the last minute. Or maybe I was never going to do it anyway. More likely, I couldn't make the sacrifice of having a wound in my face, unable to suck cock for weeks while it healed. “Sucking cock has nothing to do with monogamy,” I recall being told and I got on my knees in the backroom of another bar and I never ever saw that man again. It is no loss. Not yet.
The Cock of First Offense.
There are two kinds of hell. One is an icy world where sinners are lodged in a lake of ice, their heads two-thirds popped out of the glassy sheet, mouths trapped beneath the frozen solidity, the air dry as meat lockers. In the other, the more common version, hell is the fire and brimstone land that children are told they will be sent to if they misbehave, don't obey, or tell family secrets. Here, demons rip out the glutton's bowels and drape their intestines on pine trees that are on fire. Liars are fed hot coals. Idolaters have their eyes poked out with blunt pencils. Those who love gossip have their eardrums perforated with biting insects. We're told it is the hottest place that anyone will ever experience. The hell you want to go to, though, is that place somewhere between the two hells. Here, there is no sand, as all the sand has melted into glass. But unlike the fiery hell where sand melted into glass remains in liquid puddles collected on the floor like clogged storm drains in the Mission, rank and foul-smelling, floating with the flotsam of discarded memories, the melted sand in this place turns into a sparkling expanse of glass that you may walk on. It is like walking on an eternal sheet of shattered windscreens, cracked, shattered as an exquisite spider web but still holding to each chip, smooth as the underbelly of lizards, the size of the desert. The fierce light from the Fiery Hell and the coldest intense light from the Ice Hell light this place and the waves of light sneak through the cracks in the glass and make it radiate into a quintillion spray of light. It is a hell worth going to.
The Cock of Heaven & Earth.
Someone's beeper goes off, someone is chatting to another in the background, someone is preparing for another shot, someone pops open a canned drink, someone can't get hard, someone has the cold flaccidity of a tweaker, someone I recognize, someone has brought a friend, someone is being reacquainted, someone has a new piercing, someone has a fever, someone has strange bumps on his cockhead, someone is severely deformed. This is democracy in action. I take it all. I accept it all. I accept them all. Like a mother of a nation, I hold them all dear to me. Here on my knees, in this alley, this basement let-in with this blindfold in place, here at the wee hours of a new dawn, week after week, month into years, I am queen, and I will rule here forever and ever. Watch my coronation, watch me ascend the throne.

B
olster

T
HINGS
T
HAT
C
ONVEY
H
OPE
,
OR
T
HE
P
OSSIBILITY
OF
H
APPINESS
F
ORTHCOMING

The morning after; One more spin, once more around, one more; “Don't you pay them no mind”; The brief window the newly in-love find where they are shown who they should be; Proceeding with the day even while knowing that the other will cancel or simply not show, which does happen, and does not; The director asking, “How many props are necessary to pull off sorrow?”; Google-ing ‘insomnia' in the middle of the night; From which altitude one looks like a weed in a field of weeds, an ineloquent dot asleep in a dream; The passage of time, the passing of life, the days, the countless hours and minutes and seconds, the sweep of the clock's second hand; The glass half empty or half full in the dishwasher.

* * *

Are we made of stories or are we made of facts?

And which builds better? The stories of evidence and archive, or the ones built from each living and dying cell of your body?

The story of a life is constructed together in relationships. The people close to us — family, friends, lovers, colleagues, enemies even — become the mirrors and journals in which we recall and inscribe our history, they are the instruments that help us know ourselves and remember ourselves; and we do the same for them.

But stories wear out, erode. You leave them behind — in an old apartment, under the sink, in the back of a cab squashed between the seat cushions. Or the story loses its legs, its lungs; the meaning holding it aloft wavers, flinches too much, gets outdated. Over time, you become someone else. The story suffers from too much light, too much darkness, from the constant poking and peeling, over familiarity.

And what is left but all those dark eyes staring back at us. Look at the pictures, look in the archives, look in the footnotes, look at the souvenirs. Look in the mirror, in all the reflective surfaces.

* * *

T
HINGS
O
NE
M
IGHT
T
AKE
TO
B
E
A
S
IGN OF
G
REAT
M
EANING
&
S
IGNIFICANCE
BUT ARE
R
EALLY
U
NREMARKABLE &
I
NCONSEQUENTIAL

Double rainbows; Two-headed calves; Feral parrots rousting in the palm trees at first light; Butterflies at night; A long shriveled plant coming back to life; Seeing the number 11 or 1's and zeros in various permutations; Finding pennies on the street or in cracked spaces; Dreams where avifauna speak to you; Dreams of financial riches; All nightmares induced by eating Mission burritos before bedtime; Roadkill.

* * *

What happens after “Goodnight”? What happens after the bedtime story?

We imagined apocalypse because it was easier than the complicated futures that lay ahead. A future fraught with baffling new technologies, impenetrable financial power structures, ever shifting alliances and collapsing social systems, perplexingly malevolent microorganisms, and a language devolving and impotent. Death was more imagineable than the person that all the decisions and burdens of adulthood and survival would make of us. Charging bullishly into life with all barrels loaded without the fear of consequences was an act of desperation, though at the time some might have mistaken it for fearlessness, youthful prerogative, or selfish immaturity. It was a declaration that there were more terrible things than death; there were desires so urgent — for anesthesia, distraction, the dark brooding forces of need, the quelling of survivor's guilt; there were corrections so grave to undertake — the defying of fate's gauntlet, the dissent against conformity and apathy, the mutiny against the downward spiral of despair and our inherited pessimism.

Gambling, drug taking and love were our rituals of hope.

But all hope suffers from its own insufficiency.

Failure was our tutor and guide, was what we mostly learnt from.

* * *

You spend your life as an activist, an artist, a diva, or a slut, and then you're the box of your coffin, the box of your columbarium, the box of ashes, the box of papers and artifacts sitting on a shelf.

And you think about all the boxes you've tried to write and live yourself out of, and all the boxes other people have tried – successfully or un – to herd you into, and the boxes that you willingly climbed into, all the boxes you've struggled against, or made cozy with.

Funny isn't it, how everyone believes themselves to be “out of the box” thinkers? You don't ever hear anyone declaring,
I think inside the box.
Maybe in-the-box types aren't given to making declarations about themselves; they would have to think outside the box to do that.

Then there is the other box, the more prurient one: the ones you really wanted to get into, and your own which you'll gladly fold the flaps out open for whomever.

Does all living lead into a box of some sort? Is it futile to think that one is ever free of the box? Hey, so… why is the mime trapped in a box? No, seriously, this is not a set-up for a punchline. Why is the mime trapped in a box? Of all the standard mime tricks, this one stands apart.

The wall is understandable, we fall walls everyday of our lives. People pull on rope all the time, they climb ladders, they lean against things, they lift stuff, they eat sloppily. All these are common everyday acts, rooted in their normalcy, you may find yourself doing any one of these things. You may even find yourself struggling against the wind with your umbrella on some stormy day. But how often does one find oneself stuck in a box?

And it's a box. It's not all that sturdy. Even if you're stuck in a high-class box, it's still cardboard. But even if it were wooden, if you push against it, brace and bare against the sides, it'll come apart. If you're trapped in a cardboard box and are too weak and puny to push your way out, just take a piss and it'll sag and come apart.

* * *

T
HINGS
T
HAT
S
OUND
D
ELIGHTFULLY
O
BSCENE
BUT
A
REN
'
T
A
T
A
LL

Tittle, Umlaut, Glottal, Cockmaster, Titchy, Sloppy, Lorem Ipsum.

* * *

T
HINGS
T
HAT
S
OUND
D
ELIGHTFULLY
O
BSCENE
BUT
A
REN
'
T
E
VEN
W
HEN
T
HEY
A
RE

Jarns, Nittles, Quimps, Grawlix.

* * *

There is a kind of euphoria in grief, a degree of madness, unspoken and unacknowledged, an undercurrent that fueled the survivors.

This was a time when we still grieved in our own rooms, real or imagined, shared or squatted. We valued and stubbornly held on to the dignity we could feel slipping away. This was a time when we still had our private lives. When being a shameless whore or hussy was an action deliberately taken. It was beautiful work and the quality of the shamelessness, the effrontery of the brazenness, was all the more richer and dazzling for the effort put behind it.

None of that national mourning, that showy community grieving that we find so commonplace these days. None of those garish roadside shrines, each one competing with the next for more stuffed animals, more plastic flowers, more ink-jet printed photos, or in a brilliant trumping move, stuffed animals and plastic flowers together encased in a balloon held aloft by a plastic rod.

Real Simple
magazine would recommend Ash (home-ground, of course) and Sackcloth (easily home-rendered as well.) It's all you need.

Many years ago, a neighbor back home had died and the wake was held in the house's living room. Every day for a week, in the evening, a small silver van would pull up and a group of black clad women would get out of the van and proceed into the house. And then it began. The loudest, wailing-est, most screeching and terrifying screams and sobbing and crying ever heard. Professional mourners. Every day from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., except for Friday and Saturday which was from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday was a day off, of course. And at 7 p.m. or 2 p.m. on the dot, the bawling stopped as instantly as it started, as if someone had pressed the STOP button on the stereo, as if there was a conductor leading an orchestra to its final coda. Then the ladies would file out, clutching onto their handkerchiefs or tissues in one hand, with a can of soda or Orange Crush in the other, and pile into the van and off they went to the next gig.

That is how it should be done. That is the job I would most like to have.

* * *

AIDS D
RUGS
T
HAT
S
OUND
L
IKE
H
IPSTER
B
ABY
N
AMES

Isentress; Sustiva; Truvada; Kaletra; Prezista; Reyataz; Selzentry; Lexiva; Ziagen; Zerit; Entriva.

“Don't mind her, Kaletra is very mature for her age, aren't you sweetie?”

“Isentress and Prezista have been raving non-stop about theatre camp…”

“QiGong classes have really helped Lexiva and Ziagen to balance out their ADHD.”

* * *

The thing about activism is that so very often one ends up advocating on behalf of people who one just doesn't quite care for. People who grate upon your very being. Perhaps they'll mock your dedication, your hard selfless work; perhaps they'll live their lives that will set the movement back tens of years, people who simply just aren't helping. These people's lives would be greatly enhanced and enriched by your sweat and stress and commitment to social justice even as they support causes and positions abhorrent to you.

Yes, yes, no man is island; yeah, yeah, butterfly flapping wings; uhhuh uhhuh, greater humanity, greater good…

At some point, you will realize that you are not one of your heroes. You are something else altogether and you have to take that into consideration.

* * *

We were past the awful crushing '80s, death and day-glo, the dead were leveling off in the city and soon there would even be a week followed by more weeks where there was not one obituary in the fag-rags, which was some kind of minor miracle it seemed. The awful toxic medications had been reformulated to resemble something that could even pass for compassion. A stride had been struck, a pace brokered. Those with the wherewithal had managed to deftly work the red tape of SSI and disability and an assortment of city and state benefits into a nice trust fund from Uncle Sam. Not quite the level of the Rockefellers or the Hiltons, but enough to live their quirky, queer lives that everyone seemed to have hobbled together from thrift store bargains, temp jobs, and all the moxie of the beautifully worthless, the diseased nothings.

Soon, the pile of pills we had in hand would become a different pile of pills. This time, with the power to drag that unswerving line of light into a prism to refract into a thousand pieces and points, except it wasn't a prism glass but some old piece of glass, perhaps a chipped piece of windscreen, or a broken award trophy, found by the road.

Little did we know but we each were the guinea pigs of the other. Our benevolent inquisitors, clipboards in hand, starched concern botoxed in their faces, recorded and collated and compiled, how much, how long, how wrong, when then, what happened, what failed irrevocably, what next.

The prospects weren't quite that gleaming and sunshiny, though it was soon to be, but we couldn't have known that just yet. Nor could we fathom how astonishing it would be. We lived in the eternal present. We had to think like heroes, superheroes even, in order to be mere decent human beings.

We could not know if there was something better over the hill or not, but that didn't matter because we had our friends and lovers marshaled. And we had something that resembled hope and could very well have been it, albeit tattered and gimpy and effete.

* * *

40 N
AMES

Are they online usernames from M4M4Sex – or – actual Chinese restaurants from the southern and midwestern United States?

1. TastyTop

2. Hungry1

3. BigWong

4. Chopstix

5. BlueDragon

6. JoyLuck

7. YellowRiver

8. Chinamax

9. ChinaBear

10. ChinaMaster

11. Nuthuggers

12. HotWings

13. GreenBamboo

14. HoHo

15. RiceBowl

16. Chinex

17. Eggroll

18. PanDa

19. Wok&Chops

20. Noodling

21. RiceLovers

22. Dumpling

23. Flaming

24. Fuffut

25. RiceFarm

26. YumMy8

27. JockMeat

28. LickMy7

29. GoldenCocks

30. MushuU

31. Prime8

32. Irishwasabi

33. shakeit

34. TopMission

35. Xlgmeat

36. APlusTop

37. BottomView

38. CocknBull

39. RicePatrol

40. Gr8Buns4U2E

* * *

T
HINGS
I D
IDN
'
T
K
NOW
I L
OVED

Silence, Solitude, Uncomplicatedness, The Desert (as much as the sea), Mornings (as much as nights), Winter storms, Home.

* * *

I used to live in the apartment beneath Junior Miss Speedfreak Northwest 1987. It's such a trite cliché that it embarrasses me somewhat to even mention it, but it seemed as though she had not stopped vacuuming for four days — the whirr of some household appliance bumping into furniture and walls was a constant. And when she wasn't vacuuming, she would be washing the pavement with the Wondermop™ that she obviously bought from an early morning infomercial, a product I too on certain aimless occasions had desired to possess. Some early mornings, I would peel back my curtains and she would be smoking in front of the apartment building with her mop, her oily acne-spotted cheeks shining in the last glows of the streetlamp's halogen dying flare. You almost expect to see the lit tip of that cigarette inch into her oil-trap face and ignite into a pyre. She was harmless enough, and we all left her to her vices, ignoring her endless stream of boyfriends who visited at all hours of the night while she vacuumed. At least our sidewalk was spotless. Even in the fall, not one dried leaf was to be found on our block of sidewalk, it was as if the path was Scotchgarded. Then, one day, she stopped vacuuming and stopped mopping, the whirr wound down its humming decibels, her boyfriends stopped coming around, and eventually, when no one was looking, and no one was ever looking despite her persistent paranoid insistence that everyone was, she moved away. No one saw any moving trucks or her lugging any boxes out of the building. She just disappeared. The landlord showed up to inspect the place and found it bare, picked clean almost; he was expecting it to be trashed. And after a few hours, the pavements grew dusty and stained again. Someone said that maybe she got clean, tripped on her hideous oversized bell-bottoms and face-planted straight down that flight of twelve steps. I miss having a clean pavement, however unnatural it looked.

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