“I think I’m having an allergic reaction,” he says.
“Shut up,” I suggest.
Derek sometimes breaks out into blotchy rashes all over his skin when exposed to latex. Sometimes he does not. It is a gamble, really. Today he looks like the surface of Jupiter. I kind of wish he would stop talking so I fuck him harder. We have been at it for a while and my dick feels like it has rug burn but Derek is so whiny that I will not give up. Also, it is his birthday so I am supposed to do something special for him.
My scrotum is slapping rhythmically against his ass now. It is actually a little uncomfortable but I am determined to damage something. Derek goes quiet again and regretfully squeezes his eyes closed with each thrust. His facial distortions are complex; arousal, pain, utter bewilderment. That is okay. Sometimes Derek makes sad faces at me and this annoys me because he expects me to respond to them in some “there-there” form of camaraderie. I do not understand why he wants this because I obviously do not care and it is a waste of time. It is also boring. Sex can be kind of boring sometimes but it is also very weird and you can spark some of the most interesting reactions from people in the throes of it. I think that is why I have sex. Lots of people have this biological need to fuck other people or sometimes other species or shoes. Lots of people also have this desire for romantic attachment that is expressed through sex. I never really cared about either of those. I dislike people and do not understand how one can absolutely need to copulate. Sure, I squeeze my cock between the mattress and box spring now and then, but it has been less a product of arousal and more a product of curiosity.
Derek is almost perfect in that he will say “oh, all right” to nearly anything I ask him to do. This has lead to much experimentation. If I did not date Derek, I would never have learned that human rectums can accommodate tennis balls nor that ejaculate makes a fantastic adhesive for macaroni collages. I made a macaroni giraffe and sent it to my six-year-old niece. So dating is perhaps not a total waste of time. It is a great boredom killer and has taught me many peculiarities of human physiology and behavior.
But Derek is needy. He always wants to watch baseball while cuddling and go for long hikes together and cook meals for me. It is all very time-consuming and boring. I would rather go rob a convenience store. It is much more thrilling to do so.
I promptly stop pounding my rod into Derek’s kidneys and he gives me a look of concern.
“What’s wrong?” he asks, widening his eyes.
“I want to go rob a convenience store. I’m going to.”
I slurp my way out of him and pull off the condom, letting it fall on the tile with a splat. The sound makes me smile. Derek is clearly concerned about cleaning his floor but knows that it is useless to say anything about it. I do not care what his floor looks like. It is not my floor.
I put on pants and walk barefoot across the street to the Easy-Mart. It has a tall red awning with lines of white neon lights like some cheap casino motel. Two gas pumps stand unused. The sun makes glass shards glitter against the cracked gray lot. I walk over the glass, as the calluses on my feet have finally become impenetrable. The Easy-Mart doors automatically part for me like I am a magical deity and it makes me smile.
“Hey, I told you you gotta wear a shirt in here,” Manny says. Manny is orange-skinned and fat. He has a rainforest of black body hair that sticks out of the collar of his shirt and probably spreads over his back. He has bulldog jowls and a ponytail that is bleached brown at the end. Manny is behind a counter with bulletproof glass looking disapproving. I know he will not come out.
I see no reason to engage him because I am not buying anything and I am not going to put a shirt on, so I just walk down the aisles. There are rows and rows of factory-made packaging. Americans love packaging so much they would probably fuck it if they could figure out an effective way to do so.
The Easy-Mart is a dazzling panoply of stomach-churning inventions marketed as food. Day-Glo orange popcorn, beef fat cream stuffed in phallic cakes, salted sticks of dead animal flesh that should have decayed months ago… It disgusts me that anyone eats these things.
My eyes fall upon a little red cardboard box with a shoelace for a handle. I pick it up and examine it while Manny continues to gripe. It looks like an old-time circus poster with bold primary colors and exotic animals behind iron bars. I remember my mom getting these for me as a kid. She thought it was cute when I made the cookies talk to each other. They tasted like cardboard and carcinogens. I hated them. I will get them for Derek’s birthday.
I put the exploitative box under my armpit and walk back toward the doors that honor me like all non-organic objects should. They open to welcome me out of the persimmon and ball sweat scent of the convenience store.
“Hey, bring that back here! I’m calling the cops!” Manny bellows, jiggling like a walrus. The doors sweep shut behind me and I continue forth, unperturbed by the manlump. I have the whole afternoon free so it is time to make things more interesting.
I return to the unremarkable brick three-flat and swing open the creaky door of Derek’s top-floor apartment. The kitchen is right off of the door with a fold-up card table dressed with red cloth, as if it disguises the fact that Derek found it in a dumpster. The refrigerator hums angrily, reminding me that technology will eat us alive as soon as it is able. The various hums that float through the air where ever I am, in Derek’s apartment, on the street, in a forest preserve beneath city limit power lines, make me feel as a Chinese water torture subject trembling in anticipation of the big douse. This makes me angry and gives me the desire to break open the fridge’s antifreeze reserves. It also makes my dick hard again. Like angry hard. Like I want to impale someone on my penis.
I return to Derek’s little bedroom. Black wooden frames containing pictures of Derek’s mom and her schnauzer dot the walls. There is also a tacked-up eight-and-a-half-by-eleven bright white paper with a smiling macaroni feline above the bed. Derek is there on the end of the full-size mattress, burgundy sheet draped gracefully over his sun-darkened loins like an ancient Aegean concubine. His thick black hair was clearly hand-combed in my absence, no longer concealing the mole on the right corner of his forehead. I notice how his coarse fur delicately avoids his round brown nipples before spilling down his abs, pointing to his navel, and disappearing beneath the bed sheet. He cocks his head questioningly, bangs falling over his face, his thick lips subtly tweaked to express worry.
The condom is still lying in a sloppy lump on the floor. It makes me happy.
“What did you do?” Derek asked like a mother preparing to chide me. I dislike his parental nature.
“Robbed the convenience store. Here, I got you a birthday present.” I held the box of cookies away from my hairy armpit so he could see.
“Oh, cute. Um… You know I don’t like it when you just take stuff like that, though.” He said, nervously.
“I don’t care.”
“Okay.” He twists his second toe between his fingers and avoids my gaze. I kneel down and open the red box, tear open the plastic bag inside. So much packaging. The cookies emit a smell like honey and Styrofoam. I turn the box opening-down and shake it vigorously, freeing some of the Cubist creatures onto the floor. Some fall on the condom.
“I used to always like those things,” Derek continues, trying to move the conversation to topics he finds comfortable. “I would make them talk to each other. Make animal sounds.” Then he gives the worst impression of a horse whinny I have ever heard followed by a weak smile. He is fishing for some kind of silly reciprocation but I do not want to sound as stupid as he does.
I pick up one of the reptilian cookies and analyze it closely. It is baked golden and flat on one side. The other side is shaped by its factory mold. Indentations mark little dot eyes, snaky leg divisions, spikes on its long tail. There is a single nostril. It appears almost as if it is smiling. This is odd because reptiles do not have the facial structure to produce anything close to a smile and I think they are generally bitter creatures anyway. The cookie is longer and thinner than the other shapes but has many angular ridges and pointy ends. I hold it out to Derek so he can get a closer look too.
“I’m going to put every one of these animal crackers in your peehole.”
“We will start with the crocodile.”
“I think that’s an alligator.”
“Shut up,” I say.
I watched this video online a while ago where a nurse explained how to insert a catheter in a male patient. The beginning was far more complicated than I expected, with cotton balls and sterilization solutions and snappy disposable gloves. I skipped ahead of this, as I wanted to see some fucked up shit. Maybe having things shoved in one’s urethra is not that weird but the tube is not a pathway made for expanding. I have seen video of beer bottles shoved into penises and was charmed by the participants’ ability to do what I previously believed impossible. In celebration of this, I will force my curiosities upon Derek.
I decide to take it easy on him and squeeze some lubricant over the muffin top of his lengthening member. I am not foolish enough to believe his erection is indicative of enjoyment; biology can defy the higher functions of the human mind. However, I am pleased to know that his dissonance will put him beside himself for the next day, where in his quiet moments of lonesome, he will anxiously grip his shoulder and try to comprehend who he is in the aftermath of this new sexual experience. Sex is the ultimate source of existential quandary.
I need something to get this play started and so scan the perimeter of the bedroom. A foam cup with a sip of gas station coffee left in the bottom rests on the squat dresser next to the bed. Excellent. I lift the plastic stirring straw from it and shake the coffee drops from its end. It has a stripe like a racecar.
The look on Derek’s face indicates that he does not like the fact that I did not rinse the straw before inserting it in him. He does not understand that this is all to see what happens. A little globule of pre-cum forms on his tip, like condensation, as I stretch the skin tight and slide the thin straw deeper inside. It goes down with ease and I proceed to stir it in a clockwise motion. There is some mild internal resistance but the hole acquiesces to my whims as it grows visibly more lax. It smells like mocha.
Derek taps his fingers as he leans back on the mattress and bites his lip. His eyes wobble erratically. Clearly he does not know what to make of his sensations. I continue the stretching, this time with the end of a thick, metal ballpoint pen. Derek does not want to move too much for fear of damaging something. He tries really hard not to panic. I can almost hear him in his head, counting backwards and calculating his breaths.
“What, um. Do you like this?” he asks. He says it like he is a casual observer instead of a participant.
His inquiry gives me pause. “Like?” I ponder and rub my chin. “This isn’t really a matter of like. This is a matter of if. What happens if I do this?” As I start to remove the pen, I bend it just slightly to the side and stick the snout of the crocodile cookie into his urethral opening. Derek twitches and whimpers as I trade a smooth, even object for a less aerodynamic one. “It’s like a science project. We could have normal sex with the goal of orgasm. We could have sex as some sort of bonding ritual. But neither of those really furthers human understanding. I could do this same action a hundred times to a hundred different people and get thousands of different results. That is pretty amazing. It’s stupid to try and get the same result each time and if that is what you want, prepare for frequent disappointment. That is sex as a means to live out some fairy tale illusion of control over our realities. And we have no control.” In goes the reptile’s front feet. Another droplet of pre-ejaculate fluid rolls out. Derek’s chest rises and falls in full heaves.
“A-ah.” His mouth hangs open. “But why do you need that all the time? What about the human need to be happy?”
“I do not really know what happiness is but I am quite sure we do not need it. We are alive whether we are happy or not.”
“Desires are fleeting and temporary. Our psyches and physical make-ups will constantly change and evolve, and thus so will our metrics for happiness. So to say this emotional state is permanently achievable is foolish. It makes more sense to live for logic and reason than for happiness. So this strange act here, in jarring us from our pre-conceptions of possibility, makes us think and learn. This is far more productive than cumming or bonding or whatever so who really cares if those things happen.” In goes the round, ridged swell of the crocogator’s back. I wonder if it is still smiling in there.
Derek’s knuckles go pale as he digs his fingers into the bed. “Well- ow! Well! I want… I want to be close to you and I want us to be happy and feel like we share something and I guess I want to cum, too.” His cheeks turn pinker. “I don’t really care if any of that ‘makes sense’. Life is short and I want to be happy. Thus, I want simple, happy sex.” Then, quickly, “Of course, I’ll do things to make you happy too.”
“I told you, this does not make me happy. It makes me push the boundaries of my intellectual and creative limitations. It makes me-” One forceful shove and the tail is swallowed, along with the end of my finger. “A more useful human being.” That look children get when they step on bumblebees came over Derek’s countenance.
“It makes you sound like a robot!” he spat, clearly upset now. Still, he did not tell me to stop. Perhaps this is because he knows I will not. Next comes the ocelot.
“I think the highest achievement humanity can make is to extricate itself from these false fronts of control. Our institutions, our idealized histories, our morals and spiritualities… Our belief that there is some goodness and purpose in being obedient to the cultural constructs of our locale. I say fuck all that. Those boundaries are only going to pre-package your existence, prevent you from true discovery and comprehension of this world. If we completely eradicate the mold of human experience that we are expected to confine ourselves to-“ The feline cookie goes square-ass first, giving Derek’s cockhole this interesting envelope-slit appearance. “Then we really start to understand what is possible.”
Derek is practically in tears now. I watch him in a manner even more detached than usual as his whole body trembles. This is fascinating. I give him a squeeze, feel the hard misshapen lumps inside him, feel him tense as the sheathed crocodile cracks in two. He vocalizes his displeasure, reflexively snaps his hands to guard himself, but stops short of batting me away. As the cat cookie goes in, his penile head looks almost as if it is splitting apart.
“But in denying desire and the indulgence in emotion – though those things aren’t always logical – don’t you deny something intrinsic to the human experience?” He quakes violently. I wonder if this is what the passengers of the sinking Titanic looked like when they were left to die in the frigid waters of the Atlantic. Then I think maybe the only reason that tragedy got so publicized is because the passengers were wealthy and that makes me jam the cookie harder until it disappears. I shake myself and consider Derek’s words.
“Hm. Well, maybe you are on to something there. Maybe indulging one’s natural instincts and desires can be its own form of inquiry. Understanding reward and punishment. Assessing what we feel over what we observe.”
“Exactly,” Derek said between huffs.
“Which is all the more reason to put as many of these in you as possible,” I say as I pick the bulbous elephant off the used condom. It sticks only slightly.
“Can’t we do something more vanilla?” Derek begs.
I squint my eyes at the small print on the red cardboard box sitting on the dresser. “I think these are vanilla.”
Sienna Cardinal lives in the darkest recesses of her mind, the areaher Mom always told her to avoid on the way home from school. She is afiction writer and visual artist currently hunting unicorns inPortland, Oregon. Her superhero alter-ago has been publishedelsewhere.