Things Said in Dreams

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I’M GONNA BE A PLAYBOY MODEL WHEN I GRADUATE. I’m gonna be a Playboy model. I think it’s the only career I know that would be suitable to me. Limited hours. Pay-per-job. True you can no longer shop for groceries like normal people. But I’m ok with that. Privacy is overrated.

Playboy models have the perfect life. Bright lights. Fluffers. I think I’m gonna need about two fluffers. One for when I’m actually turned on by doing the scene and one for when I’m not. I’ll spare you the exact nature of their qualifications. If you ask me when we’re together then I’ll tell you. Playboy models may have the perfect life, but fluffers do not. Sure there’s the excitement of being around porn stars but I’m certain that doesn’t last very long. And the pay probably isn’t that great. If I cannot be a Playboy model then I will be a porn queen. A porn queen is one who stars in her own porn movies and keeps permanent slaves. As in porn movies watchable on the internet. I don’t want to do any webcam stuff though. That interactive stuff where they tell you what to do while they’re jerking off to you? I’m not opposed to that as a concept but it just seems tedious, logistically. What I’m talking about is pre-produced lesbian bondage type stuff. Not totally lesbian. But I definitely do want to have some lesbian stuff. Aside from that stipulation, I’m talking about your standard basement torture setup. Sensory deprivation hoods. Wooden ponies. Ice torture. Feather torture. Extreme malice and tickling.

I wish I could get kidnapped. I would make an excellent kidnap victim. I’m pliable. I come with a vagina. I don’t care about my life. Also, I’m an excellent conversationalist. Which comes in handy during long trips across Canada. Or in isolated situations in general. I’m very friendly. Quite curious. Or, let’s say: inquisitive. I like to meet new people. Like to travel. I hate smalltalk, so when we meet we’ll have to skip the introductions and get down to the nuts and bolts of the kidnapping. Who? Me. When? Right now. Where? The trunk of your car. Let’s begin with a basic exchange of information. Just enough information for you to get me out of my former life, bind me and gag me, and throw me in the back of your car. That initial consultation can lead to deeper subjects. When you are tired of riding alone you’ll eventually untie me and place me in the front seat next to you so I can keep you company. Then we can tackle the grander topics. We’ll start with your hopes, aspirations, and dreams. Are you a mass murderer? Yes—err—well, aspiring. Do you enjoy killing people? I’m not sure yet. Are you a torture murderer? No. No? That’s ok. That’s ok. Keep your eyes on the road please. Drive safely. You don’t have to be a torture murderer. Yeah—no, totally. It takes all kinds. Is there a history of abuse in your family? Maybe something your mother or father did to you when you were young? Something you’ve never told anyone? (You don’t want to talk about it.) That’s fine. No problem. How ‘bout we start with some simpler stuff. Tell me about your dreams.

Of course I won’t have to be a Playboy model to get kidnapped. Or vice-versa. You just gotta get your foot in the door.

When I dream I see myself in California. I see myself in a house on the ocean. Or maybe an apartment to start. I will have a dog. Just one. A golden retriever. He will be able to run on the beach. He will sleep with me. I will have a photographic darkroom where I will develop and print my pictures. If I have a big closet I will use that as my darkroom. I can keep my clothes on the floor. If I don’t have a big closet I will use the bathroom as a darkroom. I will be in love in California. I think maybe I already am. But I don’t know if you will come with me. And if you do not, I will be sad. But I will go to California anyway. And I’ll find someone. Not another you. But I will find another someone.

My porn activities will cover the cost of my film lab. If you don’t come with me I’ll make pictures in my underwear and send them to you, and you can look at them in private. Although you know you can have me whenever you decide to.

In my beach house in California I will not share my bathroom with anyone. Not my mom. Not even close friends who come over. In my beach house the only people ever allowed in the bedroom will be me and you. Your parents will not be sleeping one floor up. Where we can hear everything. I will not have neighbors. (Or if I do I won’t speak to them.) I won’t have Theresa stopping by my porch every day. When I go outside it will be just me, and maybe you. I won’t have another cat. I know he’s skinny. There’s no need to remind me of it. Everyone already does. I would probably feed him more often if Theresa wasn’t bringing him beef jerky every day—and tuna salad and Vienna sausage and Melba toast with peanut butter and carbonated water and everything else she brings for him. It’s amazing she has any lunch left for herself after she stops at our place.

“Don’t you have a job to be doing?”

“I’m doing it.”

“Uh, ok. Can you not give him Melba toast?” I know it sounds like a crazy thing for a cat to eat but believe me, he eats it.

“He likes Melba toast. See. Look at him.”

“He vomits it later.”

“Oh I doubt that.”

“He will later. If you want to come back I’ll show you.”

“Take a picture. Post it for me.” She pinches my butt.

I swipe her away. “Keep your lesbian hands off me.”

“If I’m a lesbian, does that mean tomorrow is a date?”

Good point, good point. That’s rock solid logic you’ve got there. A mind like Bobby Fischer. I rush her, fake-punch her, punk the bitch out. She flinches. I rifle through her bag. “Anything in here for me?”

“That’s a federal offense. Get. Out. That’s a federal offense!”

“Your face violates more laws than I ever will.” Again I act like I’m gonna punch her. I’m just playing, though. I like Theresa.

“What’s wrong with Lincoln?”

I kick him. He falls over and it’s embarrassing how he falls flat with his front legs spread out. He doesn’t have enough muscle left to control them. “He’s sick.” I say.

“You should be nice to that cat. Here Lincoln—”

“Get the fuck—.” I’m shooing Theresa off. “He—stop—he doesn’t eat Melba toast.”

“That cat is hungry. Look how skinny that cat is.”

“Well if he won’t eat that’s not my fault. He pukes everything up. Aren’t you supposed to be working?”

Theresa gives me the finger. This is a woman who’s forty years old.

I push Theresa away and perch myself on the steps. I grab Lincoln and set him in my lap. “Come’ere kitty.” Jesus you’re light. I put him down. “Why don’t you fucking eat you dumbass. Bye.”

“Tell your mom I said hi.”

“Tell her yourself.”

Theresa’s filtering through the mail and sucking on beef jerky. She’s not too fat given her age. Perpetually rude. She has a thing for my mom. Tomorrow they’re going to Mini racers. Which I guess is a date. Not sure I know why I give her so much of my time except I must be starved for the company. Which is pathetic on my part. She’s walking up the hill and I see her soggy ass. Trying to push through the seam in the back of her pants. Her tits scare me. I hope mine aren’t that bad when I’m old. But they will be. If I live that long. They will be.

Tits are actually way more important than puss when it comes to being a Playboy model. I mean, puss is important but variety in puss is less judged than it is tolerated. Basically, if you have one, that’s what counts.

My tits are fairly large. Their names are Judy. Some people name their left one and their right one separately. I name mine together. When I speak to them, though, I speak to either the left or the right one. “Judy, where are my piglet socks?”—“Are you comfortable Judy?”—“How about you Judy?”—Really? Excellent.

The door opens behind me. It’s my mom. “Did Theresa go? That cat looks horrible. You two are gonna freeze to death if you stay out here.”

“What do you want.”

“I want you to get inside. And feed your cat.”

I’m stroking the back of his bony neck. It’s not that cold out here. “I fed him.” I say.

“He looks sick. If you’re gonna have pets then you can learn how to take care of them.”

“He’s not sick.” I say. “He’s dying.” And I lift my head to her.

My mother looking very stern. “Whose fault is that?”

“Don’t ask me! He won’t eat! There’s something wrong with him!”

I push him off my lap. He almost falls over trying to land on the steps. His back legs flail out when he tries to balance. Then he looks at me and painfully rights himself, coming up a step and brushing his head on my boot.

“Give him some tuna.” She lets the outside door close.

“You always get mad at me when I give him tuna!”

From the living room. “Feed your cat.”

Bony cat. Sickly cat. “Lincoln. Lincoln. Get the fuck off me.” I kick him. Oh fuck. I only kicked him a little but it made him fall down a step. His back legs are so fucked up now they slide apart like someone learning to ice skate. Bambi learning to walk. He’s gonna die. Oh fuck. I yell back into the house. “If you have anything you want to say to Lincoln I would say it now.” Fuck me. Fuck. This cat is gonna die.

I step down below him and pick him up. Put him on the porch and open the outside door. “Go in. Go in.” I don’t kick him though. He takes forever. Stiffly stepping his legs over the bottom of the door seal. Step and painful step off the cold porch and into the house. I stand there. Holding open the door. Looking up the street at it getting dark. It’s actually not that cold.

Upstairs, I take my nightly shower. My nightly shower is different than my nightly bath. And entirely different than my morning bath. My shower is not a routine. It’s a ritual. In my shower I shave. In my shower I make smooth. And I’m not talking about with some fake-ass pumice stone. Pumice stones are for babies. The ticket is extra fine sandpaper. In fact, strictly speaking, the only personal care item one needs is sandpaper. And of course water. Every industry is like that. It may have many tools, but you can combine them. One tool duplicates the efforts of another. Duplicates can be removed. In the end, there is a characteristic implement for each industry. In beauty it’s sandpaper. In cooking it’s spices. In photography it is the frame. In photography you can have cameras and chemicals. You can have computers and film. You can have lights and subjects. But all you really need is the frame. And ultimately in photography it’s all about the frame. Nothing else really matters, even though it may be cluttering the periphery. In beauty I insist the critical element is sandpaper. Or: abrasion. But I’m sure some people would disagree.

I sand my legs. You can use a razor for this. But with tiny amounts of constant abrasion, razors are unnecessary. Think of a pebble in a stream. A pebble has no razor. A pebble doesn’t even have sandpaper. Just lots and lots and lots of water. And the pebble is as smooth as can be. If I got clean on a larger timescale, I wouldn’t need sandpaper, only water. In practice, I use both sandpaper and a razor for my legs—and other areas. I’m just saying. Theoretically, properly, those two cancel each other out.

I sand my face. Only a little. Little bits of sanding every day keep my cheeks, my neck, my mouth, extremely smooth. I sand under the water so there is never a moment of dryness. I even sand my lips a tiny bit. One swipe left focusing on the top lip. One swipe right focusing on the bottom lip. Rub them together. Do not lick. I sand everything else too. No need to go into detail. Just imagine a very smooth body with kind of a matte-flesh coloration. This is another place where elements can be combined. You could dry the skin and then moisturize it. You could lotion the skin and then powder it. Or you can simply collapse pairs of steps which counteract each other. Nature has made us almost perfect. That is not to say I don’t believe in working on that almost part. But in polishing the 2%, I want to be careful not to counteract the 98.

Forgive me if I use math metaphors. I know some of you have trouble with math. That’s perfectly ok. I have trouble with some things too. Like being good. Maybe you’re one of the ones to whom being good comes naturally. I would like to be good. I don’t have any philosophical problems with it. It just doesn’t work for me.

For instance I sometimes have difficulty keeping my underwear on. This is not a logistical difficulty. It stems from one of my core beliefs, which is that people should not wear underwear. I mean girls wearing bras and guys wearing briefs while they’re running kinda makes sense. My breasts being quite large, as mentioned, there’s no way I could run without a bra. But I never run, so it’s not an issue. That’s one of those areas where counteracting forces can be resolved. I do agree with the use of lacy things for purely decorative or sexual aims. The trick there however is if you’re wearing, say, a bra for decorative measure, then it has to show. If the target of the bra is someone who might not undress you, then it absolutely has to show or else what’s the point?

Infomercials for bra-strap-hiding devices make me laugh. That had to be invented by a guy. One who was foolish enough to think he had identified that pesky problem that women must be having with their bras. He was probably a gay guy. But he was definitely a fool. I remember on TV someone saying that Amanda Knox was probably a psychopath. “But even if she’s not.” They said. “She’s definitely a narcissist.” As if that had anything to do with it.

People these days convict you for being a narcissist. Even if they don’t convict you of it in court. They convict you of it in their minds. As far as I can tell, self-love is the primary form of genuine love out there. But I guess it’s the excessive part that some consider a problem. Still, what’s the alternative? Excessive self-hate? I think I have both.

This is Jenna at school: “What’s that supposed to be?” She’s pointing at my flower-encrusted bra. The pink one. It’s quite lovely. And thanks to a couple squirts of Eternity, it’s quite fragrant. Scent is the primary essence of mating. Not looks. Scent. I’m not saying it’s the primary essence of lovemaking. I’m saying it’s the primary essence of mating. This goes for humans as well as all other animals. Even very small animals. Like trichoplax adhaerens. If you don’t believe me check out the Discovery Channel.

“What’s that supposed to be?” Pointing at my scented bra with her Wicked Witch finger. Jenna has one of those raspy voices. Like she spent last night singing at the top of her lungs. Or she’s getting over a cold. Jenna stops me in the hall occasionally to ridicule me (usually via my clothing). I think part of why that raspy voice thing is sexy is because of the idea that someone is sick, that they’re weak. Kind of like the shaved head thing is sexy because at first glance you wonder if the person has cancer.

Jenna sometimes actually touches me when she ridicules me. She doesn’t touch my bra though. “Is that supposed to be a carnation?” She’s screwing up her face.

“It’s a gladiolus.” I say. “They’re from Africa. You can recognize them by the shape of their petals. See how they’re kind of pointy?” Gladiolus means little sword in Latin. But of course Jenna already knows that.

“It looks fake.”

Thank you Jenna. “Are you done now?” I guess I can get on with my day. “Thanks for your opinion.” You complete me.