We’re Fucked, Pt. 89 (Fiction)

“So what’s your game, you gloppy bag of pus who gets off on tormenting innocent people? Why are you making me waste precious time with your toxic oratory? You haven’t eaten me yet; although you’re clearly unhinged, you must have some sort of agenda. Am I facing the squid-god Proteus?”

“I’m no squid. And as you should have figured out by now, we know each other.”

I snap my head back. I picture myself taking a shortcut at midnight through a grimy alley, that stinks of dog shit, urine, cigarette smoke, stale booze, and dime-store perfume. A rat scampers along a clogged storm drain. Some vermin is scrabbling in a trash can. Shards of broken glass glitter like slivers of moonstone. I’m stepping on yellowed papers and food wrappers when an orange-sized, black glob of snot drops in front of me and splatters on the piss-glazed cobblestones. The sticky substance has stained my shoes. I peer upward. Dozens of bulging eyeballs are observing me, glued to a gargantuan garland of slimy tar suspended between the graffitied brick walls, like a forgotten ornament for some holiday that honors a god of putrefaction and deformity.

My skin crawls. I want to shriek.

“I’m afraid that you must have mistaken me with someone else, you festering, foul-breathed abomination. It would explain why you thought that I wanted to be eaten. Perhaps a brain malfunction?”

“Oh, but you are. Didn’t you hear me call you by name? I think I did it twice.”

“Look, if you had checked the yearbooks in your high school’s library, you would have realized that I was in middle school when blob-people made their debut.”

The blob gurgles like a busted-up washing machine.

“Pay attention!”

“Alright, asshole. I’ll listen to the sound waves you’re generating with some mercifully hidden sphincter, if it means you’ll leave me alone. Go ahead, try your best.”

“Leire. That’s your name.”

I raise my hand to wipe the clammy sweat from my forehead.

“I’m struggling to remain sane despite your nauseating stench, but let me tell you: someone gave that name to me without my consent.”

“Is this a matter of freedom again? Or do you just hate sharing your name with thousands of other women in this province alone?”

I resent the cum monster’s derisive tone. Should I expect decency from someone who spat at my face, though?

I glare at one of the blob’s glistening, moist eyeballs, that’s drooping in the black goo like snot dribbling from a nostril. I want to gouge that eye out, then unhinge my jaw wide enough to cram the orb in my mouth. The eye would slime my lips and ooze onto my tongue. Maybe it tastes like rancid curry. I would sink my teeth into its fibrous sclera as if into a jawbreaker, and the released vitreous humor would shoot through my nose. I would keep chewing on that eyeball, and sucking up its viscous fluid, even as my jaws ached and my cheeks bulged like a puffer fish’s. Such gluttonous cravings overwhelm me in moments of revulsion; one time I was about to lick a tied-up condom left on a park bench, before I snapped out of my daze. But who am I kidding? If I were ever able to fit melon-sized stuff in my mouth, I would have already died of joy, and asphyxiation, while deepthroating one of mommy’s mammoth mammaries.

“What’s with your creepy grin?” the blob gurgles.

“Nevermind. My point was that people are assigned names so they can be addressed by others, so those other humans know to whom they’re referring when gossiping about you. Besides, how often have I wanted people to bother me? Before Jacqueline blessed my existence, my interests were always solitary. Therefore, the best name for me would have been none, and those knuckleheads who insisted on trying to address me would be forced to rely on expressions like, ‘Hey, you!’ Imagine the silly conversations they would be engaged in with each other as they criticized my personal habits, mocked my weaknesses, and debated the color of my undergarments, but doubted if they were talking about the same person! What an unhygienic lot! And over time, my lack of a name would become so awkward that I would be erased from the social memory of everyone around me, which would free me to spend my time contemplating the absurdity of my cosmic joke of a life. But yes, why choose the name Leire, with which thousands of females across the province are burdened? To whatever extent a name becomes the verbal attempt at manifesting one’s destiny, weren’t my parents setting me up for mediocrity by giving me a commonplace moniker instead of, say, Flower-Duster, or Unsliced Saliva’s Fondness for Fishbones? Once your essence has been tainted at birth with such a clichéd alias as Leire, does it ever regain the power of flight? Why pursue a dream when you’re doomed to become a mundane drone? To be fair, though, I’m warming up to the name Eide. A creative forest fae came up with it, maybe because she understood I had a penchant for being an untamed bohemian. Oh, I forgot: during a recent nightmare I was also christened as Gummo, but that rabbit bastard meant it as an insult. Besides, who would go by the name that an anthropomorphic bunny, or a fucking hamster for that matter, bestowed upon them? No, beyond that: who would want to associate with a cacodemon who came all over the pancakes they cooked for breakfast?”

The blob shifts about restlessly, squelching like a filled fleshlight.

“Astonishing ramblings by a half-wit!”

This interdimensional tapioca pudding, if such a slimeball is worthy of the name pudding, can undervalue me as much as he pleases; I’m a helium balloon soaring above the mountains. Explaining myself at length exhilarates me.

“I’m serious. To regain the joy of the naked, unsullied state, we must venture down a path that leads to our names’ total evaporation.”

“You moron, even if your parents hadn’t named you, other people would refer to you by your relationship with others, as in, ‘This guy over here is my son, that bitch is my ex-wife.’ And eventually they would stick nicknames on you, the sort that your parents would have avoided for their beloved progeny. I can think of half a dozen such epithets. The Wretch, for example, or The Thirsty One, or even that old standby, The Cunt.”

I guffaw to release the frustration and unease swirling inside my ribcage.

“Very funny, pus bag. Those who would push an unflattering identity on me will be dismembered, their pieces strewn along mommy’s balcony to be gnawed upon by crows and other feathered scavengers.”

As the blob oozes angrily, he glowers like a shit-faced T-rex in a sauna.

“How the fuck would someone without a name get by in modern society?! Unless you live in a cabin in the woods and subsist entirely on nuts and berries, you’d have to provide proper ID to open a bank account or apply for a job. And don’t you think that the government would intervene if they had trouble collecting taxes from you?”

“I know, right? They would seize on my lack of a name as probable cause of terrorism. Those depraved cretins! Why do we let the state encroach upon our personal affairs? How far we have fallen since our fabled Paleolithic ancestors, whom I’m sure were freewheeling hedonists of great renown, roaming free in search of the perfect nipple. They never needed ID; they would simply paint a smudge of mud onto their foreheads and mumble into the trees, ‘Here I am, a boob for you,’ and any gal nearby would come crawling across the woods with her hair matted in clumps and her tongue out like a begging puppy. What a life of luxury they were blessed with by mommy Earth! Damn it, when was I asked if I wanted to partake in modern society?!”

The blob rolls his dozens of eyeballs so far back that they sink into the squirming goo, spin, then spring to the surface again. As films of black slime slide off the eyeballs, the sewage-colored irises dart about erratically like startled from a dream. When they focus on me, the wall-wide gelatinous bulk sags with a deflating groan that could be interpreted as a sigh, but that may have been a fart.

“I can’t believe I have fallen so low as to entertain your lunacy,” the blob moans. “It seems I have nothing better to do than listen to your absurd babble about names and nipples.”

“You’re just pissed because a big black squid’s arguments don’t stand for shit. Nobody else has ever complained about my eloquent sophistry. Why do you hate the truth? Is the mere existence of logic and evidence so unbearable to your warped little soul?”

“I might just be anti-nonsense.”

I take a deep breath.

“I’ve spent decades searching for some sense in this absurd existence, so I expect the same consideration and intellectual openness from others. At least don’t spit at me! But I see that, for you, I must simplify reality down to its rudimentary forms.”

“Please do. This has gone on long enough.”

“I’m indeed one of those unfortunate humans whose identity has been diminished to the name Leire. I’m also a thirty-year-old programmer without friends.”

“How very pleasant to meet you, Miss D-D-Dumb-Dumb-Dumb.”

“You bloated, pustulating turd!”

That bizarre bastard bursts into laughter, cackle after cackle. As the ghastly racket resounds, the mound of sludge shakes and ripples like the belly of an obese man who has gorged himself on a vatful of lard, and with each gargle and snort, the squelchy mass threatens to eject several gallons of its rotten innards into space.

Author’s note: today’s songs are “Never Ending Math Equation” by Modest Mouse, and “Peacebone” by Animal Collective.

I keep a playlist with all the songs I’ve mentioned throughout this novel. A hundred and five songs so far. Check them out.

Do ya know that some artificial intelligences can create images out of whatever prompt you send them? Well, do ya, punk? It just happens that I sent one of those AIs lots of sentences from this chapter. Check out the results.

Did you know that some neural networks can produce human-like voices? I exploited the best of those cutting-edge services to generate an audiochapter for this entry. Here’s the link.

This chapter was the most fun to write in quite a while, and the audiochapter that I produced from it turned out fantastic.

One thought on “We’re Fucked, Pt. 89 (Fiction)

  1. Pingback: We’re Fucked, Pt. 90 (Fiction) – The Domains of the Emperor Owl

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