We’re Fucked, Pt. 69 (Fiction)

Millefeuilles made of layers of puff pastry, cake, and cream. Chocolate croissants sprinkled with powdered sugar. Danish pastries topped with rosewood-colored jam. White mousse cakes that look like melting snowdrifts. Heart-shaped pastries half-caked in chocolate. Coffee buns dusted with coarse sugar. Coconut-flavored croquembouches. Crumbly cream horns. Sugar donuts. Stuffed crullers. Buttercream-iced choux buns. Cookie-crusted hazelnut pralines. Red fruit tartlets with a golden crust. Puff pastry braids bedecked with nuts and raisins. Freshly baked croissants that resemble legless, buff crabs. Oversized, rust-brown palmiers covered with a thick layer of glazed sugar. Oblong eclairs stuffed with cream and decorated with lines of white chocolate in zig-zag.

My mouth is flooding with saliva. The lining of my stomach secretes more and more acid like a flesh-vat at some dystopian factory, ready to dissolve whatever bolus gets pushed down the esophagus. I need to stuff myself with the whole inventory of pastries; their sugar will make me forget about my otherworldly stalkers, about the exponential ruin of our society, about the fact that I’m a failed genetic experiment that should have been thrown in the garbage, and about the fact that my brain is hoping to spot a hole in my defenses to unleash another assault of nightmarish memories: the disasters that the universe has hurled at me out of spite, and the disgraces that I’ve brought upon myself because I’m a cowardly fiend that is counting the minutes until she can shove her hand down her panties.

Our adopted daughter is standing on her tiptoes and pressing her hands and nose against the glass display counter, hypnotized by the concoctions of chocolate, cream and jam supplied by this factory of death and gluttony. She looks like she might faint if we let her try any pastry. The child will make us gorge ourselves on a cake of toxic sludge, to push us deeper into the underbelly of this rotten world that promises periods of blissful oblivion through drugs, only to fuck us over.

“She’s going to become addicted to sugar in no time,” I say.

Jacqueline chuckles.

“Aren’t we all.”

From behind the counter comes the chirpy voice of a young woman with an Eastern European accent.

“She’s so adorable! It’s like she’s the cutest thing I ever laid eyes on! What kind of pastry would you like, little bunny?”

Past the reflections in the plexiglass partition, the barista is wearing a black uniform and grey-blue sanitary gloves. She’s at least half a head taller than me. Her sandy-blond hair, tied up in a messy bun, gleams under the overhead lights. Her eyes are shadowed by deep mascara, and she has the Slavic gaze of someone who has witnessed officers of Communism forcing entire villages to starve, although she looks young enough to be in college.

I should prevent her from interacting with Jacqueline; if this woman flirted, my beloved may snap out of her trance and realize that she’s dating the human equivalent of a raccoon. But the barista has fixed her haunted gaze on our child, and dared to address her. Although I’m tempted to tell this woman that she should mind her own business, over the years I’ve learned that if you are as hostile to people as they deserve, they tend to bother you even more, so I measure my response.

“Please, don’t mention bunnies in my presence,” I say icily. “And we haven’t decided yet. Once we do, I hope you’ll be capable enough of providing the chosen pastries for us.”

When the woman smiles, I’m surprised that she had been able to cover those teeth with her lips.

“I’m sure I will!”

“Then we’ll have two millefeuilles, a half-dozen of the chocolate croissants, one fruit tartlet with almonds, four palmiers, and two dozen donuts. Plus two bottles of your best champagne.”

She raises her eyebrows.

“What was that?”

“We haven’t decided yet,” Jacqueline says through a grin, then she pats me on the shoulder. “Let’s pick our table. One of those at the back.”

I stifle a yawn as I nod. Hand in hand with our adopted daughter, we head deeper into the pastry shop, past two short-haired, middle-aged women who have ordered toast and coffee, then past an ancient woman whose wrinkled skin is stained with liver spots, and who is sitting next to her South American carer; both are frowning as if they’re trying to figure out the purpose of their existence.

Jacqueline picks two joined tables at the back, then she gestures for the child to climb onto the chair closest to the wall and facing the entrance. She’s safer if we box her in.

This shop features a second counter dominated by an industrial coffee machine, above which menu boards advertise breakfasts. Two male clients are seated on wooden stools at the counter. My skin itches; my brain is busy monitoring the presence of multiple strangers although I’m already exhausting my reserves of energy on remaining coherent. Jacqueline, however, remains as calm as a cup of warm milk.

After we set down the shopping bags on the fourth chair, my beloved walks around the two varnished maple wood tables to take off our child’s lemonade-pink scarf, revealing the peach-orange skin of her throat. The girl lets out an anxious vocalization, as if she had been deprived of a toy.

“You shouldn’t wear it indoors, darling,” Jacqueline says in her honeyed voice. “It will catch lots of crumbs.”

I slump down into the chair next to our child, but as I’m considering that she would feel more comfortable closer to the woman that has taken care of her, Jacqueline interrupts my thoughts.

“What would strike your fancy, dear?”

“Well, if I force myself to drink more coffee today, I might vomit.”

“So how about a cup of chocolate? Our girl will also enjoy that.”

“Sounds tasty.”

“And what kind of pastries would you like?”

“Anything you think that I can fit in my mouth.”

Jacqueline chuckles. She leans over the table to move aside the menu and the napkin dispenser, clearing some space in front of the child. She pulls out from one of the shopping bags a sketchbook, the kind that an art teacher would order his middle school students to buy, as well as a yellow pack of Crayola crayons that contains sixty-four different colors. My girlfriend’s face lights up with a grin as she opens the pack, revealing four rows of crayons like multicolored, cone-headed freaks seated at an auditorium. I lack names for half of those colors.

The child perks up, then she gabbles a couple of sentences excitedly. Jacqueline reaches over to pat her on the head.

“It will take us a long time to teach our language to this doll, if… if she’s capable of learning it.” Her smile falters. “But she should be able to draw, right?”

I pull out an asphalt-black crayon from the pack. I probe its flat tip.

“Yeah… I read this morning that plenty of those cave paintings were made by children.”

“Perfect. Keep her entertained, will you?”

Jacqueline squeezes my hand, then she struts towards the counter to order. When I turn my head to the right, our child is paying attention to me with curiosity; I feared that she would look at me as if I were some pest that she’s forced to tolerate. Her cherubic cheeks disturb my heart, but the gaze of her monolid eyes is like a laser running over my face. It reminds me of my high school biology teacher; when he was about to explain the insides of an elephant, he stared so long and hard into our eyes that I started to wonder if elephants actually existed.

This girl is shining a light on the garbage bags I piled up at the apartment I abandoned, on the shattered living room window I never bothered to fix, on the board games I bought but didn’t unwrap, on the times I stuck around after hours at the office and tugged my trousers and panties down to rub one out. Is she a cosmic judge sent from the distant past to bring the gavel down on my foul deeds? Or maybe this girl will grow into the exact image of my mother: an indifferent humanoid programmed to erase me from history.

I gulp.

“Just wait until they serve us a bunch of pastries, forest girl,” I say nervously while I try a smile. “You have never tasted anything that good! And you’re lucky I’m not the one preparing your food. I’m able to fry ham and bacon and cook some eggs, but you never know if they’ll somehow end up covered in cum.”

The child arches her eyebrows and tilts her head, and my cheeks flush. I scoot my chair closer to her.

“Nevermind what I said. I guess you need to be taught how to draw with crayons, so check this out.”

What should I draw? What effluvia of my diseased brain could I show to this pristine child that has just begun to get eroded by modernity? I risk scarring her for life. But what an odd worry for me to have; when was the last time that I doodled anything else than a close-up of my own face? No, of the face with which I should have been born, instead of the rotting husk with which any reflective surface torments me.

I survey the rows of crayons as if they were the opportunities of a full hand in a card game. I let my instinct grab four other crayons from the pack. When I lean back, I spot Jacqueline: she’s standing in front of the pastry counter and pointing at some items inside the glass display counter. Behind it, the Slavic barista, pastry chef or whatever the hell she pretends to be, is using food tongs to pluck an oblong eclair.

Seated at the second counter, next to an uneven and dented wooden pillar, a man in his late twenties is ogling my girlfriend’s legs. He’s wearing a beanie and a nylon windbreaker. He’s holding his phone in his hand as if he was staring at it before he realized that the most delicious woman alive had materialized in this store. The sight of my girlfriend’s twin mountains hugged by her sweater would be enough to make the man’s crotch swell up like an angry balloon.

I can make out the tight, toned flesh of Jacqueline’s legs through her cinder-colored tights, and as she bends over to press a fingertip against the glass display counter, her plaid skirt hikes up slightly. The bottom of her peacoat may keep hiding her butt, or it may instead fail catastrophically at its mission, exposing her ample behind that resembles a pair of ripe pomegranates. Anyway, Jacqueline is an exquisite piece of art that should have been painted by Leonardo da Vinci, while I’m an unmade bed with a dirty quilt and a crusted-up blanket, my sheets tattered by two decades of restless sleep and smelly ejaculate.

How dare that beanie-wearing beast take a sneak peek at my queen’s attributes? Merely grazing Jacqueline with his gaze would befoul her as if she had fallen in one of those Indian rivers. I should stop him. I would stand up, walk up to the pervert and tap his shoulder. When he turned around, I would clock him hard on the nose. No, that may break my fingers, and he might even punch me back. I could hurl the napkin dispenser at him. A hail of paper may distract him so much that Jacqueline would return to our table unmolested. I could snatch the barista’s tongs, then I’d snap the guy’s neck with a quick twist and a jerk. I’m also holding crayons; although their tip is flat, the end is still tapered, so I could try to push them through the guy’s face. No, I would have to sharpen the tips first with my teeth. I could fling the crayons at the prick, but I don’t know which colors would be the most effective in dissuading him from polluting my queen.

What the hell am I thinking? Isn’t Spike’s revolver weighing down the inside pocket of my corduroy jacket? I should take the weapon out and check that the bullets haven’t vanished, that they remain in the chamber. I’d cock the hammer, then aim the revolver at the back of that windbreaker. Blam, blam! Blood would start oozing from the two black holes. After that triumph of justice, an oily thread of equine saliva would descend from the heavens, and its beady end would morph into a thumbs up.

If either of the bullets buried themselves in the guy’s spine, he would slump instantly to the hardwood floor. Otherwise he would stand up and turn around with an annoyed expression. Upon noticing that a thin stream of smoke rose from the muzzle of my revolver, he would say, “what the hell, lady.” But I would lower the barrel towards his abdomen and squeeze the trigger. Blam! Another blood spatter. The bullet would pierce his intestines, which would leak out their shit and cause an infection that would rot his insides. If by this point the revolver didn’t misfire and explode turning my hands into shredded ribbons, I would aim the revolver further down. A thick liquid would be dangling from the glans of his erect penis. Blam! His dick and balls would burst. The windbreaker-clad wretch would fall to his knees while clutching his pulsating groin, then tumble into a pool of liquefied meat.

Once a man loses his genitals, he wouldn’t care if I smashed his face with a rock, if I gouged his eyes out, or if I cut his head off. His life was already over anyway. If someone were to shoot out my clitoris, I’d have a hard time getting out of bed in the mornings.

A small hand tugs on my right sleeve. I flinch, my heart leaps to my throat. Our child lets out a sentence in a questioning tone, which pulls me down into the atmosphere of this patisserie and its scent of pastries splashed with blood. Her childish innocence will strike me dead and bury me in the same grave as that beanie-wearing lowlife.

I wish I were like this girl. Her eyes are clear and she’s free. And she probably has no clue how to use a knife nor a fork.

My brain feels like it’s dripping with tar. I catch my breath, then I wipe my forehead with the back of my hand.

“You are right, I was supposed to work on my masterpiece. You know what they say: never make your art in a patisserie. It may be a fine place for fattening food, but for creative work, it’s too distracting. Anyway, my drawing will become the most famous ever, and it will cure my insomnia.”

I hunch over the sketchbook and start drawing the outline of a face, but the stroke comes out faint. I examine the tip of the asphalt-black crayon. No, they didn’t come with transparent caps, and my exhaustion is preventing me from thinking straight, because the crayon’s pigmented wax wouldn’t have touched the paper in that case. I must have gotten used to pens and markers.

I press the tip of the crayon harder against the paper until the curve comes out as thick as I want, although it feels like I’m punishing the sketchbook. I draw round eyes like those of a slow loris, the well-mouths into an inner chasm. Added to the slightly raised eyebrows and the half-closed lips, the woman’s expression suggests madness, frustration and pent-up horniness. In short, her look screams, “I’m trapped within my own mind, so fuck me, please and thank you, mistress.”

I can’t figure out how to make the strokes seem continuous, and some of the colors have blended into mud. The tip of an orange crayon splinters into chips. When I brush them away with my hand, they leave a stain on the paper. I guess that any crayon drawing ends up looking like it was made by a child.

I’m enjoying shading that brow furrowed in worry, as well as the space under the arched eyebrows, under the marked eye bags that befit someone who suffers from anxiety-induced insomnia and severe depression, and under that downturned mouth of a person for whom every moment of happiness, as soon as it ends, feels like a mirage.

I draw each sinuous lock of hair in caramel and wood browns, with some orange added in as if I had dyed those locks with henna, until I end up rendering a beastly mane that matches my unkempt mind. Hair is about a hundred thousand protein filaments that grow however they please out of the person’s scalp; aren’t we damaging its dignity by arranging it with a narrow-toothed tool into artificial shapes?

Under the caricaturesque head, I’ve depicted a skinny neck and narrowed shoulders; even in a drawing, I want to occupy as little space as possible. I don’t dare to continue the drawing below that close-up, but I envision a body like a column, its legs thin as pipes and the feet dangling from them. I’m tempted to add a title in the top right-hand corner of the paper: ‘The Lonely Loon, Queen of Monsters.’ I should also write an accompanying poem:

I am a monster from a land far away.
I roamed the mountains,
I lurked in the caves,
I slithered on the sand,
I climbed the trees,
I scaled the clouds,
I jumped between the rainbows,
I swayed amidst the stars.

I’m not a good kid, as you can see
From my monstrous countenance.
My feet are freezing and bloody red,
But my mouth is filled with hot steam.

My mom is a lizard. She says she’s an angel.
My dad is a worm. He says he’s a god.
My only companion is the moon.
I eat other monsters’ bodies,
And I swallow every stranger
Who wanders in from outside.
My shadow is so long
As I cast it upon the ground.

I stick my teeth into my soul’s wounds,
And eat myself alive.
I will end up living on ice.

This is my song of mourning,
This is my prayer to the night,
That a special monster like myself
May find herself at peace in another realm.

My voice does not reach the skies,
Nor do my words touch the Earth,
But I sing my songs to the moon
While she falls asleep by the lake,
And wakes up by the river
Where there is no one else.

I remove my elbows from the table, then I push the sketchbook to the child’s side.

“Ta-ta!” I exclaim using an expression that may have been common in the Ice Age.

The child snaps her head back and lets out an admiring O sound through her O-shaped mouth. A flood of pride flows down to my groin.

“Hell yeah, I’m pretty good, huh?” I point at the drawing, then at myself. “Leire. That’s me. My name is Leire.”

She stares at me hesitantly while her eyebrows twitch. When she parts her lips, they form a bubble of saliva that slides to a corner of her mouth. She closes it again.

I tap the drawing with my index finger.


“Eide,” the child says in her high-pitched voice.

Did the word’s consonants become shapeless blobs of doughy mud, as if they’d fallen into a tar pit and gotten stuck?


She claps and hoots with laughter as if I were a monkey and she had heard me utter a ridiculous sound.

I’m flabbergasted. A rush of warmth fills my chest, and my head feels like it’s about to shoot off like the cork of a champagne bottle. Oh no, I want to hug this child so hard that her liquified viscera would get squeezed through her orifices like toothpaste!

The name Leire is elegant and alluring; a poet would form it with his lips while gazing at the stars and yearning for the one he loves. Eide sounds like a rude kid who has failed to learn that she shouldn’t insult other people’s parents, or hit people over the head with a hammer. Eide is a name for a morose girl who needs hugs. I guess I’m Eide now.

That was the first of the Ice Age child’s vocalizations that showed intelligence; whatever vestiges of sentience we recognized in her previous actions might have been wish fulfillment. Now I suspect that she may be smarter than me.

My heartbeat resumes its steady thud. I point at myself with one thumb.


The child waves her little hand at me.


When I jab my index finger at our girl, her eyes sparkle. She clenches her hands into fists and blurts out maybe two words, but I don’t understand how she used her tongue and lips to vocalize them, even though I’m staring at her mouth.

I should give myself a break. An otherworldly demon invaded my dreams to force-feed me tainted pancakes, which caused me to wake up screaming at four in the morning, then a rip in spacetime sent me to the Paleolithic Age, where I risked losing my fingers and toes and nose to frostbite, as well as my sanity. I also pissed off an extinct ground sloth to the point where it wanted to ram its claws through my windpipe. I should be thankful that I can still understand my own language, and if I think about all of this too long, I might become incapable of speaking.

Author’s note: today’s songs are “Caribou” (as well as this alternate version) by Pixies, and “Mute” by Youth Lagoon.

Leire’s fear that any food she prepares may end up covered in cum is actually a reference to chapter 14.

I exploited a neural network to generate images related to this chapter: here’s the link.

This was the last chapter I will be able to post before I return to work this Friday. Of course, it feels like a disaster. Back to the routine of wasting my time and energies on fixing stupid computer problems, dealing with even stupider users, and tolerating my coworkers, who often act like middle school kids. But I’ve never managed to earn more than ten euros selling my ebooks, and I’m a thirty-seven-year-old disgusting dude, so nobody would want to pay the bills while I stay at home jerking off whether literally or psychologically, or both at once.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this one.

A Hedgehog’s Advantage (Poetry)

Throughout these pointless thirty six years of my life,
I’ve been amused by the strange dance people engage in
When they take a passing interest in shitty old me.
The more they know me, the more they twist their minds
To figure out how their frameworks can wrap around
The prickly, festering spherule that I represent.

Their picture of me is a mirage they conjured up
Of a prisoner who willingly keeps the world outside.
Some believe they can fix me through their efforts,
Some create elaborate fantasies to find me worthy.
So much energy wasted in hopeless endeavours
When they all get sick of me in the end.

Narcissists who want to bring me out of my shell
To gloat in their own virtue towards their inferiors,
Brainwashed social workers for whom I’m a good boy
Because I fit one of their protected categories,
Aging mommy types for whom the world is divided
Into vulnerable kids and threats to kids
(But who won’t offer me their tits to suck on),
Dutiful servants of a made-up god
Eager to propagate their Abrahamic curse
(Western civilization died with Rome).

The more they know me, the more they loathe themselves.
The more they know me, the more I despise them.
They wish me to vanish from their lives,
I wish them to be erased from the face of the earth.

I’m chained to this physical frame
That I didn’t choose nor identify with
(A living corpse, a lump of organic waste),
And to keep it breathing and moving,
I’ve had to tether myself to others,
But in my mind I’ve always been alone.

I’ve survived on my own until now,
I’ll survive on my own until I die.
Through my misguided attempts at love I learned
That nothing could fill this cannonball-sized hole.

I’m a mentally ill junkie
Constantly aching for my next fix.
I’m a suicidal wannabe
Machine-gunning serial killer.
I was born to spread rot
Upon this ruinous world.
To feel okay for a single moment,
I’ll betray or abuse whoever needs to fall.

I hate my mother who killed me.
I loathe my father who should have.
There’s no point in any of it;
I’ve seen all the stars
And they’re just holes.
No life before my birth,
No life after my death.
In between there’s only me
In an endless stream of pain.

If anything I do, say or write
Bothers you enough to care,
Please, do me a huge favor
And go to hell.

The Tiny Pebble in My Head (Poetry)

Ten years ago I still believed in therapy.
I used to pay this psychiatrist a hundred euros
For each session, that always started late
And often got interrupted by phone calls.

What I got out of those sessions was false hope,
The notion that I was going forward in life
Because to listen to me for an hour, I paid someone
As much as I would make as a technician in four days.

I don’t know what the point of all that was;
There were no answers to anything,
No solutions or plans for my future.
I always felt like a guinea pig in some experiment.

After each session, I wanted to vomit.
I spent the day with a lump in my throat
While lying on my bed or walking around the block,
Looking at the clouds and sky above my head.
I’ve always hated talking about myself,
And especially sharing my secrets with others.
Talking with other people is exhausting.
It’s not like anyone has ever really cared.

But I guess I was desperate for help and support.
My cycles of depression made me lose opportunities,
And I’ve dealt with suicidal ideation since forever.
Many times I’ve fantasized about overdosing,
Throwing myself out of a window,
Shooting myself in the head,
And a myriad of other creative methods
Of getting rid of this life I’ve never enjoyed.

Anyway, talking never worked well enough,
So these professionals wanted to medicate me.
They said stuff like, “We’ll try this one drug,
And if it doesn’t work, we’ll try something else.”

This one antidepressant, or whatever it was,
Made my skin break out in stretch marks,
And I suddenly found myself producing milk
Out of the breast tissue my body had developed.
Not many men can say, let alone admit,
That they know how their breast milk tastes.

(The taste reminded me of rotten meat
With some sourness and saltiness added.
Over the years, as I grew more unhinged,
My milk tasted better. I no longer disliked it.
It became a part of my diet.
I drank it straight from the teat with a straw,
Or with some milk powder mixed in for taste.
Now I was consuming myself to survive.
I could have become anemic
From all the blood I was losing in this way.
Yet it was the only sustenance I had available;
Without it I would have died within a week.)

None of that seemed right,
So they told me to get an MRI.
I enjoyed the cozy feeling
Of being trapped in that coffin
While this loud clanging noise
Echoed through every bone in my body.
It felt like what one might experience in space,
Except instead of zero gravity
It’s just magnetic forces
Pulling your brain around.

The next doctor I visited, maybe two weeks later,
Started talking about how he was going to treat it.
“Treat what?” I asked. Things got awkward quick;
Someone had failed to tell me beforehand
That they had found a tumor in my pituitary gland.

I thought maybe they could show me something else,
Something more important than my tumor.
A hole in my heart that wouldn’t close.
A tear in my eye that no doctor could remove.
Anything besides my macroadenoma.

The tumor is a lumpy thing that lives inside me,
Hiding behind my eyes where nobody can see it.
(Sometimes when I blink it gets dislodged and falls out.
I feel it at night as it makes its way down through my hair.)

A prolactinoma they call it,
A tiny pebble of flesh in that stupid gland
Located at the base of the brain,
And that according to some googling,
It monitors and regulates bodily functions
Through the hormones it produces:
The adrenocorticotropic hormone,
The growth hormone,
The luteinising hormone,
And the thyroid stimulating hormone.

I don’t know what most of that means,
But because I was born with this tumor
And it wasn’t found for twenty five years,
I failed to produce enough testosterone
During the critical years of my development,
So I ended up with low bone density,
Headaches, migraines,
Loss of interest in sexual activities
(I believed myself to be asexual,
But now I’d fuck anything that moves),
Erectile dysfunction,
Possible infertility (not that it matters),
Enlarged breasts,
And far more sweat than necessary.

This tumor is a macroadenoma in one dimension,
Meaning that it could fuck up the optic nerve,
And to prevent it from growing further,
I have to keep taking medication for life.

My doc told me that some other guy with this tumor
Had decided to stop taking the drug,
And years later he went to the hospital
Because he experienced head-splitting headaches;
His tumor had kept growing uncontrollably.

(My doctor told me to stay away from doctors.
He advised me to stop going to the hospital.
The last thing he wanted to see was me again.
I found this to be an incredible relief;
I could get back to the safety and isolation I craved,
And it seemed like I had nothing more to lose anyway.)

Do you have any clue how much fun it is
To be known as the male kid with breasts?
Worse yet, this kind of tumor is known to cause
The infamous curse of the micropenis.
I suppose I must count myself lucky;
Mine just ended up small.
After gym class, about to hit the showers,
My dick was at times a source of ridicule,
Although life didn’t feel funny at all to me.

Sex has always been shameful and humiliating,
And a girlfriend used its size to justify
Cheating with some other guy and leaving me.
There’s no cure for having a small dick,
Neither for the mental scars of insults and mockery,
So I’ll likely stick with VR porn for the rest of my life.

Ironically, this tumor with which I was born,
Or that I developed shortly after,
Seems unrelated to the autism
(High-functioning, formerly Asperger’s)
That I was also born with or developed.
Add to that a screwed up family,
And plenty more terrible luck.

Stranger yet, this fucking macroadenoma
Put me under feminizing hormone therapy
Against my will, as if it were any of those doctors
That these days decides that a girl must become a boy
Because she likes wearing pants and playing with trucks,
To try to change the way you’re made
Into the thing that fits those bastards best.

There’s no magic potion, no quick fix
For the nonsense that we’ve been given,
Just a whole lot of hurt
And a million kinds of pain.

My brain failed to develop properly as a guy
But also failed to grow as a girl.
I’m left feeling like something is missing inside me,
Like I could never be normal in any way.

Whenever I get undressed, I avoid staring at myself;
I don’t identify with the body with which I was left.
When I stare, the reflected face seems strange:
It looks back at me with its own eyes,
The expression of a whole other self.
That doesn’t mean I should have been a girl;
I simply shouldn’t have been born
With a fucking tumor in my head
(Or better yet, not have been born at all).

My sexuality got fucked up as a result,
An obvious point if you’ve read my stuff.

In the end my heart’s not so easy to read,
It beats with such intensity it can’t be missed.
So what do you see? What does this brain look like?
And why did they cut my penis off with scissors
And sew my vagina shut while I was still alive?

(None of this has to do
With that marxist,
Society-ruining garbage
That cretins keep spewing out
From the infiltrated academia
And the compromised media;
You should all shove a cactus
Up your greasy bums.)

I’ve always felt comfortable
Writing female characters.
It would be nice to have a pussy,
Or at least a decently-sized dick.

Is it truly a wonder, then,
That ever since I was a little boy,
When faced with any problem,
The first solution that came to mind
Was to end my suffering and die?
I haven’t improved in that respect;
I’ve just grown jaded and exhausted,
Way past my expiration date,
And I’m waiting for my body
To finally get the memo
And say “fuck you” to me.

My head is spinning like an airplane on its last descent.
Nothing remains but static inside this fucking skull.

It’s been a long time since I last saw a shrink.
Instead, I write for self-expression and catharsis:
An art gallery where no one goes,
A museum without visitors.
I thought that writing would serve as therapy,
But what a joke that turned out to be.

My writing gives me pleasure and relief.
I guess that it’s a sort of masturbation.
If that’s so, then let me enjoy my self-pleasure;
Fuck off to read Shakespeare if that makes you happy.

They say that every man must come to terms with himself.
What about people like me? How are we supposed to do that?
My brain doesn’t know who I am. My body isn’t even mine.
My penis and testicles don’t seem to exist at all.

I’m not interested in reality;
I just want to live in my mind.
So when I sit in here with you today,
You are just a phantom in the dark.

Do people change? I haven’t changed much.
I’m afraid to look people in the face.
The whole world looks gloomy to me.
A deep sadness has settled into my heart.

The only reason why I haven’t killed myself yet
Is because there are things left to accomplish in life.
Just kidding; it’s because I’m a little bitch
With severe executive dysfunction issues.

I feel like I’ve been around forever.
Time just flies by. It feels so short.
Why did I even get out of bed today?
What should I be doing with my life?
To me there’s nothing special about living;
It is just the long, tiring way to die.

Anyway, fuck you all,
Especially you reading this,
If only ’cause
I got fucked first.

A Boy on a Boat (Poetry)

Ahead of me:
I sit at an office for years and years
To do shit I couldn’t care less about
While the shit in my bowels churns and burns.
A billion sounds slap me in the face.
A billion gazes pierce me.
A billion colors overwhelm my mind.
I force myself to speak although I want to be left alone.
My father dies.
My mother dies.
I live in an unkempt, dirty, stink-ridden hole.
My health slowly crumbles away.
My body breaks down.
I either pay someone to wipe my ass until my heart stops,
Or I muster the strength to hang myself.

Behind me:
I’m surrounded by kids that I can’t understand
And that don’t understand me.
My mother drags me by the hand
Down the steep slope of our street
Because some kids have taken my brother’s ball.
I listen to my mother berating my father
With a voice like nails on a chalkboard.
I don’t know who I am.
I don’t understand what’s happening inside me.
My grandmother drools on my mashed potatoes.
I get a thousand thermometers
Shoved up my ass.
Someone films me as I take a shower.
My mother slaps me in the face
Because I slapped her pregnant belly by mistake.
My father forces the bathroom door open
And finds me with my head under the water.
I watch as some older kids push my pal
Facefirst into a tide of soapy foam.
I hide behind a car while my pal lies on the road
To find out if the next car will stop.
A kid calls me a fat ass.
A kid points out that I have tits.
A kid points and laughs at my dick.
A group of kids take turns punching my shoulder.
That girl says we are now dating,
But the next time she approaches me smiling
I pretend I don’t know what she’s talking about.
I need to be alone but I’m an unwanted guest
In my older brother’s bedroom.
I need to be alone but a narcissistic cousin
Pushes his way into my bedroom every weekend.
A gypsy kid brings his whole family to threaten me.
We find my sister electrocuted,
Her forearm blackened up to the elbow.
That classmate likes me, but I say something
And she never talks to me again.
My sister yells until my mother gives in.
I hide my stuff or else it’ll get stolen.
I want to call the cops because my sister’s boyfriend
Is dealing drugs under our balcony.
A myriad of pimples colonize my face.
That girl I like wants someone else.
A guy pushes his way into our rented property
And threatens to kill us with a broken bottle.
An older guy beats me up in front of a hundred people.
I spend an eternity in the dark between floors
Of random apartment buildings
As I wait for the hours to pass.
I wander through Donostia like a zombie
During the hours I should be in class.
My eyes hurt, my nose is bleeding.
A guy that wanted to hang out glares at me like a spited lover
In classrooms to which he doesn’t belong.
Someone turns his or her back on me
Because a different guy goes out of his way
To poison everyone against me.
I talk to the therapist for forty minutes
Then I pay her as much as I would make in a day,
And she says that my depression
Is just the result of a major depression.
I refuse to return the calls of that basketball player
Whose firm ass I still feel in my hands,
Because I like her too much
And she will end up abandoning me.
I confuse this girl for this other girl
Then I date her for years.
I need to be alone but I have to go out with my girl.
I cry in silence while she smokes in the bathroom.
A classmate insults me in every class for two years,
But the teacher tells me to ignore her because she’s troubled.
My girl sits next to that guy instead of me
And gets mad because the evening goes well.
She says she’ll destroy me if I make things difficult.
I find myself wandering to known spots
And hoping that she’ll show up.
I can’t get out of bed.
I don’t know what day it is or how old I am.
I take her calls because I miss her.
She gloats to me over the size of her new man’s dick.
I go to college for a couple of months
Until I realize I can’t do it on my own.
My childhood pal either overdoses or kills himself.
I have a tumor in my head.
I find myself filling bottles with my pee.
My body gets covered in stretch marks.
The shrink tells me I’m autistic.
I wade through the mud of another depression
While I yearn to die in my sleep.
A smiling HR drone tells me I do good work
But I won’t work well in a team.
I go out but I can’t wait to run back home.
My head feels like it’s been filled with lead.
My skin is the same color as the gray sky.
I see nothing but clouds outside;
The color has faded from every tree.
I get excited enough at her concert
That I realize how much of a retard I truly am.
A young social worker gets flirty with me,
Then she dates someone else
And steals glances at my receding hairline.
A pitbull breaks my cat in half,
And I watch her eyes popping out
And her tongue protruding
As she agonizes in excruciating pain.
I don’t understand anybody in this writing course;
They’d prefer if I weren’t here.
I write two novels that nobody wants.
The people I work with stare at me
And sling countless words my way.
I refuse to see my cat’s decomposing body
Because I don’t want that image in my head
For the rest of my life.
I write another novel that nobody wants.
I break down, I can’t write another word.
I spend days staring at the wall.
I’ll be thirty seven in a month.
The sun is out, I am cold.

(In a hotel with my name on a plate,
The woman at the check-in
Tells me the weather is nice.
I’ll walk down to the beach
Where the sun’s never-ending rays
Will warm my skin and my bones.
I’ll see the children running in the sand.
The sun will glint off their golden heads
As the blue waves roll in from afar.)

I’m a boy on a boat
Floating along a river.
The boat sinks.
I drown.

I can’t do this alone.
I have always done it alone.
I have never been able to love
Even when I tried my best.
I have a hole
Where my heart ought to be.

My life has been nothing
But an accumulation of pain
And disappointment
And mediocrity
And uselessness.

I find myself wandering through my place
Like a ghost that can’t die.
The only thing I want to do
Is fall asleep.

Writing can’t save me,
But it can deceive me into believing
That these words I type
Are worth forcing myself to breathe
For another day.

Author’s note: five in the morning, listening to Japanese shoegaze.

Revised and expanded: This Is Not a Good Story

Back when I was revising my latest full novel, My Own Desert Places, I rearranged all my free verse poems into three distinct books, so in the future I could upload them as ebooks to online retailers. Whenever I feel like it, I’ve been going through the poems contained in the first of those books, to update their punctuation, revise them and expand them if possible.

This time I had to handle my free verse poem slash short story This Is Not a Good Story, about a guy who meets a sad girl. As I was rereading it, my impression was something like, “What the hell is this? Why did I think this was good enough to upload?”

My standards have grown, so stuff I wrote just a few months ago doesn’t satisfy me anymore. Apart from that, I think I derived significant satisfaction from starting a poem soon after I got to the office and managing to “finish” it just as I was about to leave, which infused the otherwise pointless workday with meaning. Nowadays I’d rather continue improving the piece after I get home.

In any case, I removed around 600 words of the original version of This Is Not a Good Story, then I added like 800 new ones. I’m quite proud of the current version.

If you, stranger reading these words right now (can you hear my voice echoing in your head?), read the original version of this poem back in July and enjoyed it, I think you should read it again, because it’s like a whole new thing.

Link to the updated poem: This Is Not a Good Story

Revised: ‘A Ghastly Scar’

When I was revising my latest full novel, I rearranged all the free verse poetry I ever wrote (because I only tried my hand at it for the first time back in May, I think) into three books that some day I’ll format into ebooks, so I can upload them on online retailers and beg people to buy them.

I have been going through all the poems contained in the first of those books, to revise them, update the punctuation and expand them if necessary. This time I handled ‘A Ghastly Scar’, a heartfelt piece about a girl I used to know back in middle school.

To my horror, the previous version of this poem was a mess. I’ve had to edit nearly every sentence. I don’t know whether I’ve improved that much since July or I hurried up to upload the poem before I had to leave the office. In any case, I’m happy with the updated version.

Link to the updated poem: A Ghastly Scar

Revised: ‘The Princess of the Gutter’

Back when I was revising my latest full novel (first in English), I rearranged all my poetry into three books, because I intended to upload them to online retailers as ebooks eventually.

I have been going through each of the poems contained in the first of those books, to revise them, update their punctuation and expand them if seemingly necessary. This time I had to handle my poem ‘The Princess of the Gutter’, about my experiences failing to keep jobs and ending up hanging out at a center for adults with disabilities.

I had uploaded this poem in a worse state than I expected, so it has required a significant revision. However, I only expanded it by a couple of sentences.

Link to the updated poem: The Princess of the Gutter

Revised: ‘The Cleaning Crew’

Some time ago I rearranged all my poetry into three distinct books, and I’ve been going through the poems contained in the first of those books to revise them and expand them if possible. The idea is to format the books into ebooks so I can upload them to online retailers.

This time I handled my small poem ‘The Cleaning Crew’, in which for the most part I merely recounted what happened and what I thought about it. I started writing it that day, a couple of minutes after I returned from the bathroom.

Apart from updating the punctuation, it was a routine revision: remove a few words here and there, improve some of the remaining words, rearrange a few sentences.

Link to the updated poem: The Cleaning Crew