Archives for posts with tag: Porn

I’VE BEEN WATCHING THE NEWS.

 

 

Tonight features a retrospective on Dodge City’s Porn Village. Its nostalgia for the days before the Village turned bizarre is itself Pornographic, probably not unintentionally.

 

 

The Porn Village, the NEWS REPORT begins, is where the Objects of the Dodge City Pornography were born and bred, living according to some harmonic, inscrutable order of their own, often conceiving and even birthing their next generations in front of the camera, then dying quietly and going to seed.

 

 

The Village keeps to itself, a few miles down a dirt road leading away from Dodge City. In the tradition of sacrifice victims bred like cows in the Outskirts, fed on special mash and informed of their purpose from Day 1, our Porn Objects breed and are born for us, so that we too, in our shy manner, might likewise breed and give birth.

 

 

We watch what Porn we’re given, one VHS per night. Each of us lives alone, and is in that sense a virgin.

 

 

We insert the tape and watch the screen fill with Objects of all ages and sizes, eating, sleeping, showering, defecating, copulating, sometimes committing suicide and watching other forms of TV … all in the nude, or in ripped, too-tight underwear.

 

 

The physical connection between their bodies and our own is just loose enough to be alluring, just tight enough to be familiar (allowing us to believe we can feel what they feel, mapping their nerves onto our own). We recognize ourselves in them, though we also know better than to think we might manage to do what they do, with one another here in Dodge City, without recourse to them.

 

 

After we’ve watched each night’s allotment, we put the tape out with the trash before it starts to stink life half-eaten chicken salad and eggs.

 

 

*****

Our Porn is not for pleasure. We have, over the course of weakening generations, made it the basis of our reproductive system.

 

 

Males, on this diet of one fresh Porn per night, save their resultant sludge in plastic bags, which are collected weekly by kids on bikes – the same kids, androgynous and parentless as far as anyone knows, that deliver the Porn itself, serving as go-betweens to the Porn Village.

 

 

These bags are then emptied in a compost pile in the Community Gardens, where their content mixes with itself and with the soil to serve as both fertilizer and pesticide for our produce as it grows.

 

 

When our produce comes ripe in September – a kind of reddish-black ground meat product, a pre-human substrate pocked with sketches of musculature – the females of Dodge City convene in the Civic Center.

 

 

They dine, then take their Porn into separate rooms, along with their portions of substrate, and, when they are ready, lit by the grinding, sometimes dying Porn Objects onscreen, they implant it in themselves, as far in and up as it will go, until it takes and begins to gestate, as the tape sputters out and begins to stink.

 

 

IN JUNE, the next crop of Dodge City young is upon us, let loose into the parks and YMCA to fend for itself until it too develops the taste for Porn and our species evades extinction once again.

 

 

In this way, our genetics swim in a concentric circle around those of the Porn Village, the two streams touching but never crossing.

 

 

A COMMERCIAL BREAK, THEN:

 

 

RESEARCH HAS REVEALED, the NEWS REPORT resumes, a longstanding practice in the Dodge City Police Dept. of replacing every citizen it executes with an impersonator culled from its own ranks.

 

 

“In tribute,” a spokesperson explains, “to each fallen member of our town’s underclass, without which we would have no buffer between Earth and Hell.”

 

 

In the course of time, the police force shrinks and the town’s seamiest population swells with impersonators, who, naturally, allow the thrill of being “back from the dead” to consume them, to the point where, like swapping in live flowers for dead ones, it becomes incumbent upon the Police Dept. to execute and replace them once again.

 

 

None of which would’ve impacted our Pornography had these impersonators not crossed the line, seeping out of Dodge City and into the Porn Village like swamp gas into the gene pool, turning it from clear to green.

 

 

BUT THEY DID.

 

 

“We wanted to feel what it was like,” I imagine them explaining, in court one day in late summer. “Real flesh for once. The good stuff.” I picture them professing their readiness to be executed, knowing how soon they’ll be replaced.

 

 

THIS WAS A WHILE AGO.

 

 

Since then, their peaceful incest disturbed, the Porn Objects have been on a course of increasing aberration: shrunken arms, bulging heads, protruding vertebrae, glistening spots on their bellies that look semi-solid, like smears of gel in place of skin and muscle.

 

 

And their genitals: squiggles, nests, blurs, double- and triple-protrusions and sticky hanging tangles like distressed gobs of putty, interacting with one another in no set way, finding no happy medium or snug fit, only abrading, slipping past, chafing each other, wearing each other down or peeling each other off.

 

 

Procreating in our solitary fashion on this side of what’s left of the divide, we have no way of knowing how widely this genital disturbance has spread to the citizenry of Dodge City, contagiously through the Porn we continue to ingest.

 

 

We are disgusted by these images, alone in our nights, riveted by our disgust. We feel our genes shifting, our genitals turning foreign in our hands and beneath our fingers, as we work them over again and again.

 

 

The serial contact we make with ourselves, indeed, comes to feel ever more like tampering with models that are not yet finished, smudging their emergent design.

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The males still fill their plastic bags and the kids on bikes still arrive to collect them, sewing the Community Gardens to grow its tomatoey meat, which the females still implant in September and carry until June, but the fear is that this new crop will resemble nothing so much as the increasingly alien Porn Objects that presided over its genesis, all toothy eye-sockets and sealed-up earholes, fused lips and exposed bladders.

 

 

We fear, like every generation fears, that we will, somehow, be the last, having unwittingly ceded our habitat to a new species that will drag us groaning to the dump.

 

 

THE NEWS REPORT ENDS, followed by a brief teaser for tomorrow night’s show, which promises exclusive footage of the original impersonator rampage. It shows a clip of all those proxy murderers and rapists flooding the Porn Village, loosening their belts to pop its bubble of separatism, stirring the genes that loop and twine through us all in a Walpurgisnacht of hellish abandon.

 

 

I click off the news and warm up my VCR as the kid on the bike shows up with tonight’s tape. I sniff it, pacing around, and taste the tape under the plastic flap. I get my bag ready, already fantasizing about tomorrow night’s show.

BEFORE my time (the 70s, I’ll say, though I view the entirety of the time before my arrival here as a single longish day), there was a spate of a certain type of Suicide in Dodge City. A hard-to-sort type, as the story goes, because it wasn’t unanimously clear whether these Suicidees were in fact dead. They were still, for what it’s worth, present in town, though they kept to themselves. It was broadly considered to be the case that they’d committed Suicide without any consensus on what, in particular, this meant.

 

At first, the Suicide Cemetery Manager campaigned to bury as many as possible, but very few turned up at their gravesites, even when subpoenaed, and none could be forced into the ground against their will.

 

This began when, one summer, a figure called or calling himself Suicide Sam either came to or arose from Dodge City.

 

What he did was approach people, in broad daylight, and whisper, near enough for them to smell his breath, “Now you may, as do most people, have until now shrunk from serious consideration of Suicide because of your perfectly reasonable reluctance to undergo pain, gruesomeness, agony, suffering … ”

 

He had their attention.

 

“BUT, what if I were to tell you that you — You! –could commit Suicide right here and right now with no strings attached, no blood spilled nor organs ruptured, and, best of all, no work or patience required?”

 

He’d pause, then continue. “By which I mean, would you give it all up if it didn’t hurt and you didn’t have to think twice?” He’d wave a hand suggestively, a calculated mixture of menace and enticement. “Think about it … no more tedium, no more fatigue, no more not-enough and way-too-much … no more worry about next things.”

 

Suicide Sam got a number of Yeses. When he got a Yes, he simply touched the consenting man, woman, or child on the shoulder, and said, “There it is. All done. Welcome to Suicide.”

 

By July, he was to be seen walking around Dodge City with a gaggle of distracted, uncertain looking people, all of whom were very careful not to talk or respond to or even look at any of the living they came in contact with, especially not their own former friends, lovers, colleagues, families, pets, etc.

 

Those lines were cut. If they ate, slept, or attended to any other functions of life, they did so in private. No one knew where they went, only that they could not be gotten-through-to. By August, they’d disappeared for good.

 

*****

SO MUCH FOR THE PAST, except to say that, somewhere in all of this, Suicide Sam fathered or in some other manner produced a Son.

 

Now, this Summer, 2013, is The Summer of Son of Suicide Sam. I see him all over town, propositioning people with the old promise of “No-Step Suicide,” touching them on the shoulder like his Father supposedly did, shutting them up for good. They fall into step behind him, hanging back, not making eye contact, while he works his game.

 

He’s propositioned me several times. I always rebuff him, saying, “If it comes to that for me, I want it to hurt. I want to work for it.” I consider this a core tenet of mine.

 

He always seems taken aback, but he shrugs it off and moves on. I saw him talking to Big Pharmakos the other day, and it appeared as though my old friend was about to accept the offer when he got a phone call and lost interest.

 

BY AUGUST, a new thing is going on: Son of Suicide Sam has retreated from the streets and his Suicidees have begun proselytizing on their own. They’ve broken with precedent.

 

Some say this new crop of Suicidees is nothing but a Band of Rebels, aimlessly stirring up anarchy that will buckle under its own weight by early autumn. But others see a more darkly religious aspect in it, something way beyond the small-time cult trouble we’re by now used to. “Son of Suicide Sam is a darker horse than his Father,” is a popular phrase of late.

 

The Suicidees come right up to you and, their breath awful and copious, whisper, “Do you wanna come back to my place, and … you know?” Always like that, with no variation in inflection or punctuation.

 

They’re good at finding you, too: they’ve cornered me in every restroom in town, many more than once, even the one-person kind that I lock on my way in.

 

No one knows what place “come back to my place” refers to, even whether it’s a physical or metaphysical one. The center of controversy, of course, is the solicitation’s final, ironic, “you know,” since, well, we don’t know. There are those who believe the whole line is simply a rephrasing of the old One-Step Suicide Offer, but these tend be the types who are in the habit of not putting too fine a point on things.

 

Others believe it to be a classic Murder Pickup Line, and are correspondingly wary. Yet others — those who want no part of the possibility that these people are indeed, legitimately dead — hear the line only in its obvious sexual register, believing it to be an entreaty either to spectate or to partake in the realm of the pornographic.

 

Needless to say, any requests for elaboration from the Followers of Son of Suicide Sam are met with silence or, at best, the exact same line repeated.

 

*****

THESE ARE THE general circumstances afoot when, early one evening, one of them approaches me in an ATM stall and asks, “Do you wanna come back to my place and watch some porn?”

 

I’m so thrown by the variation on the familiar theme that I don’t reply.

 

“Both genders,” he adds.

 

The thing in me that makes me do things makes me nod. “Okay,” I say. Something about the concreteness and the clarity of the question … after such a vague summer, I feel not at liberty to say no. Like I might never get another chance to understand something.

 

We walk a long way, past the defunct stores, the weed-cut parking lots, the cars on cinder blocks, the empty billboards, the depots where nothing is any longer delivered. Piles of metal parts, piles of fur and rubber, piles of sawdust and stripped paint. Train stations with smudged chalkboard Departures and Arrivals.

 

It’s safe to say this is farther out than I’ve been before. “Soon we’ll be close,” he says, and I realize it’s the first time he’s spoken since the initial query. “I’d hold off on any Darkness on the Edge of Town jokes you may have been about to make,” he advises.

 

I take his advice. After a lot more silence, we get there. It’s an encampment in a dry riverbed. People are standing around, gawking, moving in a reduced and restricted way.

 

This, apparently, is where The Followers of Son of Suicide Sam are living. Or if “living” is too fraught a word just now, I’ll amend it to “staying.” There are younger and older ones, and, as promised, both genders. The older are, apparently, the crop that the original Suicide Sam brought out of this lifetime all those years ago, in the 70’s if you will. There are bulky dirt-covered forms all around, in the shapes of trees, huts, animals, but with no definition, all equally dusked.

 

There is certainly no fire or smell of cooking food, or, for that matter, smell of human waste. I get very cold very fast. There are no chirping crickets or garter snakes whipping around my toes.

 

There’s nothing to say, but I say, “Okay, so where’s the porn?”

 

Of course, whoever led me out here is nowhere around. He’s melded back in among his fellows, just as dead as they are … as dead as, apparently, now, I am too. I can’t even distinguish people from background shapes like rocks and metal anymore, though I try to hold onto the idea that I’m not alone.

 

I’d say, “I take a moment to process what just happened,” but, suddenly and for the first time, I feel no hurry to get to things. No pressure to deal with them. I sit down and think maybe in a hundred years, maybe in a hundred thousand, I’ll stand up, or shift my sitting position ever so slightly.