by Luke Goebel
He was a “he,” which meant the dummie knew already that there was only two things in the world that mattered and he wasn’t either of them. Were, were! There was the online world of instagram photos and sexiness. Everything that was young or female and sexy or famous and rich and arching its back in a photo, which he wasn’t and then there was the physical world of problems, such as taking a shit and what was written on the wall, and having to go upstairs to take a shit because someone was already in the bathroom, which was the janitor, probably, and him being on campus, and him being in his office, and his being on campus, and him being a fuckhead professor, which you shouldn’t and couldn’t really even say as a fuckhead who was a professor. Fuckhead.
He didn’t want to say anything. He just wanted to stop saying. He just wanted to stop. Teaching, and he wanted to stop this fucking capitalist regime of the entire planet. He wanted to stop the whole thing where people went to school to learn how mistreated people were by people who went to schools. He just wanted to have a life that didn’t revolve around desire to matter to and mate with as many people as possible but he still wanted to have all the pussy and dick and money and houses and cars and live on a sandy beach that was hot and in a house that had windows with electric shades on motors.
He wanted his phone to stop spying on him and them, and wanted his—hahahahahahahahaha—the government to stop spying on them, and wanted the webcam to stop spying on him and them, and wanted the marines to stop spying on them, and wanted and wanted like a fuckhead. Like he wanted a relationship with his girlfriend that was totally different than the relationship he had with his girlfriend. Not that it mattered. Because it totally didn’t! They were fuckheads and old. He was almost 35. No one in the world not famous should make 35. Unless they lived off the grid. Whatever that meant!
They had sex. It was stressful at first and then it was sex and he liked it and she maybe didn’t like it as much as he did but pretended to like it quite a bit. Then they said goodbye. She said to call her again. It was so much like real attraction but there was capitalism and money and all the other shit.
He was working the night shift, and the janitor was there, playing the night shift song on his radio, and it was just the two of them plus his dog, under the desk, and he was working on preparing for class, something he didn’t care about, and it was Sunday night, and he went to the 7-11 to get a fake cup of coffee that was part art piece part handjob part boobjob, part war in the middle east, part cocaine sky, part rap song, part nuclear time bomb. At the 7-11 there was a black girl with tight pink stretchy sweatpants that said PINK. And he thought PINK. She was far out fly with a booty and she had huge marker eyebrows painted on her eyebrows on top of her eyebrows. He went up to her by walking as she was bringing coffee out of the dispenser. You know the decanter with the pump on top that is silver. Probably plastic. He said, “What kind of person drinks coffee at this hour?” He was a fuckhead. Not that clever! She said, “Same as you,” in a way that sounded kind of sexy. To a fuckhead. Then she also next said, “What do you do?” He looked like a crazy hairball who chose to look that way. This is what he figured she thought, or saw, because of POV laws. “Professor,” he said. “What about you?” he said. He wasn’t being racist I don’t think. He wasn’t insinuating anything. Relax. Please don’t! Please try and calm yourself! Maybe you’re right! I don’t know anymore. Maybe there were no ill intentions. Maybe nothing ill was even said. Maybe she was the princess of Lichtenstein. He wasn’t a police officer. There weren’t any racial connotations happening, aside from this being the USA! Like that helps his case? NO! He wasn’t the world of politicians defunding women’s health access, funding racial injustice, police state, although he was privileged and didn’t shout at or shoot police out of his car. “I’m a prostitute,” she said. It seemed fun to say. She had a wonderful smile.
He asked her to write an essay for an art magazine about her experiences in the San Francisco prostitute world—Bay Area—this was San Jose. He wanted to know if there were any fetish balls for millionaires or billionaires that they could go to and he could write a story about so that he could get into Playboy Magazine so that he could do something over so he could have another chance and be famous, so that he could be part of the capitalist regime, so that he could be glorious, so he could have something on instagram, so that he could be followed, first, not basic, so that he could have one million dollars or followers, so he could have lots of cars, so he could listen to rap and hip hop—hey you like pizza? SO his life didn’t mean nothing, and he could have a house full of cats overlooking cliffs he didn’t live at or go to. He was allergic. So that he could say on instagram and other social sites that he was in Playboy Magazine. She said no. She said her pimp would not like that. She said he should take her number down quick. She smiled again. He took her number. Then he thought she thought he was taking a photo of her with his phone. She said, “Tehee, are you taking a photo of me?” then she went outside after they said goodbye. He was exhilarated with- he had his coffee and went outside and she was getting into a black BMW with her pimp, he presumed, and he went to his office and couldn’t work and texted her and she texted back.
He went home. Let’s name him Francis. Francis went home., and his girlfriend was there. Her name was Juniper and Horn. She bought her name from a store that was called something and something. Tooth and Flea. Hand and Snake. Rake and Bake. Rack and Steer. Bean and Quarter. Big and Hairy, he was. A giant hairy beast. She loved him. Why? That was nine tenths of the problem. He didn’t trust her. No one should love him. He knew better, because capitalism had trained him. He loved instagram and phones and money. She loved him? He loved the prostitute already.
He sat at the kitchen next to the radiator and made toast in the toaster that was on the table, with bread that was on the table, and texted the prostitute. He met her where she said to later that night, sneaking out of the house on his girlfriend and wearing only a winter coat and jeans. They had sex. It was stressful at first and then it was sex and he liked it and she maybe didn’t like it as much as he did but pretended to like it quite a bit. Then they said goodbye. She said to call her again. It was so much like real attraction but there was capitalism and money and all the other shit.
He went home. He woke up his girlfriend and told her like a fuckhead. She creamed his corn with language and then he said I wish you were black and she said I wish you had a bigger dick. So she went to the clinic and got black and he went and got a bigger dick. She decided she wanted him black too. Then she got what she wanted and then they wanted to be Asian and then they wanted to switch sexes, and they did, and then he wanted her lips bigger, so she got them, and he wanted a bigger booty for himself, except he was she and she was him. Then they switched back. They were barely confused about any of this. Then he wanted to be both sexes and so he was. Then she was tired of that so he became a man again, even though sex sucked as a man, so he went gay and she didn’t care, because she became a man who liked it bareback as the bottom. They changed all sorts of things. They worked hard to pay for all of this by being prostitutes, but they knew they were just being privileged. Then he wanted her ass to be a sky, and so she had it tattooed but that wasn’t what he had in mind. He wanted her face to be the ocean. And she wanted him to be kind and loving and new and also wanted him to have two dicks. They got that done. Then she wanted him to be an octopus and he wanted her to be a german shepard. DONE! Angels a-ppeared and told them it was a miracle to be on Earth and they swam and barked and the moon came out and no one ever went to work again.
Fiction writer Luke B. Goebel is armed with wit and dangerous. He also carries a colt 45 pistol but that's the least of your worries. With an insatiable appetite for the dark, mystical phenomena of the American West, Goebel's writing has found him living for stretches in Marfa, Texas; San Francisco; Portland, Oregon; and many more landscapes that nourish his writing. Last year Goebel published his first novel, entitled Fourteen Stories: None of Them Are Yours, which won the Ronald Sukenick Prize for Innovative Fiction.