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Rated R for lewdness and excessive use of the word foreskin. Part two is already done and ready to rip, as soon as the next round of pieces make the front page.
HAVE I GOT YOUR ATTENTION YET? was written in wide-tipped felt marker lengthwise across a folded sheet of lined paper. The half-moon tears on its corner made it look like it was taken from a coiled notebook, which it was. While watching pornography, Lars tore that particular page out of a notebook he should have used for his remedial math class and signed it at the bottom: QUENTIN CASH. He liked the way the name sounded, its sense of rhythm. Not like Lars Smith, which sounded like his parents glued together the two ugliest sounding syllables they could find and taped the result to his face while he was still drooling in the crib. The piece of paper upon which Lars scrawled his gaudy pseudonym was placed in a manila tag folder, its insides lined with bubblewrap to ensure that once it was sealed and sent away, the videocassette that he intended to include would not be damaged by the rough hands of the Canadian postal service.
Of course, the package was discovered and thus never mailed.
Lars’s room was upside down; all of the appliances, cupboards, drawers, and all other items worth mentioning had been fashioned and arranged in such a way that they were never any higher than waist level. Even Lars’s collection of movie prints and posters were tacked to walls at crotch height, so that if one gazed at a decline, one’s eyes would be met with an explosion of color and cluttered feng shui. Conversely, if one were staring straight ahead, there would simply be BLANK. Unless you were in a wheel chair, like Lars. Then all bets were off. The bed looked like Lars, in the sense that it was also missing its legs and looked like its lower half had been eaten by the floor. Even though it would be more economical, his mother refused to have her son sleep on a mattress like a homeless person or, worse still, a drug addict, so she went to the most skilled artisan she could find and had a frame custom crafted, one that looked good and stylish on the ground.
Lars was a good student only when he thought that the lesson at hand would make him more appealing to Briana. For example, he memorized chunks of Shakespeare, ensuring that should the situation arise he would be able to recite whole soliloquies to Briana, impressing her with the seemingly limitless expanse of his learnedness. For example, he studied music and film closely, because it’s important, Lars thought, to keep his index finger on disciplines that were widely regarded as the pulse of culture. For example, he paid especially close attention in home economics class, so that when he cooked for her on their first date, she would eat her fist-sized portion in a state of bliss and pleasure him orally afterwards, the sweet sauce of his pad thai STILL ON HER LIPS and transferring to his penis. And so on.
Surprisingly enough, sexual education was his lowest mark. The watered down x’s and o’s version of human mating rituals and the reproductive organs with which they are enacted simply did not hold Lars’s interest. And how could they? Full of plot twists and familiar sexual-archetypes, the films his father produced were glitzier, faster paced and more explicit, and, of course, quite often starred Briana, so any subsequent non-pornographic visual display scarcely registered.
Lars had a glossy still-clip of Briana Banks in mid-orgasm sandwiched between his mattress and the bedframe. The picture itself was centered between the transparent lips of two plastic pages, the kind that could be opened and closed and used for storing vintage comics. Lars had a ritual whereby he would prop himself up against his bedpost with the picture flat on the floor in front of him, balancing on the blunt protrusions God had given him instead of legs. He would masturbate furiously, eyes fixated with Zen-like focus on the video he had placed into the DVD player earlier. Sometimes he would wrap one end of his navy blue bed sheet around his throat and the other around the lamp screwed into the wall over his bed. Sensing his built up orgasm, Lars would lower his body just enough to constrict the sheet around his larynx and partially asphyxiate him. The sleazy foreign porn magazines that his father kept around the house for research purposes told him that the French call the orgasm petite mort, or the little death. Briana Banks wrapped a scarf around her neck and pretended to hang herself in a scene involving a convicted felon on death row. Choking himself usually doubled the amount of semen he expelled onto her picture, creating a one and a half ounce pool instead of a single fingerlike strand. Lars liked the feeling of dying ‘only a little bit’. It didn’t make him feel alive, as near death experiences were purported to do, but it intensified his orgasm, so death wasn’t all that bad.
The man who had contributed one-half of the DNA to Lars seemed to have great difficulty seeing his son as anything more than a straw-haired eunuch. For that reason, he wasn’t too bothered when a girl from Lars’s class began spending nights in his son’s room. Nameless and unintroduced, she would materialize after dinner, letting herself in with a key Lars had given her, and maneuver straight to his room, never casting more than a vague nod at his parents.
“Does Lars have a girlfriend?” his mother asked.
“She’s probably just tutoring him or something. Can he even, you know, get it up? I can’t remember what the doctor said.”
“Some father you are,” she grunted, a slender cigarette clenched between her teeth. “You know just well that he’s just like any other boy his age, except he wasn’t blessed with legs like the rest of us. And he makes up for it with other traits.”
Mr. Smith raised an eyebrow, its furrowed crimp imploring her to elaborate. After marinating in silence for a few awkward minutes it was clear that the statement was meant to be taken as rhetorical and they resumed watching television.
They were spending their evening as they usually did when Lars’s dad wasn’t doing a shoot, digesting a Maury episode about reformed blow addicts, when the girl arrived, poutier than usual and flanked by a stout woman in an auburn fur coat.
“He never did anything to me – he barely even looked at me,” the girl whimpered, her mother’s bright red fingernails digging into her arm. “I kept my clothes on, he unzipped his pants and we watched the same porno every night while I jerked him off. The money was always on the table, and I’d just take it and leave. After the first day, when we sorted it all out, we never spoke to each other once.”
“He didn’t even fuck her? Jesus, for a hundred bucks a pop, I would have at least gotten a bang for my buck,” Lars’s said as the closed the door behind them.
“Brian!” Lars’s mother protested. “Our son’s in trouble and he needs us. Go call Dr. Adams.”
“It’s nine thirty, Mary,” he protested.
“This cannot wait. Now be a man and call, for your son’s sake.”
Dr. Adams, Lars’s psychiatrist, was an openly homosexual Ivy-league graduate who insisted that Lars call him by his first name George.
“How are we doing today, Lars?” Dr. George would say.
“I’m fine George,” Lars would say.
“How’s the circulation, Lars?”
“Just fine, George. My physical therapist has me hanging off of my bed twice a day to make sure the blood doesn’t collect in my ass and stumps.”
“And is that working for you?”
And so on. Sometimes Lars constructed elaborate sexual fantasies involving him and his mother and extrapolated upon them. He began by holding his breath until the pressure made the space behind his ocular socket swollen with tears, and Lars would offer the streaming forks running down his cheeks as proof that he was dredging up traumatic childhood memories. Dr. George considered himself a neo-Freudian and salivated at the thought of incestuous interaction.
“And what do you think that means, Lars? Why do you think you dream about, well, as you put it, ‘dipping your pickle in your mother’s honeypot?’ Hmmm?”
“I don’t know, George. But it’s hard to ignore her new breast implants. They’re a conversation piece, if you know what I mean.”
In their sessions together Dr. George insisted that Lars do the work for himself while he ‘guided’ the discussion, which was a boring one-sided dialectic and seemed too much like an abuse of child labor legislation. As a result, the hours were often passed in silence, Dr. George patiently tapping the eraser of his pencil on a leatherbound notepad he pressed against his thigh, while Lars yawned and fingered the buttons of the Gameboy he had stashed in the pocket sewn into the wheelchair by his hop. The game’s onomatopoeic blips served as a suitable stand-in for the ticks of George’s gold plated Rolex. Neither doctor nor patient had the motivation to force the other out of his vow of silence. The swirling toilet bowl sound of Lars’s last video-game life being flushed signaled the end of the session, with a hollow but not altogether hostile handshake bringing the meeting to an official end, rigid as ritual.
It was Dr. George’s professional opinion, after nearly a year and a half of status quo maintenance thinly disguised as therapy and prescription orders that usually found their way into the office wastebasket, that Lars should be allowed to meet Briana, preferably off-set.
“His fixation on Briana, unhealthy as it is, is not altogether uncommon in youths who have strained relationships with their parents.”
“What do you mean, strained relationships?” Lars’s mother asked, squeezing the arms of the leather chair her son frequently occupied. She snorted, trying to maintain composure “We all get along just fine. Isn’t that right, Brian?”
Lars’s father reached over and massaged her white knuckles. “Just fine, George. The kid just…has trouble relating to people. He’s so difficult whenever we go out in public for dinner. Barely says anything to either of us, and we’re his parents, for Christ’s sake. And can you blame him for wanting to, you know, make it with Briana? When I was his age I was out trying to screw the entire varsity cheerleading team, and Briana is ten times hotter than any of those bimbos. Classy, too.”
“Yes, I’ve, um, seen some of her films,” Dr. George hesitantly admitted, uncrossing then recrossing his legs. “The point is that he has to see that she’s more than just an image on the screen – a real person, if you get me.”
Lars’s father leaned back in his chair. “Yeah, I think I get you.”
His father held the back bar of his wheel chair firmly, pressing his foot down on the break. “You’re old enough to see the real thing now, son,” he said. They were standing in a sound room overlooking the live set of a porn video. Lars’s dad told his son that Briana was in her dressing room, cleaning up after a shoot. “We’re meeting her and her husband in about twenty minutes.”
The garish décor and decadent costumes told Lars that the video being shot was going to be an eighties knock-off. He yawned as spandex was peeled off below and frizzy hair was tossed back and to the side, bored until movement off-camera caught his eye. A man in an imitation silk robe, decorated with kitschy burgundy swirls, lounged on a mauve loveseat in the corner, his feet propped on a table garnished with offerings of sliced cheese impaled by toothpicks and other assorted hors d’oeuvres. A young girl, probably nineteen or twenty with a button that read INTERN pinned above her left breast, was stroking the guy’s penis rhythmically, while he yawned and waited for the next scene.
“They’re called fluffers,” Lars’s dad said, tapping on the one-way glass with a fingernail. “To make sure the actor’s penis stays erect until he’s up to bat.”
Beads of sweat jockeyed around tiny blonde hairs and slid down her forearm as she pumped it with determined vigor. Lars focused on this scene for the entire time he was there, entranced by the loose, nonchalant expression of the actor and the single-minded devotion that the girl heaved onto his penis. An orgy went unnoticed slightly to his left, limbs quivering to the theme song of Flash Dance.
"Imperious, choleric, irascible, extreme in everything, with a dissolute imagination the like of which has never been seen... there you have me in a nutshell, and kill me again or take me as I am, for I shall not change."
From his Last Will & Testament, Marquis de Sade