Andrew Lee Poff
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*This might be immensely disturbing
He’d been talking with him for about three weeks and again Danny smacked himself; said to himself, “Why the fuck does he always have to revert to the stereotypical fag?.. Why doesn’t he want to be something greater?” Danny was bought in with Mr. Stevens’s attention and he found himself pining for it night after night at precisely 12:30 am EST. Mr. Stevens was politically savvy and had a story to tell, but every 30 minutes or so Mr. Stevens would shamelessly try to get Danny to drop his pants.
Danny’s problem was that for months he had spent his nights eviscerating the internet. He was methodical. He was bored like few before him and he’d invested enough hours to be called days- days in seeking out and hoarding smut on his shiny new Western Digital 300 gig hard drive. This was a second thought life for Danny, one he hid behind several layers of hard encryption and two false IP addresses. Within the hexagonical compartment where cyberspace lived he relished in the carnal knowledge of taboo.
The hoarding was something he couldn’t quite wrap his mind around but he could see after a while that it was the real meat of his obsession. For every hour of pixilated S&M, every inch of digital murder, disassociated pedophilia, video conferencing and racy digital chat-logs, for every hour spent in the bowels of cyberspace, Danny spent four on the binary surface tending to his crop- endlessly encrypting this, renaming that, hiding this folder in the directory of some program no one would ever use and never erase, and finally sorting, sorting, and sorting every last bit and byte chronologically, categorically, alphabetically, until it was nothing short of the meticulous work of an insane genius.
Danny got himself off, especially on megalomania, but when Mr. Stevens called on him, he was in dire straits. Danny was starting to loose interest in the erotic aspect of what he was discovering. There was something deeper, in his bones, in his molecules, in the vibrations of his soul that called out to him for violent sustenance. It was a hunger like nothing he knew and visceral fear had finally cut through the walls of his iniquitous sanctuary... He was feeling the worm burrow in, feeling it eat, feeling it digest and defecate, covering its tracks with its own shit.
Mr. Stevens found Danny randomly through the IM network. He introduced himself as follows:
“I’m a homosexual. I just thought I’d throw that out there. If you’re not interested in talking to a homosexual, I’m sorry to bother you. If so, hi.”
What struck Danny first was that this man used end punctuation, even apostrophes.
Danny was rescued from becoming a homicidal sexual sadist. It was only a week and he stopped imagining his orange jumpsuit mug-shot being nailed to a telephone pole, his computer being forcibly seized and hacked by the FBI’s finest. He stopped mulling over his-eventual-prison-rape scenarios in his head until he fell asleep. He was saved.
Mr. Stevens caught Danny when he was on the P2P network downloading something out of the Ukraine, something that was named with a code. Danny had answered Mr. Stevens like this:
“I’m downloading something that’s designated only by an acronymic code. Do you know what that means my gay friend?”
Danny thought for a time near the end that he wasn’t ever human. He was either a vessel of Satan or an advanced plastic robot designed to absorb the sins of man. In the second installment of the Alien series there was a robot made out of a plastic like composite that bled something like milk. He was ripped open at the end of the movie spraying milky fluid everywhere. Danny saw that as his end. He never told Mr. Stevens why a computer file from the Ukraine would be labeled with a code because he wanted to play with Mr. Stevens. Danny’s only real expectation from human contact after 12:30 am was that he got to tell them where to put their hands…
“No, I don’t know what that means. What does it mean?”
“Nothing, so… why are you talking to me Mr… Stevens?”
“I saw your profile on Myspace. I thought you were hot. Every once in a while I just look for hot guys to talk to.”
“Is that so?”
“Yes, so, do you want to talk?”
“Not about any faggy stuff.”
“No wait, I’m sorry to offend you. I didn’t mean anything by it. Um… tell me a story. BTW. I like that you use punctuation. No one ever does anymore.”
Mr. Stevens had been in New York City when the AIDS Epidemic struck America. Mr. Stevens had spent nights looking for homosexual porn on the net. He had an ejaculate fetish. Mr. Stevens had been kicked out of the military. Mr. Stevens voted democratic. Mr. Stevens had fucked a bearded drifter in a bath-house. Little of this mattered. What did matter was that Danny was allowed to drone on about his life, nearly any aspect of his life ad nauseum for the low low price of occasional sexual harassment.
It was a month before Danny realized he was still in a dark place. It was Saturday, and Danny was fighting the worm:
“And then I took her to a dingy hotel room and fucker her brains out.”
“I’d like to fuck your brains out.”
“Mr. Stevens, I told you to stop with that. It’s not going to get you anywhere.”
“You sure about that?”
“It’s not very becoming…”
“I’d like to talk about the government.”
It was Sunday, and Danny had masturbated to the Slovenian underground:
“And then I threw that asshole up against the wall and cold-cocked him in the cheek.”
“Yeah, he ran out. He was about to cry and everyone was laughing at him. It made me feel like shit.”
“You’re not very talkative tonight. What’re you doing Mr. Stevens?”
“You really want to know?”
“I’m having a cyber with some guy from Montreal.”
It was Tuesday and Danny had taken Adoral:
“Mr. Stevens… Mr. Stevens…”
“Hey, Danny, tell me the truth, have you ever wanted to have a cyber with another guy? You know, just to try it?”
“There would be no reason for me to. I’m not gay.”
“Unless I was getting paid.”
Danny discovered quickly that with a free service he could bill anyone over the internet. The credit card transfer was instant. Danny trod into the living room and found himself suddenly tearing the cupboard apart. He found the digital camera hiding in the back. For Danny it was a mile a minute. It entered his mind that it was too easy to maintain an erection while taking photos of himself in the glaring light of the kitchen. It entered and was evaporated.
“The ground rules are simple: I’m not gay. Don’t get any ideas from this. You pay me $200 and I send you 10 photos and chat with you for one hour. If you look me up, I’ll kill you. If you correspond with me outside of this window, I’ll kill you. If you don’t pay, I’ll kill you. Got it?”
“Ready to get started?”
“Are you hard?”
“I’m not a fag. I’m not a fag. I’m not a fag. I’m not a hooker. I’m not a gay hooker. I’m not a fag hooker. I’m not a cocksucker…” Mr. Stevens had a thousand compliments to offer for Danny’s service. Danny hadn’t thrown up in the sink as he had briefly imagined himself doing right as Mr. Stevens informed him he was nearly finished with himself. He closed the window, deleted Mr. Stevens from his Instant Messaging account and laid back staring at his own half-naked body. Within twenty minutes Danny had masturbated. He lay on his side and fell asleep tasting his dinner in his breath.
It was Wednesday and Danny performed a ritual sitting Indian style on his bed with his laptop computer. He typed in 12 different passwords and laid every bit of pornography and violence out before him on the computer screen. He selected everything in one deft swoop of his index finger. He then hit the ‘Delete’ key. Danny didn’t shower or brush his teeth until he had created a small blank text file and pasted it in the now empty folder marked “IMGfiles~001121” in the corner of his hard-drive and his mind. He named the file, “This is no bridge to cross anymore.”
Danny washed everything off his body.