a woman with a history of disaster goes clubbing at 33 years old

And kicks off the night with a bathroom mirror selfie and her tongue stuck out, mouth open, centered in the middle of a group of younger women, her sister’s best friends, one of whom, before the end of the evening, she will kiss with the same open mouth. It is her sister’s bachelorette party (nevermind that ten months into the marriage, her sister’s husband starts a rampant, blatant affair with his co-worker, or that he once tells her, upon meeting her friend, a mother of two, “I would like to know what her asshole tastes like,” or that he tells her sister, one evening, in a roomful of friends and family, “I knew I loved you for real because I still wanted to have sex with you, and you have small titties;” all of that circles this bizarre evening, its bizarre consequence like sparking satellites signaling distress); so off they all go to the casinos, dressed to the nines.

She is looking for someone to do something with, to ensure the evening resembles some kind of success, some sex, some love, a kiss good night, someone to prick her phone with little pings of delight, some honest-to-goodness fucking flirtation, the real stuff, the give and take, someone who realizes, understands, that lust and love are actually something one makes, that desire is generative. That love can be real. She sits at a high-hat cocktail table sipping her drink. She notes a former lover on the brink of entering the club, his entourage of males in tow—bachelors to her bachelorettes. She remembers their sole encounter, how he kissed her in the dark corner of a dark bar, how he spun her wedding band and smiled faintly at her, invited her back to his house. She stares at her fire-red tights, looks up to see a beautiful man looking back, younger than her, in expensive clothes, vintage-style Chuck Taylors. He introduces himself—Frank. They talk. They exchange numbers. His friends are going to another club, but he wants to talk more. What does she do? Wow, a professor. He is dragged off into the fog of the evening. Her sister’s friends gather around in a gaggle, report—they know him. From high school. He plays professional basketball in Europe. The sweetest guy. A doll. She actually can’t believe her luck. Her phone pings: Nice to meet you, professor. I hope I see you again soon.

And here is the doll’s swift turn—two days and ten casual “Tell me more about yourself” texts later, she is entering the shower when her phone signals, unbeknownst to her, distress—a picture of Frank undressed, sans expensive clothes,  de-shod of his vintage Chucks. Frank. From doll to schmuck in one swift move. Naked, cock out, half hard, hips thrust forward at the mirror like some second rate 80s rock star humping the mic. She panics. She laughs. She stares in dismay. She turns professorial. Please don’t do that again. To anyone. Unless they ask.

You wanna tell me what to do some more, Professor? He replies. You wanna get a little wild?

I’m sorry,
she writes back. I don’t think this is going to work, I think I have to cancel our date tonight.

Hey,
he replies. Don’t feel sorry for me! You should feel relieved for your pussy, he responds, and disappears for good, as the water runs into the drain and she stares at the fogging mirror reflecting back her naked self, puzzled face: self-portrait of disaster, phone in hand.


 

Emily Van Duyne spends all of her spare time smashing the patriarchy and singing to her cats. She teaches writing and women's studies at Stockton University, and is at work on a memoir about loving a psychopath called Loving A Psychopath, which you can read here: noneofthatblog.wordpress.com

 

 

I HATE YOUR PENIS by fred sasaki

DEAR KATY PERRY,

I AM WRITING TO YOU TODAY AS A FATHER AND AS A FAN.  AND I WANT TO BE ABSOLUTELY, TOTALLY CLEAR THAT I AM NOT WRITING TO YOU AS A MAN. I WRITE  TO YOU ON BEHALF OF MYSELF AND MY 4-YEAR-OLD DAUGHTER PEARL, AND FOR FATHERS AND DAUGHTERS EVERYWHERE, REALLY. SOMETIMES IT IS HARD TO TALK ABOUT FATHER-DAUGHTER FEELINGS! 

AS YOU CAN SEE I AM WRITING TO YOU IN ALL-CAPS JUST TO SHOW YOU HOW NOT-WEIRD OR CREEPY AT ALL THIS IS IT IS TOTALLY NORMAL THIS IS NOT GOING TO BE ONE OF THOSE LETTERS IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN SO DON’T WORRY I PROMISE. 

I AM ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY SO TOTALLY POST-SEXUAL I AM JUST SAYING. TOTALLY. YOU HAVE NO IDEA. I DON’T EVEN DANCE AT WEDDINGS ANY MORE. I HARDLY EVER EVEN THINK ABOUT YOU KNOW WHAT ALL OF THE TIME TWENTY FOUR SEVEN THREE SIXTY FIVE…. SO LET’S JUST LISTEN TO MY STORY OK?

THE OTHER NIGHT I WAS BATHING MY DAUGHTER IN OUR HOT TUB, OR ACTUALLY WE WERE BATHING TOGETHER THAT IS TOTALLY NORMAL I DON’T HAVE TO TELL YOU THAT, KATY PERRY, I MEAN REALLY. AND I SHOULD SAY IT’S NOT A HOT TUB ON PURPOSE IT CAME WITH THE PLACE. ANYWAYS, WE WERE TAKING A “BIG BATH” AS SHE LIKES TO CALL IT AND WE WERE OF COURSE LISTENING TO KATY PERRY, WHICH IS YOU. SO WE WERE LISTENING TO KATY PERRY SLASH YOU AND PEARL PUT IN A BATH BOMB SO IT WAS SUPER NICE AND WE WERE PLAYING WITH SPARKLE PONIES AND PRINCESSES AND REALLY EVERYTHING WAS JUST PERFECT. WE LIKE TO MAKE A NICE TIME EVEN ON A SCHOOL NIGHT. WE HAVE A HELLO KITTY HAIR DRYER AND EVERYTHING. 

ANYWAYS WE WERE WASHING UP AND MY DAUGHTER LOOKED AT ME AND SAID, “PAPA?” AND I SAID, “YES PEARL?” (SHE IS SUCH A LITTLE DARLING.) SHE SAID, “PAPA. I HATE YOUR PENIS.”

“YOU HATE MY PENIS?!” I SAID. I PRETENDED LIKE THAT WAS A CRAZY THING TO SAY BUT DEEP DOWN INSIDE I KNEW EXACTLY WHAT SHE MEANT AND MY INSIDE PERSONAL VOICE WAS LIKE, I HATE MY PENIS TOO!! I MEAN SERIOUSLY WHAT DO I EVEN HAVE THIS THING FOR ANY MORE WHICH IS A QUESTION FOR MYSELF I AM NOT ASKING YOU SLASH KATY PERRY I AM JUST SAYING IT AS AN EXAMPLE LIKE RHETORICAL, “WHAT IS WITH THIS PENIS?” O UNIVERSE SLASH NOT KATY PERRY. IT’S A GOOD QUESTION. LIKE WHAT ABOUT SEAHORSES, I ALWAYS SAY. 

LOOK, I HAVE THREE CHILDREN, ONE OF WHICH IS A NURSLING, MY WIFE AND I BOTH WORK FULL TIME, AND TO BE QUITE HONEST THIS PENIS IS JUST A CONSTANT BAD IDEA INTERRUPTION AND I WOULD BE HAPPY IF FROM THIS MOMENT FORWARD WE NEVER SPOKE OF IT AGAIN. ANYWAYS, SO THERE I WAS IN THE HOT TUB WITH MY DAUGHTER LISTENING TO YOU SLASH KATY PERRY, FEELING AT THIS POINT A LITTLE UNCOMFORTABLE WITH WHERE THINGS WERE GOING, TO BE COMPLETELY HONEST. 

I STOOD UP TO FINISH SOAPING AND MY DAUGHTER PUT ON A WRINKLED ANGRY FACE AND SAID, “GET YOUR FUCKING PENIS OUT OF MY FACE.” AND I WAS LIKE, “WHAT?! MY PENIS IS NOT IN YOUR FACE!!” IT REALLY WAS TOTALLY NOT IN HER FACE AT ALL. AT ALL. I WAS JUST USING SOAP IN A NORMAL WAY. SHE JUST SMILED AT ME AND KEPT ON SAYING IT, OVER AND OVER, “GET YOUR FUCKING PENIS OUT OF MY FACE!!!!” GOD SHE LOVES TO SWEAR LET ME TELL YOU. FOUR YEARS OLD AND SHE’S ALREADY GOT AN ARSENAL TO RIVAL ROSIE PEREZ. I MEAN FUCK I DON’T KNOW WHERE SHE GETS THAT SHIT. BUT ANYWAYS THEN SHE STARTED JUST SAYING “FUCKING PENIS FUCKING PENIS FUCKING PENIS” WHICH IS A LITTLE BIT BETTER BUT STILL SORT OF EMBARRASSING IF YOU THINK ABOUT IT. 

WHAT DOES THIS ALL HAVE TO DO WITH YOU I AM NOT TOTALLY SURE ANYMORE BUT I THOUGHT I KNEW WHEN I STARTED WRITING THIS SO LET’S JUST, I DON’T KNOW, SEE WHERE IT GOES. SO WE KEEP WASHING AND EVERYTHING IS FINE AND I AM PRETTY RELIEVED THAT WE HAVE STOPPED TALKING ABOUT MY PENIS AND INSTEAD WE START ARGUING ABOUT HOW IT IS OK FOR A GIRL TO KISS A GIRL EVEN THOUGH MY  DAUGHTER DOES NOT AGREE BECAUSE OF DISNEY AND HUMAN BEINGS CONSTANTLY MAKING BELIEVE THAT LOVE IS ONLY BETWEEN A MAN AND A WOMAN. I TELL HER THAT YOU SLASH KATY PERRY KISSED A GIRL AND YOU SLASH SHE LIKED IT AND MY DAUGHTER JUST WRINKLED HER FACE AGAIN AGAIN. SO I AM BASICALLY SITTING IN OUR ACCIDENTAL HOT TUB PLEADING WITH MY FOUR-YEAR-OLD DAUGHTER TO AGREE WITH ME THAT IT IS OK FOR GIRLS TO KISS GIRLS. ALL OF A SUDDEN THINGS GO QUIET AND I THINK, MAYBE I GOT THROUGH TO HER. MAYBE YOU SLASH KATY PERRY AND I TOGETHER HAVE HELPED DISTINGUISH SEX FROM GENDER FOR PRE-SCHOOLERS. MAYBE SHE NOW SEES THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH GIRLS KISSING GIRLS BECAUSE KISSING IS JUST A WAY SOME PEOPLE SHOW LOVE. AT THIS POINT I’M LIKE “PHEW” I’M GLAD THAT’S OVER AND THEN SHE PUTS ON A BIG, BEAUTIFUL, SMILE AND SHE SAYS, “PAPA?” AND I SAY, “YES PEARL?” (SHE IS SUCH A LITTLE PUMPKIN.) SHE SAYS, “PAPA. YOUR PENIS IS A GIRL.” “PEARL?” I SAID. “YES, PAPA?” SHE REPLIED. “BATHTIME IS OVER.” 

SINCERELY,

FRED SASAKI


Fred Sasaki is the author of Real Life Emails (Tiny Hardcore Press, 2017) and the zine series Fred Sasaki's and Fred Sasaki's Four-Pager Guide To: How to Fix You

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