The King of Genitalia Street (END)

The next day was Sunday and my mother had planned an informal yet twatty brunch for a gathering of friends and neighbors. It was destined to be another highfalutin affair as they always are. From the top of the stairs where I perched like a looming owl and looked down upon them, neck twisting to perfectly position the ears, eyes wide in a pretend dream of love set to be unwheeled by my devious plan. But I did not feel guilty as I listened to the clinking of sangria glasses and the pretentious chortles while the vibrating hive chatted down in the foyer, some of the rich bodies floating off into other rooms and spaces of the house, dropping crumbs and sloshing drinks along the way without a shred of concern.

I could hear my father drunkenly laugh out loud as he talked with Frost and his own father, the rich and bloated Mr. Claude Bennington, the infamous balding, icy-hearted architect, about the depravity of the working-class poor and their blue-collar, fast-food lifestyles, along with their lack of appreciation for the finer details found in the engineering of buildings.

“Their eyes just can’t comprehend it,” the elder Bennington began, his stuffy and snobby voice, like a pretentious professor, rising like black smoke to scrape against and discolor the ceilings. “It just doesn’t reach their polluted brains. They don’t get that it takes a very great man, such as me, to envision the bending of steel and the precise placement of glass and to breathe life into the soul of a space. You could almost say I’m responsible for creating life itself, in an ethereal sense, of course. I take an empty place, a voided realm, and I plant a seed and a complex structure grows like a magical beanstalk. Do you see what I’m getting at…?”

His voice trailed off and I couldn’t stand the taste of the factual moment, this slice of time where my father was carrying on with this architect Bennington and his gross offspring, the one begotten in thrusting grunts upon a drafting table, this young man, the ever-prickish Frost Bennington, standing right there beside him like he was as Jesus is to God, my holy father touching his sweatered, collegiate back with one time-worn hand, holding a glass of strong drink in the other. My father treated Frost as if he were his own flesh and blood, but little did he realize it was that very same flesh, younger, meatier flesh, that had been pressed to his wife’s lust-tingled skin the two nights before, and it was the very same blood that had pumped through his veins and rushed to his rocketing organ that he continually rammed into my mother’s begging body until he shot off like a plasmatic light storm locked in a glass ball. My poor blind fool of a father, I thought.

Yes, I am guilty of envy. Yes, it hurts my insides. Yes, I am capable of revenge. I was extremely jealous that Frost Bennington basked in the drunken glow of my father’s attention and love. That should be me beside him I stomped aloud in my own spinning head. I should be the son he is proud of. I should be the son he admires. But I am not, I am the ever-alert owl at the top of the stairs looking down on this charade of fools, cleaning my feathers with precision, and knowing this is the day they will all become cognizant of the lies of their loves. This is the day they will be shocked and disheartened. Even my sweet sister Emily will be, as she twirls about the crowd with my bastard baby Maine, showing him off, making up some lie about who he is and where he came from so suddenly… “Babysitting for a friend,” she tells them as she spins around like Mary Poppins suffering through an aching period.

And then there’s my mother, the victorious Queen Victoria of the room, head so high in the air her chin scrapes against the soles of God’s sore feet. She dressed herself in long sleeves, not for fashion sense but merely to hide the fingerprint bruises of climax Frost left indented in her arms when she went down on him. She wore too much makeup on her face, her brassy hair was too twirled and high, she over smiled, and she over laughed in her showtime presentation to the bubbling leeching crowd. It’s all about the look of it for her, like I already mentioned a long time ago. It’s all about the presentation and appearance. It’s all about the vigorously buffed outside to hide the scratches, and never to reveal the blackened, tarnished inside. Little does she know of the patina that is about to be unveiled as she sips and smiles so sourly among her guests.

And then my father happily appeared from somewhere invisible, and he went to my mother and he just up and kissed her right there in front of everyone, dipping her a bit, nearly causing the spill of a drink, and they all cheered and laughed and some whistled and I wanted to swoop down from my perch atop the stairs and rip both of their eyes out with my razor-sharp talons. And then I’d pick them up from the fluid floor and carry them over the entire scene and show them, yes, with their very own eyes clutched in my beak and talons, how void of life their lives really were, and then I would drop their screaming stretched-wide eyes in the crystal punch bowl and the last thing they would see would be their own selves drowning in a sangria blood pool alongside bobbing orange slices and edible pink flowers.

I wanted to run down and tell my father to spit her kiss from his mouth. I wanted to tell him that she had Frost’s seed lingering beyond her lips, still dripping from her dangling uvula, and that she would eventually kill him with her betrayal. And it would be just the same with his polished protégé — Frost creeping up behind him to thrust a knife in his back while huffing my mother’s silky French deshabille like gasoline in a rag. But now I was destined to make all that reveal itself quickly, and in consequence my position in this place, this so-called family would be forever altered — I would be exiled to the big, big city of glittery and soiled solitude to live out my days broke and alone with no place to really call home, at least not a home built by Kings.


When it came time for me to make my appearance to trigger the utter derailment, I felt little nervousness. I was quite calm as I began to slowly descend the stairs toward the gyrating pond of scum and gloss. I hoisted my old boombox high above my head and I must have looked like Lloyd Dobler expressing his love and desires for Diane Court outside her house in that movie Say Anything. But instead of a Peter Gabriel love song pouring out of the speakers, it was a song of human sex. It was lustful noises that cascaded down those stairs and into the air above their bobbleheads. What blurped out, at the highest volume allowed and for all to clearly hear, were the sounds of my mother breathlessly moaning as Frost worked himself in and out of her. Then came her dirty utterances, filthy things she probably never had said to my father in all their years together. Then came the sounds of her crying out Frost’s stupid name as he slapped himself harder against her, and even that could be heard, that whap whap of flesh smacking against flesh. And then it was sounds of their sloppy and heated kissing, the biting, the clawing, the gnawing of the static air itself. And then came Frost’s divine and ultimate thrust that forced his very own DNA inside her worked-up guts, and he howled like a wounded animal, his joyful release dripping through clenched fangs reminiscent of that exuberant feeling one got on that last day of school before summer vacation, and Frost let out a high as a tidal wave wet crashing rip and boom of “Oh Evelyn! Evelyn! My God, Evelyn!”

The next thing I knew, I was standing on the third step from the bottom and the crowd before me was aghast and with glazed over shocked eyes that stared right at me in horrid disbelief. I looked over at my mother, her jaw dropped first, followed by her glass of iced sangria punch that shattered on the angelic tile of the foyer. A misshapen circle of reddish orange liquid spread. “Everett!” she screamed out. Then she suddenly fell to the floor and people surrounded her and then it was my sister, handing Maine off to another set of arms and then rushing to my mother, her face cocking in my direction for just a moment, and she had a look of dead grimace and horrible pain upon her.

Then I saw him through the small but frantic crowd, and he was coming at me in seemingly slow motion. Frost, like a raging bull. And he quickly got on me and he pulled me down with his claws like a lion on a gazelle. He went for the boombox and did everything he could to turn it off, but it was relentless in it’s spilling of the songs of his sins he himself had birthed, and he had to struggle with it before finding the right thing to do, which was to dismantle it by smashing it upon me. And that’s exactly what he did. I can see a perfect picture of it when I look back on it, Frost Bennington howling crazy above me like Alex DeLarge in a Clockwork rage as he brought it down hard, the sounds of their sex becoming eerily warbled and finally dislodged and then shredded by his menacing anger. I remember how my face got caved in, my nose broken, and my mouth bloodied despite my efforts to shield myself from the blows. Then it was my father who came to my rescue, and he pulled Frost off me and tossed him to the side and there was insane screaming all around me, a distorted roar like an unrestful ocean, but then the sounds all began to fade, and my vision got bloody and blurry, like I was walking around cloudy red Heaven or something. And I recall people saying my name over and over and over again, and the last thing I heard was, “What have you done!?”


The next thing I remember is I woke up in the hospital and my sister was in the room sitting in a chair.

Her head was hung low like she was sleeping or very sad. “Emily?” I managed to say. I smacked at my own mouth. It tasted like old blood. “Emily? Are you dreaming?”

She wasn’t dreaming because her head slowly came up and her eyes were open to look at me. She blinked slowly. Her face was red, puffy, and wet with tears. “How are you feeling?” was the first thing she said to me, sniffling.

“Torturous,” I answered.

“Seems about right.”

“And what of mother?” I asked, quickly wanting the news.

“Mortified but resting.”

“And father?”

“Dark. Brooding. Deep inside himself… They’re talking about divorce, Everett.”

“I suppose they should be.”

“I doubt they will go through with it,” Emily decided for herself. “The financial implications would be too much for them at this point.”

“So, I suppose they will continue to live together in the shadows like jackals?”

“Most likely,” Emily said, and she stretched herself in the chair. “Just darker, junglier shadows.”

I paused and reached for some water in a plastic cup that sat on the bedside table on wheels. I sipped. I looked at Emily and she was far away. “What about you and Frost?”

She quickly snapped out of her self-imposed trance. “I broke it off, of course. He didn’t take it well. He didn’t take any of this well.”

“They only have themselves to blame, Emily. They brought this avalanche to the mountain. It was the noise that finally buried them.”

She looked at me like I was evil. “You set a lot of fires yourself. The neighborhood is abuzz with uncontrollable gossip and brimstone. Mother is convinced they will have to move now. Why such a show?”

“I tried to tell you. You didn’t believe me.”

“It seemed so fucking preposterous at the time,” Emily said, and she got out of the chair and went to the window to look out at nothing but our own reflections in the hospital room. It was the way the light was. “I’m sorry I slapped you.”

“I probably deserved it… What do you plan to do now?”

“Get my own place. Carry on with school.”

“You can come live with me, if you want.”

She laughed a little. “No thanks.” She turned from the window and came to the side of the bed and looked at my busted-up face. She reached out to touch me. “Does it hurt?”

“Yes. It hurts.”

She smiled. “I may not be seeing much of you anymore,” she said.

I thought that was a strange way to put it, and then she pulled away from me and left the room.


It was a few weeks later I suppose, and I was sitting in my lonely apartment in the city eating a bowl of cereal and looking out a window. The world was a dirty white and it was Valentine’s Day and I had no heart to share.

It was funny what happened next because there was a knock on my door and when I went to open it, there was my mother standing there holding a big cardboard heart of chocolates wrapped in shiny plastic. She looked cold and sad. “Hello, Everett,” she said, and she sounded like how a radish tastes. “May I come in?”

I stepped away from the doorway to allow her space to come inside. She handed me the heart of chocolates. “I got you this. I figured you’d be alone today. I suppose I just didn’t want you to go without… Something.” She shed her coat, played with her hair, and sat down on my couch. She looked around my ill apartment. “I really wish you’d try to better your living conditions.”

I sat down in my chair across from her. I tore the plastic off the heart-shaped box and lifted the lid off. It smelled like a fancy candy store inside. I reached in for a round one with a delicate swirl etched across the top of it. I bit into it, closed my eyes, savored every little part of it. “Maple cream,” I said with a dreamy satisfaction.

“I’m glad you like it,” my mother said with a forced smile. “Have another.”

I looked around at the different shapes and colors and plucked a rectangular dark chocolate one out. I popped that in my mouth. I tried to decipher the flavor as I chewed it, my mother strangely staring at me. “Some kind of caramel,” I said.

“Caramel is caramel,” my mother replied with a disappointed scoff.

“I suppose you’re right,” I answered. “I still like the maple cream the best. Thank you. You didn’t have to. I know that what you really think is that I don’t deserve it.”

We just sat there and looked at each other in an awkward silence for a while. “Mother?” I finally said.

She looked at me achingly, coldly. “We’re not going to talk about it,” she sternly said. “We’re never going to talk about it.”

And that’s when she stood up and reached for the gun she had hidden away in her coat. She raised the small silver pistol out in front of her and then she put it to her head, wide-eyed and like she was saluting someone grand and mighty. I saw her fragile finger move against the trigger and then there was a bang and a flash and the wall behind her was suddenly dappled red and gray, and I could feel the warmth of my own mother’s blood against my face. The gun dropped. Her body dropped. The entire world dropped.

I crawled over to her body, and I tried to hold her deadness aloft in my arms but I just couldn’t do it so I let her back down so she could just rest on the floor; that floor now stained crimson and with the smell of human iron coming up from it like summer steam after a rainstorm. And I just sat there beside her for the rest of that Valentine’s Day, even into the darkness of night, and when I slowly moved my head toward the unshaded window, I saw that great ivory eye the moon and the man living there in his blue suit was screaming out to me, “Look what you have done! Look what you have done!”

END

You can read the previous part of this story HERE.


The King of Genitalia Street (THREE)

Frost Bennington’s silver-blue BMW was warm, polished, and plush. It hummed with perfection as we went along. I watched with interest as his hand, clad in a fine leather glove, effortlessly shifted the gears as he drove.

“This is a nice car,” I said to him.

“Of course, it is,” he snobbishly replied.

“Do you think you could let me drive it?”

“No way.”

I reached for the stereo controls on the dash.

“Don’t touch that!” he snapped. “Don’t touch anything. Just sit still.”

I quickly pulled my hand away and looked out the window.

“The snow is really starting to spit,” I said.

“Yes. I just hope some country idiot doesn’t slide into me. This car was expensive.” He took his eyes away from the road for a moment to look over at me in hopes of enticing some kind of awe. “You know how much I paid for this car?”

“How much?”

“Sixty-nine thousand. Cash.”

“Wow. That’s a lot of money.”

“Well, Everett, that’s because I have a lot of money and in turn I only go for the finer things in this life.”

I studied him for a moment. “You have a lot of gray hair, too. Did you know that? I mean, it seems like a lot to me and with you being such a young guy. It’s kind of weird. Did you go through some kind of trauma?”

Frost chuckled because he thought I was being dumb. “Actually Everett, I have my hair professionally colored this way. I want it to look gray.”

“Why?”

“I do it for sophistication purposes. It’s all the rage at school and in the city.”

“Gray hair on young guys?”

Frost chuckled again and shook his head a little. “Man, you are so out of the loop. You see, it used to be that men with gray hair would rush to dye it out and make it all black or brown or whatever color it was before. Men used to believe that having gray hair made them look old and unattractive. Now it’s the exact opposite. Gray hair is considered to make a man look sophisticated, like I said. Intelligent. Successful. Handsome. Rich. And that Everett, is pretty much me all wrapped up in one tight little perfect package. So, yeah. Gray is here to stay.” And then he made a clicking sound with his mouth and pointed a gun finger out the windshield and went “Kapoww.”

“I had no idea,” I said to him. “Do you think I should have my hair turned gray?”

“No. Absolutely not.”

“Why?”

“Because you don’t fit the part, Everett. You’re not good enough to be gray. You would look ridiculous. You’d look like a fucked-up Doctor Who.”

That made me kind of mad, and I said to him, straight up, “Why do you always have to make me out to be some lesser of a person? I don’t like how you always put me down.”

“Because Everett, you are lesser of a person. You don’t even appreciate the foundation your family has laid down for you. You’re completely blind to it. You were born with the golden ticket to wealth and success in your stupid little hand and what have you done about it…”

“I’ve done a lot.”

“Like what?” Frost snapped back, his frustration with me growing.

“I went to college.”

“You dropped out.”

“It wasn’t for me.”

“Now you work at a… What is it? A toy store?”

“What’s wrong with working at a toy store?”

“Let’s just say you’ll never be driving one of these,” he said, and he petted the dash with one of his gloved hands. “Or banging hot foxes like your sister. No sir. Not if you’re working at a toy store.”

“And what do you do? You hang out with your dad all day.”

“I’m an intern at my father’s architectural firm. His very successful architectural firm. And when I finish architecture school, I’ll be made a full partner and eventually take over when he retires. See, I have a crystal-clear career path to endless success. And on top of that, I’ll get to come home to your sister every night and do whatever I want to her, and in every which way. And then she’ll beg for more.”

And for some reason, my thoughts suddenly went awry, and I blurted out something I probably shouldn’t have. But at that point, and I guess at every point in my life, I was trailing behind Frost Bennington in every possible way. So, what the hell, I thought, and I asked him, “What’s she like in bed?”

“What!?”

“Emily. What’s she like in bed? Is she wild? Is she loud?”

“Are you serious right now, Everett?”

“Yes. I want to know.”

“Jesus, man. She’s your sister!”

“So. I’m just curious.”

“Yeah. So I’ve heard.”

“She told you all about it then, huh?”

“Yes. All the disgusting details included. It’s taking everything in me right now not to punch you to death.”

“What’s wrong with me and my sister kissing?”

“Jesus Everett, you stuck your tongue in her mouth! That’s not how you kiss your sister. What the hell is wrong with you!?”

“How do you kiss your sister?”

“I don’t have a sister, you… Fucking lunatic. But if I did, I surely wouldn’t try to give her French lessons.”

“Oh, but… Did Emily happen to tell you all about how it was her that jumped on me and not the other way around like she’s saying?”

“What the hell are you talking about, Everett?”

“Oh, so I guess our sweet Emily left that part out, huh?”

“You’re sick. Don’t talk about her that way again or I swear to God, I will stop this car and knock your teeth down your damn throat and happily watch you choke to death. And I’ll do it from the comfort of an expensive leather recliner and with a bowl of gourmet popcorn in my lap and a glass of iced ginger ale at my side, and I’ll be laughing all the way, just like Santa Claus.”

I just chuckled a little and looked out the window to watch the winter wonderland world go by. “That’s a good one, old man, but you know, Frost. Maybe Emily’s not into the gray hair thing as much as you think she might be. It probably grosses her out to be honest with you.”

“Don’t test me or you’ll regret it, buddy.”

“I’m not your buddy. Buddy.”

“No, you’re just full of shit, Everett, and you’ll always be full of shit. It’s no secret that I don’t like you, Everett, and no matter how hard I try, I know I’ll never like you. I just pretend for the sake of your family because you’re so pathetic. At least I give them someone to admire rather than be ashamed of.”

“Thanks. I appreciate that.”

“And what the hell is with the baby? How in the hell did you end up with a baby?”

“He belongs to some girl I met in the city. I thought she was cool at first, but it turns out she had gone to some wild orgy and ended up pregnant and obviously didn’t want the kid, and…”

“Found a schmuck like you to dump him off on,” Frost said, and then he burst out laughing, and I mean like long-winded crazy ass laughing. “You’re an idiot, Everett. God your dumb!” he wailed.

“You don’t need to make me feel so fucking bad about it!”

“Why not? It’s comedy gold, man. Went to an orgy. Jesus H. Christ. You know how to spot the winners, Everett. That’s for damn sure.”

“I was just trying to be a decent person — something you know nothing about. I was trying to help her out. She was down on her luck.”

“And then she slipped out… In the middle of the night and left you with her bundle of bastard.” And Frost just kept on laughing. “But I suppose the million-dollar question is, Everett. Did you get any? Or was she too worn out from the orgy?”

“Fuck you, Frost!”

“I’ll take that as a no… Which is probably a good thing for you.”

“Hey, it’s coming up here on the right so quit fucking around and slow down.”

“Oh, how quaint,” Frost said, still giggling yet grumbling as he pulled into the parking lot. “The town market. Looks like a playground for community college dropouts. Hmm, yeah. That might be giving them far too much credit.”

“Quit being a jackoff. They’re decent people. And they don’t try to be something they’re not.”

“Well, from what I’m seeing, doesn’t look like they do a lot of trying period.”

I scoffed at the jerk. “You coming in?”

“No way. I don’t want my genes tainted. I’ll just wait for you. But don’t take forever. I don’t want to get raped out here while you’re buying that bastard kid of yours a box of Pampers.”

“You sure about that?” I said to him, and I got out and slammed the car door and Frost winced.

“Hey! Be careful,” he yelled through the glass. I gave him the middle finger salute and walked toward the doors of the store, and I was glad to be away from him, even for just a while.

TO BE CONTINUED

Read the previous part of this story HERE.


The Swimming Window

And there were orange baptized bullets lodged in a wall of sea salt adobe and skull,

a hard skull of architecture burned and bandaged

the sun was far too bright as I dug them out with the tip of a knife

and I was suddenly cursing the violence of Southwest sweat and artificial love

and street corner Kool-Aid chillin’ like angels’ blood

the cherry, raspberry red brew that made a sore throat feel even more sore

when one is a rattled child on a planet with obscene purpose

and why do I do anything but idle and wail

if it just turns out to be nonsensical dreams anymore?

And now the late afternoon sun that pours through a front window in the house

is all stained with wandering soul and a life vanished

Everything is different due to the dead

There is mad swimming in Heaven

and I still wake up and I still buy bread

I walk over the land and pick up stones

they live in a pool of millions

yet straddle the whore world all alone

and the days are starting to feel like desert tin

hard, hot and shining

illuminating muscle

capsizing the eyes

spawning breathless, reckless wandering and wonder.

Anti-Architect

Photo by Longxiang Qian on Pexels.com

At 32 you’re not 24 anymore, and at 43 you’re not 31 anymore, so said the Jack-O-Lantern out on the porch, waiting to be bashed and smashed onto Cockleberry Street … and it was the invisible night all breathing out there with a chill, I can feel it through my open window even in November to let the air and the smokestack vibes in, vodka mathematics scrawled out on the wall with some leftover charcoal from art school days. I was going to be an artist, an artist with practical purpose, so they said. I was going to be an architect, I was going to be the next Mike Brady or Art Vandelay, but I took the way of the pen and heart and withdrew from school and moved to Denver to be hip and fresh and I got all beat up and raw in Mile High Land and needed something more and so sailed off to Los Angeles … and there it was, the City of Angels, where I finally felt alive and fine and free and fucked up for nothing but savage and good purposes … and time tilts forward.

I was in Moon River, that beacon place by the water, looking down at the carpet and watching the aliens taking long, romantic walks through the shag of it all. I was all numb form the dumb of it all, out there, on the other side of Peaceful Valley where they all stare off into dead blue space or stare off into their HD telephone screens, slow-motion rolling billiards balls doing tiny, tiny knock knocks inside their brains … baa, baa, baa the sheep strum the perilous strings of a world turned upside down while praying to the idiot gods. 

I watched the road for danger but there was nothing but yellow peace up there in that atmosphere where I tried to dial her love in on the universal radio … static heartbreak, scars of distance, the lake waves lapping at the shore … the watery, rhythmic shewoo, shewoo, shewoo of chilled water against sand, rock, time, darkness, bright lights … Manitowoc, Whitefish Bay, the one way, way up and the chant, rant of the green and trees and ivy and smell and mysteries that swell all along my bones and soul … lonely carpenter ant man outside wood lodge sitting in a plastic chair smoking Marlboro killers and nodding “hello” to the night guests, that swirling mouth of the desk clerk coming out in the chill just to rub my way and talk about addiction and talk about dreams and talk about life everlasting. But at the way we wage war, love doll, there will be nothing left, for we gladly fund killing and the raping of life without a tick, but ignore the wide, starving eyes of the battered and the innocent … and we sit here, and try to call ourselves, humanity???