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The Celibate Misogynist

Paul Easterling lay in bed unclothed, exalted by the feeling of his cold flesh on the electric night air. It was a starry Saturday midnight and he was looking for a ship to hitch his thoughts to, something to carry him gently into sleep, the land of pipe dreams and pillow drool.

But all was not right that night, something nagged him, haunted him. He tossed and turned, listless and wired. Maybe it was the pair of double rusty nails he’d swallowed with dinner, black cod with acorn squash and peppercorn maple drizzle. His thoughts swaggered, stumbled and swooped all at once, tracing the nights events. A bourgeois meal, dull, obligatory conversation, and inevitable rejection. Her yearning face flickered in the corner of his eye, but when he turned she was not there.

He tried TV, schlepped through channels of shameless trash, halted on few tense hands of Texas Hold’em before being pulled into a vortex of nutritional blender drinks. Yawn. He clicked it off.

He tried reading. A book of poems. The words funneled off the page, into his lap and tampered something deep inside of him. He absorbed a few stanzas then suddenly more than just his thoughts were stimulated. He reached under his mattress and pulled out a crisp magazine, Wet Slot, and thumbed through a few pages. Paul could span the gamut of arousal from Anais Nin-erotica to pseudo-erotic smut and still have a hard time. But what endured after the inevitable exhalation?

He felt too much, he convinced himself. That was why tonight he left her where he had found her a week ago, at the restaurant bar. When they’d first spotted each other, across a crowded room (of course) he was compelled to have her. But her vector would run parallel to his for only a moment, just enough to motivate him to pursue her. Or was he pursuing an idea, a notion of what he thought was normal? Guy meets girl, wines girl, dines girl, gets behind girl, right? But as he sat across the table from her tonight clinging to the initial glimmer of attraction that faded with every inane comment that fell flat, he knew he could not suffer her any longer. It was painfully obvious that she held out for hope, her hand curled up on the white linen inviting his, but he pretended not to notice. After the server rushed them the cheque, they traded excuses and parted. She found a girlfriend at the bar, probably drank too much and stumbled home with some bullwhipped consolation prize. Paul drove the speed limit back to his apartment.

He hated porn for what it did to him, just as he hated all the woman hed rejected. Wet Slot hallowed him. The vacuous sneer of the oiled, writhing model expressed victimization whether by economics, abuse, or coercion and it inspired an orgasm tainted with the same flavour. She was not modeling sex, but an emotion. And it wasnt pleasure, despite what her poses, however nuanced, conveyed; it was nihilism. On her face was imprinted her emotional reality, and splayed on the page, for your pleasure, was her raw and naked story. He resented his sexual impulse because it made him a victimizer, and he hated himself for being so weak, and he hated his date for reminding him of how dysfunctional his sexuality was. And then he came. And slept. And dreamed not.


Cheapswill: Directions for Use


We’re not interested in a fond place in your memories. But concrete powers are at stake. A few hundred people haphazardly determine the thought of an era. Whether they know it or not, they are at our disposal. By sending Cheapswill to effectively positioned people, we can interrupt the circuit when and where we please. Some readers have been chosen arbitrarily. You have a chance to be one of them.