ABSURDIS EXTREME // Case Study #345 [09/09/2017] by B.A. Loney

This is the story of Number Thirteen, a lonely young soul whose skin was as white as snow because even Sun would shun her. Of course, Moon deigned to suffer her presence but only because he’d cover his face with clouds so that he wouldn’t have to look at her. Number Thirteen felt distinctly unlovely indeed.

You may be wondering if Number Thirteen had tried to turn things around at any point. Well, as a matter of fact, yes! She once pretended to be Number Thirty-one but, predictably, nothing good came of this. The real Number Thirty-one happened to find out what Number Thirteen was doing, and posted a scathing expose of her fraudulent behaviour on Facebook. If Number Thirteen wasn’t a social pariah before, she certainly was now.

Still, it seems that she didn’t let this stop her. She also tried to split in two once, to self-identify as Number One and Number Three. But this turned out even worse! Do you think it would be easy to operate with two parts if one of them looks like a pointy stick and the other has rather puffy flanks? Whether anorexic or grossly overweight, neither was good for her health.

So, instead of changing herself, Number Thirteen tried to date other much cooler souls in the hopes that their innate coolness would rub off on her. She dated a Number Six Six Six who was a little too bestial for her liking, and had an obsession with five-pointed polygons and red food colouring. Then there was a Number Sixty-nine who gave her genital herpes and mouth cramps. And after that came a soul who was to be the worst of them all. He called himself Number Seven Seven Seven, and would often coerce her into wearing a bad ginger wig while whispering quotes from the Gospel of QAnon whenever they made out.

You would think after these dating disasters that Number Thirteen would have given up. But no, not at all! Even with the terrible luck she’d always had of just trying to fit in, she was a cheerful, optimistic soul. Social shunning, superstition and all that other numerology bullshit be damned! She threw herself into the practice of yoga and qigong instead, often pouring cold water over herself before and after, even visiting Tuvan throat singing classes on a weekly basis. She piled her plate so full with extracurricular activities that she didn’t have time to sit around lamenting her lot in life. In short, Number Thirteen lived her life so thoroughly that she eventually grew to feel less empty and lonesome.

One day, Number Thirteen was sitting on the porch with her cat. Of course, the cat was a black one—could you honestly imagine her petting a white cat? Said cat was purring in her lap, soaking up the attention like a thirsty perennial in a tropical downpour. As such, it was the best Friday that either of them had had in a very long time. They just enjoyed each other’s company without a care in the world.

A fat snot-nosed kid was passing by on the street when he suddenly looked at Number Thirteen and her cat, and began to scream blue murder. There was an equally scared woman beside him—presumably his mother—and he pulled on her skirt as he poked a dirty finger toward the porch. It was more than Number Thirteen could bear. With quiet resolve, she placed the cat at her feet, stood up, then slowly approached them.

“You’re cruising for a bruising, kid,” she snarled, towering over him.

“Behind you, lady!” he shrieked, jabbing his finger more animatedly. “Over there!”

Number Thirteen spun on her heel, and to her great surprise was a human-sized Donut just standing there. Donut was flanked by eight… no, nine, ten… twelve, maybe thirteen human-sized Scones. Yes. Thirteen.

“I am the Hole at the Centre of the Universe!” declared Donut in an authoritative James Earl Jones voice. “The Great Nothing! And yet would I gather all unto me. Yet would I grant succour from the existential storm that is being alive.” Donut waved a hand at the human-sized Scones. “And these be my disciples, the Baker’s Dozen.”

The Baker’s Dozen all waved weakly. They clearly did not want to be there, and even seemed a little embarrassed by Donut’s self-aggrandising outburst.

“I see that you are silenced by awe.” Donut pointed to itself. “To be awed is human. To awe is divine. Therefore, you are human and I am divine.” Donut nodded in smug satisfaction. The Baker’s Dozen cringed inwardly just that little bit more. “You may taste of me and see that I am good!”

Number Thirteen gave a nonchalant shrug. “As you wish.” Then she looked over her shoulder at the kid and his mother. “Would you like some donut and scones over a cup of tea?” They both nodded dumbly. They didn’t really know how else to react—at the very least not wishing to be rude. The cat arched its spine, then stretched into a satisfying, cavernous yawn.

It was good by the way. Morning tea on the porch. Such a divine taste!

by TETIANA ALEKSINA & TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2021

Slut & Sensitivity (That Idiot Heart)

The first time I masturbated, it was a revelation.

I don’t remember how old I was or how I knew to do it, but it happened in the middle of the night. Between the delicious folds of blanket and darkness, I learned that a body could make itself feel good. A body could experience relief.

Growing up, I was never told that it was okay for me to be me. I was spoken at but never with. And although I was deaf, it seemed like I was making more of an effort to listen in than those much vaunted hearers around me. They required zero hearing devices in order to hear, but they also gave zero fucks about what anybody else was saying, least of all me.

That was how I learned to save my breath. If none could be bothered to listen, then it was pointless to speak. So I became proficient in the art of passive observation, dwelling deferentially at the fringes of social interaction. I’d close my mouth and lean in, vainly trying to discern individual voices within the cacophony, and reading body language for further clues as to what was being said. I learned to react to mannerisms, facial cues and perceived emotional states with little more than inference and favour currying nods. But really, I had no part to play in any of it. I might as well have been a no-show, for I was invisible.

And so it was that I became the unseen fluffer at the gloryhole of egos. I made myself utterly compliant, inoffensive—bland even. However, being so attentive and doggedly amenable meant that I was only hurting myself in the end. I was enabling others to self-medicate and preen at my expense. I ‘gave good head’, but I was also complicit in losing track of who I was and could have become. Still, none of this prevented me from feeling inside. And I would continue to feel everything.

I felt so much that I learned to hide it out of shame. I hid my face which is horribly asymmetric—that’s why I grew my hair long. I also learned to hide my deformed hands—that’s what pockets are for. Then I learned to hide my voice in silence. And if I absolutely had to speak, I made sure to drape that in shame too. On no account was I ever to feel good about me. And nothing was about me unless others deigned it so. If I wasn’t outright ignored, I was bullied, pitied or used, and tossed aside.

This made me a prime candidate for religious conversion, I think. When I was willingly recruited into the christian subculture, I thought I’d finally found my tribe. I hadn’t, after all, found it anywhere else, not even within the relative normalcy of my own family. I’d made myself complaisant in the extreme for anyone who’d stop and take notice, but this hardly mattered when all was said and done, and it hardly improved my lot. I still simply could not manage to fit in—not anywhere—to find a meaningful foothold within the swell of humanity to which I was desperate to belong. No wonder I was drawn to christianity’s promises of unconditional love and acceptance!

But even in church I’d not belong, for the qualities that supposedly made me special soon became sin that had to be rooted out. It was classic bait and switch. Reel me in with what I’d hoped was real only to find that I was inhabiting the worst place possible for dignity to thrive. I wasn’t to have long hair. Black clothes were an issue, as was my taste in heavy metal music. Oh, and no more wallowing in depression for I had nothing to be legitimately sad about. Salvation was mine, so what exactly was the problem?

I became painfully aware that my innermost thoughts and feelings were nothing more than a nest of demons to my better brethren. And my desires? They were a definitive no-no. I was allowed to be everybody else’s fluffer, but no masturbation for me. I could literally gag for christ’s coming but I wasn’t permitted to seek relief at my own hands. Feel good and burn in hell, or be in emotional agony and somehow ascend to heaven. The choice was mine.

So, like the dutiful fluffer I was, I knowingly participated in this dehumanising game of being shammed and shamed. I dropped to my knees and gave them my all. It was more than mere lip service. It was the full performance. I even spoke in tongues for them. I swallowed absolutely everything—not a dribble or drop was lost—but when it became clear that I wasn’t working out, the true believers zipped themselves up and ditched me on the side of a road less travelled.

It feels like I’ve been hungry since the dawn of time, gobbling to be seen, wanted, explored. But none can keep up with this voracious appetite for connection. It isn’t possible. For as long as I can remember, I’ve necessarily been made an option at best, a non entity at worst, but usually something to be avoided somewhere between. It’s had to be this way. People simply don’t last long in my presence. How could they?

I recall a childhood friend telling me one time—outside the main school gate—just where on his impossibly long list of buddies I fell. Towards the end as it happened. That wasn’t good enough for me, and so we never spoke again after that, opting instead to occupy different parts of the playground at recess. Everyone leaves. Or I leave first so I won’t be the one who gets hurt. But this never works. I’m always getting myself hurt, and I’m always hurting others. I don’t mean to.

I desperately wanted to date, but never did. I didn’t have the balls. I wasn’t a real man; my face was all wrong, and I had nothing else with which to impress the girls. Youth and possibility were flowering everywhere I looked, damn them, and I was a withered old bud before my time. I was going nowhere fast. So, I learned to stand still and be alone, and loneliness would become the theme that underpinned my life. I was never an introvert by choice. Genetics and circumstance forced me into that mould. It’s one that I’ve tried—unsuccessfully—to break out of since.

This is why I’ve had to discover pleasure on my own. I never did quite understand what it was I was feeling. No one guided me through this. I only knew that it felt good, that it made me feel human, and that I shouldn’t be doing it. For reasons that no one ever adequately explained, masturbation was branded a highly transgressive act, and yet… I couldn’t stop. Not even when my mother caught me in bed making love to my pillow. She never could look at me the same after that, and we sure as hell never talked about it. I wish we had. I might have found some answers. Some guidance perhaps. And I possibly wouldn’t be so fucked up now.

So, I grew up, a burning hot hormonal mess that wanted to fuck every girl in every room. But suicidal ideation, unrequited horniness and acne would be my only bedfellows. I never got used to girls, and I became the teen that time forgot. It was left to me to make myself feel good, to do more of the thing that only I could do on my own, to self-medicate. The world outside would make me feel truly utterly awful, and when I finally couldn’t take any more, I’d retreat to my room and masturbate. And then the shame. And then the crying. Where did I learn that seeking relief was so bad? Why was it such a crime? Why did I always have to feel like shit? Why was that the law?

The number of women I’ve been with can be counted on the hand with no thumb, with fingers to spare. I know well enough to be grateful to them. They were loving, sensitive, and they took great care with me. I, unfortunately, was crap and needy. I just wanted to feel good, and I wanted them to feel good so that I wouldn’t feel like I was just taking. I hope they felt good. I’m not adept at feeling pleasure—sexual or otherwise—in the company of others, so it can be extremely confronting when I see others sharing pleasure so freely.

The sad truth is, I fail at lovemaking. There is no getting around that. One of the most intimate connections I could ever share in life quickly becomes an onerous task that I simply cannot deal with. When the women I worship most willingly open themselves to me, I can scarcely believe it. My mind simply will not accept that this good thing is happening. I cannot possibly deserve this, so I choke up, I go numb, and my dick goes down. And they’re left genuinely wondering if the fault lies with them. (Is this why I prefer foreplay?)

Neediness is the engine that drives me. I’m empty on my own. I need other egos around me, spilling themselves over me, filling me up like I’m a one dollar whore. Hell, they can degrade me if it means I’ll have their attention for a while. (Can you see how fucked up I am?) Show me a little kindness and I’m tempted to fall in love with you, for mine is not a monogamous heart. Nope, my heart is a glutton and an idiot. It’s a total starving slut. And I will be your slut… if you let me.

I still masturbate, though this no longer enchants as it once did. The shininess has rubbed off, one could say, and relief has left the room. I’m not permitted to be a burden on others, but I am required to be the graveyard for all that imbues me, for I am a dead end. That is my function. Naturally, my idiot heart doesn’t comprehend this—or desperately doesn’t want to—and so it continues to inhabit the fringes, waiting, hoping, hungry for a tidbit of connection.

I’m ashamed of my emotions. I’m ashamed of the things they make me want to do just to connect. I’m ashamed of being a fluffer and a slut. A sexless masturbator. An echo of a dream. Am I just a thing pretending to be human?

Idiot heart, your narrative needs to change.

by TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2019

GUEST POST // If the Tables Were Turned by Jane Paterson Basil

Please tell me, what would you do
if you were confined in a zoo
and all of the animals
from lizards to camels
strolled around pointing at you?

Now tell me, how would you feel,
if you were encased behind steel
while the chimpanzees
watched your antics with glee
and laughed at you eating your meal?

So, what if the tables were turned?
It’s time the corrupted ones learned
just like human beings
those creatures have feelings
and all of us should be concerned.

Inspired by the Government’s recent faux pas (how’s that for an understatement?) over the sentience of animals.

by JANE PATERSON BASIL
© All rights reserved 2017

As I Went Out One Morning

Thomas Paine tried to usher in the Age of Reason. Hippies tried to usher in the Age of Aquarius. Then came me. All I can do is age.

I am filled with false hope at the moment. This might be due to the fact that the day is still young and nothing bad has happened yet. I feel like I’m trying not to be fucked up. Really, truly, I do. And I’m trying not to fuck up by fucking others up.

On any given day I feel like I’ve smashed myself on the rocks of indifference, like I’ve lashed myself to the wrong mast with the wrong sail and then headed off in the wrong direction. I’ve crashed into a lonely desert island, and am about to slide from the brine-slicked crags to vanish over the waterfall at world’s end. But today? Today, so far, I feel pretty alright.

It was in my teens that I made a terrible discovery. I discovered that a man could cry. That man was my father. His tears were for my mother’s brother. I’d entered the room to find him laid out on his bed, hands pressed over his eyes as if to hold them in. Really, he was only trying to hold in the pain. It seemed an unconscious act of self preservation, as if to prevent pain itself from seeping out and consuming him. But it was already too late. My father’s face was wet with tears and loss had clearly eaten him up from the inside. It was a powerful moment that unearthed deep, unspeakable things within me. I became afraid of dropping into that abyss at the edge of the earth.

Johnny Cash once sang about a man who couldn’t cry. The man had been like that for as long as he could remember, and when he finally did cry it rained for forty days and forty nights. Then he dehydrated and died. Then his family, friends and associates began to fall victim to horrific happenings and in some cases met a tragic demise. Is this really how it is if a man dares to cry? The world falls apart? Everything comes undone?

Okay, now it’s beginning to feel like the last days again, and hope is waning… but of course it would. It’s false. And time marches on, goose stepping like a hateful Nazi over the memories of once held dreams, over my carefully buried hopes and fears. I’ve learned not to cry in the presence of others but it isn’t always easy to be so scrupulously contained. Sometimes you cry in the worst place at the worst possible time. We’re not all machines. It just happens and there’s nothing that can be done about it.

Let’s face it, the older I get the more emotional triggers I find. Take right now for example. I’m walking past a church sign that says we’re ‘too blessed to be stressed’. It’s probably a good thing I don’t own a gun. Not that I’d use it. Not really. I’d just think about those self-righteous godomites and get myself all twisted up and spiteful inside. And then I’d slink away to take a Pepto-Bismol or two. Or three. Hell, guns make me nervous anyway.

No, it’s far better to dwell on other things. Happy things. Like puddles. Look, there’s one now. My very own sky hole in the ground. I could just step off and drop through to the clouds beyond if I wanted to. It’s the lure of transcendence. I fall for it every time. Who needs to get on a boat to disappear? Just do this. Only… well…

…I can’t.

Not really. Damn reality in all its bloody-minded literalness! God fucking damn!

Sigh.

by TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2016

Oops!… We Did It Again (up-sell me)

Erm… hullo there. (This is rather awkward…)

Dear Reader, the stuff that was originally posted here has been removed.

We have done this because said stuff has since been included in one of our published books. We hope you’ll believe us when we say we’re not trying to be stingy. No, this has been done to honour the people who have already spent their hard-earned money on our eBook creations.*

If, however, for some reason you’re unable to buy one of our books, and feel you’ll die without seeing this piece of writing, then please contact us via admin@unbolt.me. We won’t allow our Dear Readers to fade away in the dark. We’ll send you the piece in question, and it will be absolutely free. All you need do is ask.

* Of course, we would be like two happy puppies if you too decided to buy one of our books.

by TETIANA ALEKSINA & TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2016-2018