A Story With No Author

Nopix

 

I looked into the eyes of the woman I loved. Their infinite blue calm promised that everything in the world was meaningless and beautiful.

 

“I love you, Pretentia.”

 

“I love you.”

 

“There’s something I need to tell you.”

 

No lie had ever passed between us. This was the ideal that kept our relationship together. It was the reason I had married her.

Unlike the way it was with every one of the women I had dated, met, slept with, had multi-year relationships, or three-hour trysts with, this had no blemish of dishonesty to uglate its sublime perfection. I had never lied to her, and I wouldn’t be starting now.

 

“I love someone, and I want to see her.”

 

She looked at me with faint surprise. She must have been proposing a million explanations to make sense of my absurd statement.

“I don’t love her like I love you.”

“Franzie,” she said calmly—in three years of marriage we had never raised our voices to each other—“What are you talking about?”

“Do you remember me telling you about Charlotte?” She didn’t answer, but I was sure she remembered.

“At the rave,” I insisted, “before we were married. I told you everything. I couldn’t lie to you while we were rolling on that stuff. And I haven’t since.”

“You slept with her after we had dated for three weeks.”

“You said it didn’t matter.”

“It doesn’t.”

 

My dear Pretentia.

 

“I don’t love her like I love you.”

‘What does that mean?”

“It means…she and I are both wicked people. She would destroy me. Cocaine and I are like that. It’s the same kind of love. She knows not to beckon me too much because she would ruin me. I would pretend like everything was all right, and secretly hate her. She knows that. And that’s why we keep it a pure and infrequent love.”

 

“Cocaine?”

“Yes…and Charlotte.”

“What do you want?”

 

“I want to spend a day with her. I haven’t seen her in years. But, somehow, whenever we see each other we have sex.”

 

“You said that when you did it, you didn’t like it.”

 

“I didn’t. Because I felt guilty. Because I thought that that would be a lie I could never admit, and that it would be the blemish that would uglate the sublime perfection of our relationship.”

 

One single crystal clear tear formed in the corner of her right eye. It swelled to the size of a pearl of pre-ejaculate on the tip of a fully engorged penis {it swelled to the size of a bead of dew on the blade of a morning grass}, and rolled down her pale cheek, leaving a translucent trail on its way to the bottom of her jaw. After a moment’s hesitation, it plummeted into the Turkish carpet with a silent thud and vanished.

 

“You are not allowed. That is unacceptable.”

“Please hear me out.” I just wanted her to be reasonable. “You said it was ok.”

“That was three weeks, Franz. We’ve been married for three years.”

“But we had that threesome with S—!”

“So, you want me to be there when you sleep with her too?”

“No. I don’t think she’d like that.”

My Pretentia averted her eye and wandered through previously undiscovered caverns of her mind. The slimy grottos of jealousy, the fiery pits of anger, the murky pools of doubt I had not forced her to explore throughout the course of our intimacy.

 

“I loved her ardently. And she hurt me more than any woman ever has. I despise her for it, which is why I know I could never be with her. But sometimes, I feel that she is the good and pure person whose eager slave I was my senior year of college.”

 

“You’re such a gross man.”

 

“Pretentia. I am only telling you this because I love you.”

 

She looked back at me. The black holes of her pupils threatened to cast me into oblivion.

 

“I know that she will always disappoint me. We’ve honestly never even spent more than 48 hours together. She always goes back to her ways. She is such a wild person. I only love that she is untamable.”

 

“Franzie. You are asking me to let you sleep with another woman. To spend a day not wondering where you are, how she’s kissing you, if you like the way she smells more than me…”

 

“You women are all the same!” I blurted with sudden bitterness, like a boy who won’t get his treat for some arbitrary ideals a senseless adult is calmly imposing.

“You can’t understand that it’s nothing about sex. She’s just a person I enjoy spending time with. Like a college friend. You spend your life doing these rational, grown-up things and then your freshman year roommate visits, and the next thing you know you’re both two grown men puking into toilets. Our thing is just sex instead of drinking.”

 

“I think you’re not making any sense.”

 

“I love you!” I bellowed, trying to impress upon her the collective meaning of every advertisement, Shakespearean sonnet, and solemn affirmation of a gentleman before his lady. Then, I began my proclamation like the hero of a romantic comedy.

 

“I want to spend every day of my life with you. I want us to share every special moment of our lives together. When you are sick, I want to take care of you, and I want to massage your feet when you are tired. I want us to go on our world adventures and our crazy midnight bike rides. But I am imperfect. I am just some creature cursed by this sick desire. I talk to her every now and then about a thousand trifles. All I ever wanted was for her to be a happy and successful person. The price of this was my love. I was the only person who believed in her, and she blossomed because of that. It’s a mutual love of two dark souls who found the light together. I just want us to have the chance to catch up on each other’s lives, laugh at old jokes, and seriously talk about our hopes and dreams as one only can with old friends. I don’t even know if we would have sex, and if we did, it would be an hour tops. Then we wouldn’t see each other for years.”

 

Pretentia, my dear Pretentia—her world was shifting as if characters in books suddenly started dictating the plots. For some reason all that she wanted to hear was that, unlike me, she was perfect.

 

“You’re perfect, Pretentia.” Franz announced.

 

Strange choice of words. But Something had resonated with her.

 

“Why do you want this Franz?”

 

“Well you are just the perfect person. I love you in every way. If I don’t do this, it will color everything. I will feel like I lost a friend and resent you for it. It’s like cocaine: sometimes I just want it, and then I get it and remember it isn’t really that special; and I’m ok.”

 

“This isn’t you.”

 

And yet it was precisely Franz. He had told her and given her subtle clues throughout their long and loving relationship. Only the Banana Daiquiri story could possibly do the trick.

 

“It’s like the Banana Daiquiris. Remember how I told you that, in High School, I was addicted to those Banana Daiquiris from Gray’s Papaya? It was killing my allowance, and I was gaining weight. So, one day, I drank the 32 Oz until I felt sick, and haven’t wanted them since—except sometimes. Well I got sick of her for sure. I already had my fill. When I failed my senior thesis because I kept visiting her while she recovered from her binges. Or comforted her when she cried because her ex-boyfriend choked her…”

 

Something was very wrong though. Somehow our Franz wasn’t playing fair. Could he have somehow been privy to the narration?

 

Franz thought: Please just let her see that I’m being honest and coming from a place of love by even telling her in the first place.

 

Pretentia felt that despite the unheard before sentiments that Franz expressed, somehow his inept ramblings were coming from honesty and…

 

Wait.

 

Franz, this is completely unprecedented.

 

I know, I know. But I just wish she could understand me. I don’t know what to do.

 

You have no right to interfere with the telling of this story.

 

It’s my story.

 

Your story? You narcissistic prick! This is Pretentia’s story, this is my story! This story belongs in the annals of all romantic literature; your story indeed!

If anything, this is taken out of the pages of my life. You, Franz, are just an invention.

 

Please. i love this woman. Why am i lowercase?

 

For clarity. You’ve known her for 30 minutes.

 

You’ve been writing for hours.

 

You think it has been easy picking those eloquent words you supposedly said? Huh? You disgusting little reprobate.

 

“Pretentia! We’re in a story! i don’t know if any of it’s real! But i love you so much.”

 

Pretentia didn’t hear any of his words. She was too lost in her own thoughts about the horrible things that the man she thought she knew had said to her.

 

“Pretentia!!”

 

Pretentia. Didn’t. Hear. Him.

 

“I have to go Franz. I’m sorry, I need time to think.” And she abandoned the Turkish carpet that tastefully brought the whole room together, and on which she and Franz had shared so many memories.

 

Franz.

Franz.

If you won’t talk, just listen.

You want her back, right?

Franz nodded.

 

You must help me finish this story. I need you so I can tell it, but I can’t use my own name. You don’t think that everything in the fiction section isn’t true, do you? So if you come clean about what a little shit you are…

I might help you.

“Yes! Anything! I’ll do it,” he said.

He said.

Yes anything i’ll do it.

All you have to do is share that filthy little note you have on your iPhone.

I bought a Turkish carpet today. It’s pretty small but it cost $160; it takes a nomad woman in the Eastern part of the country three months to make one of these—so I was told. Here’s the thing: buying a carpet is no ordinary sale. It’s a battle of wills.

You walk by a carpet store. You have no expectation of buying a carpet (“no one comes to Turkey expecting to buy a carpet, but everyone ends up leaving with one”). The owner invites you in, and you calmly accept his invitation knowing that no carpet buying is happening today. A boy named Ahmed is called to bring tea (although he is only called with very loud yelling so his name might as well be Ahmed!!!). Ahmed!!! Is dispatched to bring tea. You talk to the owner about Istanbul, about politics, about Life. He asks you what you think of Turkey. You love it. The tea comes. He offers you a cigarette. No mention of carpets is made.

He casually takes out a carpet, carelessly throws it on the floor and tells you a story about it. Then he takes 5, 10, 15 more until they’re strewn all over the ground. He invites you to look at them. No, he knows you won’t buy them because they cost three or four thousand dollars. No problem.

“What is your budget?” he asks, “you don’t want to buy a carpet? OK, well how much do you think a carpet costs? $100!? No way! This piece of trash here,” he exclaims while showing you a gross and inferior carpet, “is $100.” You discover that a good Turkish carpet is at least $200. How about this one? “Wow that one is beautiful, but I’m not buying a carpet today. I promise you.”

Ahmed!!!! More tea. Another cigarette.

The proprietor tells you his theories on raising kids in Istanbul versus Australia. He tells you where he goes to get these carpets. He explains that women in Turkey are conservative; they don’t have therapists. Their carpets are their catharsis. They weave their hopes and dreams, worries and frustrations into these carpets. “Look here! You can see it!”

You talk about investments, about banks, about credit crises, and the Eurozone. He tells you about his favorite bathhouse. He tells you he loves Russian girls but only to f— (the tea has him loose lipped). You talk and you talk. A calculator gets passed back and forth as you type in more and more ridiculous numbers. Of course they’re ridiculous! You don’t want to buy a carpet.

Ahmed!!! Clears all the carpets but the one you seemed to like. It looks pretty good come to think of it. You’re told that a carpet is a lifelong investment and this one is quite a beauty. Hmm, you could kind of see it on your floor. But you don’t want to buy a carpet!

AHMEDDDD!!! You’re given Turkish delight sweets. You offer a price 80 dollars less than what he originally said. He tells you you’re killing him. He tells you that when two men share a cup of tea, it guarantees 40 years of friendship. You’ve just imprisoned yourself to a century of amiability. “Ok, my friend, this is my last price,” he says. It’s $175 when you offered 150. You realize this price is more than any rug should cost, but by now you’ve looked at it too long. It’s in your mind. You want the handiwork of a Turkish woman who slaved for months to make this intricate thing. The colors are psychedelic. You ask if it can fly. “Of course! You sit on it for one hour with one bottle of Jack Daniels and it flies!”

You’re done; you hate this man and you hate this carpet, but you need it. It’s the only thing that could make you happy. You say, “160.” He asks if that’s what you need to be happy. You say, “Yes,” and you shake hands. You’re a loser, but you walk out of the rag shop with the biggest shit-eating grin on your face and smile as all the two-bit carpet hustlers on the street ask you if you just but a rug and congratulate you on the wisdom of your purchase.

You’re really being an extra-large dildo. The other one. About what you did to your first girlfriend before you met Pretentia…

Franz…No more messing around. We’re running out of space here.

I am a sex addict. I admit this to you in faint hope that today’s understanding society, which has a clinical label for every form of evil, will forgive me for what I am about to recount. Perhaps you will even say I am not responsible for my actions, which could not be further from the truth.

 

I was in a deep rut and yearned sex. I craved it in a mind-boggling and consuming way. Hours of masturbation could only temporarily keep the fiendish dogs of desire at bay.

There was only one stalwart and constant friend who understood me and had sacrificed her pride on the altar of her body over and over again to appease my needs. You.

I could disappear for years in a dizzying binge of sex with loose women, and when the well would run dry, leaving me a stranded and desperate traveler in the Sahara, you would be my moist oasis. Needless to say, I have abused you in every metaphysical way over the decades we have known each other.

You were my first girlfriend. Together, we patiently crossed from the terra firma of virginity into the undulating lasciviousness of whoredom, and you had been the first woman on whom I cheated with blatant lies. Unforgivable lies.

You forgave.

I knew how to approach you. Your defenses were as open to me as the hidden weaknesses of a mighty fortress are apparent to its architect. I really did create most of them.

You agreed to meet me yesterday—the day before your wedding. I had begged, cajoled, and pleaded. You relented probably because a hangover pounded in your head, and because I promised to bring refreshing juice.

I simply wanted to wish you well. I swore.

 

An erection threatened to rip through my pants as I spoke to you on the telephone in a gentle, measured, and reassuring voice while visualizing ejaculating on your face.

I came. You opened the door dressed in a conservative outfit. We hugged and I tried to hold it a moment too long. You recoiled quickly and smoothed your generous skirt, cleared your throat, and said ‘hi’. Fool! There was trust in your eyes.

I knew everything about the man whom you were to marry after seeing three pictures of you together on Facebook.

Dull, predictable, respectful, nice accountant or pharmacist with healthy interests in untaxing activities and an overwhelming desire to see to your needs before you expressed them.

I am an aesthete, a creative, a revolutionary; a spirit wandering free, torn at by the red and eager claws of devils, and blown by the idealistic winds alternatively and unpredictably; I am drunk on the spirit of the perverse. My ancestors came to Russia in 1917 from England, Germany, and France to make the revolution. You loved that about me, but could never understand that with such classic features of a romantic hero came the traits that harmed you. You ignored them. Willingly. Some of it might even be your fault.

Many years ago, you had told me something when you were very upset: I had stopped talking to you for a month to go on an orgiastic bender with a woman who had had the sex drive of a metaphoric sex Ferrari. I had had no time to talk to you because my penis was not in a state of relaxation for a moment the whole time. First it puckered from constant exposure to moisture, then it became raw and legitimately lesioned in places from constant friction. She, the sex rocket, left me after I couldn’t satisfy her for a single day.

I regressed into depression then; it was caused largely by my member, which, for the first time in my biography, refused to function. I lost all sense of existential worth. It healed after a week, and I texted to apologize for my absence. It was during that conversation that you relayed a prediction from your friend: “you’re going to marry him you know,” she told you, “that guy is going to treat you like an asshole until the day he marries you.”

I was sure you had forgotten all about it by the time of yesterday’s visit, but I carried it as a map to a secret passage in the impregnable fortress for almost a decade.

You sipped the juice and looked at me with sudden uncertainty, “Look, I really appreciate you coming here. It means a lot to me that you care for me. It’s very mature…”

I looked at you and saw a naked woman. I was familiar with every crease, every curve of your waist, the asymmetric circles of your nipples, and the weight of each breast. I saw myself inside of you as you lay hopelessly opiated by the influence of my c— the biggest one you have ever seen; you said that on our most recent rendezvous almost three years ago— right before David.

The pictures of him in his swim trunks did not promise much.

I waited to let the moment build up its tension. I flew to the zenith of space and prepared to plummet. My raging erection battled with the pillow I had placed over my groin in a casual non-threatening manner.

 

“I have been an asshole, and now I’m ready to marry you.”

 

A single, giant tear formed in the corner of your right eye, as if summoned by a powerful and instantaneous spell; and plummeted to the couch, disappearing with a silent thud.

“Get out.”

It is pointless to describe the soulless pleading, the empty promises, the base cries, and the repentant elegies with which I harangued you. You were the only woman with whom I could fornicate in the foreseeable future, and my desire had long since picked the bones of my conscience clean.

I suspect that I may have simply tired you out as a fisherman with a single line slowly saps a giant, graceful sea beast until it finally— its strength exhausted—floats on its back, breathing its last breaths, and staring with wildly darting and accusative eyes.

We had sex. It was amazing. Until it was over and I remembered that I had promised to run away with you. I kissed you a loving kiss and went out to breathe some ‘fresh air’. I shudder with disgust at myself as I smoke this cigarette on your doorstep. I’m not coming back, obviously.

 

…And then he caught a cab and hit send. That’s the Franzie I know. And poor, darling Pretentia, who loved you despite your ways. You risked losing her, and for what? A fling? A brief affair with some flooz? Disgusting. That wench, Charlotte, what did you ever want with her?

 

Don’t you remember? When you were dreaming me up? You were spying on her life. You voyeuristic pervert. She was desperate…she had donated most of her eggs for money…and she was running out of time. i felt so bad for her…i made all that stuff up about being old friends. i thought that way i could see her, and help her, without lying to Pretentia…too much.

 

Oh I’m the pervert here. I see. Let’s go back to that moment…

 

I removed one red dot from the large, graph paper-like poster that hung above my bed. Each small piece of circular red adhesive paper was glued on years ago and occupied its own space. They now came off quickly and easily.

 

Once, the ninety-ninth one had had disappeared and caused a minor panic until I found it under my bed where it had fallen— I must have glued it badly. But I had wasted quite a bit of nervous energy thinking back and wondering if I had suddenly lost a month of my life.

 

Today, I removed the twelfth dot slowly and solemnly. I held it for a moment in its place after peeling it off. One, two, three – breathe. Quickly! I ripped it off, leaving a slight whitish circle created by the area the dot had protected from dust all these years.

 

Then, as I had always done it, I took out my lighter— this one was made out of tough lime green plastic— and burned the paper in my ashtray from Amsterdam.

 

Fhew. OK let’s not think about it. You have eleven left. I know. That’s why it will not be thought about. Eleven, soon it will be seven and you will think of this moment and consider yourself so carefree. We can keep doing this; every level of analysis is unique. You-nique you know? I know, of course. I hate this talking to myself bullshit. Who me? God why can’t I stop? Jesus-on-drugs! Haha that was funny. Remember from last night? Are you serious? Not really. Stop talking to me. OK shutup. You shut up. Sharrup! Haha. Right. Ok I’m done.

 

I snapped out of my conversation with myself and realized that it could have gone on a lot longer. I guess even I knew that time was of the essence.

 

I walked to the bathroom to take off my blood-soaked panties, which contained, somewhere in the carnage of shed uterine tissue, a single, sad, unloved, unused, unfertilized egg cell. I imagined that I saw it— a tiny radiant black dot, like a piece of that insanely expensive caviar; a single one. Of course it was impossible: the thing was about the diameter of a human hair. Finding it somewhere in my own Red Sea would be like finding a…Anyways, I washed the panties in cold water, feeling the sad waste of potential so precious being carelessly discarded. I could never imagine being a guy, masturbating constantly, throwing away millions of possibly his best future progeny into tube socks, tissues, or trapping them in the dead end of a latex barrier. Or all those poor, poor potential babies forced to abort their existences in the filthy mouth of some trollop…like me?

 

Maybe that was a bit perverse. You must have somehow peaked in during the constant masturbation part. And you wanted to help the poor girl before she ran out of…chances to get pregnant?

Very well. Who am I to stand in the way of true gallantry? Here we go…now, no more of that funny business.

 

And, so, Franz knew he had a chance if only he acted quickly. He knew how her mind worked, and if too much time passed she would invent a thousand evil reasons for his words. Staring at the Turkish carpet, with the one moist spot where Pretentia’s tear had fallen, he was overcome with sudden inspiration. With heightened respiration that led to increased perspiration, he ran to the grimy liquor store to buy a libation. Outside of it was an old and evil-smelling homeless woman counting change in the palm of her hand. “I got fitty cents, that’sa dollar,” he heard her mumble.

 

He bought a bottle of Jack Daniels, and threw the change in the wretch’s hands.

 

With a prayer, and faint hope in his heart, he downed the whole thing while sitting on the Turkish carpet. It levitated so slowly at first that Franz couldn’t be sure it wasn’t just his heart sinking, but it flew. And all for $160!

 

On it, he swooped into Pretentia’s boudoir at her parents’ house. She was sobbing. When she saw her Franz hovering outside of her window on the stupid rug that he insisted on keeping in their living room, she forgot all her inhibitions. The rule of romantic comedy, you see, is that when the male protagonist takes a stupid chance, the heroine must forgive him everything.

And they lived happily ever after.

 

And if you, dear reader, think that on the way he didn’t find the time to visit Onan, the God of Masturbation, you would be quite wrong. In fact, he did. And because of his…little donation, Charlotte has a lovely little boy now, also named Franz. And she is married, to a man with a daughter by the name of Portentia. So similar…how could it be? Let’s see how that family is doing now, perhaps through young Potentia’s eyes:

 

“Mom and Dad are gone. So is everyone. Do you understand?”

Beautiful green eyes obscured by pointy clumps of black hair—a perfect little kid Anime character. Those were my mother’s eyes and they trusted me.
“You are not allowed to cry.”
He swallowed back his tears. Brave boy has it together.
“We have each other. That’s it.”
He nodded. What a great little brother.
“Wha…what about the people outside?” his trusting eyes pleaded with me.

“You don’t get it? They’re just zombies. Mom and Dad went out there and we haven’t heard from them in days.”
He looked down. His tiny corpus was still, but I saw shiny droplets on the floor by his crossed legs.
“You promised not to cry.”

He looked up; his eyes were wet, but the crying had stopped.
“We are safe, but running out of food.”
“Why can’t we order pizza?”
“Are you stupid? Who’s going to deliver it? A flesh-eating monster! That’s who!”
“Don’t yell, Portentia!”

“When you were asleep, I heard that rescue craft from Europe were coming. But.

Not for weeks. We both won’t make it.”
He knew I had a solution.
“I’m going to have to eat you.”
“Why do you have to eat me?”
“Because I’m older. You’re too small for the post-apocalypse.
He sobbed like his life depended on it.

“Franzie, dear, sweet Franzie, please. Remember when you were sick, and I stayed up all night reading to you?”

The tears flowed.
“You want your big sister to live, right?”
He nodded.
“I promise to have lots of babies. And I’ll name them all Franz. I promise.”
Little rivers debouched from two green oceans.
“What about me?”
“You will live inside of me. I mean I’ll poop you out, but your spirit will stay. We’ll go on every adventure together.

You just need to eat these candies. We have to hurry.”
“Portentia, you promise?”
“I promise.”

I fed him 30 Valium—one by one. My mother kept them in a medicine bottle with a different lady’s name.

I made sure he drank lots of water.

I told him that last summer our parents had told me they loved him more. And he smiled as his little eyes drooped.
When he became a corpse, I cut it up with a cleaver from Chinatown, the expensive kind. I did the whole thing in the bathtub and ruined a cutting board.

 

I put all the pieces in lunchbags, and they fit in the freezer with plenty of room to spare.

 

Two weeks later, after I had gone through the first dozen recipes in ex-grandma’s cookbook, the front door suddenly burst open.
“Portentia! Franzie! The islands were grand!” I heard my mother.
My father’s deep voice joked that we hadn’t burned the apartment down.

I greeted them with goulash seasoned by 47 crushed up Oxycodone pills.

 

Oh well. Poor Charlotte.

[This is the Author speaking. This ‘story’ is unreadable, crass, over—]

{This is the actual Author speaking, and I would just like to say how moved I am…}

<<Please disregard all other messages; for the author is I and it’s quite about time we brought all this to a close>>

***Gentlelads and ladymen, I beg all of your forgiveness, but this is really getting out of hand. There is no author here but myself!***

[Shut him up!]

{Lick balls!}

Cut it all out. I’m the one who told the story.

***And it was quite abysmal***

A lover bares his soul for his untarnished true love!

[He’s a villain. No one will like him]

<<What’s the deal with Pretentia? She’s not at all pretentious >>

***It’s because she’s pretend, I think. And Portentia is Portentous***

[Ohhhh]

{And then Pretentia killed the author so he could stop writing}

<<It would have been Portentia. That would make sense>>

{I helped with one of the parts! To make it less crass!}

 

 

 

THE END

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