Human as alien as animal as transformative substance. My gills again. My lungs left behind. The anti-intro that discusses mutations and mutations only. New genes discovered in the side streets of North Inglewood. My personal mental fitness … a direct agency to despair. Psychedelic mathematics … the double helix … organisms occur as new species … desirous selection. Cockroach shells beneath my upper lip. A thousand times a day I vomit in the open hallways. No one sees this sign … let alone someone asking my name. I am not human. Live nude guys on Instagram … the micro-evolution of asexuality … the sticky goo of human bones … a total deterioration of feeling. When I first got out of college I had to find my body and to find myself. Now all I’ve got to look for is one person to see. One thing about this new world of people is that everyone is so easy to make fun of … there are so many of us … and … what I see on social media is not unique except for how they can make fun of us. One thing I’ve noticed though … how I now have the privilege of being able to see all the other people I know online and to have it all be completely anonymous. I think I will take a moment now to thank these friends because they have changed my life. They are all my friends. The red and white dots correspond to the red and blue dots that I have chosen to represent myself on this map … a map showing where I place my thoughts … and the dots correspond to my mood. The orange line represents my physicality … and indicates the direction that I’m going … or want to go. Blue signifies that I don’t know or can’t think. The red and yellow dots indicate my emotions. The orange and grey denote where I’m going or feel the strongest emotions right now. A lonely place. No food. The only meal I’ve ever had was some shit I ate at a Chinese restaurant. No money. I don’t have the patience for poverty. At 10:10 am … when I look up … I see people waiting for the buses. I’m already going to call this off. I don’t want this anymore. I turn off my phone. Just like before. My heart is racing and sweating. I’m running to the door to my bedroom where I already have everything I need. My phone’s still on my chest. There seems to be no way to ignore this call. The enhanced survival of the human body. The increased fecundity of my failures … a careless druggist needs to act and to act now. The superficial qualities of the flesh. Youth seeps out of me. Pockmarks on my skin. A glassy vision in front of me. I sit in some smug restaurants acting like a fine critic of meals. They advertise fine dancing here on Saturday nights. Random debris along the Marina Del Rey. Glass windows controlled by remote control. The haunted waters of North Beach. Fossil records in the reflection pool. Urine stains … cold sweats … giant insects … I’m in some terrible bad mood. Plastic chairs full of an anxiety disorder. A 90s film on the television. Orgasm as the body pushes itself upward. Electrical wire inside my stomach … my small steady breaths. Dead spaces full of pure energy … your drunk ass on the apartment porch … gang colours around a double cheeseburger … hot cigarettes on my lip. I’m just a kid at night sitting at the wheel of a truck … looking down at this beautiful sunset. I can’t move my head. There is nothing left of me but a husk. I’m only 12. We are on our way to visit the family dog I’ve fallen from a bus. I’ve been electrocuted. I’m alive. I’m right here on a highway in the rain and light coming from a truck behind me. The truck is filled with gas. My hair is wet to the touch. My face is covered. My eyes are sore with tears. The only real life … in my world of this film … is a nightmare of the same horror … that you see around back in the hotel room. I want it to be real. I have every motivation to finish this story. My soul has been in here for so long. I am trapped. The film is over. After all … you can’t watch it. I’m going to eat everything. All the food I have. I’ll get sick. I’ll be sick and go insane … die in the water and not come back. I’m going to be sick and I will watch everything we did from the beginning … and try to do everything from beginning to end again … and not eat anything since the beginning. I’m going to vomit and die forever. I’ll never watch this film again. Benny talks about medicine and stuff. Benny describes my body as some slimy atrocity … some long storage of constant changes. A motorcar made from sheet metal. A greasy corner at the end of the kitchen. Vodka in Benny’s water bottle. Brain cells bubbling at room temperature. The human body as a thematic device in some soap opera … sickishness enters. Heavy footsteps throughout West Hollywood. Benny’s left eye singed by a detergent cube. The face slap … the hard lines of my face … the jaw slap. The bittersweet syrup of whale oil. My body swells within a burlap sack. I headed to Tucson … Arizona for a four-week holiday. Some homophobic family pureed through a meat grinder. I follow the city bus on Instagram. Boys dismount at the strip club. Echo of an echo of an echo. The bald bouncer at the rear entrance. Rotten trash in the dumpster. A blonde busboy holding garbage bags. His slender wrists. An echo from my throat. What happens if I am not able to escape the world … and what should I make of our planet? If I am not able to create a world … I would not wish to find the solution to life … to have such a desire would be a dream for every species or for each of us … a desire for the absolute. I am a creature made of glass. I would not dare face it. But I am willing to learn. To experience what I am. I am tired. I keep my mind on the past. I am not an expert. You are supposed to have been on the beach … were you not? It may be an impossibility. The water is cool and shallow. But … this is a city made of glass … plastic and steel. And a body is an aggregate of particles of all sorts. What will you make of glass being made of glass? Will it make you human … or will it just shatter apart into pieces? How long does it take to melt this plastic into the form you’re walking around with? Can I trust this? And what about our lives that we live before we get these things? Are we human … or a thing? In between … I’m always on the lookout for that other one … my last vestigial limb. I touch Benny’s tender flesh. Benny asleep on the front porch. My stomach clenches … my throat shrivels … my unfortunate consciousness. Spots dance across as my eyes smack together. The gaze is hazy … this silent room. A voice shouting from the backlots of Universal Studio. Black vinegar burning throughout San Bernardino. Benny’s jaw flexes. The mattress springs are rusted. Cigarette stubs … clove cigarettes. Head with a quarter slot. I am inside my housemate’s bedroom. An orange-crate nightstand. Benny with his hot flesh … his warm blood … his dank cloths. I look at the ocean. All things are connected. The ocean does not understand the sun. My lifelong dream: to one day be one of the stars of a science fiction film and perhaps make them proud. Then the music fades. I am on my way to sleep. The universe around me. The sea has gone cold. We have no breath and our ears don’t respond to sound. Just me … the only one … in my boat. The ocean has a different flavour. The sun shimmers over my head. The sun has come to be. Our lives do not have a beginning. We cannot plan for the future … we can … with some very small planning … know where we will be. How can we know we have a future when each morning we wake up in darkness … when each night we dream of the moon? We have no reason to think we will ever live our lives. In our lives … we think we do have a future with purpose and meaning. But we do not. Our lives and our dreams are filled with sorrows.
Shane Jesse Christmass is the author of the novels, Xerox Over Manhattan (Apocalypse Party, 2019), Belfie Hell (Inside The Castle, 2018), Yeezus In Furs (Dostoyevsky Wannabe, 2018), Napalm Recipe: Volume One (Dostoyevsky Wannabe, 2017), Police Force As A Corrupt Breeze (Dostoyevsky Wannabe, 2016) and Acid Shottas (The Ledatape Organisation, 2014).
He was a member of the band Mattress Grave and is currently a member in Snake Milker.
An archive of his writing/artwork/music can be found at www.shanejessechristmass.tumblr.com
Banner image by James Knight