Ordinary Year

An Ordinary Year shall be an on-line novel. It is a transgressive, ergodogic work. I will post the chapters here, unedited, as I write them. There should be at least one chapter a week, sometimes more. Be sure to check back often for new content.

The first chapter should appear on Saturday-

in truth, the first several chapters have appeared elsewhere. I will be moving them here soon, then adding new chapters as I write them.

Be patient, please.

_________________________________________________

Chapter One

Elvis

What is it? You don’t know, I don’t know, fuck man, even god don’t know.
Is it the devil? What does that even mean? It’s the thing that tears your flesh and eats the sweet pulp inside. It’s the thing that chains you to the wall, that rips your sanity and rapes you while your kids watch. One thing I know for sure, if I get out on that highway,
then it’s me.

I have to stop carving my face.

Small Cuttings

On Tuesday I stand over the sink and slice the palm of my hand with a butcher knife. The blood wells in the wound then begins to drip across the skin of my palm and into the sink. I tighten my hand into a fist and squeeze, forcing more blood to the surface. After a minute I start the faucet and place the wound under the cold water. When the red stops coming I pull off my t-shirt and wrap it around my hand. I light a cigarette and walk to the living room. There’s nothing on TV. There’s an open beer on the stand next to my chair, so I lift it to my mouth and drink it down. It may be snowing outside. I can’t be sure. My apartment doesn’t have any windows, being below ground level and all. There’s a terrible smell coming from somewhere and I’m not sure where.

I live alone here, but I don’t think I used to. It seems sometimes like there used to be someone else in this apartment, but for the life of me I can’t remember who. My beer is gone so I get up to get another. There’s no food in the fridge. I’ll have to do something about that. I think that maybe I should kill myself, but I don’t know why. That’s Tuesday.

The Burn

On Wednesday I stub out a cigarette on my arm. The skin blisters and opens. I do it slowly. It hurts more that way. I start with hesitation moves. That’s when you just tap the hot tip of the cigarette against your skin and pull it away fast. Then I hold it in place for a second. It hurts. That is a major understatement. It really hurts. I hold it in place longer. Then I press it in hard. The skin blisters, raising into an angry welt, then splits open. I press harder. The ash disintegrates into the wound until the lack of oxygen extinguishes the fire. Then I masturbate in front of the TV. When I’m done I clean myself with an old shirt and get ready for work. In the closet next to my uniforms there are several dresses and I wonder for the millionth time who they could belong to. I don’t have time to think about it, so I get dressed and drive down town.

In the lobby of the Chesterfield Theater I see Julie. She smiles at me and I lift my hand in a non-committal wave. She’s pretty enough, I guess. She has wide, dark eyes and long black hair that always looks shiny. Her hips are a little wide, but so what. I’m no prize, what with all the scars.

“Hi,” she says still smiling.

“Hey.” I pass her and head to the office to punch my time card. I’ve got to get to the booth and get ready before the seven o’clock show.

The movie is some low budget slasher flick. I really don’t care for that sort of thing. I just change the reels. It’s loud in the booth. Most people don’t realize just how loud. I wear ear plugs. Down below me men are masturbating in the dark while some girl gets her guts ripped out on screen. I have a little break between showings and I use it to go down to the lobby and get a soda. Julie is working the concession stand and gets my drink.

“What are you doing after work?” She asks.

“I’ve got a thing I have to do.”

“Oh,” She sounds almost embarrassed.

“I’m not doing anything tomorrow.”

“You wanna have dinner at my place?”

“Sure,” I say thinking that this is probably a mistake.

Chapter Two
Chapter Two

A Second Hole

The first time I cut her she jerks hard. The blood wells into a round puddle on the smooth skin of her belly. It grows until it is too large to be held in shape by mere surface tension, then the first small rivulet breaks free and starts the slow track to her navel where it will pool again. Lying there naked she looks good. Her hips don’t look so wide. Her breasts are actually quite large considering the size of her frame.

The slice on her stomach is actually quite small and she is starting to laugh. That’s a fairly common response to pain. Think about it. have you ever been overcome by the giggles after stubbing your toe? Well, that’s what’s going on with Julie right now. For some reason I think that I’ve done this before, but I can’t remember when.

The dinner she made is on the table untouched.

“So,” she says, “you wanna fuck or what?”

Honestly I’m not sure how to answer. I think I do, but I’d really rather keep doing what we’re doing now. This was her idea, believe it or not. I wouldn’t lie to you. Not on purpose.

“Yeah. Let’s do it.” I pull off my pants and climb on top of her. It seems to go well, I guess. I think that she is enjoying it. The whole thing really doesn’t last all that long, then I feel like I need to sleep. I roll over and she rests her head against my chest. In no time I’m asleep.

I don’t sneak out in the middle of the night.

My Name

I think my name used to be Griffin or Griffith or maybe Grant. These days I’m calling myself Cullin. I got that name off the cover of a book I saw one time. It was a book about tides or something. I don’t know. Like I said, I didn’t read it. Anyway, When I wake up Julie is in the shower. I still don’t sneak out. Instead I climb in the shower with her. She seems happy to see me. We get clean. Then we get dirty again and have to hop back in the shower. After that she makes Pop Tarts and coffee and we watch TV.

Sometime in the afternoon I say that I have some stuff to do, kiss her at the door and go back to my apartment. On the way I buy a bottle of bourbon to ease me back into my coma.

I drop into my chair, watch Family Guy and drink directly from the bottle. Once I start to get good and numb I poke needles in my stomach for a while. It doesn’t do it for me, so I make a small slice on my tongue with a steak knife. Then I drink half a bottle of hot sauce that was hidden in the back of the fridge. I down several shots of whisky and swallow a handful of sleeping pills. Then I go to sleep.

Hamlet

I could reside in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space were it not that I have bad dreams. I think that really says it all.

15 Comments

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