[I wake with an erection. Cut myself shaving], William Fairbrother

Judith Nelson, Warp Dray, 2000, 30X36

Excerpted from the novel
, Exister

I wake with an erection. Cut myself shaving and say “shit.” Throw the razor out. Hate my job. Say hello to Sandy. Wish I were in bed with her. John tells a dirty joke, makes obscene gestures; I don’t turn. Cindy smiles particularly nice. Wonder if she’ll go to bed with me. Dump-out a plastic bucket of raw eggs, should’ve been used yesterday. They seem usable; Bud says to dump them; I don’t protest. A heel of French bread looks like a breast. Drop a breakfast steak; pick it up and set it on the plate. Pinch Lucy’s ass. Stare at Mona with lust. Burn three fingers on the oven handle and shout “shit” three times. Drop cold gooey biscuit dough down the back of John’s shirt. Bud lectures; I laugh. Call a dishwasher a “fucking wetback” and threaten him, though not viciously, with a knife. “Fucking onions.” Lift a box of zip-locks, stuff it in my jacket. Kick the new dishwasher. Drink a Pepsi. Write a fake breakfast steak; eat it in the backroom; glare at the dishwashers. Lucy makes an ordering mistake and tries to blame me; “get Fucked!” I back her orders up. Throw a sopping towel at John, splats his face; “It slipped, I’m sorry.” “The day will never be fucking over.” Slice the cold meats slowly, diddle-dawdle. Martha asks for a can of tomato paste; I hold it out but don’t give it until she gives me a cigarette. Smoke. Make a peace sign ‘V’ and put it to my mouth and stick my tongue through it and stare at Mona; she sees, grimaces. Wrong sandwich; throw it away. Kick-in a dishwasher’s locker, tear a page from his Playboy and tape it up in the backroom. Pretend to be busy. John sets the kitchen. Joke with a dishwasher about Sandy’s “grandes chi-chis.” Hang my apron in the restroom and use it to wipe my ass. Out the door at one-forty. Wrote two. Two girls in bikinis. Lust after them. Sneer at a cop. Divide my marijuana. Call a girl; she’s busy; want to fuck her. Work to collect unemployment. Rob a bank. Kidnap someone. Counting thousands of dollars. Smoke. Eat a candy bar. Look at my penis, pull it playfully, Look in the mirror and think I’m good looking; my penis is large enough, too small, borderline, large enough. Walk downtown to be bored. Bum a cigarette; smoke. Look at passing females lustfully. Bet a dollar on pool; say “shit” many times. Kick a full trash can over. Call a derelict a “fucking bum.” Buy a six-pack of Moosehead, a jar of dry-roasted cashews in my jacket. Sit at home, drink three beers, smoke. Go to Mick’s; drink two beers, smoke a joint; look with lust at his new girl. Stare at her small breasts; answer her, “a fucking cook!” Pretend she wants to fuck, get an erection; sell Mick a quarter-ounce for twice what I’d paid. They’re going out. Loiter in front of the pinball arcade. Lust after girls. Eat two candy bars and a hot dog and drink a Pepsi. Talk dirty to a group of young girls. Want to fuck them. Play pinball and say “shit” many times. Piss in an alley. Kick a dog just-hunched and lapping. A sports car. A home with a pool. Coax a cat into my arms and throw it into a dumpster. Smile to my plant. I never water it. Reset the alarm clock. Eat nuts and drink warm beers thumbing through a Playboy, get an erection. Compare Sandy’s breasts to a girl’s in the magazine. Go to sleep with an erection.

William Fairbrother

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