(Time We Disappear, 2011)
I'm going to put all my heart into it. I'm going to sweat until my face appears to be melting. And when they take me away, hands locked together, I want you, yes, you as I point to you with my big red finger, you, to remember what I did today.
Years later you come back to that same site, you look at that beach, the volley ball nets dipping from the rain that only moments before came down on this place. The ocean's dark, with harsh waves crashing down as they approach the shore. You look upon the landscape and to spite the rain you can't help but see the past unfold.
His heart was beating so hard from his chest, it was ripping through his rims and then flesh like an alien being born from the stomach, over and over, ripping from his rims and then returning back into his body. Those shorts were shorts, and his face was so excited to show me, and whoever was around at the beach that day. He carried on like it was the only thing he knew and wanted to share it with the world. He was sharing it to us all, and though it was broad casted to all to see deep down inside of me I feel like each pump, each swing of his arm, and the loop that he formed with his empty shirt sleeve was for me. I'm not a selfish person, I just FEEL like it was for me, and now that I think about that day, perhaps everyone there, that stood and watched felt the same, that it was all for them, individually. That didn't take away from magic of the moment, not the intimacy, we were all there, experiencing it, with different paths that brought us there, to this moment, with each different eyes, and different hearts. Going pump. pump. pump.
Something happened on that beach and you made your journey out to that beach each and every year, a journey that spans from coast to coast, you were met by a disappointment each time.
He's not here, there will be no pumping.
I'm sorry, I'm still locked away, and would love fan mail if I wasn't such an obscure phenomenon that only ten or so people had witnessed before the cops came and took me away. I wish I could continue to pump for you, honest. In my cell, I recall my life over and over, looking over each and every detail. I am able to see a past I had almost entirely forgotten, a lot of my childhood is coming back to me day by day. I have so much time on my hands I reminisce and read books all day. At night, when the guards go to their stations I pump, I pump alone and know very well I am not being watched. I feel guilty, I am not sharing this gift with others, but I'm afraid I cannot do that anymore, I am not allowed. My soul grows tired. I write letters to each one of those faces that had seen me at that beach that day, my last day as a free man, and though I don't know their names, I write, I keep up the conversation for the both of us as I write both for myself and for those who watched me. There's one who tells me it gave her hope, another that tells me he wants to do more with his life, kids going to college and they're looking for a new thing to focus on, all I explain what pumping means to me.
It's been years since my performance when you are finally able to locate me, and when you do you write me a letter, a real letter that is written by you as you, and not you as in me, and when that arrives at my cell at first I think it is mine. I had written so many letters to myself as other people that I'm not sure what's real anymore, but I realize that your hand writing is none of the hand writings I've been using for those silent fans I made up.
it has been four years to the day, I cannot stop thinking about your actions that day. I have tried my best to live my life to the fullest, and to disregard the fact something is missing, it is missing real hard. I think of your face, how you were the happiest person alive during that moment you pumped, you gave it your all. I don't think anyone who wasn't there would ever realize how spectacular it was, and so I have grown tired, alone, and full of something I can't quite express. Something in me was born that day, we had a child, you penetrated me with your hidden fist from within your over sized sweater as your imaginary heart pulsated from half-arm's length. You were yards away, but I was touched in a way that birth something in me. I will never forget that day. You changed me. You were inside of me. Are still inside of me. And when I think of you, I am warm, but I am also reminded I am without you, pumping away, forever, seeping into eternity.
I receive more letters over the months, I write back each time. I am eager to learn more, I am touched to know what my actions have done for another soul, and that I wasn't writing any more fake fan mail to myself because I had real ones coming in. We would go on letter dates, she'd describe the events, and slip into something erotic. I'd continue, giving great detail to where my hands were, what they were doing, how they were doing it. I'd receive another letter a week later and we'd go passed foreplay, and I'd describe certain parts of my body doing certain things, and they went on and on. She started seeing someone else, the letter hit me hard, and I didn't receive a letter from her in a long time. I had gotten very much used to receiving those letters that they were all I looked forward to. There wasn't much else, I was in jail after all, I had books, words written for everyone or certain people that I wasn't, and old letters from you and from myself, self-addressed to myself. Nothing could make up for the new, the still-living, still-changing, there was an unpredictability I had fallen for, and now I couldn't do without. I needed it. You were like a growing an addiction that I couldn't deny.
Out of the blue I received one last letter, it would never be opened, my heart swelled with sadness, it was the end. I wrote myself a letter with your name, as you, and in it I wrote what I thought you wrote in the real letter from you. Inside it was how you met a Tumbler, that he was fresh, new, and didn't get arrested when he tumbled. He was sexy, those short-shorts even shorter than mine, it was like a dream, and he still pumped, but without the baggy shirt, take it off baby and put on this sleek and tight shirt, in black. I was old fashioned in comparison, the thing that once did your fancy but was replaced and now looking obsolete. My pumping was just something flimsy trying hard to impress you and it was only trying, never doing it for you. I cried myself to sleep and thought of pumping, how it was meaningless, how I am rotting in a jail cell because of something so lame. I looked at your letter one more time.
In the morning I grabbed the guard who usually greeted me with a smile, and saw me as not a threat, and threw him against the bars, punching him over and over, and grabbing his tongue with both my hands. I did it until I felt the animal inside of him switch over to survival mode, I then let go. I let him slip out of my grab, and I fell back in slow motion. His punches hit my face over and over, until I heard a crack from deep within my face, still falling back, still in slow motion. Repeated blows, I was growing number and number. I lost vision in my right eye and then saw his fist hover over my left eye and said goodbye to the world. The rest I cannot remember. I felt my soul leave that body, and parts of me remember seeing the guard stop punching me, crouched over me crying as other guards rush over to him to try to stop him only to realize he had stopped. They take him away and when he leaves I catch a final glimpse of my body, face completely gone covered in dark red blood. I look closer and I see a smile.
I'm wondering what I'll do now, I've been roaming ever seen I got here. I want to read that letter but my hands pass through it each time I try to grab it. Later that night the janitor comes by to clean the cell up, he looks to the letter as I hover over his shoulder, eager, and motions to open the letter but then stops himself, why, I don't know he was almost there, he was curious, and then throws it into the waste bin with all paper towels covered in my blood. I watched as my blood stained the surface of the letter. I pictured it being sealed inside that garbage bag, the garbage bag being tossed into a shoot, where it travels down to central collecting pin, a garbage truck comes by bi-weekly and loads up with the garbage bag containing your letter, still unopened, and it leaves the prison. It travels for a few miles to the landfill and dumps its load into a pit. Bulldozers push the new pile of garbage over, and a week later steamroller compresses the trash down. Years pass by and the land fill is covered in sand, and pipes are installed that gather heat from deep with the hills of buried trash. The letter is broken down by the moist that gathers around it, and with the heat of the earth around it it starts to break down. Letter by letter they all disappear. Somewhere thousands of miles, the only person that knows exactly what is on that letter has completely forgotten what was written on it. She or he has grown older, and is married, has kids, and one day she or he decides to teach their kids what pumping is.
Come gather my children, I have something special and dear to show you. Now pull your left arm into your sweater, and with your right arm grab the empty shirt sleeve. With your left hand pump outwards like a mighty heart beating within your chest, as you push out your left hand bring your right arm down, repeat this for as long as you could. Never forget this. Keep on doing it.
You start to cry and remember something left incomplete, you wonder, but soon feel regret and a sharp pain you had trained your heart to forget.
Don't stop, get it get it. Forever.