by Pedro Salinas
Growing up a sensitive genius orphan in the conservative small town of Jews, Confederate Flag, it was evident to all around me from the beginning that I was destined for grander circumstances. In one of my earliest recollections I am six years old, reciting from memory the complete works of Francois Rabelais at Show-and-Tell as my howling classmates bash the top of their desks with oversized hammers in rage and confusion and hurl tractor engine parts at me.
I remember how brightly the stars shone at night. As I laid in a barren field beside the county highway, on a makeshift cot of steel wool and discarded fast food napkins, gripping a pocket knife to fend off the feral possums grown snarling and beastly after drinking from the radiation-poisoned Taintstain Creek nearby, I would gaze up at the constellations, vowing that I would one day perform stand-up comedy on a regional cable access television showcase, and join that tapestry of immortals above.
PHASE 1: DOMINATION
Fifteen years after those dreamy nights under a country sky, I am laying in bed under a celestial fresco at Hearst Castle. The palatial seaside estate where I now live was constructed in the early 20th century for publishing tycoon William Randolph Hearst, used for a time after his death as a museum and historical landmark, and purchased outright by me after my appearance on “Laughs on Fox”, which can be viewed online when you search “Pedro Salinas Is Bad At Sex”.
Appearing on television has changed my life for the better in every way I expected it would. The sudden acquisition of extreme wealth exhilarates me. I drape myself in the finest furs and dine on exotic species of tropical bird not yet discovered by science but already endangered by the ravenous appetites of me and my close personal friend Armando Balenciaga. At night, I perform. The crowd does not laugh at my jokes, but instead recites them along with me in perfect unison, a haunting mass incantation that leaves some audience members writhing around on the floor and speaking in tongues by the conclusion of the show. Afterwards I sell merch.
PHASE 2: FEAST
Armando Balenciaga and I are inseparable. Heir to his family’s riches, and given suck from the teat of good fortune since his earliest waking moments, Armando’s capacity for pleasure-seeking could devour a galaxy whole. Never sated, he relentlessly wants, and when he gets, he wants even more. Awed by his verve for a life well lived, my erotic desires explode forth from the modestly hetero dot on the spectrum of human sexuality where they once resided. In the damp hothouse of Armando’s company, seeds of curiosity within me bloom and gush into wild floral creatures with drooling and leering mouths, sharp teeth and full red lips. My thirst is for flesh of all kinds, and it can never be quenched.
Armando and I live a hallucinogenic existence together, where fantasy and reality, dream and nightmare, night and day, are one. On any given evening, as you drive up the winding path to my mansion on the hill, surrender your car keys to a grim-faced young valet, and climb the curving steps to my sprawling patio, you will see a writhing, slippery mass of naked flesh, composed variously of construction workers, house cleaners, bus drivers, barbacks, dish washers, et al, all individuation evaporated in the inferno, heat and stink hissing above the teeming, grasping, moaning, spurting, oozing sexual entity struggling against itself in the light of the moon shining down on the Pacific Ocean. A few hours later, as the morning sun creeps through the horizon and climbs the splendid hills to the east, Armando and I sip matcha and watch my custodial staff hose down the liquid and solid refuse from the night’s activities with industrial power washers. The filthy chunks drip down the patio platform’s edge and fester into the landscape below. Once again I descend upon the city to serve up my comedy slop to the masses. I am growing bored.
PHASE 3: RUPTURE
“Let’s do something fun today,” says Armando, holding a black leather bag in his right hand as we greet each other by the pool.
“Don’t we always?”
He sets the bag down and opens it, revealing two antique flintlock pistols nestled together inside.
“Armando,” I say, uncertainly.
“Aren’t you tired of the monotony? The endless feasting, the guzzling, the fucking and sucking? The same day every day, leading to the same night. Don’t you wonder what other thrills there are to attain?”
“What are you proposing?”
“My great-grandfather Cristobal gave me these pistols on my eighteenth birthday. They originally belonged to his own great-grandfather, my great-great-great-great-grandfather, Juan Pablo Maria de Balenciaga, who got them from HIS great-grandfather, my great-great-great-great-great-great-great- grandfather, Ernesto Eliseo Cruz de Balenciaga–”
“Where is this going.”
“These are the pistols used in the duel that won Ernesto Eliseo the right to my great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandmother’s hand in marriage. These are the pistols that killed Ernesto Eliseo’s brother, who was the rival suitor. They are my birthright.”
“Let us consummate our friendship. Let us use these on one another. I want to know what it is to kill. I want to know what it is to die.”
I stall, unsure how to respond, avoiding his gaze.
“I’ve never had a brother,” says Armando. His tearful eyes are glistening in the sunlight.
We are standing 25 paces apart on a secluded beach tucked away between massive outcroppings of rock, accessible only by helicopter. We are pointing the guns at each other. “Ready!” Armando yells. I’m not ready. “Aim!” he yells. I aim for his heart, where Armando has made me promise him to aim. “Fire!” As I pull the trigger, Armando drops his gun into the sand and opens his arms wide, as if to embrace the bullet that bursts his chest wide open.
I am holding Armando’s head as he hacks and coughs and gurgles up blood and other substances recently consumed it would be uncouth to mention at this sensitive moment.
“Sorry about all the semen and piss I’m puking up all over you,” Armando says between gasps.
I am distraught. “Why did you do this? Why are you leaving me?”
“Oh, my sweet friend. Do you really believe this is the last time we’ll meet? Do you really believe this is all there is? You have much to learn…” Armando closes his eyes and departs. After a few moments, I raise my head and scream, “No!” for a few seconds, but then it feels a bit awkward, so I stop. I grab the pistols and walk toward the helicopter so I can get home and do cocaine.
Read Part Two here…
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