about the author

Drew Bevis is a writer and worker out of Boston. Find more of their work at drewbevis.tumblr.com.


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Drew Bevis



                                                      1

open. the skin around my eyes is wrinkled and swollen and when i look down i see canyons. there, back across the horizon, witness my inheritance. hands execute story to come. hurry, please, i am on a deadline. i am on a plane to las vegas. the bones in my hands rise and fall. pistons combusting and spurting. reading writing watching. burnished, greasy lcd and a glance at myself. a boy plays spin the bottle with another boy from across the street. they kiss the wall and the floor and the stool in front of the xbox. then they kiss each other’s knees. minutes later, the glass bottle rings hollow on the painted wood floor, shivering in the competing temperatures of the room. the boys are under the covers playing rock stars who get sweaty after a show and need to sleep. their voices are hoarse and their feet are sore. they are fumbling. but then the boy grips the neighbor boy too hard, and the neighbor boy says that the boy broke him.

                                                      2

the plane descends. the story arcs and spits. the laptop suggests my next words. the flight attendant calls me sir. at twelve, i fell asleep with my dick in my hand, cinemax on the tv. my face, one side corduroy imprint, the other reflecting disheveled scene. my father, up for a midnight smoke and a glass of water, tiptoeing down the steps and reckoning with the television remote. click. sudden noise, sudden moaning, and the air roils. my eyes open and scramble and redness. my dad saying sorry sorry sorry, i was just trying to turn it off.

                                                      3

airplane over red rocks and bright, big lake thrusting into dull desert, hello las vegas, i am here.

                                                      4

touch down and a private scene at the bellagio: i google rachel cusk and mispell the name and get instead loaning rachel: an interracial cuckold. amazon suggests it will melt my kindle. i unpack. there is a picture of a blurred black and white boy on a boardwalk that sits over the mini-fridge. i walk downstairs to the gift store through the hentai-adjacent slot machines to buy a five dollar lighter with the skyline on it. someone left a joint tucked into the pages of the bedside bible and i want to get high.

                                                      5

autocorrect my belief that this might not be how things should be. my laptop is filled with gunk and the hair from the cat that i live with. my girlfriend took her computer to the apple store and they opened it up and she was embarrassed. my inaugural liability, the first piece of technology that was all mine, was a digital camera i got for christmas at eleven years old. most of my use of it occurred in my childhood bedroom with the door locked. i’d videotape myself masturbating and humping pillows and then i’d use the footage to masturbate some more. and i ruined the pillow, but i needed to do something with it, my camera. it was a burden beyond the bedroom. useless because when you’d want to take a picture of something, something quick and real and full of life, like your brother staring at you while laughing playing his new bass guitar or your friends at the pool going super saiyan on the high dive, the depression of the shutter would knock around inside for more than half a second and you’d miss what you’d wanted to capture. you’d get some aftershot of the the thing, some fragment blurred cold and cadaverous. everything i try to capture outside myself erstwhile and inert. so the camera stayed up in my room and eventually i moved on.

                                                      6

notes on my phone. the story remains untouched and the people i came to vegas with are trying to teach me to play craps. i read most of loaning rachel last night on my phone while trying to fall asleep. i read it with one eye open and one eye smushed closed into the comfortably soft pillow. i read it for so long that when i looked up and away from my phone i could no longer see anything with the reading eye. i freaked out, thinking jesus christ what have i done and stumble walked to the bathroom. in the bathroom, with its chloroform light, i saw myself in the mirror. i reached out and it was closer than i thought and i banged my knuckles. but i took a deep breath and leveraged my gut against the ledge and pushed my body up over the sink. one pupil huge one pupil small. a shivering in the whiteness and a shutter in the blink of a lid. i stare, mindless, and my eyes slowly work their way back to each other. give each other information, passing it back and forth across my head.

                                                      7

cumbersome systems of supply and control. writing the word that stands in for me and then pressing undo undo until it looks right. i win three hundred dollars playing craps and then put it all on red. i lose it and begin again. the television in my room does not have hbo or even hgtv and the windows won’t open more than a crack. i try to hide myself in the curtains as i take in the sights my window allows. and it’s not even the strip or another hotel but a bunch of bluegray rocks that lay on top of the lower level roof. the rocks work to keep the tar from melting. they work overtime to grab all the shit that might have fallen from the cracks in the windows and contain it. the glass bottles and condoms and other things that the men and women in the rooms can no longer bear. the rocks work so the drains don’t have to. so the drains don’t heave and swell and force themselves to surrender. the rocks work and the drains work and the scum shattered remainders do not remain. i’m smoking the rest of the joint and shoving my lips in the crack, watching the sun try and get through the rocks, lusting after the melting tar.

                                     google intervention 1
                                                   the sun

                                              (italics : sic)

                                       who invented the sun?

                     answer by: don schiff, former retired educator

                                        I read the question.
                                   The sun was not invented .
                                        The sun is a star ..
                      There exist countless stars in
[our] universe ..
                               They were not invented either ..
                                   I highlighted the sentence.
                                   I copied the highlighted line.
                          I opened Google. I pasted the question.
                                        I copied the answer,
                                    I pasted the answer below
                            Time elapsed? About thirty seconds.


                                                      8

rachel from loaning rachel has made a mistake. she fell victim to an internet scam. she gave away all her money, meaning all of dave’s money as well. she says she’ll do anything. dave and her, they’ve bounced so many checks and owe everyone money. rent is due, on top of their student loans. dave says, anything? rachel says yes. i am at a loss about what to do. on account of it’s not time to text my girlfriend who’s traveling abroad. nor time to go downstairs and play video poker. it is winter here, but in australia twenty-three thousand bats just fell out of a tree. they were too hot. they were dead before they hit the ground.

                                        google intervention 2
                                                     capital


             the difference between helping your Uncle Jack off a horse
                           and helping your uncle jack off a horse.


                                                      9

ascendant loss of gravity in the gut. up and up in a bubbled carriage of white metal and thick glass. a ferris wheel on the strip takes forty-five minutes to complete an entire revolution. at the top, my friends are enjoying the eleven dollar beers and i am too. up here, my head wet through with reflections: that i shouldn’t have smoked that joint so quickly. that the kid in the photo above the mini-fridge might not know he’s there. that he might be in every other hotel room in the casino. that he might one day come to testify on the goings-on in these rooms, yet he remains. yet he keeps smiling. yet he cradles the ice cream in his hand not because it cost him two dollars but because it is ice cream.

                                                      10

i keep winning. four hundred dollars this time on a mechanical horse race. computer-generated avatars on a touch screen. i picked a gray one because it seemed like it was supposed to come in third or fourth and the odds were good. then i watched as the small plastic horses and their smaller plastic men tracked around a looneytune-green track. they went for laps and laps. they went for too long and i thought about walking away, but then i won four hundred dollars and i bought everyone these smoothies with vodka.

                                                      11

watermark my doom. i feel like i am dying but i am simple and hungover. i’ve slept on my hand and it is still fast asleep and i begin touching myself because i am alone and it seems the thing to do with a hand that is still asleep and not yet fully mine. and i gather that is supposed to feel special. that a hand that is not your own, at least some distance from yourself, should feel better to masturbate with. and it is true that there is novelty here. but halfway through, the sensation of hand reemerges, all fuzz and wicked feeling, and this is not how any of this was supposed to go.

                                                      12

i spend a free morning walking. i walk for a long time down the strip with the trump hotel in the distance and i feel like i am walking toward it until i’m not. i keep walking until i make it to a mall right on the other side of treasure island. like all malls, it feels right. i go inside the dick’s sporting goods and the macy’s. it is soothing. i walk out the other side and onto sammy davis jr blvd. right there, in front, is the museum of erotic heritage and it is advertising puppetry of the penis. out in front, a vulture with its bald head, searching.

                                     google intervention 3
                                   the erotic heritage museum


              the first three paragraphs of yelp elite ‘19 susan r.’s review

Let’s explore the bottom depths of the rabbit hole. What will it be the blue or
                                               the red pill?

Take a moment and decide this review comes with a warning. We are going to explore the depths of erotic wonderland and if you choose to proceed with the red pill, such as Neo so bravely did then the truths of reality and knowledge await you. For those that need that security of the blue pill take
                                   soliciting that all will be fine.

Sex, is the three letter word that has sparked so much controversy. It has been the death of so many over just the look of a young vixen or fair maiden. Why then do we keep secrets about our most erotic fantasies. Why
                  does only Siri and Alexa know our darkest secrets?


                                                      13

i remember why i started walking in the first place. to go to the dispensary and buy something with my money. i walk the two blocks past the museum and turn into a industrial park where they’ve stuck the bright white shop. i’ve never been in one where they take cash, but here they do and i am counting coins in my palm. i buy two joints, one platinum tier, one simply gold. by the time i am done, it is getting late and i need to get back on account of it is our last night and we are getting dinner. i take out my phone and call an uber. i wait and wait then cancel it and call another. this one seems to be coming here. finding its way through the industrial park. he picks me up and he says he is a sudanese immigrant here for seventeen years. i tell him i’m here for a union conference. he tells me the taxi unions are motherfuckers that betrayed the cab drivers of the city and that’s why he doesn’t drive a cab anymore. i know his name because it is on my phone. we start talking politics and i can sense he is trying to feel me out. he mentions bernie sanders and i say yeah, that guy’s not bad. and he says yeah, we need that. and i say, yeah, but really we need a movement, i think. we stop, and before i get out i try to sell him one of the socialist papers in my backpack. but he doesn’t want to spend the two dollars, so i leave it in the seat after i pay.

                                                      14

on our last night, we are taken out to a fancy french brasserie. there is us, my friends, my colleagues, the people i came here with. and then there is my boss and her husband and my boss’s friend and his wife. they are older than us and remind me of my parents. the dinner is going to be expensed so we order the family-style prix fixe. foie gras and steak and a flambéed baked alaska. i give the waiter my phone to take a picture of all of us. he keeps stepping backward and backward to get it all in the frame but then he trips over himself and falls and my phone clatters to the floor and we never get to take a picture. the waiter is chilean and he is speaking spanish to my friend from argentina. we have all had too much to drink. the waiter and my friend are laughing and i can’t help but feel like it’s the most beautiful thing. the wife of my boss’s friend has her hand on my thigh and she is purring.

                                                      15

rachel fucks jerome in their bedroom while dave gets hard in the corner. the edges of my kindle are burned out and fuzzed. jerome says he is going to come and rachel begs him, oh please oh please. and then he does and rachel is dripping with his first deposit. and jerome makes sure to let dave know that this is simply a down payment. and dave and rachel nod hungrily. rachel stopped taking birth control and she needs to hedge her bets, so after jerome leaves, she lets dave come and finish inside her. and now there is no doubt that something has changed in the air. rachel fucked jerome and liked it. dave liked rachel fucking jerome. there is relief in the air. and it’s interesting how i’m supposed to read the last question of the story: how much do we still owe? there is fear and relief and anticipation in the unleashing of it, pleasure and freedom and excitement in a body mortgaged. i can’t wrap my head around the politics. i am in las vegas and reading about rachel and jerome and dave. my head is pounding and the walls in the room are rough to the touch.

                                                      16

how can i? the final morning in vegas i finally have some time alone. i get out of bed around noon and reckon with the winter sun. my skin needs lotion. it is dry. my laptop is plugged in and charging for the plane ride home. that’s when it’ll happen, when things’ll finally come together and start making sense. when i can gather space and thrust out my arms and make myself a thing beyond that which moves and comes and shits. something that sees and makes sense. the people i was here with took the red eye back last night, but i’d planned on exploring. i get my boarding pass on my phone. it is the first trip i’m using the bar code and it worked well on the way over despite the tsa agents not getting paid. i am tired of vegas and no longer want to explore. i return to my laptop and watch videos of free climbers and base jumpers. and when i get tired of that, i dig in the pockets of my jeans and count my cash. while digging, i discover the joints i bought yesterday. i stick the gold one into the bible.

                                                      17

the car to the airport is bumpy and cold. it has begun to snow in las vegas and the cab driver cannot pretend it’s anything short of extraordinary. the airport is nothing special. i play one last round of video poker and lose twenty dollars in five minutes. i open up my computer because i’ve been avoiding the story and the wifi here is too expensive. i try out a couple lines. it is still snowing. i remember that i am still high from that platinum joint and perhaps i shouldn’t be trying to write right now. in the bathroom, i’m shitting. i am coming down and i have placed my bag on the hook in front and it is straining against the plywood. the nails slowly letting themselves, the plastic laminate splintering. and i am trying to hurry up and finish, get everything out of me and work myself clean before my bag falls. but i can’t do it in time. and it is with a kind of awesome and sad curiosity that i watch my bag slump to the floor. the man with naked ankles next to me gives a little jump at the sound. and it is like the bag is melting into the floor, every small peak in the fabric giving way to gravity. then it is only fifteen minutes later that i am forgetting where my bag has been and am cradling it as i board the plane. i am at the window and the seat next to me is empty. the couple in front of me is arguing, now yelling, at each other about what one or the other did in the city. the flight attendants have already asked them to please quiet down, and we haven’t even taken off. and they do quiet for a few minutes, but the moment the seatbelt light darkens, the woman jumps up and starts yelling again and before we know it, she is running to the bathroom. and we all watch as the man follows her into the bathroom, yelling as well. and the flight attendants actually look relieved that the fight is now contained and are knocking on the door, but not actually that hard. and five minutes later, the yelling has subsided and the door opens and it is so abundantly clear to everyone on this flight that these two just fucked in there. and now we are all questioning whether the fight was even a fight or just a ploy to get to fucking. and soon after the in-seat television sets go out with a whirr. the flight attendants apologize, but there is a sense among all of us that we are being punished.

                                                      18

airplane over green groves and cold ocean, burning into city made for horses, hello, boston, what have i missed? the flight attendant tells us to place our laptops under out seats. but before i do. before we touch down and i call my dad and tell him i’m safe, that i made it, the pressure pops in my ears and there is a clarity and my keyboard is finally speaking to me. i am looking around and feeling a part of this plane and its story. there is a lightness, and in the lightness a story. two boys. one boy and a neighbor boy, off from school. it is a hot summer day. they take the train into the city in hopes of finding something to post to the internet. they eat ice cream and swipe a half drunk, still sweating corona off an outdoor patio. they walk through the dark and cool arcades and alleys. in one, there is a strip club with a blurry television outside of it. the television is behind bars. it purports to show what is inside the strip club, but there in the images, beyond the bars and the static fuzz that builds on the surface of the screens like this, there is only a man with an ear piece talking to a man behind a bar cleaning glasses. it is not what the boys wanted or thought possible. but then again it is only eleven in the morning. there is plenty of time. the boys keep searching. eventually, after riding the elevators in an empty high rise, after eating three arepas and puking up the warm and bitter corona, they make their way down to the river and walk along its edge. they talk about nothing in the best kind of way. they walk under a bridge and see a man crouched over another man. they take out their cell phones and start recording the scene. there, up high in the little alcove where the bridge meets the land, a man is eating another man. the man on the ground does not move. the man eating has a shaved head, has everything shaved above the neck and the juices run down and off his adam’s apple. the man slurps and the boys’ hands shake. they turn and run. one of them deletes the video and one of them does not. they take the train back home, heads down, phones out. their parents pick them up individually. they both go to their bedrooms and get on the internet. they’ve got summer reading and summer jobs to ignore and avoid. they get in bed, but do not sleep. they think about what it means to be broken. they wait for an answer. something to come to them in their bed and flick a switch, to turn them off and turn them on.





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