Hinata – Damien Ark
December 27, 2019
Customer XX waits patiently on me and kills time by analyzing which anime characters he recognizes as miniature keychains on the top part of the glass counter that separates him from me. His tongue slides from the left side of his lips to the right side as my boxcutter slits open a package from Japan. It’s sick, seeing him like this, but I please him anyway because he’s willing to spend big bucks, and let’s face it, owning an anime store is not the most profitable way of surviving when you’re living in The Bay.
“Stapling Pussy Lips to the Mouth Part Three,” I read off the titles out loud. “Kill Me Soon, Daddy. Rapist on the Fucking Run. Panties with Shit and Maggots. That’s everything, right?”
“Junkie Lover Volume Nine should be out in a week, so I’ll slide some cash over for that as well.”
The covers to the doujins are sleek and the books themselves are oversized, full-color inside, with more gore included than there are censor-bars. Getting guro-lolicon doujinshi’s sent into the United States is dangerous, but for him, seeing and downloading the material online isn’t enough. Like a traditionalist with novels, he wants to feel the pornography, inhale the putrid stench reeking from the paper, and leave his cum stains on the nastiest parts within them. I can’t judge. If it weren’t for me doing this for him, I’m sure he’d be chopping up little girls and dumping their body parts off the Golden State Bridge. That isn’t even the worst that can be seen here in Oakland.
A young couple, boy and girl, come through the door, and stare nervously at the sensory overload that they’re immediately sucked into by the store. That helps give me time to process this order and get XX out of the door as quickly as possible. Before leaving, I let him take a can of BOSS coffee for free. Maybe the Vocaloid music is too much for these plebs. I change it to the soundtrack for Ghost in the Shell by Kenji Kawai while a random episode of Nichijou plays on three flat-screen TVs that are spread throughout the store.
As they gaze at the most recent manga releases, I begin to dissociate into my migraine of explosive noise and suicide fantasies. My synapses crackle. Eventually, the entire frontal lobe of my brain feels as if it’s sizzling as beams of radiation are festering within it. If I don’t get any more than ten more customers today, I will take this boxcutter and slash my wrists with it. Or I’ll kill XX with it. Fuck. XX. Now I’m thinking of what I saw in those doujins. Ten-year-old girls with azalea pink hair being chainsawed and fucked by hideous old men and more girls tied up and staked with their own snapped limbs all these deaths done in the most surreal manner possible with flat chests and exposed pussies always somehow shown as well. You’d be surprised how many people jack off and buy this kind of shit. A bell rings. Two gleeful lovers are waiting on me, a stack of mangas with them, Haikyuu! Volume 31 on the top, and then I hear a piece of my skull snap.
Why Hinata Shōyō? Could it really be something as simple as the hair? And what is so attractive about someone that’s a ginger, anyway? My favorite types of food are all orange. Apricots. Mangos. Sweet potatoes. The flesh of salmon. The color inside of a kabocha pumpkin after you’ve split it in half and sliced it into bite-sized pieces and baked them with cinnamon. When I think of him, I get flustered, I moan… Delicious. I could eat and lick you up all day. Like the orange fruits, I imagine him to taste sweet, maybe even a tart, syrupy goodness.
Hinata is the protagonist of a volleyball sports anime called Haikyuu!. He is short, gentle, passionate, an underdog, hairless, redhead, confident, has stomach issues, probably has a less than average size cock, but despite it, he’s probably a versatile top. Some of that isn’t confirmed, but in the cyberworld of fanbases, fetishes manifest, popularize, and become their own norm within that specific subculture of sexual weirdos.
I have four different plush dolls of him, two figurines (one hyper-realistic Figma and another that’s kawaii), two wall scrolls (one of the entire team, another of him shirtless on the volleyball court and sweating with the serious “I’m gonna win it all” gaze in his eyes), a fully-nude two-sided dakimakura pillowcase of him on my bed, more than fifty explicit doujinshi’s with him in it that ship him with a variety of characters, and a very rare, now sold out onahole that’s supposed to represent what it’s like to be inside of his ass. If that doesn’t sound excessive enough, I have more than six gigabytes worth of pornography, yes, yaoi, dedicated to him. That includes pictures digitally drawn from eastern and western artists, doujins I’ve downloaded from Ex-Hentai, and even commission pieces that I’ve spent hundreds of dollars on to complete some of my deepest fantasies of him.
After vacuuming my floor for the second time today, and the spraying of dust from out of my keyboard before sucking on the straw of a canister, refolding my bedsheets, and rearranging my manga shelves, I carefully set the mood with a playlist of Twee Pop (The Field Mice, Sweet Trip, Blueboy, My Little Airport) while I flip through one of my favorite doujinshi’s. Hinata is fucking the libero, Nishinoya, in the communal locker room. At any moment, any of the other teammates could walk in and find them there; the exhibition of rough public fucking only turns them on more. I imagine that I’m there with them, just one of the many wet tiles in the shower that gets grazed by soapy hands and knees. My four-inch cock spasms in the tight orange onahole right as I’m focusing on the panel of the ginger pounding his friend. ‘Nishi-Kin,’ it reads. ‘It didn’t hurt too much, did it?’
After I’ve cleaned up, I finish a Chamomile Kombucha and embrace my dakimakura pillow with all of the pent-up loneliness and helplessness that consumes every waking second of my life. He takes it. Says nothing, always motionless, but takes it. I can whisper to Hinata about how much I want to put a pipe bomb in the house of the guy that is charging me so much for renting out the space for my anime shop, and Hinata won’t call the cops on me and I can rub my cock over his fabric body (two-way tricot, extra expensive) with thoughts of taking my own life and not have to worry about him putting me in a psych ward. No matter what, Hinata is always there to support me.
Kylie’s cute on the outside and maybe that’s why I let her become my roommate. She frequented the shop all the time, buying anything Berserk and Gantz related, then she helped me with what kind of Hentai I needed to buy to attract customers. I felt like shit for her because she’s mentally disabled and kind of fat and but also sexy and she doesn’t plan on ever getting rid of her cock and I thought maybe someday I could fuck her and suck her dick but then when she moved in I had never felt so disconnected and estranged by someone in my entire fucking life. By then, she was already helping with rent and utilities by scamming credit card companies to make a couple thousand in the matter of a few days, then she’d spend most of it on guns and ammo and fast food and computer tech and otaku shit. We didn’t fuck, but we traded head once (and only once) right before Trump got elected. After that, she came out as alt-right. Bought plane tickets to see Milo and Candace Owens perform at universities. Charlottesville, Proud Boys, hours on 8chan and inciting people to kill others on Discord rooms. She would doxx other trans people, send the information to their friends, parents, employers, then the death threats, empty their bank accounts into her own to help pay our rent, post their addresses and phone numbers online, she’d do everything that you need to do to destroy a person. At least four people have killed themselves because of the shit she’s done, and to her, it’s just a big fucking joke. The more liberal they are the more she gets off seeing them suffer. It didn’t really occur to me that there were so many gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and asexual people that took the red pill, people that placed their identity as secondary importance, and put white supremacy over everything else. It’s no wonder to me that her cum tasted so fucking rancid that night. Two weeks ago, I finally ended all contact with Kylie, and all I can do is stare at her in the morning when we trade off on making breakfast for ourselves. I got stoned one night, stumbled into her bedroom, and found all her Neo-Nazi fetish gear in her closet, along with a pinned-up Swastika flag behind her clothes. And I also came across the Nazi lolicon girls on her computer that she spanks it to. Opened a tab on her computer to an 8chan thread. ‘Thinking about taking my AR-15 to a furry convention and killing some libtards.’ ‘Do it live and then kill yourself afterward, fag.’ ‘OP pussied out. Next.’ Knew it was Kylie as the OP because she hates furries and owns three different assault rifles. It’s only a matter of time before she becomes another dead white edgelord with a kill count worth fifteen minutes of fame.
When I wake up from my routinely morning nightmare, I crawl myself to the kitchen fridge in nothing but my gay pride Papi briefs and then I chug down two expired Cacao flavored Soylent shakes. Kylie’s sitting on the counter, slumped forward in nothing but an oversized pink sweater, illuminated by her laptop, a motionless devil staring into binary data, chipped painted nails typing death threats to whoever, and for some reason the depraved nonsensical evil within her that I gaze upon makes me want to fuck her right now more than ever before. Just that thought, I already know Hinata is frustrated with me now. It’s only when I’m retreating to my room that she notices me and says something.
“You went into my room,” she insinuates callously. “And you found the videos, didn’t you? Of me fucking guys in my Nazi fetish gear? Did it turn you on at all? I’ve had security cameras set up all around this apartment, including my room, for months now. I don’t go into your room. I respect you for what you did for me back then, you know, when I was almost homeless and shit was fucking rough. But stay the fuck out. Realize this. I make more money than you do now. I’m a fucking Goddess. People worship me online for the shit I do. And get this. I’m the only thing that keeps your shitty fucking anime store from turning into a fucking Americanized Pho restaurant for all these gentrifying tech fucks.”
“You’re right. I apologize. I should have never looked at those videos of you dressed in a Nazi uniform and fucking some neckbearded chastity loser that you found on some /soc/ board.”
“Like you fucking get anything about me anyway. Like you can say shit, faggot. When’s the last time you had sex? Without the fucking doujins and that pathetic pillow that you have? I should doxx you, show your entire family, ruin you forever just for the fuck of it, but I won’t because I know it’s only a matter of time before that wall gets built and you’re thrown over it and ass-raped by other Mexicans that are just as dirty as you. Oh wait, I can’t doxx you to your family, because most of them are fucking dead. How could I forget about that?”
It’s hard to tell if Kylie means any of this. To know if she’s trolling and trying to trigger and all that shit. Either way, ego defense mechanisms. I could kill her right now. I should kill her right now. Stake a kitchen knife into her throat and face and stomach and chest and have her choke on her blood like those twisted doujins that customer XX buys from me. Instead, I just walk away and take it like the bitch that I am. But as soon as that door to my room is shut and locked, my cock is out, I’m stroking it to the thought of her, that cute ass sweater, her ass, my cock thrusting into it, Hinata is getting jealous, and somewhere in this room, there’s probably a camera recording it all and streaming it on Pornhub or Xtube. Kill myself someday when I’m braver, not tomorrow or today, but sooner rather than later.
I check my Citizen app. There’s a naked man threatening people with two katanas near my stop. Never mind it, I get on and sit in the back, right behind an advertisement for some local oat milk. I zip open my backpack and begin reading the latest volume of Made in Abyss. Some little girl is bleeding from out of all of her orifices while this cute robot boy is crying over her. A homeless guy wearing oversized everything sits down beside me. He pulls his sleeves up. Shoots up right in front of me but passes out with the syringe still inside of him. The needle is in the muscle because his veins are all collapsed. Before my stop, I check his pulse to make sure he’s still breathing, then I jump over him and head to my exit before it gets too crowded to get off.
Kylie sends me texts. “What do you think about the Jussie Smollett case?” “Nobody is oppressed anymore. Sheeple need to WAKE THE FUCK UP. Jews control everything and they’re brainwashing you into supporting white genocide. It’s either red pill or fucking suicide.” She sends shit like this to me all the time. There’s some right-wing talk show host that’s supposed to testify in court tomorrow for sending death threats to the victims of school shooters. Kylie sends me articles about it and how she thinks he’s a hero. Spams me with anti-Semitic memes. A picture of Trump edited to where it looks like he’s laughing at a little Latino girl whose mother is being taken away from ICE. Then my sister is texting me and sending me her favorite TikTok videos. I can’t take it. Seeing her message makes me feel ashamed because I never know how to speak to her anymore. She does so much good in the world, and me, I just blow fat loads of my own jizz into my mouth and cry in my empty store all the time.
Grindr is a waste of time, but so am I. I’m always fishing for gingers. Then after the sex I can pretend it was Hinata and focus on that for a while before I get suicidal from loneliness all over again. Everything is going well with this first guy until I send him a pic of me and he says, “Didn’t you read my profile info? No blacks, Asians, Mexicans, chubs, or old men. You’re obviously Mexican or Middle Eastern by that skin pigmentation. That means NO. Not attractive. Fucking dumbass.” Not sure why I go after white guys. Kylie was onto something about that white genocide shit. Let’s get started with it. Hours pass at the anime store with very few customers before the second guy speaks to me. First, it’s trading dick pics. Then it’s basic information about each-other before face pics. He thinks I’m cute, that’s cool, and he’s a ginger, my age, skinny but athletic, bonus bonus bonus. Before I close out the app, I notice that Kylie’s on here too. She’s using fake images from one of the people she was able to push to suicide. I tell the ginger to avoid her, and then I rearrange mecha figurines while Cardcaptor Sakura music plays in the background.
Once school is out, I have my short rush of kids that stroll through the store, reading the newly released mangas at the tables where the Japanese-style vending machines are, and then my regulars come by, spending an hour glancing at shit repeatedly, things they’ve already seen a million times but still can’t afford to buy. My sister comes in and I immediately try to find something to make me look busy, like climbing a ladder to stock plush dolls of all the most recently popular shonen characters.
“You wouldn’t respond to my texts,” She badgers. “I was worried that you killed yourself. There’s a protest tonight on the BART against all the violence against women of color that’s been going on in the station lately. It’d be nice if you were there to hold hands and signs with me.”
“Can’t. I have a date in San Francisco tonight. He lives downtown, too.”
As I’m climbing down the ladder, she taps her fingers on the glass, glances over the keychains of kawaii girls, and pops her purple berry bubblegum over her lips. When I’m finally down and across from her, she mutters, “You never do anything with me anymore. Like, I’m glad you’re doing something with someone finally, but is it really a date or just another heartless hookup?”
“Does it matter?” I begin to rant to her. “You’re straight, so you don’t get it. But throughout history, homophobia and sodomy laws are what made gay men resort to discreet sex instead of developing relationships in a normal way like you have the privilege to do. You’d bike to the beach at night or maybe stop at a gay bar, take out your dick, and go from there. Even that’s different now. These days, you can decide what kind of guy you want on an app. His age, body size, the color of his skin, everything. Before I was born, and I know this from the older guys that have told me so, you just dealt with what you had and enjoyed it anyway.”
“Okay. Well… You could always bring him with you to the protest unless he’s a start-up techie. At least make a shout-out on Twitter about it. Pretend to give a shit for once. One of those girls could’ve been me, you know. If some random white guy came up and stabbed me to death in public, would you even give a shit?”
Two of the kids are behind my sister and wanting to pay up for the matcha ice cream bars that they just grabbed. They’ve been listening to the whole conversation, flustered and disturbed by us, and I roll my eyes to my sister and attempt to push her out of the way. “People are waiting behind you,” I grunt. “Of course I would give a shit, you fucking asshole. I’ll go to it if I can, and I’ll share it on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, I’ll even make a fucking TikTok meme about it just to make you feel better. Just get the fuck out of my store and leave me alone.”
“Cool. Be like that. Have fun with your one-night stand.”
Kylie sends me a text. It’s about the protest. “Someone should shoot all these feminists and cucks tonight. Wastes of space.”
How could you even say something like that when you know that you’re all I have left in this life? After Dad got deported and the cartel he abandoned tracked him down and chainsawed his fucking head off while recording it and then hung his body by one leg from a bridge with a cardboard message stapled to his chest and then two weeks after mom saw the fucking video and the pictures which were somehow all over Facebook without being taken down she fucking shot herself in the head and I was the one that found her brains spattered all over the kitchen table not you and I was the one that set up the funeral while you were catatonic in bed for weeks but still getting paid vacation time while I worked overtime at this sinkhole I made for myself. And sometimes I scream on public transit knowing how difficult it was for mom to bring us in the legal way and how we lived in such shit, the housing assistance and homelessness and food pantries and Dad working on grape farms and shit and then that fire came, that fucking fire that might as well consume this entire fucking state… You know how much I fucking love you sis and how much you mean to me. It’s just my jealousy for you, I guess, that’s why I get upset and go quiet… And I love you, but sometimes I wish you weren’t such a bitch and would shut the fuck up and leave me the fuck alone until I need you when I’m dissociated and destroyed again. I know I’m a failure, otaku, neet, spend too much time jacking off to porn and not being social with you. I guess some in our community at the church mom took us to as kids are all like you made it look at you American dream haha you opened a business and sis making big bucks at the modern like you always wanted this shit since you were a kid. But at the same time after I watched Dad get decapitated for the millionth time yes I’ve watched it that many times I honestly wonder if we’re even supposed to be in this country and maybe Kylie is right about us and then I forget that before colonization this country and Mexico and Canada were all one land, our land, our home. Now it’s all fucking X’d out to oblivion.
Kylie typically has groceries from Amazon arrive on Tuesday because she rarely leaves the apartment, but the heavy vinyl bag with dry ice isn’t there when I make it back to the apartment, which means something’s up. When I open the door, I find Kylie sitting on the sofa in the living room, loading ammo into one of her AR-15’s, while the movie American Sniper is playing on our flat screen. The sniper shoots this guy from 2,100 yards away, and when it happens, Kylie pauses and whispers to herself, “Fuck yes, that’s what I want. A man like that.”
The guy on Grindr hasn’t said anything for two hours now, but I have his address and we already have a time set up, so I guess I should get myself ready anyway. He’s bottoming apparently, so I don’t worry about douching. I take a hot bubble bath with eucalyptus essential oils and two cups of magnesium bath flakes (Epsom salt typically has parfum in it, which contains rat poison, why do idiots bathe in shit that can kill them) and use Moroccan argan oil for my hair.
Getting dressed for a hook-up is the worst because you don’t want to look like a trashy slut, but you still want to look good enough to haunt them forever, knowing that they’ll most likely never have sex with you ever again. I slip on an Andrew Christian brief with golden diamond designs on it. White mid-calf Adidas socks. Black chino pants. Graphic T-Shirt with a Keith Haring painting on it. & Vegan skate shoes. The final thing I put on is my Dad’s golden watch, which rests on top of my mini-fridge of Core water bottles. Dad sent it to me while he was in Mexico before he got his head cut off.
When I look out of my window, I imagine Chris Kyle sniping me, the bullet causing half of my face to explode all over my bookcases of doujins and manga and blu-rays and figurines. But then I close my blinds and stare through my half-open door, seeing the disease in the kitchen, chugging a two-liter of soda while her gun sits on the counter. I’d call the cops if I weren’t so afraid that they’d come after me first because of the color of my skin. As much as I want to die, death by a pig isn’t how I want my bullshit story to end.
Just as I’m about to leave my bedroom in an attempt to confront Kylie, the power shuts off throughout two-thirds of the city, and silence engulfs the smoky air. I bring a face mask with me, say nothing to her before I leave, and vanish into the apocalyptic mist that leads to the city, the dynasty, the other world across from us that separates us from them. There are fires all around us that we can’t see, soon to engulf this entire state before it sinks into the ocean someday, and as the transit screeches and grinds like a dirty bullet, I imagine what it must have been like when my father was working on those Napa farms while the world behind him was catching up, ready to incinerate all his glory right into Hell. At the same time, I couldn’t ask for anything other than this place. Not any other state, not any other part of this state, no matter how gentrified it gets or how much everyone else hates us, this is my home, my America, my slug transit with the suicide hotline on a billboard before you get on, my California desperately surviving within all the smoke.
Chris’s apartment has the rustic Four Barrel coffeehouse vibe, caramel brown décor, beige sofa from Wayfair, the same corporation that sells beds to detention centers, and then there are the glass framed pictures of all the forests and bears that are probably all on fire right now. PG&E doesn’t cut off power to the folks in San Francisco – that would never happen. He removes his laptop briefcase off of one of the barstools and allows me to sit down and then shuffles around his tiny kitchen, definitely nervous, and offers vegan sushi to share with me. I’m still looking for a sign that’ll tell me which start-up or software company he works for, but something tells me he’s different than the others.
Orange curls over the brows and ears, pale skin seeming so fragile that it might flake off by a single touch, he’s the same height and size as Hinata, too. But the nervous bug in his eyes is a world of problems. “Would you believe me if I said I’ve lived here my whole life?” He’s still closeted; I can smell these kinds of things from a mile away. “Born in Walnut Creek. My Dad’s a cop up there.” Despite the anxiety, he leads conversations, unaware that I can see a record player malfunctioning where his heart should be. “You probably think I’m a techie. I’m actually an agent. I work for the FBI. They have me look into the weird murders and rapes and shit. You wouldn’t believe the sick shit I see.”
I call his bluff. He has to be lying. How can someone my age work for the FBI? Even if his Dad is a cop, it doesn’t fit. I guess I never imagined a fag working that high up in the government. Then again, there’s a lot of fags hidden in the system, trying to make us turn against each other. But he insists that he’s not lying. So in between a spicy tofuna roll, I dig deeper to understand him.
“So… What’s it like then? Being gay and working for the Illuminati? Is it like don’t ask don’t tell on the down-low? Are there any sexy FBI agents where you work?”
“Not really, but I,” he stumbles, eyes jolt right to the left, searching for words, tongue too big to fit in his mouth, buckteeth, puffy cheeks, and all that. “Uhm, I mean, I don’t really think people should be open about being gay at work, anyway. It’s kind of a distraction, don’t you think? Like, diverts all this attention to you. Nobody needs to know that. I might be gay and all, but I’m not like most gays. No lisp, not feminine, not into fashion, all that stereotypic shit. I mean, I think gay marriage was a total mistake. The way things are going, especially around here, I feel like it’s only a matter of time before people are allowed to legally marry and fuck animals and children, you know, because of all the gay pride, now that it’s out in the open and all.”
“You don’t seriously believe that, do you? That gay marriage is a gateway drug to marrying a dog or cat? And then they can fuck them? Children too? That sounds… Never mind. Then how do you feel about me? If we’re going to fuck, I want to know how you see me.”
He doesn’t get what I mean. So I reframe it.
“Well, you came here the legal way, I imagine. So that’s okay, obviously. But I do worry about those statistics, about Mexicans becoming the majority race in the future. I don’t like thinking like that, I don’t want to, but… I know it sounds like I’m being kind of racist or xenophobic or whatever the term is, but I promise I’m not. The FBI makes you take tons of classes on microagressions, white privilege, gender stuff, and I took a couple Spanish classes that they paid for, too.”
And I should have left it at that and left. But the way his body spoke to me like a poem, like an unresolved narrative, I couldn’t let the stanza just end like that. And so I followed him to the bedroom. It’d be nice to think that it happened like this: he’s undressed, my briefs to my kneecaps, us kissing, erections frotting together, and my left-hand traces from his shoulder blades down his to his crack, three lubricated fingers slipping into his ass, then I’d lift him up, put myself inside of him, and we’d fall into the bed while downtempo music plays, Portishead instrumentals, Bonobo, Four Tet, Boards of Canada and the like, we’d kiss with city lights glimmering over cum-stained skin, snowballing, rimming after I’ve ejaculated inside of him, all of that, sloppy kisses before he deepthroats it, come on, take it, you’re beautiful like that, Hinata, turn over so I can rest on top of you while I thrust inside of you, breathing into your left ear with my hair on your hair, gingers all smell and taste the same.
But it’s not like that. Instead, I’m sitting cross-legged at the center of his bed while he’s scrolling through his laptop for porn. I’m jacking off, my vision focused on his pubic mound, the barely noticeable orange fuzz on his legs. Then he finds it and I remember that I’m not the only freak that’s left in this world. “Sorry, I have to get off to stuff like this first,” he explains. “Or else I can’t stay hard later on.” It’s furry porn. This anthropomorphic horse, shitty 3D animation, is fucking a lynx. The thrusting is so fake, like watching Newgrounds as a kid, and he’s pounding his fist furiously, so I do the same, but just keep staring at the tip of his dick as the pre-cum drools all over the head.
When it’s time for me to fuck him, he shows me this toy that he wants me to use. It’s shaped like a dog dick, ten inches and red, and there’s a tube on the suction part of it that inflates the dildo and shoots lubricant inside of you that looks like semen. And so I’m fucking him with it and not even hard anymore, but at least it gets him off, and after he cums he asks me to cuddle with him and I do it just because, but I’d honestly rather be at home rewatching Gundam.
It’s only once he falls asleep (which only takes ten minutes or so of me tracing his neck) that my eyes gloss over two things. On both of his wrists, there are hundreds of scars, which are paper-thin, meaning he did it with a razor blade. Some are new, but most of them are old. Another self-hating faggot like me. Right before I’m about to kiss one of his wrists, I notice a Blue Lives Matter flag tattooed on his waist, and then my lips kiss that instead. You poor fucking loser. And to think I hated myself more than anyone else, but then I met you.
On the way out of his apartment, I piss myself off because I wanted to look for proof that he was an FBI agent, like a gun or badge or some confidential files, but then I’m just rushing out of there so I don’t waste another minute of my night in the presence of people, yes people, because sometimes I wish this were a humanless planet. But the opposite happens. As soon as I step on the BART, I move back into a seat and stare at all the protestors as they chant for justice, rage and disgust in their eyes. They march through each cart and back again, more people joining them out of nowhere as it grows into a sea of anger. I try to ignore it, put in earbuds to listen to Japanese glitch music, contemplating the housing complexes and businesses under blackout, but someone has to come and ruin it.
My sister takes the seat next to me. She plucks out my headphones, nudges out my name as if I’ve forgotten it, and grasps my attention when I see the cherry red swelling in her eyes. Before I can ask her if she’s stoned or crying, she sneeringly asks how my hookup went.
“Like shit,” I mumble, barely audible over the hundreds of screaming voices around us. “Maybe I’m worse than Kylie. She just wants to kill people like us. But there are days where I just want to kill everyone because of how self-loathing and full of hate people are. Like, it would be better if everyone were dead.”
After a much-needed silence, she divulges, “You should look around, then. Not everyone is like Kylie. Not all of us have been brainwashed into internalized discrimination by our bigoted society. Some of us actually feel pride in who we are. I’ll tell you why I think people like Kylie exist. She’s young like us, right? Us zoomers and the millennials, we don’t know our own history of discrimination outside of what we saw growing up in the school classrooms. Most of us young folks don’t know about the protestors that dumped the ashes of their loved ones that had died from AIDS on the front lawn of the white house. They don’t know how many gays were sent to concentration camps and executed. Because of this, because history chooses to ignore us—”
“That’s why we have gay Nazi fetish porn,” I interrupt. “It has to be more than that, though. A part of me wonders, what if all my hatred transcends this shit, and I become like her, or worse? It’s easier to be full of hate rather than look within ourselves.”
At the stop on Coliseum, three or four police officers rush into the mold of protestors, immediately arresting whoever they can and throwing them to the ground, a boot to the back of a girl’s head, pigs shouting and brave women fighting back. The pigs are shamed off of the car. They take who they have and exit before it takes off again. Sis squeezes my hand and leans her head on my shoulder. I almost forgot what it felt like to be loved by someone that wasn’t from a doujin game.
She tells me that she might have to move out soon. Her roommate, the one that makes most of the money, is being transferred to Vancouver by her tech company. All the money she gets from the SFMOMA and the homeless shelter isn’t enough for her to live off of on her own. The future is uncertain, hold your breath, I say, you can stay with me for as long as you need, and don’t you dare even try to pay a single cent on my utilities or rent.
After her stop, I plug in my headphones and stare at the new tennis sports anime as protestors clamor in front of me. Every now and then, my eyes rotate to this white girl that’s been staring at me ever since my sister sat down with me. And it’s evident that my presence frightens her, or maybe I’m just reading too much into things, but young white feminists with lots of money, I imagine they imagine I’m just like that guy who stabbed those girls a couple weeks ago. The feeling that she gives me, and I know over lifelong experiences that it’s more than just a feeling, and it forces me to stuff my phone into my pocket and dash off as soon as I reach my stop. Then I’m living in my bullshit thoughts, retreating back to how I felt when I tried to cruise gay bars full of white twinks and white bears that made me feel like an island, and the racist shit people have said to me on the hookup apps, from my own parents when they were still alive and found that embarrassing stash of yaoi on my computer, the suicide attempts, the fist and foot in the wall, the fuck you get out faggot you’re not our son anymore and begging to be let back in after a month of being homeless, me forgiving them before they had forgiven me, then them fucking dying like that, me living this life of locking myself in my room, rewatching that snuff video, reliving my mom’s head glued to the kitchen table, Haikyuu reruns over and over, everyone thought I was a freak as a kid for liking anime in the first place so fuck them, that’s why I’m squeezing my bodypillow so tight because Hinata can take it, but others would crush if they felt my pain and trauma, and even though his smile is permanent on this fabric sheet, I think he’s starting to realize that trying to decompose into him isn’t enough to heal me.
You of all people deserve this letter. It’s the last thing you’ll ever get from me. Whatever it means to you, that’s not it, read again, fuckhead. I knew I was a girl from as early on as I can remember. I idolized my mother; momma took good care of me even after being cheated on, going through a messy divorce, having to figure out how to raise me on her own, and then finding a way just to make as much money as my Dad was making. And honestly, I don’t know how she didn’t pick up on the signs. When I’d paint her nails and toes and do her makeup and when she caught me trying on her bras that were too large for me. Maybe she was just hoping that I was one of those kinds of really feminine gays, and that would be it, the disappointment wouldn’t go any further than that. And then I fucking told her and the next day I was a state ward living in a house with eleven other people until I was adopted two years later just to have my new foster parents deny me of attempting to transition all over again. The foster care case managers and other social workers and all that shit, they didn’t give a fuck what I wanted. Kyle Kyle Kyle Kyle KYLE. Kylie. I couldn’t think of anything better to replace my deadname. It’s not like I hated the name, anyway. That was my father’s name, too, and I didn’t want to completely erase it, because now I had empathy for him, for having sex with all those girls behind my cunt mother’s back because fuck that dumb whore anyway, I hope she fucking kills herself when she finds out what she made me into. The high school had a GSA and I thought it would be a good idea to try and socialize with them, but none of them spoke to me for the whole two months that I went. I guess I was too weird or ugly or stupid for them, not gay enough, didn’t fit the stereotypes, and seeing how supported they were by their parents, by each other, how narcissistic they all were, I fucking hated them all. That’s when I started doxing people and got into this shit. For a while, it felt like I could just live off the hatred, it enthralled and became an addiction of depravity to me. Nobody ever knew I had existed or asked if I had problems too or included me in their community, but when I went into these boards and discord rooms, everyone accepted me, I finally got the attention I deserved. At the same time (and I don’t even care how pathetic this sounds) I’ve never had a single friend in my life, I’ve never felt welcomed by anyone, except you, and all I’ve ever done is spit in your face because I can’t stand when people do nice shit to me. What about you? I don’t see you ever hanging out with friends. Do you have any beside the sister that you don’t even care for anymore? Do you have a community other than Grindr? But all of that ends here. A person can only take so much loneliness and pressure to conform to society before they fucking snap, and I’ve been living in this cell for far too long. This isn’t a manifesto or a suicide note. I’m not even sure if I’m doing this for political reasons now. All I want is to be sucked into a miasma of blood. Someday, you’ll also realize this planet wasn’t meant for us, and I hope that when you do, you’ll also take a gun and do what I’ve done.
Early in the morning, the sun attempts to break through the smoke and ashen clouds, and I’m holding onto a Madoka Magica novel with two fingers in my right hand, forehead to the glass window, eyes pinned to all the vans crammed over the side streets below me. The fuck is all this. XX must have gotten busted. They might be fucking coming for me now. They’re entering the building, fuck, fuck, I don’t even have time to burn and destroy anything. But maybe they’re not for me.
Just as I’m about to close my door, the front one is demolished, blasting woodchips and debris all over the living room and kitchen, and pigs in riot gear are rushing in as if they’re here to erase a plague or an infestation. They see me and one of them pulls a gun on me, screaming questions in my face like they don’t know who I am, and once I tell them who I am the pig puts his gun down and has me stand motionless in the kitchen while the others are ripping the entire apartment to shreds.
It’s Kylie. That’s the room that they’re congested in. When I ask them what she did, they stay silent, it’s not my turn to ask questions. But four hours later, once they’ve gone through everything, even my bedroom and all my porn and shit, that’s when they finally tell me what the fuck she did.
There was a hearing today for this sociopath that sent death threats to the victims of all these school shooters. Kylie went into the courthouse, guns blazing, but didn’t hit a single person, despite having modified her AR-15’s. Instead, she was blown away seconds after entering. They shot her so many times that her face was unrecognizable, that they had to run a quick DNA test before they could determine her identity. After they told me, I managed not to feel anything. A part of me felt relieved, more for her than myself, and then I was surprised to feel nothing else there where my heart should be. Then again, is it always necessary to have empathy for people that probably want to see you dead?
Minutes after I had gotten over her death, I suddenly realized that without all the illegal and immoral shit Kylie was doing to pay for rent, I’d have no choice but to let my sister move in with me. She picked up on the first ring and already knew it all and was already in the process of packing her bags to “support me through this horrible tragedy,” thinking that I’d need any of that shit when I have things like anime and video games to help me. But whatever, one of her friends at the art gallery sold her some good shit, so I’m like, fuck, crash on the sofa until we can get your furniture moved into Kylie’s room, but don’t complain if you hear guys coming in and out sometimes or if I’m blasting Vocaloid too loud.
All that’s left of Kylie is the fake private burial I’ll organize for her, the weapons and other incriminating shit in storage somewhere with that FBI ginger I fucked with his weird dog dick toy, an email she sent me while I was asleep, and a thread she made on a message board that’ll be archived, eventually lost even from the internet, never to be known again.
PG&E turns the lights on at the peak of my mescaline trip, illuminating the emptiness of what’s left in the apartment after the feds confiscated all of Kylie’s stuff. Immediately, I’m overwhelmed by fractals and prisms resembling anemones and starfishes sucking onto my limbs. I groan at my sister, “Turn off the lights. I like this world better without that manmade LED shit.”
“Fuck, alright,” She stumbles around the living room, knocking over a succulent plant before the light goes back off. “This is honestly too much. I feel like I downloaded the Godnet.”
Before she drifts to sleep, she logs into my Crunchyroll account on the TV and puts on Osomatsu-San. The visuals penetrate beyond my eyes, through the synapses of my brain, and into the core of my RNA, out of body like a motherfucker, maybe I shouldn’t have smoked all that 4-MeO-DMT. While I’m in my trance, I glide through the hall and to my room, anchor my bodypillow to the left side of me, and then return to my sister to take a keycard from her purse. Explosive rays of rhizomatic data spread my bones and cartilage across the entire Bay, threading me down back into another version of me, four years younger, age seventeen, particles congesting together a hundred and eighty-six thousand miles per second, and when my soul returns back into my chest cavity (a shapeless pain unlike any other), I find myself within the seventh floor of the museum my sister works at, SFMOMA, keycard in one hand, my Daki slipping out from the other and onto a carpet of smoke, hundreds of lightbulbs scintillating within the darkness of this art installation, Hinata and I, alone inside of a concrete vessel, I strip off all my clothes and massage all my weight on top of him while the bulbs seem to drift closer through the obsidian coal, I tangle my legs over his legs, mouth and tongue to soft fabric, and I can smell his skin more than ever before, more than anyone I’ve ever been with or fucked or been fucked by in the past, and the closer the light comes, the stronger the immersion, pre-cum against his jersey, a white abyss, 5-MeO-DMT death peak catatonic explosion the end.
Talk dirty to me. Okay. What’s your favorite font? Helvetica. Yours? Calibri. I had this dream where I was a calico kitten and you were a barbie doll and you were petting me. Feels like Russia is going to bomb our entire country someday. Hold me closer. I’m gonna freeze to death. It was so nice. I was on your little bed inside your Victorian dollhouse and you were stripping by the window, thinking about burying your entire family in the basement. Do you still want to go to the convention? I can get us tickets. You dress up as Nezuko. I’ll be Tanjiro. She protecc. She attacc. But most importantly. Hold up, take a pic of me with my ski mask on. Let me get my weapon. Fuck yea, making this my VK profile pic. In a perfect world, my parents would have never divorced, my parents would have noticed I was trans before I had the courage to say it to them, and then I’d transition before even puberty and I’d actually have the childhood I wanted as a woman, and nobody would even care or think twice about it, I’d join an orchestra, I’d fall in love with a man that I could take to free jazz concerts and we’d listen to Gregorian chants on LSD, we’d die and our bones would rot in the same casket. When I die, I will know every lie you’ve said to me. I will know the truth within all of you. And I will be so disgusted with all of you people. And all will be forgiven again. Teddy bear on life support. It’s snowing in Baltimore. I’m setting up a Gofundme because I need to get the fuck out of this place before the drones blow the fuck out of this city of shit. How do I know that I’ll ever see you again? I’m sending you ninety bucks so that you can have a costume by the time that we go to the convention. Yes, I’m gonna get my ears pierced to make my outfit legit as fuck. Don’t you fucking dare leave me in this piece of shit Section 8 apartment. You’re too beautiful so stop crying and suck up to your privilege. Don’t you get it? She left your bitch ass for that woman because she was just using you to look straight for her homophobic parents. And you were a total freak anyway. Tomorrow, I’ll stop cutting myself. If you come near her ever again, I’ll fucking clamp my hair straightener on your mutilated micropenis. You’re not an asshole. But you white people really make me want to lose my shit sometimes. I’m sending you some non-complicit bias tests to take. They’re from Harvard. See. Everyone is a fucking bigot. The vegan food I’m getting in the military is better than back home. After you enlisted, I moved out because a bomb went off on the fourth floor, and Grandma wanted me to take care of her. Sap is frozen to the axe that’s stuck in the tree. A Japanese schoolgirl is crying amid a blizzard. Just because we’re a Russian Black Metal band and talk about Norse mythology doesn’t mean we’re racist. Modern pagans are more likely to be down with killing conservative Christians and doing witchery to curse the republican majority into their boomer graves. FUCK! I FORGOT THE NAME OF THAT ANIME WE USED TO WATCH LIKE CRAZY WHEN WE WERE KIDS. It’s snowing and the roads are probably dangerous. Can we just do doordash? Ugh, guess I’ll KMS. Hey, thanks for the CG sets. I don’t have the money to support the artist yet, but I promise I will when I’m out of college. Damn he’s so fucking hot. I’m so going to print that onto a daki. This is super embarrassing, but I’m pretty sure the original Robin Hood made me into a total furry, I used to get weird feelings all the time when watching it as a kid in daycare. How do I cancel my EBT card so I can get a new one? I think my fucking bitch ass mother stole it. DON’T YOU EVER TRY TO MESSAGE ME AGAIN STOP STALKING ME I HATE YOU DON’T YOU GET IT YOU’RE THE WORST THING THAT EVER HAPPENED TO ME. You still think about living in tents on the border? Why do you even think about that shit anymore? I want to watch reruns of Tokimeki Tonight with you in bed all night. If you go out, buy some American Spirits and Johnnie Walker. I fucking fell in love with a camgirl and had an online relationship with her wore a pink nub holy trainer for her and sent her the key and then had to get surgery three months later to get it removed because my dick got infected and was still stuck in it fuck but that was a totally amazing religious experience to almost lose my cock like that. Lol. Cute. I’m having great sex with my boyfriend, hope you’re jealous. After seeing Joker for the sixth time, I went to my 11th grade class in Joker facepaint and got suspended for a week. Dude, are you watching Hoshiai no Sora? After watching the last episode, I kind of feel like maybe there is hope for humanity, that show makes me so proud to be trans. Do you still think about me? I wish I could delete you from my existence. I wish we had never met. This girl that sits behind me in Chemistry said that I had threatened to kill her once while I was fucked up on Xanax and another girl said I was going to shoot up the school, but when the cops searched me they just found razor blades and my Walkman and black metal cassette tapes. Suck dick to pay off student loans when I’m too lazy to apply for those grants. Fuck this, I’m only fucking with guys my own race now. All you white people are the same and the sex is vanilla as fuck. You should really talk to your sister more often. Maybe you can block out this bullshit, but–. Hey, why did you leave our discord group? If you don’t come back, everyone is going to think it’s my fault. I want to kill everyone but I’m such a pussy I’d rather kill myself, but I can’t even do that, that’s why I’m writing this at Seay Center mental hospital. The first thing I’ll do when I get out and placed in outpatient is listen to Passenger of Shit. Did you hear that Timberlawn closed down? That’s crazy, I used to know a bunch of people that got raped there, and the nurses were total bitches to me, too. Let’s go throw bricks at Tesla cars. I fucking love Japanese idol music. None of this will be relevant in fifteen years, but in fifty, we’ll all be dead, so fuck it. I’m sick of this diseased mentally ill brain that I have. I’m ready to transcend this body. I don’t think I could ever fall asleep if it weren’t for you. And even with you, it’s still almost impossible, but you at least give me two or three hours on the nights that are bearable. Is that all I’m deserving of? Is all of this suffering worth it? There’s a way out for us, but you have to trust me. What if we can live forever in a dating simulator or within a fanfiction? Hold up. The simulation isn’t ready yet. What gives? I already found keycodes. No, the data is corrupted. Too late. Chapter Eight of Twelve – Mirages & Voids. When Hinata sleeps next to me, I think about putting my fingers under his ribcage. When we shared our first kiss, it was after our English class, I wrapped the window curtains around the two of us and our tongues rolled together, him in that pink and white striped sweater, me still wearing my school uniform. After graduation, we traveled by train from Tokyo to Hokkaido, and camped on the Shiretoko Lakes. We hiked to the peak of Rishiri and played one on one volleyball off the coast of Shimanui. That’s where I lost my virginity. After two years of dating, he finally fucked me on the white sand, and vaporous steam sucked us into the ocean as we cleaned ourselves off. When we got back to Tokyo, that’s when Hinata found the video on my laptop while we were in a capsule room, the sound of chainsaw blades cutting through flesh and cartilage, blood gargling, and like I had done for so long to him, he wrapped himself around me as I sobbed into him, assuring me that I wouldn’t have to deal with it on my own any longer. Baka. I’ll always be with you. I saw his body fidget like a glitch. Like lightbulbs. Heavenly resurfacing. No, no, I can’t go back, I can still fight it. The prisms are contracting. Hinata squeezes harder, we struggle through the abyss, and there it is, I come back to him, and nothing has ever felt more real than this moment ever before.