Stories

On Constipation and the Anal Stage of Development – Riska Seval

#1 Eromeno Inamorato
Top: Musk Rose, Linoleum
Middle: Bergamot, Oily scalp, Stale books
Base: Aged pinewood, Gourmand, Sandalwood

There is this porcelain Chinese pen that sits on my desk in a silk case. The body is creamy and white, and the ends are Prussian blue. Next to it, a new notebook – Unopened but filthy with tobacco and scratches from sitting in my stale old bag. My aphasia continues despite the new notebook and the new pen. I open it every day. Rejected by my own constipation, my sentences obscure into languagelessness, my lethargy ebbing against the flow of thought. When I finally pick up the beautiful pen to write, it is not smooth. A thing so pretty but unable to perform its task, still, so pretty that I try with brute force to make it write, pressing its nub onto the page and wearing it down. Something so beautiful that it leaves everything in its scope to be desired, and when it can’t do for you what you wish, you have no choice but to hope and keep wearing it down, or to throw it away.
        This constipation of mine, it’s like a waking up from a dream with no one near to recall it to. A dream that you must not forget but can’t seem to remember either. Or feeling you have an anus but being unable to find it. After a while of trying to write with the impotent pen, I start to wonder if something so beautiful must obviously not work. A pen so impossibly elegant; I want it so bad; I need it to write. A pen that sits on my desk waiting for me to write, teasing me. And when I finally cave, it’s useless. Of course, it doesn’t work, I only want it to write because I know it doesn’t work. The utter lottery of whether an old porcelain pen from China is going to work or not is a harsh phenomenon against my imagination. The contingency: what a shame this beautiful pen does not write… But to me, it doesn’t seem to work precisely because it is not supposed to. It cannot work, it must not. Maybe I can keep trying for the rest of my life, maybe it’s the ink cartridge or the tip. Maybe I can rebuild the pen. The pen’s fate, if it is predestined, elevates its own impotence. A beautiful and clean impotence. This pen is not supposed to write, it must not write because if it could write, it wouldn’t be beautiful. A beautiful and broken pen. If the pen is broken, and I am constipated, all I can do is wait to speak. A serene acceptance, I must be voiceless today. Another day shall pass.
        As I am impaired in my own flesh, My boy, he picks up the pen and tickles it around his mouth. The caps of his fingers are roughed like a schoolboy even though his hands are honey soft. I take his hands to my face, biting the callouses on each finger. He yelps, yawns. Silent again, I smell the androsterone on his scalp, and his chest. Sweet, sweet…rigid limbs that pickle the traces of dust and linoleum, onions between his nails from the kitchen, and the metallic steel knives on his shirt. I could smell the callouses. Sweet old bergamot in the pot on the fire, the heat sweats the pine walls. The sweating wood, the bouquet of dinner scents stored in its walls, and the sandalwood soaps. Delicious nausea and silence. I need to shit soooooo bad. The books, the piles, and heaps of books. All those books of his fingered and scarred by him. His eyes are like venus, rotating and ambient And my own fertility, ripe and rosie. I never sweat with him, always powdery and alive like a bunny rabbit’s cheeks in the spring, stuffed with sweet hay and flowers. Barely an animal, unable to shit out anything but saccharine hay.

 

#2 Oud del Cucciola
Top: Jasmine, Hairy sweat, Ink
Middle: Blood, Fog machine
Base: Oud, Moss, Dog breath

When you follow a man around like his puppy, he will let you lick his ass.
        All that I needed to do to find my own anus, was to smell one. Cumin, civet, manure, feces. I could recheck the plumbing, I could eat ass, I could go to the perfume store or wait outside the public restrooms on Chrystie and Hester. I could go to a nightclub and stay until closing. The harder I searched and pressed down the pen brought me farther away from anal release. Words would not play, and thoughts continued to escape my control. I could only keep walking, and waiting for a laxative that was perhaps entirely contingent, and out of my control. Incontinence felt like a possibility, a relief. It could be uninhibited, painful, life-giving pleasure —jouissance.
        After awhile in New York, you can start to discern the notes of the trash. You can tell if it’s going to rain if the air smells like mud, and you’ll run into an ex if you smell tomatoes. On warm summer days, you can smell ass. Human ass. It’s a base note. It’s addicting but hard to discern. If you’re not in the mood, you’ll hate it. But there is no other smell like it when the day is good.
        I walked down Clinton following the smells, and as I moved widely and haggardly, I could feel the metal ball inside my ankle. The metallic weight pulled me into a crouch. I crouched onto my knees and my palm hit the pavement. I had no choice but to crawl, on my knees like a dog. Panting and smelling my own breath. Crawling, my thong pulling at me. I could start to feel it, lifting me. Refusing to be hung out to dry by my underwear, I grabbed the concrete for dear life. I squished it. Bleeding out, I kept crawling. I was being pulled by my underwear helicopter wedgie and I had to hold myself down. I had no idea who or what was pulling my thong, or if it was pulling itself. I crawled all the way down to the park, next to the rats. Perched from their windows, they all watched me. On E Broadway, I could feel it, first in my uterus, then in my button and in my spine and my tailbone, and into my heart and breasts, and then up and up into my throat, and I felt it come out. It was going to come out. I used my third arm to grab the pen so I could catch whatever came out on the pages of my new notebook. And when I saw the pen, I was so hungry that I swallowed it. And then my third arm disappeared, and the pen was gone, and whatever was going to come out was stuck in my throat, as if it was the metal ball in my ankle choking me inside. I collapsed from my knees, onto my stomach. I lost the pen. I’m now constipated AND choking. And I can’t speak or write or shit or come.
        And then I could smell it. OUD! Fuck me, Oud. I found him, the oud. He was like an Arab gent in an old elevator, or a cave temple set on fire. I couldn’t quite see anything. My eyes were wide open, and they were closed. And I could see it with my nose. My stomach sunk into my legs, and I could feel nothing in my body but my genitals. And I could feel the hair growing out of the concrete, thick and pubic. Throbbing, and in control. I did it. I tightened myself and released. Sweet anal release. I could hear barking in the distance, but it was not my own. I tried to speak over the dog, but all that came out was a scream. So ghastly and pitch perfect, I could hear all the rats leave the park. I was completely alone, even the watchers from the windows turned away. I reached under myself and felt it, my anus. Circular and clear, and I could feel whatever was stuck. Not words, nor shit. I pulled out a blue and white porcelain pen. The white was so clear, and creamy that I could see a boy’s face inside of it. I bit the blue tip and took it to my nose. It smelled like Jasmine.