Tent cities in Portland. Everybody needs a job. Being is enough. Atom
bombs are fabricated. Underground factories. I never feel sexy in the
Financial District. No matter what I wear. She lifts up the back of my
summer dress. Eats a salad. Times Square is lonely on Sundays. Everybody
is at the beach. Waves at Far Rockaway are gnarly. I boogie-board a
gauntlet of Great White sharks. Bloody harbor seals float belly-up in
the green seawater. Lifeguards stand up in their highchairs and cheer.
Blow whistles. Fighter jets perform acrobatics in the milk blue sky.
Jones Beach is a war zone. Russian submarines periscope me from
offshore. Impressed by my abs. Six-packs of Brooklyn Pilsner. I am an
American! Navy SEALS invent a drinking song about me. A folk song for
the Future. I learn to surf at Nazaré. Good beginner waves. Thirty forty
fifty feet. My jetski tow-in pilot is a man named Lars. Keanu Reeves
gives me a few pointers. Encourages me to go big. I ride an
eighty-eight-footer. Twitter wants to sponsor me. I am skeptical. Tik
Tok might be the way to go. I feel super free right now. Like a god.
Electric bikes are silent. I no longer know what to say. I just whiz by
people … LOLzzz! They ignore me. As they should. I am impalpable.
Surfboards are a technology. Electric bikes. AM radio. I once had analog
sex with a girlfriend. She sang ABBA and the Bee Gees. Night waves are
super gnarly at Breezy Point. Humpback whale jumps out of the water.
Takes down a Boeing 777 landing at JFK airport. Black-crowned night
herons monitor the situation. The rescue is successful. All passengers
have a story to tell. The pilot writes a novel. The co-pilot writes a
sequel. Netflix is hungry for stories. Insatiable. Language is a
technology. The alphabet. Impress your friends. A to Z in 2.6 seconds.
Say Zed to dodge the draft. A nanosecond is a billionth of a second. I
make split-second decisions. Not very impressive, I know. I am the hero
of this story. Your story. Sit back and eat popcorn. Chicken souvlaki.
Whatever your heart desires. I get a kick out of saying Czechoslovakia.
Paranormal sex. Telekinetic orgasms. Unroll the prophylactic inside-out.
The female condom. In a girlfriend’s purse. Just in case the urge
strikes. I understand. Portland awaits the earthquake. The big one. Is
your house earthquake retrofitted? Cripple walls will crumble. Apple
crumble will topple. Ripples & whirlpools in the Willamette River. I
rocket across Steel Bridge on my electrobike. I buy as many comic books
as I can at Cosmic Monkey. I head for the mountains. Or at least the
potentially active stratovolcano Mount Hood. I get bored in the cabin.
The Wi-Fi is lousy. I cross-county ski across a caldera. Downhill a
glacier at unfathomable speeds. A tornado up here is unlikely. Yet there
it is. I electrobike back to Portland. Pitch a tent under an overpass.
The car noise is incredible. People need to get better mufflers. Exhaust
systems. Central nervous systems. Everybody is trying to get somewhere.
As if there is anywhere to go. The cops talk to me about my gait. Say it
looks lazy. I need to improve. I say listen: A human being walks the way
a human being walks. I give the pigs the finger. Run, motherfucker, run!
Shots are fired. How I am not felled, I have no idea. Bullets ricochet
off iron support beams. A labyrinth of concrete. Pigs do not chase. They
shoot. I disappear. I am an enigma. I am radicalized. Awake. Alert. I
return to the tent city. Masses and masses of people. A girl invites me
to share a sleeping bag. She says her name is a secret. Imagine a
language before words. She kisses me on the mouth. Ionizes my pussy. I
feel wet and hard. She unbuttons my flannel shirt. Unzips my jeans.
Clitoris on fingertips. We watch stars explode. Betelgeuse goes
Supernova. She implodes on my belly. I work my thumb into her ass. In
the morning we are strangers. She says her name is Björk. We kiss
goodbye. I push my supermarket shopping cart across Steel Bridge to the
R.G. Vasicek is the author of The Defectors. He lives in NYC.