22 06 22

After that, I began to make a wish when the imprac­ti­ca­li­ties of life wron­ged me, but very cau­tious­ly. I did that to unders­tand who I real­ly was and what I actual­ly wan­ted, regard­less of whe­ther my wish could pos­si­bly come true or was good or bad for me or for anyone else, because I didn’t know who I was most of the time.
I tried to see myself as conscious­ness that loo­ked like me and whose spea­king voice was based herein and cen­so­red by my crap­py English but also out of my control like my ven­tri­lo­quist. I used that voice to represent the public me. And then there was my secret self who took pity on how com­pro­mi­sed I usual­ly was and poa­ched the wisest powers of my mind, then used a thought to say, in so many words, “I will grant you one wish, Dennis. What do you want?”
Then I would think about the ques­tion until it had infec­ted me, revi­sing and refi­ning a rela­ted wish, first concep­tual­ly as a tryout to assess the conse­quence, were it to hap­pen in the real world. If the wish invol­ved sex, which it almost inevi­ta­bly did, I would test myself by mas­tur­ba­ting, cum, then reap­praise the wish more puri­ta­ni­cal­ly and decide if my sur­pas­sing goal of cum­ming had over­ly influen­ced me or given me the equi­va­lent of truth serum.
This pro­cess might go on and on for weeks, months, with one off­hand in-pro­cess wish refi­ning and dwind­ling until I’d built the single most intran­sigent, com­pre­hen­sive thing I cra­ved and that would never come to pass and that no one else could ever guess I wan­ted. And once I had deci­ded on and made that per­fect wish, didn’t get it, and accep­ted that my peace of mind was doo­med, I thought I knew exact­ly who I was, and I stop­ped wishing for it.
I thought my wishing ritual would die away or be co-opted when I became a wri­ter, or at least a wri­ter good enough to do my thoughts some kind of jus­tice and get them publi­shed and read. I assu­med the wri­ting thing was gene­ra­ted from the same impulse I’d had to pin­point and set aside my dee­pest shit. I figu­red wri­ting would just give that stuff a solid form and, if safe­ly sea­led into the enve­lopes of books, rea­ders could solve me if they wan­ted. But that wasn’t true.
Instead, my wri­ting mere­ly sub­di­vi­ded me again. I became a semi-guy who dealt with other people nice­ly and ano­ther semi-guy who used the writ­ten word to chal­lenge rea­ders to accept the secret me selec­ti­ve­ly and still ano­ther semi-me who wan­ted some­thing so abnor­mal that even the unri­va­led dis­tan­cing device of nuan­ced, air­tight wor­dage couldn’t get it out to other people.
What the wri­ting did was draw a sty­li­zed map to the gene­ral loca­tion where my wishes were impre­gna­ting. I tried to make the maps cle­ver, fun­ny, dis­tur­bing, and ero­tic so the things I wrote about would seem as sca­ry or exci­ting to envi­sion as they’d been to pen, sort of like the rosy illus­tra­tions with which rides are repre­sen­ted in the fol­ded maps they hand you at the entrances of amu­se­ment parks.
I think the wishes always cour­ted love. I think somew­here along the line I deci­ded that I hadn’t actual­ly wan­ted to be dead when I’d wished to die, and that I’d wan­ted death to love me enough to kill and take me. I don’t think I knew that for a long time, though. I think I thought the wishes I so time-consu­min­gly construc­ted were about having rau­cous sex since that was the crux of what hap­pe­ned in them.
When I never thought I could be loved, or not rea­lis­ti­cal­ly, or not by anyone real who had a choice, by which I mean people other than my fami­ly, which covers most of my life, I’d think up situa­tions where the hor­ror of not being loved, of being rejec­ted by someone I could osten­si­bly pick out of the lineup of Los Angeles’s cutest boys, for ins­tance, would feel the most intense.
And since cum­ming was the most intense out­come I knew, I made them huge­ly sexual, and, to try to make the blast as wild as I ima­gi­ned being loved would feel, I made my fan­ta­sies as sca­ry and chao­tic to eve­ryone invol­ved in them as pos­sible, but espe­cial­ly to me since I was real. I wan­ted the orgasms they pro­du­ced to be like self-inflic­ted fatal wounds, or maybe more like being sho­cked back into real life by a defi­bril­la­tor, I guess.

I wished
Soho Press 2021