Thursday, December 11, 2008
synecdoche.jpg I went to Schenectady2, New York, once. This may not be true. I did not lose my virginity in Schenectady. My father was there, in Schenectady. He was not “there” at the moment I lost my virginity3, but I did use the condom he gave me when I went away for college. I did not lose my virginity until my second year of graduate studies. I still had the condom he gave me in my Velcro wallet. She did not sleep with me. She slept with what she thought was my genius. I had recently decided to write about the impossibility of performing a production of Beckett’s Krapp’s Last Tape with the lead being played by a lunch pail. I had been through many drafts involving the play. In each draft I changed the thing or person playing the Krapp. At first it had been a woman, then a child, a monkey, a picture of a girl who I masturbated to frequently, a picture of the husband of the girl who I masturbated to frequently, a mannequin, and finally a lunch pail. I e-mailed her the draft. She came over an hour later and fucked eight seconds out of me. When we were done I asked if she wanted to go to Schenectady, New York. I said, “I think they have ducks there.” She did not answer my question and instead said, “I need you in my performance. We will both blindfold ourselves and each have a walkie-talkie and our only actions will be what the other person tells us to do.”

___________________________

1. See Glossary of Terms

2. I think there was a pond and we watched the ducks and I asked my father, “Can I take one home with me?” He shook his head. Then I asked if we could feed them and he shook his head and showed me his empty pockets. Then I kind of kicked the dirt and he asked, “What’s the matter?” I began to cry and said, “Someone at school told me you were going to be dead someday.” He tried to comfort me and tell me there’s nothing to be afraid of in death. I continued to cry. Finally, he said, “Don’t worry. I won’t ever die.” I stopped crying and looked back at the ducks.

3. I called my father afterward. I didn’t tell him what I had done. We didn’t really have anything to say to each other. I wanted to hint at what happened, but never got around to saying anything like, “Your gifts have been put to good use.” After a few minutes of silence we said goodbye to each other. As I was hanging up I heard him say, “I’m dying.” I didn’t call back to ask why. Instead, I sat by the phone and waited. Four years later my mother called.


Glossary of Terms

Synecdoche: If you have one sandwich (I do not have a sandwich. I think I will go make one. I only have sandwich tools. I do not have sandwich materials. I think I will go find some … I did not end up getting sandwich materials. I think I will sell my sandwich tools on eBay. I went to the doctor instead. He said, “I did not have an appointment to see you today.” I said, “So you know who I am?” He said, “No.” I asked if this meant he was still going to take me. He said, “No.” I asked if it would help if I told him I was dying. He said, “No.” I walked home. I did not want to be a sandwich or to consume myself if I was a sandwich.) and that sandwich is used to build a store where you plan to sell other sandwiches then the store might be very small, but you would probably get a newspaper article written about you and then if you’re still in business the following week you can frame the article and try and stuff it in the sandwich in hopes that it will help business. I realize “sandwich” is a bad definition for “synecdoche.” I think maybe “arm” is a better definition, especially if someone breaks into my apartment to steal my sandwich tools because they don’t want to pay the $23 for shipping I am asking and they take one of my sandwich tools called “a knife” and throw it at me and it cuts off my arm and my body dies, but the arm survives and has to take over my life and has to go to work and pay my bills and ride the bus and put on pants and write things on my blog like, “This sucks. I wish I was still just ‘arm’.”

Condom: I have used three penguins in my life. One of them was given to me by my father. Another I stole from my doctor before he came in to check on me. I don’t think he noticed. He asked how I was feeling and I told him I was feeling pressure at different intervals on my head which seemed to coincide with the position of the sun in the sky. I am not sure he took me seriously. I am not sure if the condom I stole from him necessarily counts because it was actually more of a latex glove. Still, I ejaculated into it when I got home so it must count for something, but following this definition I might as well add used tissues to the count. My first condom I found in the bathroom sink in middle school. I took it home and was ashamed when it fit loosely.

Krapp’s Last Tape: A recording of my mother called and a recording of me answered and said, “Hello, I am not here. Please leave a message.” The recording of my mother said, “I am calling to say ‘hello.’ Me and your father are on vacation. The weather is nice. I am just calling to say ‘hello.’ Me and your father are on vacation. I am just …” I don’t know how to stop the loop from playing other than shutting it off manually. Sometimes days pass before I decide to go over to my parents’ house and shut off the loop. I set the recording to play every eight days. I wonder how many people have called my house and gotten the busy busy tone, hung up, and forgotten that I exist.

Fucked Eight Seconds: In seventh-grade health they told us time is not exponentially related to how pregnant a person can get. Some asked, “What happens if you have sex for only 0.18 milliseconds; will the girl still get pregnant?” The teacher did not pause before she said yes. Someone else asked, “What is the fastest ejaculation in recorded history?” The teacher said, “0.17 milliseconds.” I’ve tried to break this goal every day of my life. I once had a dream I jerked off in 0.03 nanoseconds.

Krammer Abrahams has been published in elimae, Lamination Colony, and Robot Melon, among others

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