The Anti-Slut Dream

Tomorrow is Monday and I’ll have to go to school—Mcgill University; at least three classes; math in the morning, and two more I can’t recall; I need to become more organized, I haven’t printed out my schedule yet—but I am filled with despair and loneliness. I said tomorrow, but it’s today. It’s 3 AM, or some other ungodly hour of the night. I’m not keeping track, and time flows strangely as I sit in the corner of my dark room. I get up and leave.

Outside, it’s cold and quiet, with a slight breeze. The sky is pitch dark, and I can’t tell if it’s cloudy or clear from all the light pollution here in the city. I call my mom. After two rings, she answers, but the first half of the sentence is cut off.

“—o you want?”, she asks.

“Nothing,” I respond.

“Ok, bye.”

“NO, WAIT!”, I shout. My voice cracks a little, because I’m cracking. I can’t take another rejection, not from my own mother. I don’t know where to begin. “I wish you wouldn’t just hang up…”

“You said ‘no’.”

“No, I said ‘nothing’,” and I don’t even know if I want to continue this line of digression, as despite the claims that neurotypicals have a better theory of mind, in my experience, my mother doesn’t have the intellectual capacity to hold meta-analysis of “I thought you said”, “I thought you thought that I said”, “I thought you thought that I thought you said”, etc. I start to cry a bit. “I’m lonely, and I’m going through this existential angst, and I want to come over.”

She’s silent.

“And I forgot where you live.”

I hear an exasperated sigh on the other side. “I’m at the corner of Penfield and St. Mathieu,” I mention looking at one of the street signs.

“Okay, just keep going down Mathieu” she says, then adds after a beat, “Until you reach Gagneur”.

A little further, I pass by a park, and I see three kids—white kids, I guess I should mention due to what happens next—lying in the grass. One of them has a large rifle, and he’s prone as if on some sniper mission. Around him are various other smaller hanguns, all with their nozzles bright orange. Toys, probably… hopefully.

I don’t stop, but a quick look and I don’t see what he’s aiming at. Hopefully an imaginary target.

Further, I have to pass under a wooden scaffolding that spans the width of the sidewalk. A group of kids—this time black—are headed in the opposite way. I move as far to the right side of the sidewalk without my shoulder actually brushing against the wall, in the vain hope that they do the same, but they remain an amorphous blob of pedestrians. Viscous, they only very reluctantly pass through the narrower funnel created by my presence.

I make a point to not give in to “my” side of the sidewalk. It’s only really wide enough to support two lanes of people, one in each direction, so really they should be walking single file. They’re in the wrong here, not me. But I’m scared, and I figure it’s racist of me to be scared.

I have some good friends who are half black—I’m not saying this to claim I’m not racist, but to explain this next scene I’m imagining. I imagine I’m with one of them, and I’m telling her racists jokes, and she’s laughing. I don’t know why this scene pops into my mind right now, except that it’s topical and it allows me to escape from my fears of getting stabbed. “I’m a gangstar,” I proclaim to her in my imagination, miming the appropriate body stance “My name is ganstar. I don’t know my last name ‘cause my daddy left me.” It’s terrible. And it’s funnier if you could hear the voice. You have to hear the voice.

The kids have passed now. None of them stabbed me. Of course they wouldn’t. They look to be 9 to 12 years old, some of them girls. I move on.

That’s when I bump into Her.

We used to date, sort of. It was nothing official, and now the relationship is over and I’m alone and she’s happy. That’s what pains me the most: that she’s happy.

I can’t remember what was said—it was all a blur—but now I am in the lobby of an apartment building, with the ceiling lights too glaringly artificial, my eyes start to hurt. It’s a slightly lower middle class—or upper lower class, I never know how these things work—and the walls are a medical-gown-green with trace amounts of graffitti—ball point pen, not spray cans—and the floor is beige with a salt-and-pepper texture, if salt were yellow and pepper were red.

She takes me door on the 2nd or 3rd floor, and I’m wondering if I had asked, or if she had offered, a place to stay for the night. I would make sense: I would have jumped on such an offer, the pathetic man that I am. In foreboding contrast to the rest of the building, the door we’re at is not that well lit. It’s perfectly visible, at about the brightness level of a room with no lights on in mid-afternoon, but this is certainly darker than the almost blinding level of lights everywhere else in this building. The door also has a word spray painted on, striking because it’s the only piece of spray painted graffiti I had seen so far, and it was painted on via a stencil, rather than free form text. It said “ANTI-SLUT”.

I realized I was talking to her, and had been talking to her the whole time. Fragments of the conversation start to rise up to my conscious level, assuming that the me that I am now is the conscious me.

“Who’s place is this?” I had asked earlier, when we were still climbing the stairs.

She had coyly avoided the question.

“I don’t think I could take sleeping in the same room as your boyfriend” I explained. We were at the door now. My memory had caught up with the present.

“Whatever you do, don’t knock on the door,” she said, paused, and then “‘Knock knock.’”

I guess she had worried that her message might ambiguously be taken as an imperative order rather than the opening of a joke, but now it had me worried as to what was behind the door. “Who’s there?”

“Um… ten red, angry fingers.”

The door opened.

It was another girl behind the door, with a plain, average figure, dark blonde hair, slightly curly, and a white lab coat, green dish washing gloves and chemistry goggles in a band around her neck. Is she a science major working on a project, or a cosplayer?

We step inside, and the two share a cryptic conversation that I’m unable to follow. Glancing around, the “apartment” seems to be more of a loft: a single big room, with a large wall dividing in the middle, so I guess it’s more U shaped. We’re at the bottom left corner of the U, and the right branch is relatively well lit, with a couch, which is where I assume I’ll be sleeping if indeed I am correct in assuming that I’ll be sleeping here at all, but the left is dark.

My eyes adjust and I notice a figure on the couch, though I can’t quite make out whether it is male or female. They notice that I notice, and from the background processing of the keywords I managed to overhear, it seems like I’ve stumbled upon a somewhat clandestine operation.

The two say their goodbyes to each other, and She leaves, the labcoat girl closing the door, and turning to me. I guess I am sleeping here. She says something about perverts in a derogatory manner which leads me to assign to her the label of feminist, in a derogatory sense. I respect some feminists and some forms of feminism, but not the forms in which men (and only men) are dismissed as sex-driven creatures, and in which all sex is rape.

I tell her I’m going to have to call my mom… then add that she can monitor the call if she wishes. She nods, but says that the radiation from cellphones give her headaches. I try to think of how I could make the call, and have her listen in, without being close to the device. If I plug my headphones into the phone, would she be able to hear, and would the cable be long enough? The figure on the couch sits up.

I’m startled, and the labcoat girl starts laughing. The couch-creature’s silhouette—more specifically the bone structure in his shoulder—leads me to conclude that he’s male, but he his curly, coquettish red hair (think Carrot Top), and something about the gown he’s wearing is disturbingly female. Plus, is he wearing claws?

She pushes against my back, towards him, egging me on to get a closer look, but her anxiousness makes me think Something will happen, so I resist. I find myself backing away from the dark couch, into the right half of the U, where things are better lit. The figure raises from the couch, and starts walking towards me, and now I am genuinely afraid.

My backwards stumble had led me to naturally become seated upon the lit-couch, and as the figure himself enters the light, I see now that “he” has a very feminine face, a modest but unmistakable pair of breasts, and is wearing a sundress. The only real sense of maleness remaining is the broad shoulders and height.

He…? She…? It advances towards me, then kneels down in from of me, spreading my legs. The labcoat girl is speaking—was speaking, now laughing and encouraging me to accept and enjoy the upcoming blow job—but I’m distracted. The message conveyed to me is “This is what we do to perverts. We turn them into sluts.”

When I open my eyes, I’m in the hallway of that apartment building. From the ambient light, I figure it must be around 5PM. It’s less bright, ironically in mid day than at night, as the artificial ceiling lights are off, and all illumination is coming from the sun through the windows.

I’m sitting, my back against the wall, and so I stand up. 5PM means I’ve already missed my classes, and anyway, I don’t seem to have my textbooks with me. I don’t think I had in fact brought any with me when I left the house.

I’m on the second floor, and I know this isn’t the right floor, so I head up to the third, and there it is. The door still says “ANTI-SLUT”, but the paint seems to aged and started to become faint. Not that I think I’ve traveled thirty years into the future or anything: it was dark last night, and so I might just not have noticed how aged this paint was.

I step in—was the door ajar or merely unlocked? I can’t recall—and am greeted by an a pair of men in their 80s. Excited to have visitors, they invite me to sit down at the coffeetable for some conversation and tea.

They’re a gay couple, Christian, and trying to combat promiscuity, especially in teenage girls. I don’t ask about the “ANTI-SLUT” graffiti, nor their being simultaneously gay and Christian. They tell me a scare-story about how there are drugs out there, like Rohypnol, which can wipe out one’s memories of the events of the night before.

In this experimental short story, I’m trying to go beyond the limits of most “stream-of-consciousness” tone I’ve seen this far. While vocalizing your thoughts, you can think a keyword, and this keyword triggers an explosion of thoughts, but to actually explore and translate these thoughts into words would give the impression of a dwelling on the thought, whereas it were just a flash. I’m trying to solve this via the medium of hypertext by linking, rather than inlining, these explorations, though obviously this won’t work for printed text. For printed text, I guess I would be reduced to including footnotes, like so:

Neurotypicals: Links to a wikipedia page explaining that “neurotypical” is a term that autistic people use to refer to non-autistic people.

Theory of mind: Links to the wikipedia page explaining the concept.

Her: Links to another one of my stories, making explicit the reference and how they tie together.

Pains me the most: Links to a google search on “the best revenge is to live well”

Happy: Links to a blog post citing a study “Discontented people in a happy place may feel particularly harshly treated by life […] This result is consistent with other research that shows that people judge their well-being in comparison to others around them.”

Ten red, angry fingers: I have no idea where this knock-knock joke was going. The only thing I can think of is a interview in which Will Smith uses “The hot 4” as a euphemism for a slap.

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