The imagery and message here play well together. Some people might be a tad pissed when they read the story–that’s good. If the story didn’t make you feel, well…
Blaze of Glory
You see Mr. Ponytail over there dripping gyro sauce and coy-dude grins all over that brunette? That tattooed arm ready to launch around her shoulder the moment she flips that Bumble & Bumble mess in his grill?
You mean Mr. Vintage 501 Blues perched all professor-casual on the wall by the library?
Yeah, that’s the one. That guy totally fucks students.
Oh yeah, sure. Common knowledge. But, you know, he fucks them in an empowering way.
He’s all “You’re a grown woman. You can make the decision whether I deep dick you or not. This isn’t preschool.”
He goes, “Student is one of your roles, but it doesn’t define you. Student, woman, lover: you are all those things.”
For real? Oh yeah, look, she is gobbling it up with a spoon. She looks like she’s about to deep throat his gyro.
Then he’s like, “Professor is one of my roles, but I’m more than that. I’m a man, a son, a scholar, a feminist.”
That’s really feminist of him. Yep, he just gave her a bite of the gyro, oozing Tzatziki. Not a good look, sweetie.
I gotta give it to him though: He does eat pussy. A prolific muncher of rug. So I’ve heard.
Heard? You hear a lot.
Word on the street. Idle chatter. Bathroom graffiti. Message boards.
Guess I’m the girl in the bubble.
He’s slowed down though. Since he had his kid.
Kid? Oh man. Did he get married?
After he knocked her up, that student in his Intro class? He decided he was sooo in love with her. Put a ring on it at City Hall. I bet he was so fucking relieved that she was one of the hot ones, one of the thick brown hair, thin tan legs ones.
That his type?
Yeah, but he’ll put his dick in a wide range of snatch. Part of his feminist ethos. Women are all equally fuck-able in his eyes. Within reason of course. No bacne-covered warrior princesses or mono-brows need apply.
Sweet. I kind of respect that. Most of them only go for the obvious hotties.
But what if it had been one of the fatties, one of the hatchet faces, one of those squeaky little waifs whose voices sound like a pricked balloon? Dude dodged a bullet.
He didn’t have to marry her. He’s a feminist. Doesn’t he live to murder babies in utero?
Yeah, but without the ring, he would have to be like, “Duh, I’m a scumbag who fucks students,” instead of “I’m a hopeless romantic who couldn’t deny our true, fairytale love-truth.”
But even with the wifey entourage, he’s still totally fucking his students. Exhibit A: là-bas in their gyro lust cloud.
Ah oui. His baby is super cute though. I saw the baby mama parading Little Miss Sunshine of His Life around the department office last week.
Seriously, how do you know all this? Are you stalking him or something?
I told you: It’s the word on the street, idle chatter, message boards.
He’s got a tattoo of a lightning bolt on his dick.
More idle chatter?
No. I saw that shit in person. He whipped his dick out at Big Mick’s end-of-term rager. He was shit-faced. We all were.
No shit. Where was I? My invitation get lost in the mail? Big Mick’s got some explaining to do.
I think you were out of town or something. Home for the holidays much?
Oh right. But how would that even happen?
Some chick dared him to whip it—
No, the tattoo. How would it physically happen?
Where there’s a will and a professor’s paycheck, there’s a way.
Lightning bolt. Fuck me, that’s cheesy.
And across his shoulders in gangsta letters? Blaze of Glory.
No! Oh shit. He’s looking over here. Do you think his lightning bolt is burning?
For more reasons than one, according to Big Mick. Blaze of Glory gave the entire grad seminar crabs. He was patient zero. It supposedly started with his TA but they weren’t exclusive or anything so she gave it to Dreadlocked Beard Dude then he passed it to Hippie Landing Strip and then she gave it to Big Mick. Poor Big Mick. I don’t know though. Blaze of Glory’s usually careful about the V to the D. Big Mick might be using Blaze’s roving dick for cover.
Mick’s got to learn not to mess with pubic sculptors. Those girls are bad news.
No shit. Big bush is where it’s at.
Did the crab army slow down Blaze of Glory?
You’d think so, but he was back in the saddle in no time.
Now he is totally staring at us. No, don’t look. Eyes on me, girl. All eyes on me.
So what? Let him look. Take in the majesty of all that he is missing.
Doesn’t sound like he misses much.
He misses love, companionship, not carrying around a fuck-ton of guilt about cheating on his wife and child. Like that’s a big concern, right? Blaze of Glory dude does not plan to go down with a whimper.
You predict a screaming match in the middle of a faculty meeting? Graduation? When his newest piece is defending her thesis on sex-positive sex workers before a faculty committee?
That’s his dream. His wide-eyed cute-as-shit baby perched on baby-mama-wifey’s jutted hip, now a little extra hippy with that baby weight that won’t budge even though all the mommy blogs swear that breastfeeding is the best fucking diet in the world. And her swollen tits are leaking and her face is a knife coming right at him. He’s got his hands up like, “Babe, babe, not here, not now. We can figure this out.” Curly tendrils are escaping his hair elastic so he looks like a grunge rock god and the fluorescent misery lighting twinkles in his eyes. He’s totally getting hard. He knows that all the dude profs harrumphing around their sustainable bamboo conference table want to be him and the women profs hate slash want to hate-fuck him. This is his mating dance. The threadbare Cheap Trick t-shirt and beat-up black Chucks that he wears to all the parties are his peacock feathers. His little conversation starters. His “I like what I like even though it’s cheesy shtick” like he’s some renegade who doesn’t care about cool. The sluts eat that shit up.
Sluts? Come on now. Don’t slut shame. Sex positive forever!
But he cares. He cares so fucking much it eviscerates him when they turn up their nose at his faded-glory scruffy chin. He’s getting old. That Cheap Trick shirt will be a heap of poly-cotton blend threads before he can say “I Want You to Want Me.”
Mortality is some shit.
But he thinks if he fucks enough of them, plants enough of his seed in enough pussies that he’ll be reborn, that it’s his face that will poke through some rando critical theorist’s shaved snatch.
I don’t think that’s how reincarnation works.
And that chick, his wife, his baby mama, she’ll be left with her leaking tits and secretary spread, and that pooping, crusty nosed reminder that she was dumb enough to let Lighting Dick cum inside her and dumber still to not let Planned Parenthood vacuum that watermelon seed into a biohazard bag while she had the chance.
You know, Planned Parenthood is more than an abortion provider. They give pap smears, and mammograms–
But that chick’s not me. That is not fucking me.
Of course not. You okay?
Don’t look now but I think your impassioned speech may have magnetic properties.
Fine. I’m ready.
Ready for what? What about word on the street, message boards, idle chatter?
I had to go beyond the chatter, field research that motherfucker, go Donnie Brasco on his ass. But he Brasco-ed me, Brasco-ed me real hard. I’m such a fucking idiot.
Damn, girl. What are you going to do about it?
To vacuum or not to vacuum, that is the question.
Maybe you can have one of those narratively convenient miscarriages, get rid of the bloody cluster by agonizing about it until the little fucker catches a clue and makes his dramatic exit on a red tide all over your white pants.
I like the way you think. If we could bottle the narratively convenient miscarriage, we would be millionaires. We could pitch our Masters degrees-to-be in the hallway recycling container. Good-bye to all that and all that and everything else while we’re at it. And girl, I never wear white pants, not after the seventh-grade period disaster of Jenny Dean Middle School.
Nothing says “Welcome to womanhood” like bloodstained pants.
“Period pants! Period pants!” Those prepubescent tit-grabbers chanted while I hightailed it out of Industrial Arts trying to hide my shame with a folder. Out damned spot, for real.
He’s coming over here for real this time, ditching the brunette. The waves in her hair even look sad. Poor girl.
Don’t worry about her. She’ll get hers. I’m just a temporary setback, a check he has to write, a clinic appointment he has to endure, a chance to work out his concerned-face muscles. I mean, he can’t say that he fell in love with two students. That would be tacky. All those HR Cathy-s that he rails against would have grounds to actually do something about his wandering dick, make him sign paperwork: I hereby attest that I will remain steadfast in the face of temptation.
Maybe they could spring for a male chastity belt. There must be a grant for that. Throw in some flowery language about studying male abstinence when surrounded by a bevy of tight asses. Real scientific advances to benefit real people.
They can put a man on the moon, but they can’t keep a professor’s dick in his pants.
Or stem the tide of open coed legs.
Coed? That’s quaint. If only it had stayed plain old “ed” then Blaze of Glory wouldn’t have been tempted by the fruit of another lover. And another and another.
Ah yes, the good old days. It really is all our fault. The ladies and our tacky insistence on getting edu-ma-cated. Us and our firm skin and firmer asses marching to our desks and gazing upon their genius with our doe eyes. You know that’s what he tells the wife, what he’ll tell the baby when she grows up and is old enough to see through his Dirty Old Prof act. “I couldn’t help myself.”
Let me know when he’s near because that’s what I need, that’s what I got, that’s my arsenal in those four sweet words. I. Couldn’t. Help. Myself. If he wants another rug-rat to worship at the foot of his record collection, he can carry it to term himself.
Really? He didn’t want you to get rid of the watermelon seed?
He’s full of surprises. Be fruitful and multiply but don’t tell anyone about it.
The Blaze of Glory doth arrive on a breeze of ironic Drakkar Noir and B.O. Time to shine, girl.
Katherine Sinback’s work has appeared in The Rumpus, daCunha, Gravel, Foliate Oak,Clackamas Literary Review, The Hunger Journal, Cabildo Quarterly Online, Anti-Heroin Chic, trampset, The Bookends Review, and Oyster River Pages. She publishes her zine Crudbucket and writes two blogs: the online companion to Crudbucket, and Peabody Project Chronicles 2: Adventures in Pregnancy After Miscarriage. Crudbucket was featured in the 2007 Multnomah County Library “Zinesters Talking” series and was included in the 2016 Alien She exhibit at the Pacific Northwest College of Art. Born and raised in Virginia, Katherine lives in Portland, Oregon with her family. She can be found on Twitter @kt_sinback.