Part 2: I Am Planet Fuck, Planet Fuck

The sun is skipping flights, hightailing west. Nighttime coming on fast because even night loves the nightlife, got to boogie. You are in your Miami hotel room, still, the glass door closed. You went inside because the wind wouldn’t shut up, conspiring with the last line of Song of Solomon to lure you off the railing. If you surrender to the air, you could ride it. If you surrender to the air, you could ride it. If you surrender to the air, you could ride. Fuck books. Fuck a life that is nothing but books. Fuck pages of people living 360 degrees when you could never bring yourself to bend a decent 90. Three months ago you were supposed to be free.
 
There is a particular kind of faggot that runs to the church. Self-hate, self-love, self-help. A pamphlet shipped free to your door in a red, white, and blue airmail envelop. Could you be Gay? No! It is not God’s Plan! Never trust feelings, trust fate, no, FAITH, read the fucking words on the page man, this little book is about to save your mother’s peace of mind. And stop saying fuck, or fucking, or fucked, or fucker, you’re a Christian now. You asked the Lord to take your soul in between two matches of World Cup Football, all legs crotches and butts in states of flex and unflex. Read the pamphlet, fool; Beckham isn’t bending it for you, that’s not God’s plan. Turn off the TV (good show going out early morning to shop for the adapter cable that unlocks the porn channels you’ve locked three times already). There is a program on your computer that sets off an alarm anytime porn pops up and then sends a warning by email to your brother in Christ. Read the pamphlet.
 
Think of all the men you think you want to sleep with.
 
Think of all the men you want to be.
 
Aren’t they the same people?
 
Come to think of it they kinda are. You don’t want to sleep with them so much as submerge inside them, flood their veins and nerves and grow a layer right underneath their layer of skin so you can feel what they feel, yearn for what they yearn for, and hurt when they hurt. Asshole virginity saved. You don’t want to do Michael Owen, you want to be Michael Owen. You don’t want to grab your friend’s crotch; you want to be the friend that has the crotch that makes church gay boys sing Hallelujah. There is a certain kind of faggot that goes to church. That’s him in the flower circle. On the wedding planning committee. On any committee where he’s the only man. The really committed choir leader. The one who said, I had a very nice evening in the lord. The one who says dance must be saved from the clutches of Satan, the one who listens to Rev. Donny McLurkin (saved from sin and spirit filled), and who writes poems ’bout the huge thundering storms and Jesus’ calm healing stream, which always made you think of a golden shower.
 
All the men you want to fuck are all the men you want to be.
 
Saved.
 
Never trust feelings, trust faith.
 
Saved.
 
But if you ask your accountability friend to come over make sure to say look, I’m doing some work for this company where I have to download some feminine hygiene graphics and this porn block won’t let me do it so can you disable it overnight so that I can do some work and get paid? Ignore that part where you remember that he is in his 20s too and he solved his problems by marrying early. And when he steps into your home office and climbs over books (bibles on top) make a huff and puff about the whole thing and act pretty pissed off because you know and he knows and they all know how much you struggle but even in the struggle we have faith, praise God.  And as soon as he leaves click blahblahblah.net and watch 20-second clips of Cuckoo for Cocoa Cocks all night with straight porn in between because at least there’s pussy and pussy means normal. Self-hate, self-love, self-helping yourself silly.  The friend in Christ comes to re-lock in the morning and you show him the ad you spent all night working on, Max Free maxi-pad leaves you fresh and confident. There is no product named Max Free.
 
Get yourself afraid / Get yourself alone / Get yourself contained / Get yourself control. You’ve built it again, a brand new library of sin in your study, the same library you demolished only a year ago. One thousand one hundred and twenty two CDs, too many encouraging battyman behavior. Smiths. There is a light that never goes out. Oscar Wilde is on my side. Gone. Foreskin 500. Sounds like White Zombie. I am planet fuck, planet fuck. Your friend says their video on MTV looks kinda gay. Gone. Patti Smith. The boy looked at Johnny, Johnny wanted to run, but the movie kept moving as planned. Gone. Culture club. Fucking gone. Pet Shop Boys. Go west. Gone. Nirvana. What more can I say, everyone is. Gone. Pearl Jam. They can stay. Smash the case, crack the disc. Place in double garbage bags and take outside. Act stupid when your friends say why didn’t you call me to take them? This is a fight for the soul of your crotch, they would never understand.
 
Call your accountability friend because it’s another night, another headline. I know, I seem to be the feminine product copywriting go-to guy. Watch clips from Basic Plumbing 1-4, Aim to Please 2 and Ranch Hands 7. Sunday morning in the brand new church with glass all around, you will confess all, throw yourself on the altar, let them lay hands on you, cry, wail, and feel newly washed of all sins. Nobody knows that from the time you were 16, you see two men fucking every time you close your eyes to pray.
 

Front page image by Elliott Brown.

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Marlon James

About the Author

Marlon James was born in Kingston, Jamaica in 1970. He is the winner of the 2015 Man Booker award for his third novel, A Brief History of Seven Killings. His first novel, John Crow's Devil (Akashic Books, 2005) was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the Commonwealth Writers Prize and was a New York Times Editors' Choice. The novel was published in the United Kingdom, Germany and Italy in 2008. His second novel, The Book of Night Women (Riverhead 2009), won the 2010 Dayton Literary Peace Prize and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, The NAACP Image Award, and The Minnesota Book Award, and was New York Magazine's third best book of the year. Marlon was Go On Girl! Book Club's 2012 Author of the year.
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