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The Exquisite Corpse - A Journal of Letters and Life
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The Making and Unmaking of Person

Dirk the Lech
by Pete Sniegowski

From Losers: A Collection of Short Stories

Admitted depravity is one thing, the other is pathos, sweet and true as honey.

He liked the idea of lechery, the whole idea of it. I suppose we all have our own definition of lechery. Dirk's head was full of Sci-Fi comic book heroines with giant breasts and tear-drop asses. It was also full of far too much live KISS footage and Bad Company songs.
      But it went well beyond that.
      He wrote on his pants--spasmodic phrases--things like, BROWN, PETRIFIED RAGE!!, REMEMBER THE ORANGE GLOW!!, FURIOUS SPHOOG TUNES!!
      I saw him last Tuesday, patching his canoe in the front yard. He'd smeared grass clippings into the resin by accident. The fiberglass wasn't staying down. It went wherever his trowel (a stick) went.
      And he was saying to me, "When I get older I'll be one of those guys on the front porch yelling at kids and hooting at the chicks going by."
      "Leaning forward on your cane."
      "With shit in your diaper."
      "Hey!" he said with mock ferocity. "Leave my dreams alone." Resin-impregnated fiberglass strands wafted against his leg.
      "Dreams like the Norsky whore?"
      "She wasn't a whore!"
      But I could see that she was. In a non-violent way, Dirk considered all women to be saucy little hookers of one type or another. The ones who denied it were simply frigid, saucy little hookers, who lied to themselves, and everybody else.
      Usually, listening to other guys talk about sexual exploits turns my stomach slowly. Not to be prudish or anything, because I don't give a damn what they do to each other as long as there's consent and I'm not a part of it. It's just that Dirk's eyes would bulge, and he'd get this weird tick where he'd stretch his neck and look at you like a fish in a fist when he really got going on the topic of a woman's ass.
      Which comes back to the story of the Norsky Whore, who is, technically, not a whore. If I remember it right, she spoke four languages and, according to Dirk, had one beatific ass.
      Anyway, Dirk was on his way to Eastern Europe, via Amsterdam. After the airport, at the train station, he stowed his ever precious, life encompassing duffle in a locker. Within one day Dirk would turn 30. He had some half-psychotic notion that he needed to "fuck a whore" before he turned 30, because after he turned 30 he had vowed to become the son that his mother always wanted, not the irresponsible megalomaniac that he was. And fucking a whore on the day before his 30th birthday was going be the gateway of sin through which he would pass as he cleansed himself, in Amsterdam. Europe's own sin city.
      It seems that Dirk had reached a cross roads. And as usual, he followed the road of the misguided, mildly evil miscreant. He rationalized his plan with the knowledge that Kerouac would on occasion seek out a prostitute, which, according to Dirk, meant that he was in good company.
      Back to Dirk loading his duffle into a train station locker--I will give him this: Dirk was pure enough of character to know that he was a loser, simple and straight forward. Not only that, but he hated himself for it and simultaneously loved every minute of the entire, explosively hilarious paradox.
      I'll grant you he's twisted. But it's as true a twist as you'll ever see.
      Anyway, enough lionizing the loser. In scuffed, clownish boots and torn, written on clothes he headed off to a "coffee shop" to smoke some coffee. But Dirk forgot something about himself--he's a tight-wad mother fucker. And he blew a fair amount on "coffee." Which left him with only 15 bucks in his pocket (he didn't even consider trying to get more cash as this trip was "budgeted"). After ogling ass all over the street for an hour, he finally honed in on one woman in particular. Although this was not part of the story as he related it, I imagine his neck was stretched to full extension as he gaped at her boobs from the back corner of his left eye and offered her the fifteen bucks hoping she'd suck him off cut rate. No deal.
      Now things began to look grim--it seemed Dirk would not get to "bang his strumpet" before he turned thirty. Having set this goal for himself, and seeing it so clearly as the only way to go, he faced the stark reality of his loserdom. To fail in this matter would be bad for his future. The ramifications of failure would reverberate throughout the rest of his life.
      But he was a loser anyway, so he turned and followed the flow (which quickly became a line) of stoop-shouldered chicken chokers into a large grey building with girls dancing in the windows. As he and his horny, frog-eyed compatriots shuffled through dank, sound-dampened corridors, young women (possibly girls) reached out to them, beckoned them. Dirk shuffled faster.
      Somewhere along the line there he decided that all he really wanted to do was drool over some hot stripper while he smacked his monkey against a pole. Which was all he could afford, anyway. It was a resolution of sorts.
      He found his booth. You know what it smelled like, and if you don't so much the better for you. There wasn't much room. Over in the corner sat a chair with a small table by it. On the table sat a box of tissues, under it, a wastebasket. He turned to the control panel on the wall and saw that there were names next to buttons: Jackie, Lola, Sophia, etc... You get the picture.
      Now, Dirk was never big on doing things the way they were supposed to be done, nor was he big on patience. So, he had a look at the instructions, decided they were far too complicated and dumped a few guilder into the machine. He paused and pressed Lola because Jackie sounded a bit dikey to him and Sophia reminded him of Sophia Loren. He did not want to see Sophia Loren naked.
      Most of us might wait for at least a minute before we proceeded with further measures. After all, you're 3,000 miles from home, in a foreign country, wedged into a cum stained porno booth. You don't know how things operate in this neck of the woods. So you wait.
      Not Dirk. He says he waited a while, and, in his manic state, I expect it seemed like that at the time. I figure he waited about ten to fifteen seconds. Whereupon he pressed another button and held it for a second. Again, there was no immediate gratification. So he dumped all his money into the machine and spread his hand across all the buttons, pushing them all two or three times.
      Within moments a displeased looking woman in a loose robe walked into the room on the other side of the glass from Dirk. I won't subject you to the lascivious details as they were related to me. Suffice to say that he didn't look her in the face for quite some time.
      The stripper tried three or four different languages. Possibly because Dirk always looks like a refugee, possibly just to humble him. Either way, you gotta like it. Finally, she landed on English and demanded, "Have you ever done this before?"
      And here comes Dirk's second big mistake. "Yeah. Sure," he said. He earned no points with that response. Instead he gave the impression of arrogance hiding ignorance. Which doesn't get you anywhere with a stripper who's behind an inch of Plexiglas.
      The woman tried to explain to Dirk where to put the money and how much one thing or another cost. "You want full nude show--so much. You want masturbation--so much," and so on. Dirk wasn't paying attention. He was watching her robe fall open ever so slightly as she made her explanations--his neck stretched and twitching the whole time. He looked up at her through a haze of testosterone.
      "I put all my money in the machine." He pointed to the lit up buttons.
      The woman began to lose patience.
      Dirk pressed on. "I put fifteen guilder in, which entitles me to a pussy show."
      From there it broke into full argument. She wasn't budging and Dirk was about to lose it. Within seconds he would lose the rest of his money and get nothing, no whore to fuck before he turned 30, no pussy show, nothing. He could not face the wretched truth of it all. He argued like a fanatic.
      "I paid fifteen guilder to that machine. Look, right on the front there--it says fifteen guilder. Now lets have a show! Goddamnit!"
      That was all the woman needed to hear. She stood up straight, pulled her robe tight and left.
      Dirk remained in the booth for a second, then it came to him: pure failure--simple, mammoth and flat.
      He fled the scene quickly, which really should be the end of the story, but this is Dirk, so let's continue. He gets back to the train station and sees that his locker is open and everything is gone. He freaks. He makes his distress audible.
      "Oh! Oh! Oh! All my shit!"
      People begin to stare. He ignores them and tears off looking for the attendant. He finds the attendant talking to some older, quiet folks. No time for that.
      "Some mother fucker stole my shit!" He blurted. "I went... I was gone for a while and now my shit is gone! Some son-of-a-bitch..." He dragged the attendant to his locker.
      "You are sure this is your locker?" The attendant asked.
      "Of course it's my fucking locker! I'm not fucking stupid."
      It wasn't his locker. His was the next one to the right. After that Dirk got on the train for Eastern Europe and turned thirty the next day.
      He's still out there, victimizing the unsuspecting. Once, on a bleak stretch of I-80 in southern Wyoming I tried to kill him in my pick-up truck--ready and willing to sacrifice my truck and my own life if necessary. Anything to get the job done. Totaled the truck, but we both walked away with little loss of blood. No luck.
      Two days later he was found screaming at a seven-year-old girl who had allowed her pet bunny to get into his yard. He told her she didn't deserve a bunny if she couldn't control it. The girl was mildly retarded. She wouldn't stop crying for three days. When the mother came over later that day to exact an apology from Dirk, he refused. When things became heated, he screamed at the girl again, and in all likelihood caused permanent damage to her psyche. He hasn't apologized to this day.
      Last I heard, he fell for some girl in her late teens. They both decided that she didn't need the medicine the psychiatrists had prescribed and headed West in a dusty green '73 Fury station wagon. 




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