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I HAD OUT-TROLLED MYSELF ONCE AGAIN. I wanted Trench Coat Mafia dick so I started putting out dating ads looking for adult players of Magic:The Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons—I was curious to see what would come from the net I had cast, and the answer would be standing in front of me sooner rather than later. I got a late-night text from a gentleman caller who said he was a ninth-level warlock and that he could teach me both the fantasy games and blow my back out. I got to his house and was literally so not prepared —like, I thought I was, but that fool was on his ninth-level warlock swag, SOOOO HARD. Before me stood a grown-ass man with surgically implanted fangs, a cape, red contact lenses, and an inverted pentagram tattoo on his forehead. The tattoo distracted from his gentle features; he really was a pretty guy, though he fucked in this ugly way. He asked me about my own inverted pentagram tattoo and I was like, “Oh, well, really I'm a Romantic Satanist—I believe in Satan as an allegory and as a literary vehicle and really his being a story of anarchy and patriarchal defiance—”
        “SILENCE, POSEUR!” he said, and advanced on me. Before I could realize that I had not fully consented to it I was naked with a belt around my neck and being choked to the gods—he made me repeat “FUCK GOD, HAIL SATAN!” over and over again; he also was like, “YOU ARE JUST A FAGGOT HOLE FOR SATAN'S SONS!” to which I rolled my eyes. If this was Satan's best sex warrior it stood to reason why Satanism in general was such a PR nightmare. His stroke game was at about 58 percent and considering how much plot was involved I still felt that instead of fucking him I should have just, like, eaten a cheeseburger or goofed around on the internet. He had a box of condoms with inverted-pentagram insignia on them because apparently Satanists have their own brand of condoms? Condoms by nature seemed like such a lawful thing—why would a thrall to the Dark Lord even bother? But I said nothing and let him fuck me despite my mild latex allergy. He came in like three minutes and then showed me how to play Magic:The Gathering as promised, and though I never fucked him again I still to this day meet him every other Wednesday to play the game.



to the sound of my English roommate getting fucked. His trade always comes in the morning and I can always spy them through the blinds of my window, jogging up our front steps.
       This trick in particular is an older Black man, looking to be in his late fifties. He is wearing brown polyester pants, a printed-satin fake-Louis Vuitton long-sleeve button-up, white snakeskin cowboy boots, and a matching white snakeskin cowboy hat. His hair is a shock of white afro smashed under his big-ass crown of a hat. He looks tall, like 6'2", has a gut but is otherwise muscular. He's hot and looks like he could make a bottom's dreams come true—you can tell his old ass has had a lot of practice.
       My roommate intrigues me. He is a conventionally attractive boy, he could, as the pecking order goes, be a lot more selective than he is—the diversity of his trade is virtually un-chartable. But no, he's a ho, like a real ho, like he will fuck virtually any man in the neighborhood who asks nicely; I have an undying respect for him because of that. If it weren't for the fact that 30 percent of his trade look like for-real serial killers I might even be jealous of him.
       I hear him getting fucked hard, bed squeaking and shit, and he's making these elevated, open-vowel sounds; he is having a good time.
       I, however, am furiously stroking my dick until I remember that I can't remember the last time I had fun having sex—this boner-killing thought, of course, kills my boner.
       I have not left the bed in three days. There is a handle of whiskey by my bed. I am not celebrating.
       The bed is beginning to smell but I am not bothered, I just open the window and turn on the ceiling fan. I love my bed because no one can hurt me here.
       The open window reminds me of that saying, “Where God closes a door, He opens a window,” but all I can think about is, like, But wait, the window is on the fifth floor and the house is on fire. To which the Almighty replies, “That's just some GOD humor—good luck!”
       I can hear my neighbor who hates me dig through our garbage; my landlord hired him to “look after the block.” He sweeps and collects the trash of everyone for virtually pennies on the dollar and has taken to referring to me as “that uppity Black faggot” to all the neighbors. When informed of this I simultaneously was ready to kill and also chuckled to myself; uppity Black faggot” —like, where was the lie?
       I came home early one morning on a shit ton of blow and hammering a grip of vodka—I saw him rifling through the garbage cans and I confronted him: “YOU. CALLED. ME. A. FAGGOT,” I screamed as I crouched to the pavement in tears, dropping and breaking my almost-full liter of vodka. He was so fucking uncomfortable that he apologized. His apology, as forced as it was, still felt good, but every time he comes in the yard I have this burning desire to put on a rainbow-flag cape, scarf, and matching socks (only) and jerk off furiously at him. I know this is a pipe dream—if I couldn't even bust a nut to the sounds of my roommate getting fucked, how was I supposed to get it up for that?
       Half of the handle of whiskey is gone and it's only 10:00 a.m. I try to piece together where the time went.
       At 8:00 a.m. my roommate's trick showed up; he left by 9:00. At 9:30 my asshole neighbor came and left, and fifteen minutes ago my roommate also left. I am finally all alone.
       I woke up at 7:00 a.m. from this nightmare I have where I'm riding in a car and take off my seat belt to pee in a bottle. The brakes slam, and I fly in slow motion through a windshield. One would hope that after crashing through a windshield in a nightmare that something poetic would happen, like you turn into a dove, or like that dove turns into Oprah and, like, takes you for ice cream or In-N-Out. This nightmare lacked poetry because all I remembered was waking up alarmed
       It felt like I was refusing my life; I was exhausted from the task of having to respond to stimuli. I had fucks left to give, of course, just not this week, and perhaps even the next. It was going to be a slow burn for sure.
       I had left the bed earlier that week and it ended in a fight. I went to the movies with my friend Mitch. We watched some French flick where two teenage boys beat the hell out of each other until the point where they mutually realize that they are “secretly” homosexual and in love.
       In this one scene, they lose their virginity to each other. The scene flashes to the next day and the two boys are cuddled up together in bed, their naked bodies kissed in sunbeams on pristine white sheets.
       Both boys were specimens—puberty is being very kind to them. They mutually boasted lean builds, no acne, and, judging from the clean white sheets still covering the bed, even their fucking colons were perfect too.
       The first time I got fucked I remembered the white sheets under me looking like a fucking murder scene, like someone had just slaughtered a cow.
       I made the mistake of telling my friend Mitch that I felt like whoever made that movie had done it just to fuck with me (yes, me specifically).
       Mitch, being the ever-understanding type, said that I was being (as he kindly put) a “fat, jaded WHORE!” and yes, I should be happy for these two fictional French supermodels who somehow (in rural France, no less) found a way to beat the odds and find each other. Was the entire fucking world trolling me?
       The last time I got laid, an older gentleman followed me home for seven blocks one night. I refused his advances outside the bar where he was waiting in his parked car. I stumbled home drunk and realized he had been following me. I went to confront him. As I walked to the car he removed his huge-ass old man dick from his pants and started jerking it at me and I immediately remembered how lonely I was. I let him fuck me in his car in an alleyway. He then requested that I dress in drag the next time we meet. I explained this all to Mitch. “This is the reason that movie makes me upset,” I said.
       Mitch told me to try meditation, and the mere mention of the word “meditate” sent me into a blind rage. I accused him of having rich parents and have not spoken to him since.
       My response to stimuli is getting slower and slower, and for good measure I pop half a bar of Xanax—it's hardly noon and already this day is overwhelming.
       I sit in bed waiting for the drop to hit me, that split second where you look up and realize that you are very, very sleepy. I sit, feeling chemically peaceful, and all the thoughts in my head are like cursive letters written in fountain-pen ink on fancy paper. The harder the drop hits the more the cursive letters begin to slur and melt off the page, ink running like someone had spilled water over it. I am out like a light.

to a vicious racket and someone is pushing and pulling me frantically in my sleep. I come to groggy as all hell and my vision is slightly blurred—I can hardly make out the time on my bedside clock: 2:13 a.m. I have been asleep for fourteen hours.
       I click my lamp on and it's my other roommate, Steven. I hate Steven because he is a flaming piece of human garbage. He has lived off unemployment for the past year and somehow manages to drink even more than I do. I'm sure at this point his mental state is even more corroded than mine. He has spent the last three and a half years threatening to kill himself over the unrequited love of some boy whose name I don't remember. There was a time when the unrequited-love boy lived in the house for a while and every night they would get into some form of fight and Steven would chase after the boy crying and yelling, running out into the street in his underwear and crouching on the outside sidewalk in tears until the English roommate or I would go collect him. He is a horrible white person and I wish death upon him—and it seems I might get my wish.
       I look down and notice that both of his wrists are slashed and dripping blood onto my vintage Hello Kitty rug. I am immediately caffeinated with hate and vengeance. I don't think he understands that that rug means more to me than his life. I have half a mind to go back to sleep and let his punk ass die but of course I'm all like,”OH MY GOD!!!!! BABY, ARE YOU OK?!”
       “I TRIED TO KILL MYSELF—CALL MY BOYFRIEND!!!” he says, half sobbing, half screaming.
       Even with this many stimuli I still manage a slow-motion eye roll at this bitch. Like, call your “boyfriend”? Really, bitch? Not, like, the hospital? Having been in bed all day and slightly amused by the fact that there is a person who has even more problems than I do, I get up to really inspect the situation. The slashes on his wrists are not deep—he just needs some attention. I make him some tea and wrap up his bandages and muster, in my best mammy voice: “Now, honey, are you sure you want me to call whatever the fuck his name is? He's only going to call the police on you and you 're going to spend the rest of the next day in the psych ward,” I say in a whisper, pouring the hot tea.
        “CALL. ERIC. NOW. GODDAMMIT!!!!” he screams, and throws the pot of tea across the room.
       I go and dial the boy, who in turn dials the cops, who in turn come and arrest my roommate after he gets violent with them. I go back to sleep and wake up with a series of messages from Steven decrying that “Eric had me arrested” and “we have to call the local news station and tell them I'm being unfairly held.”
       I sigh and hold my breath just long enough to notice the sun is up, and I hear the rustling of the trash outside. The neighbor is back, digging through our recycling, and I fight the urge to flash my dick at him. Instead, I pour myself a modest drink and turn on cartoons. This too shall pass, though I am not leaving the bed again today, and perhaps not tomorrow.

© Brontez Purnell 2021 

This online version of “Boyfriend #666 / The Satanist” and “This Day and Many More” appears in The Barcelona Review with kind permission of the publisher and author.  It appears in 100 Boyfriends by Brontez Purcell, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2021.

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