Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Pornstarfish

Before I lived in the Tiny Wet, I lived in the Big Wet.

In the Big Wet I had many friends, but here in the Tiny Wet I only have Debbie, Clarence, and Ryan Adams. I loved all my friends very much back then, but now I have to fit all that love into my only three friends. I don’t think it hurts them, but sometimes I worry that all the love will crack the walls around the Tiny Wet.

My name is Dick Daily and I am an aspiring porn star. And also a starfish.

My name isn’t really Dick. It’s Pervis. But if you want to make it in the porn industry, you have to hide your true identity and make up a new name so that supervillians can’t hurt your loved ones. Choose an alter ego and stick to it. That’s what I’ve learned. I still have a life as Pervis, but when I’m at work, I’m Dick Daily. My little flute voice goes deep and I strut around the Tiny Wet with my arms bent out in front of me because my imaginary biceps are too huge to just hang there. When I’m Dick, I act like a big tough guy, but I also try to be charming. Yesterday when I was Dick, I strutted over to Debbie, casually leaned against Castle Algae, and said, “Sup, gorgeous. Like my new barbed wire tattoo?” Debbie is an angelfish and she is, indeed, very pretty for a middle-aged female. She rolled here eyes at me and blew hot bubbles out the side of her mouth. “Not today Pervis,” she groaned. I bit my bottom lip and nodded to show her I was listening. “Alright boo,” I said. “I gotta be heading out anyway. But if you need a super deep dick-down, you know where to find me. I’d love to see that pretty mouth gargling my load.”

Debbie lifted her delicate, translucent fin and cracked me in the head with a pebble. “You’re a disgusting asshole!” she screamed. “Also, you don’t even have a dick!” I rubbed the side of my head and tried to regain focus. “You’re losing your mind and we all see it!” she shrieked. “So stop trying to fuck all of us and get a grip, you prick!” Across the Tiny Wet, Clarence and Ryan Adams were staring at us. If I were Pervis, I would run inside Castle Algae and sob in quiet solitude. But since I was Dick, I just grabbed between my legs and spit on the gravel. “S’all good,” I muttered before strutting over to the glass wall and sticking myself onto it.

I looked out over the living room and saw Hank, tucked deep into the couch and watching The Leftovers. As usual, the room was dark and the only daylight coming through was filtered through slits in the curtains. Hank was wearing a Sleigh Bells concert t-shirt and puffy white boxers pattered with red lipstick marks. His feet were resting on the coffee table, which was completely covered in Taco Bell wrappers and bags of Bugles. Every few seconds, Hank would pick up his phone and blankly stare at it before setting it back down. This was the normal scene since Lovey moved out.

“I don’t think you’re losing your mind,” said Clarence's little voice behind me. I peeled my face off the glass so I could look at him. He was floating just above the gravel and giving me a look of sweet sincerity. Clarence is a Hatchetfish and spends most of his time near the surface, so it always makes me feel special when he comes down to my level. He is my best friend and I give him most of my love. “You don’t?” I asked earnestly. “Of course not!” he said. “You just have big dreams. And if you want to be a porn star, then you should do everything you can to make that happen.” I felt my face get all fuzzy and rosy like a peach. “Come watch Hank with me,” I said patting the glass. Clarence swam over wordlessly and took his place beside me. Just then, Hank reached for his iPad and threw the Internet browser onto the TV. Clarence and I both gasped in unison because we knew what was about to happen. He pulled up SpankNet.com and my heart began to race. This was my favorite part of the day — the part where Hank watches porn.

When Lovey lived here, Hank would only watch porn once a day; like clockwork in the thirty minutes between his return home and hers. He’d toss down his keys, kick off his shoes, and sit in front of the TV with his iPad. Then, he’d go immediately to SpankNet and click the Amateur tab. Here, we would scroll through video samples and finally settle on something simple: a point-of-view blowjob or people banging in a moving van. Then, the movie would play until it got to the part where the human male expels sticky threads out of his terrestrial sea cucumber. From behind, I could see Hank’s shoulders tense up. Then he would shuffle over to the bathroom with his pants around his knees, do something, and flush the toilet. Minutes later, Lovey would walk through the door and they would resume their indoor life as a couple.

“Oh golly!” squeaked Clarence. “He’s going for the Bisexual Toy Play tab again!” I wasn’t particularly shocked by anything Hank was into anymore. When Lovey left, he started watching all kinds of weird stuff. Of course, I was the only one who noticed since I spend most of my time stuck to the wall of the Tiny Wet. When I told my friends what was going on, they acted disgusted. All four of us responded to Hank’s new behavior differently; the most extreme being Ruben who changed his name to Ryan Adams out of obsessive fandom for the singer whose music was now on a constant loop in the apartment. “His words cut through me like an oar through pond scum,” screamed Ruben one evening while we watched Hank slow dance with himself in the living room to When The Stars Go Blue. Ruben said he identified with the artist’s “bruised soul” and demanded we call him Ryan Adams from that moment forward. So we did. Well, all of us except Debbie who called it, “The dumbest fucking thing [she’d] ever heard.” A few weeks later, I announced that my new stage name was Dick Daily and Debbie refused to acknowledge that, too.

On the TV, people were having sex. Well, I think it was sex. Hank had selected a video from Bisexual Toy Play starring two attractive brunette gentlemen and a blond woman who wore underwear with a big plastic male cucumber hanging off the front. She was on her knees with the smaller man on all fours in front of her. He screamed in pain and looked at the other man for help. But the bigger man just sat on an ottoman pulling on his own, very large, cucumber. I peeled my head away to check on Clarence, who was biting his bottom lip and wincing every time the smaller man screamed. “Oh c’mon,” I said. “It’s not so bad. They’re having fun. See?” Clarence looked like he was about to throw up. “I have an idea,” I said in my low, tough guy Dick Daily voice. “How about we try some of these moves on one another. It’ll be good practice for me and it might help you stomach all the stuff Hank’s been watching.” Clarence looked relived. “Sure,” he said. “I’d be happy to, Dick!”

I don't know how much longer I will be here, but I am hopeful that my dreams of becoming Dick Daily, International Porn Starfish are not far away. But for now I will stay put, and I will perfect my craft, and I will love my friends.

Sometimes at nighttime in the Big Wet, I would look up at the fathoms between myself and the surface and I would feel very small.

I haven't felt that way since I came to the Tiny Wet.

Here, I feel huge.