is a gardener without thumbs. Every morning
he walks into his garden and says hello to the soil. He rakes at it
with four straightened fingers until a small hole forms, into which he plants
a glove with the thumb cut off. Then he
sweeps soil over the hole and drips a little water on top.
Every night before bed, the Tall Man goes into his garden to
say goodnight to the soil and wish it luck.
He really is a very good gardener, that Tall Man,
always dreaming of something
sprouting. A garden of thumbless selves, maybe.
Someone should love the Tall Man.
How much love he has imagined.
$10 — Available now from The Raven,
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+ an "Evan's Favorite" from the archives
How Do You Like to Consume Your Pornography by Divya Maniar
(originally published June 13, 2021)
- I like to watch it,
- at some level, I know this is odd,
- and that women do not sound this way, or at least that I
- am failing, somehow to elicit the reaction I want.
- I wish love was easier to come by,
- and by love I mean sex.
- I wish that I met someone in the laundry room,
- or if I got an entry level pizza-delivery job, I had always
- thought that one thing would lead to another. But I
- do not do my own laundry. Nor do I WANT a
- pizza delivery-job.
- Too much work. Even
- in bed, though when I stick my hand down there,
- in her YOU-KNOW-WHAT,
- there is no excitement at all. Am I THAT BAD? Well.
- Someone told me to look it up once. To see if I can do better.
- Too much work. I suppose I
- will lay here, knowing what I want is too much
- to ask for, and hoping that,
- one day,
- I, through no effort of my own,
- will hear from a human mouth
- what I hear in my headphones on
- lonely evenings. (Upsetting!)
- I like to watch it, ethically,
- because I am a thinking man,
- because I will share infographics about how important
- it is to RESPECT women, the way I do. I should like to present
- myself as the exemplar, and by the way I am also
- POLYAMOROUS, I think. Or at least I tell
- her this, so that it looks more normal when
- I ask for a THREESOME, and tell her to bring
- her best friend.
- I like to read it in a BOOK or on a WEBSITE,
- and spend my time wondering what went wrong.
- I would describe my first kiss as “squishy,” and my
- first time as “mostly painful.”
- I have sought romance at the club,
- and I have been SURPRISED by how much of
- “ “ R E A L S E X ” ” has been more sweaty
- and odorous than anything else. Not
- ELECTRIFYING in the slightest. Not even
- fantasy remains to me
- in my loneliness. No more aching with
- lust. No more dreaming! Nothing in me has
- throbbed or quivered or moaned or screamed.
- My loins are quite still, quite cold, and I have
- a yeast infection.
- I like to receive it on my PHONE, as a text message,
- I achieved this because I am attractive, probably.
- Know that I am either very trustworthy, or not quite as trustworthy as you think.
- We may get married, or at least last quite a while.
- But that is not so likely. What is more likely is that I
- BAMBOOZLED you into sharing an intimate moment
- with me, Apple, and the Facebook Corporation.
- I like to receive it on my PHONE, as a Snapchat.
- My name is something like David. I have not one but two
- BASEBALL caps. I never had the COURAGE to
- learn to surf. I am twenty-four and still have this APP
- because I think NUDES, like the waves, should
- be ephemeral.
- Add me.
- I like to have prints of FILM PHOTOGRAPHS that I DEVELOPED MYSELF.
- I will ruin your life, but I will do so with
- panache. I have my own sourdough starter,
- and I will scrutinize your INTELLECT at home tonight
- with the photos I took of your BOOKSHELF while you showered. I would
- describe my life as “ Sisyphean ”and am In The Market for a
- PERSON to be a BALM to my SORROWS, which are
- plenty. I guess what I am saying is, well.
- Never mind.
- You probably wouldn’t get it.
- I never! consume pornography. No. Never. Not at all.
- Unlike the rest of you saddos, I live in the moment.
- I yearn for the old days,
- the good old days before the “media” and the “porn
- industrial complex.” I live off the grid, and
- attend yoga classes taught by white women. Nothing
- like seeing downward dog
- in real life. Ah, yes.
- That’s the stuff.
- I literally EAT it
- please do not ask