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It’s safe to say I was always a handsome man from a good Christian family and I was well respected in the community and people shook my hand and said graciously, “ Hi there, O’Brien! “ 

     My wife was a beautiful tall blonde of Icelandic ancestry and she thought of me each waking moment and without me she would surely die. 

     Always on my headstone would she put this:

Forever missed

Under watchful eyes  of God

Caring and passionate

Kept with our Lord

Over still waters he lies

Forever in our hearts

Forever in our minds

Maybe I’ll just make stuff up and convince you it’s true because my name is O’Brien and I’m everybody’s favourite castaway, cast out, growing old and fat, and blithering like a psychopath. 

     Seen as some crazy allegedly bi-sexual friendless village idiot with no hope and dissatisfied and chasing fat women half my age and not even they’ll have me.

     I’m losing teeth and they wobble in my head and I eek and ooh and ahh and grimace in the mirror trying to tear them out before a dentist gets to me and tells me, “ Looks like you’ve got gum disease. You’ll need antibiotics. “

     Fuckin’ spare me the talk, man, because I tell you now… I’ve heard it all before.

     My grandmother is laying in a bed somewhere with dementia and my mother is worried I’m a pissdrunk and I remember when I was a kid they’d spit on a tissue and try to wash away any grime I had on my face, barking at me, “ Stay still! You’re a mess! “ 

     They’d flatten my knotty hair down with a steel toothed comb and it pull my hair and scrape my scalp like a razor and they’d call me these cute little names like Joey Joe.

     “ Look in the mirror, Joey Joe, “ they’d say delightedly, smooshing my face into grotesque shapes with the pinching of their fingers. “ See? See how handsome you are now? “

     I’d see some weird looking little fat faced kid with blood vessels popping through his cheeks on the verge of angry tears. Then to make matters worse they’d shoehorn my oversized feet into hard leather shoes that didn’t fit and I’d have to go school like that and walk around like an oriental who’s the victim of foot binding. 

     The kids at school were bastards. I cut a fart in class once and they all thought I’d shit my pants and for weeks afterwards they’d sneak up behind me and try to sniff my backside and call me names like shitass.

     It’s funny, I guess, because their mock American accents reminds me now of how fuckin’ dumb they were. But we were just kids, you know? 

     And then it’s time to grow up.  

     Eventually I moved to the city and fell into using heroin and to keep myself supplied I made porn. I didn’t mean to become an actor or a junkie and thankfully I escaped getting AIDS and Hepatitis but I did walk away from it with three stars tattooed on my cock and a few poems I wrote when I was strung out. 

     Even today my uncle still doesn’t catch himself quick enough and calls me Pornstar. 

     So, yeah, my name’s O’Brien, and I’m in my forties now and my body is as it should be after the things I’ve done to it. I can slow it down from falling to pieces but I just can’t stop those pieces falling off.

     I’ll tell you about that tall Icelandic blonde, shall I? Well, she wasn’t tall and she wasn’t Icelandic nor blonde but she put on a good accent when we were filming. Her name was Mitchy Picolo. 

     I lost my virginity to her on camera when I was twenty-two. She’s how I got into the game. 

     We met at a smack dealer’s house and she thought I was something special and we went for a walk and she said, “ Sydney buses used to be blue, like your eyes. I like your hair. Are you cut or uncut? “

     “ Say what? “

     “ Are you circumsised? “

     “ Oh… I’m cut. Definitely cut, last time I checked. “

     “ Show me your cock. “

      So I showed her my cock and that’s what she fell in love with me, saying, “ That’s the prettiest dick I’ve ever seen in my life. Have you thought of getting work done to it? “

     “ Like what exactly? It’s not like it has an engine. “

     “ True, but you can add pinstripes. You should tattoo it. I know someone who can do that for you. “

     That’s how I got my cock tatts. 

     In those days I was thin and thin guys always look like they’re well hung.

Mitchy took me on a whirlwind romantic adventure of who was who on the local underground and there were all kinds. Hookers, no hopers, popes, taxi drivers so sick of the news they’d pull over and stop the clock and vomit from their cars and then light up a cigarette directly after. 

     I never told her I was a virgin but I wanted to fuck her so bad and we needed a fix that day and some degenerate she knew wanted to film us and we agreed and showered first.

     The guy filming us was named Derrick and he wanted to know when he saw my cock, “ Would you do gay? I pay well. “

     Mitchy signalled to me in a cut-throat fashion,  mouthing the words, “ No! No! “ 

     “ No, “ I said. 

     Derrick was devastated and had to sit down and I could tell he was acting and he brought up money and heroin trying to appeal to our problem and Mitchy kept shaking her head behind his back. 

     Good thing I never fell for it because some of the guys who filmed the gay scenes for him went in unprotected and died of AIDS. 

     When we started, Mitchy clicked on I’d never had sex before, and gone was the O’Brien she’d seen take on three guys the night before in the park while we trying to score drugs. 

      They’d tried to rip us off and I was screaming after punching one of them in the mouth, “ I’ll cut ya face off! I’ll batter ya head so bad they see in your autopsy where ya scar tissue meets ya skull!


Dude hit the ground and I went after his friends. I went kamikaze.

Anyhow, Derrick was filming us, and Mitchy was giving me head. Not sloppy and rushed but sensual and meaningful and apologetic for getting me into this. 

She tasted pre-cum and stopped and I went down on her for a while to repay the favour and her slit was still young and barely used and tasted like soap and sweat and nervousness. 

Her clitoris throbbed and squirmed and she held my head down on it and started riding my face with her hips. She pulled me to her and kissed my lips then, and whispered, “ No-one will ever be more important than you. “

I didn’t just fuck her, you know? I made love to her and she had the most beautiful little teardrop shaped dents on her lower back.

Mitchy Picolo died of a drug overdose at a stranger’s house about twenty years ago. She was found wedged beside their toilet and sink and was still warm. It was a bad house with too many cats there and kittens were crawling all over her. 

     Her and I never split up. We just drifted apart. She wanted to keep using it and I didn’t and I left Sydney and went home. I went cold turkey at my grandmother’s house.

     She saw my arms and knew I was sick and spoke to me about it and my mother turned up and saw the bruises on my arms and how thin I was and she thought nothing of it enough to get angry but said, “ Well…. That’ll teach you. Put in effort and quit or get out and don’t ever come back. I’ll hold you to it. The choice is yours. You look like you’ve been hit with a junkie stick.  “

     And that’s how I got off drugs. 

     At first I couldn’t take a shit at all and it’s all a myth. There’s no bone aching shakes and nightly screaming for months. All I got was a bit of self pity and the sweats and a few nightmares. After seven days it started to pass and by two weeks I was waking up in bed and stretching and yawning and I realised I was thinking of what song I’d I’d listen to while I had morning coffee. 

     My appetite picked up and then I couldn’t stop shitting. I was rushing to the toilet five times a day. That’s what a newborn baby does because the body is beginning to work and it needs to pass everything out and that’s part of recovery. 

     I got well.

     From that point until now I became a father and saw prisons and fuckers try to tell themselves, “ It takes a real man to raise a kid.  It takes a real man to own a gun. It takes a real man to own a home and a car.  “ 

     I think, Who cares, you piece of shit? You go way out on a limb for nothing. The truth is, it takes a real woman to simply settle down. To settle down with me. 

     At my age and all the fiction in between the lines of each written page there is a very special woman. She’s not the Mitchy Picolo I left behind. 

     She’s the woman who buys an old fashioned typewriter with me and we’ll write a book one paragraph each at a time. She won’t be a cigarette, cup of coffee, heroin hit, pornographic gamble, piece of pussy. She won’t be stuck in fantasy shrieking at me phony about why the buses change colour and to quit drinking alcohol. She’ll speak in a language I know and say it, “ I want to have a child and I’ll stay with you but if you get between me and my baby with you I’ll fucking beat you up, you old cunt!

     I’m not interested in the literary world! I’m interested in direction and not choking on sixes, man. 

     I’d tell her as she reached unthinking across me and close enough to kiss, “ The world is too full of sixes and evil and I just want to be stuck under a blanket with you. I’m tired of being some crazy allegedly bi-sexual friendless village idiot with no hope and dissatisfied and chasing fat women half my age. Can you ever forgive me? “

     She’ll wonder what I’m talking about but it won’t really matter because through tears eventually I’ll tell her about those days of my feet before shoehorned into shoes too small and being called shitass and she’ll shine in the morning when she gets up to breakfast already made and recognise who I really am when I tell her, “ The following story is pure fiction. I’m wading through a swamp right now and it’s a smelly place that’ll have us croak before  we reach the other side. “

     My friends make it clear: If you die I will fucking kill you! 

     Let's make love and make everything new and get stuck beneath a blanket.

For now I’m in front of the mirror in my tiny apartment and wobbling a tooth from my gums which smell of death and I eek and ahh and ooh and grimace and with a click and squelch a tooth comes loose and a spot of blood hits my shirt. 

     “ Got ya, “ I tell the tooth. 

My name is O’Brien. 

Bio: L Christopher Hennessy lives in Coffs Harbour NSW Australia. He has been published for poetry, articles, and stories the world over. He continually writes and still manages to keep a smile on his face. 


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