one poem and one story by jordan castro

just thought ‘i wish everyone was a porn star’ while looking at a female i’ve seen at school infrequently since fifth grade

i haven’t masturbated in days

the chances of me ever actually pursuing an attractive female that doesn’t express interest in me first seem slim to none

at this point

the chances of me pursuing an attractive female in general seem slim to none

the illusions that used to excite me no longer excite me

because they no longer exist

i can’t talk to people

boring, inconsiderate

no, i don’t know

people are fine

if i can’t interact with them it’s because i don’t know how to

it is my fault that i feel alone

and if everyone were a porn star

i’m sure i’d wish the opposite
 The Girl In The Short Shorts With The Ass And The Legs is sitting next to me and I immediately regret smoking the cigarette I just smoked because she doesn’t seem like the type to fuck a smoker.
 I mean, I’m not a smoker.
 I only smoke sometimes.
 I don’t know.
 She doesn’t seem like the type to fuck a skinny white asshole either but that’s neither here nor there.
 Because I want her.
 I want her because she’s attractive to me.
 She says something about a movie she acted in then I say something about a movie I acted in, making sure I mention a semi-famous television actor I’m friends with because I’m fairly certain she’ll know who he is, and my penis, at this point, has deployed its troops on what’s left of my brain.

 The Girl In The Short Shorts With The Ass And The Legs sits up straighter, leans in to listen.
 “Who is he in the show?” she asks, giddy and glowing.
 I touch things on my phone then show her and the other girls in the room a Facebook photo of me with the semi-famous television actor.

 I look at the only other male in the room like I Don’t Know Dude and he looks at me like Whatever Bro and we both grin with a certain male knowledge that makes me feel good then immediately shitty and ashamed.
 “Mentioning the movie was good,” I think. “You said the right thing.  Good job.”
 It wasn’t what I wanted to say – ideally I wouldn’t have said anything – but it was The Right Thing To Say and there’s a difference.
 There is a difference between the things a person wants and the things a person gets.
 It’s devastating.

 I look at The Girl In The Short Shorts With The Ass And The Legs and imagine having sex with her.
 I briefly imagine putting my penis in her mouth, doing her from behind.
 I focus on the bath salts I ate earlier and how they seem to be affecting my ability to interact with others in a manner I enjoy.
 I think about my problems; about why I think the things I think and how I’m stupid.
 How everything’s stupid though, so I guess it’s ok.
 For now.
 Or something.
 I don’t know.

 A mildly obese Italian girl with a nose ring asks me for my phone number so she can “get the picture” I showed her earlier.
 “Just…find me on Facebook…” I say. “The picture is there…”
 I tell her my name, spelling my last.
 She says “ok” then asks me if I’m wearing a white suit in my profile picture.
 I say “Not a white suit… but like…”
 She walks toward me, bends slowly at the hips.
 I point to my Facebook page on her phone.
 Our outstretched arms touch for a moment.
 She walks back to the seat she was sitting in.
 I realize that she most likely wanted my phone number for other reasons than to ‘get the picture’ and it occurs to me that “Congratulations! You’re Completely Retarded!” should be my ring tone and the only thing that anybody says to me ever.
 I remember that I don’t know how to appropriately interact with other human beings and I feel like someone shot me in the leg.
 “Do you… you can… like… do you want my phone number?”
 Hushed laughter.
 The Mildly Obese Italian Girl With The Nose Ring forces a grin and says “No, it’s ok.”
 I hate myself for being so dumb then reassess the scenario based on the fact that I would hate it if she texted me and begin to feel less shitty.
 I imagine putting my penis in her mouth.
 It seems good.
 I feel anxious.
 I hear another girl say “down ass bitch” to another girl.
 The Second Another Girl says “yeah, that’s like, her thing, she says that all the time” in an excited tone of voice.
 The First Another Girl says “yeah, oh my god, we were both just like, ‘we’re down ass bitches’” in an excited tone of voice while laughing.
 I look at the First Another Girl.
 I imagine putting my penis in her mouth.
 It seems good.
 I don’t know.
 I think “down ass bitch” for a period of time then try to think about what I want and what I don’t want and why.
 I think “I feel like…I like…just…want…like…a down ass bitch…but like…not like…a certain…something…or something…like…I want to have sex with a down ass bitch after a party but I don’t want to ever think about them except for sex…or something…or like…I mean…like…I want to have a main girl who’s my down bitch but like…other down bitches for sex…like…different forms of down…god damn it…”
 I think “Why do I…how do I want that…how did I just…like…think that…like…but I think I actually want that…am I kidding? I don’t understand. I should just do what I want right? What do I want?”

 I think about my physical health, my relationship with Mallory, and other things in a rapid, involuntary seeming manner.
 “God damn it,” I think. “I hate this.”

 I look at the kid I grinned with and he looks at me like I Don’t Know, Man and I reciprocate the look while listening to the girls talk about a T.V. show I’ve never heard of.
 I feel like an excited autistic student in his first Normal Kid Class or a noon sun in a Midwestern city overlooking everything, thinking about nothing.
 Learning but not learning; interacting in a certain, inescapable context; perpetuating something because of something else because I have to.
 I don’t know.

 The kid I grinned with gets called into scheduling.
 The Girl In The Short Shorts With The Ass And The Legs sits with her right leg over her left.
 I want her.
 We talk for a period of time about nothing.
 The Facebook Girl, the two Another Girls and The Girl In The Short Shorts With The Ass And The Legs get called into the scheduling office.
 I sit looking at an obese Mexican girl and her mom.
 The Obese Mexican Girl says something to her mom in Spanish and the mom responds, making gestures with her hands that seem to indicate frustration.
 The Obese Mexican Girl says something, stands up then walks toward the bathroom.

 I close my eyes, relax.

Jordan Castro (b. 1992) is the author of if i really wanted to feel happy i’d feel happy already (Black Coffee Press, 2013) and YOUNG AMERICANS (Civil Coping Mechanisms, 2014). He is the co-author of Cute (Thumbscrews Press, 2011) and two other chapbooks. He is the author of Supercomputer (Deckfight Press, 2011) and two other ebooks. He is a contributor at Thought Catalog and has been “widely published” on the internet.