Raw: Utopia by JCD Kerwin

Utopia isn’t Jessica and Arby pornofiction–which is probably for the best–but writer JCD Kerwin is very much our sort of people. Enjoy.


Utopia | JCD Kerwin

I don’t save the flies when they fall into the near-empty liquor bottles. In morbid fascination I watch their tiny wings beat pathetically in the sweet fire nectar, like I’m watching a slow-motion car crash. Someone’s head rolls majestically over the steering wheel. A leg dances almost ballet-like among crumpled engine parts. I’m entertained by my own disgusting, human apathy.

I turn from the smoke coming from the corner of my mouth. My gaze rolls to the familiar black-yellow holes in my arm. Like tiny anthills. You’re not dead yet. The opposite of dead is pain, I think.

“Not dead yet, fucker,” I say to a fly and shake the whole damn Jack Daniels bottle. I watch the stale liquid hurricane back to tranquility. The tiny body fades in its wake.

At least one of us is free.I slam the cigarette into the ashtray beside me, unfold myself from sticky sheets, and move hot feet to the bathroom. I roll my head to stare at the yellowed ceiling and I piss alcohol. The dank bathroom reflects back dirty tile in-between the grey-light, white-light flickers. The tap runs. Slasher movies start this way. My eyes instinctively move to the corners. Where’s the schizophrenic psychopath about to go on a rampage? I zip, look in the mirror. There he is.

The skeleton-about-to-run-a-marathon gawks at me. I stab a finger at him. “Go to Hell,” I say.

It’s five a.m. on a Saturday. I should be stupidly trying to make some girl leave. But a few short hours ago, I had offended the pretty pair of legs I was with when I bravely suggested we “go back to my place.” She “wasn’t that type of girl.” Well, I’m not that type of guy, but she was the one wearing fish nets and a skirt so high I could see her ass.

Lisa never wore fishnets.

I fall back onto a sweat-soaked pillow and watch the ceiling fan like it’s a lazy pinwheel. It takes a while before I blink. I try to count my eyelashes and think of hers.

My eardrums are still an orgy mix of screaming punk. When we went to clubs, Lisa wore black dresses because I asked. Underneath she wore this red lingerie number. I pretended to like it. All the straps made her feel sexy, she said. Trying to get it off her made me feel like Houdini.

I feel the mountains of my ribs and the thin skin of the valleys between. I sit up; I want to find utopia. I eye the needle and head to the table. Hedonistic fire rips through my veins and my heart beats in-time with the kitchen clock. The shadows fight the street lights reflecting on the walls.

I wait for another me to come screaming from the plaster to grab my head and pull me into wood and concrete. Nothing comes. Nothing ever does. I fall back, let my limbs melt into the rug, and try to meet her in my utopia. I want to find her.

“Run away,” I say as I open my eyes. She once told me I run away. She told me I run into a world that will never be true. She told me she couldn’t do it anymore…

I turn my head to the door and see a memory. She frowns, picks up her suitcase. I don’t remember if she is crying. I think she is. I don’t remember what she wears. Maybe black. No, that’s just what I want it to be.

It’s dark. Cooler. Involuntary muscles stand me in front of the window and the rain. I don’t remember it raining. She liked the rain. My heart pounds too hard. I hope it’s her but I know it’s not.

I need to shave.

I stand in front of the mirror; my skeleton stares back. I let the water run. I do not know what I should be seeing. I do not know what I should be feeling. I can’t feel anything unless I’m floating, lifeless, beneath this reality. My gaze rolls and I think I hear her voice. But I can’t really hear her while I’m here.

I think of the fly.

I tap the handle against the basin. I set my jaw, crack the plastic, and before I know it, I am holding the razor blade.

My utopia, I think. I stare at my skeleton.


JCD Kerwin writes poetry and fiction out of a city in New York. Their work has been published in Drunk Monkeys, Zouch, and other publications. They prefer a proper Old Fashioned, a pen that doesn’t run out of ink, and sacred anonymity. They also enjoy making pompous grammarians mad by using the singular “they.”

Visit http://jcdkerwin.com for more.


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