Wanted—Peloton Eternal Model. Must have a decade of fitness influencing experience. Must be willing to become one with the bike. Bonus points for being addicted to pornography and microwaved dinners.
10-hour Bukkake Climb Ride: 6,000 calories.
2-hour XXXtreme 60’s Gonzo Ride: 2,000 calories.
30-minute Money Shot Compilation Ride: 400 calories.
BDSM. Reverse cowgirl. Pegging. Pissing. Missionary cooldown. Reverse foreskin. Inverted nipple. Elderly. Impotence.
The bike had everything I needed.
3-hour Cuckholding HIIT ride: 1,500 calories and I cried at the end.
I never used the bike until I was made aware of the enhancement program. I never knew fitness could be so addicting, so fulfilling, so spiritual. Now my orgasms propelled my feet through another rotation toward total enlightenment and though I could never leave the bike to visit family and friends, the calories burned and pornography consumed euthanized inconsequential relationships with people who didn’t support my new lifestyle.
I didn’t need family when I had community. I didn’t need conversation when I had weight loss. I didn’t need hobbies when I had the bloodlust frenzy of holes being clogged and aimless forward momentum.
The leader board was always on, I was always climbing.
1-hour Solo Male Masturbation Sprint: 1,200 calories.
By enrolling in their patent pending eternally healthy program, I consented to their implementation experts breaking into my house, hastily applying a sizable Lululemon post-workout branded ether rag to my mouth and nose for fifteen to twenty minutes or until I stopped writhing, installing the bike and finally, using a soldering kit to permanently fuse my flesh to the carbon steel pedals of the Peloton bike.
I remember very little from the implementation process, but when I woke up slumped over on the bike, it was the happiest I’d ever been. Free from decision, immune from regression, stationary but propelling endlessly forward into the blue light.
2-hour Big Dick Little Holes Year of Yes Ride: 2,300 calories.
A lifetime of disappointment absolved by fitness, mistakes forgiven by a vague commitment to change.
They’d done me the favor of destroying every other piece of furniture in the house, taking a knife to the couch cushions and a hammer to the television set and killing my dog, whose corpse was unfortunately left behind. I made a note to leave an unfavorable review that I’d never write. The hordes of flies spawning from his rotting body were inconvenient but they gave my fitness routine a vintage primal feel that I dutifully curated to uninterested friends and family members still following me on social media. In moments of weakness, I would speak to the flies, gain inspiration from the hum of their shit-covered wings, allow them to drink the sweat from me and use their caress as a mechanism to remember what it was like to feel.
It was how our ancestors worked out.
Eventually, I realized their presence and embrace was depriving me of the focus I needed, so I applied adhesive to my skin and absorbed them, watching them struggle and die to the sound of another screaming orgasm.
I lifted for a climb and unhinged the hole in my custom Peloton bike pants, letting shit flow freely back into the seat which used the compost methane gas to cook my HUEL and gas station sex pill stew, which was served by an animatronic arm molded to the exact specifications of my deceased mom.
I could hear the gears of the arm turn and smell the burning macro-nutrient powder which also remedied my erectile dysfunction cooking in the stench of my own shit and before I knew it my mouth was watering. The arm lifted the spoon to my lips and gently pressed into my mouth, probing the spoon into various crevices and allowing me to suck on it thoroughly before pulling it out, circling my lips and retreating to the side of the organic cooking device it was attached to.
Nurturing me. Providing a sense of calm. Wellness.
Calories in. Calories out. Me burning the fuel and impregnating the room with more happiness.
45-minute Prostate Milking Ride: 1,000 calories
Slowly but surely the bike was architecting my ladder to heaven where I would rule alongside God over a dominion of spinning angels. We would be responsible for the great self-care reckoning the earth so badly needed. Those whose personality wasn’t dictated by heavily filtered and insufferably curated fitspiration would be eradicated, cleansed, and suffer eternal damnation.
Nonjudgement, open-minded, taboo-free, biblical wrath.
I took a selfie after my 15-minute Cream Pie Lunch Ride and it didn’t look quite right. I applied several filters in an effort to smother the irregular and abundant skin tags and bleeding lips, but something still wasn’t right. I smoothed my brittle hair over my scalp and felt several pieces shatter in my hands like uncooked spaghetti. I retrieved the Peloton branded electrical hair growth stimulator and fastened it to my head, turning the knob to “new scalp”, I could feel the machine chemically peeling what was there and sewing in a fresh batch of hair. I lost consciousness twice and when I came to I couldn’t see out of my right eye, but I had an unnaturally full head of hair and a 30-minute Prolapsed Male Anus ride was just kicking off.
I pose for another selfie and it still doesn’t look quite right. I unholstered my officially licensed Crossfit paring knife and carve a few slices of sagging flesh as though they were cantaloupe on an Edible Arrangement.
I stare into the LED ring light that adheres a perfect glow to my loose leaf paper skin and the missing teeth have provided enough contouring for me to capture the moment of complete, unbridled contentment.
1-hour Double Sided Dildo Sprint: 1,200 calories
Sexual awakening. Redemption for a life wasted until I became one with the bike.
I’m not doing this for me, I’m doing this for you. This light ring you see in my eyes is permanent. I am always on. I am always moving. Always climbing. Always bettering myself. Always mindful. Eternally inspiring people like you.
Wanted—Server farmer. Seeking someone who can grow and maintain a fully functional farm within the mechanical intestines of a basement server room. Preferably someone who thrives under fluorescent lighting and good at digging graves for loved ones.
His mom had given him the farm just like her grandma had given it to her. He didn’t remember a lot about his mom, since she died when he was 12 and that was 30 years ago. Now he tried to see her reflection in ripe tomatoes and feel her calloused hands in the soil. On a good day, her chestnut eyes would stare back at him through the red skin accompanied by her elegant, tight-lipped smile. On bad days, the fruit’s only function was nutrients, and it was impossible to be disappointed in its inability to replenish his fading memory. He left a plate of food every night on the porch and hoped that her spirit was dispersed amongst the birds that happily accepted his offering.
She loved the birds.
In his brief time with his mom, she taught him everything there was to know about the farm. Although some nuances were forgotten, he remembered that she was the strongest person he’d ever met. She had an unassuming wisdom and even on days where she toiled away at physical labor, she appeared deep in thought. They enjoyed iced tea together and read passages from the Bible. She would light a candle on special occasions for him to stay up past dark. She would tuck him in and tell him that she loved him more than any crop on the farm.
“Even the apples from the apple tree?” he would ask.
“Even the apples from the apple tree,” she would reply and tuck his long hair behind his ears.
They were the best tasting thing on the farm in his opinion and her affirmation always provided him relief. He would go to bed and dream about the day when he would be big enough to climb the ladder to pick the apples.
Two days after his 12th birthday he found his mom lying on the floor of her bedroom one morning. He knelt by her and gently shook her shoulder, unable to comprehend the vulnerability. She woke, slightly disoriented but maintained her composure for him. Even at that age, he knew when something wasn’t right. Days passed and neither one of them talked about the incident. He knew some about death, about sickness, and the afterlife from the Bible, but those stories were thousands of years old and about people that weren’t his mom. His mom chopped less wood and pulled fewer radishes. She would take extended breaks during the day where she would sit on the porch in her rocking chair and look out at their farm.
He quietly picked up where she couldn’t, hoping that his production would make her think she was still doing the same as she always did. She was too smart for that, but it was the only way he knew how to help and he didn’t want her to be ashamed of what she couldn’t do. Every radish or cucumber he could unearth was one less than his mom had to. It bought her one more minute of stillness in her rocking chair.
Finally, at dinner, he asked his mom why she was so tired all of the time.
“I’m dying,” she replied calmly. The directness of it somehow made her state more benign. There was no great dance, no elaboration or interpretation; it was the same objective demeanor she always had. Her refusal to emotionally deviate, even as her body was failing her, was something he would always remember.
“I don’t want you to die, Mom,” he replied, looking at his feet, as her eyes would have ruined him.
“Come with me,” she said, taking his hand and walking out onto the porch.
They walked slowly around the farm, taking breaks when they could. She had him hold the leaves from a grapevine, run his fingers across the handle of the axe, stick his hands into the soil, and take a bite out of a ripe tomato. Finally, she pointed to his chest, and he looked down at her finger.
“Every crop here, every bird, every jar of preserve, every drop of water from the well, and most importantly you, make it impossible to ever really die. When you harvest the farm, feed the birds, and drink the water, while your heart still beats, I beat with it,” she said.
A moment later he saw tears in her eyes for the first time in his life and cried with her. The arteries and veins of the farmhouse that would continue to pump memories through its irrigation couldn’t ever replace her presence, but it would do its best and he would do his best.
Weeks later, she couldn’t get out of bed. He waited on her relentlessly; her discomfort was his discomfort. He wore her suffering worse than she did. Every cough, every bead of sweat, every dying cell, he could feel in his lungs, on his forehead, in his body. He resented the chores he used to love because time doing them was time not with her. The apples that tasted so good were now bitter. He grew big enough to climb the ladder to pick them, but he no longer wanted to. A few weeks after that she could barely talk and so he sat in silence with her, his still vocal cords in solidarity with hers. One morning after the breakfast she didn’t eat, she put his hand on his as he was taking the food tray away. He looked at the uneaten fruit instead of her, their wholeness and vibrancy in stark contrast to her deteriorating frame, but she cleared her throat and he looked up.
“You must never leave the farm. Remember what I said, as this farm lives, I too live,” she said, tears welling in her eyes again.
The thought of leaving had never occurred to him until now, since he’d never ventured past the small white fence at the edge of the farm. He’d looked over it once or twice and witnessed enormous black structures that had an unsettling gloss. They were full of peculiar threads that reminded him of a diligently constructed bird’s nest. They shined brightly under the tubed lights above, and his mom explained that the towering rows of symmetrical boxes would poison him and the farm if he got close enough. They went on as far as he could see, eventually transitioning into total darkness. She told him that their unholy congregation would consume everything if given the chance.
He wondered if she had gotten too close, but didn’t ask.
“What if I can’t do this without you? What if all of the plants die?” he asked her, still holding her hand.
“If you shine bright enough, the plants will always grow,” she replied calmly and smiled.
Even with thin lips and a sunken face, her tone and cadence suggested she knew something he didn’t. Her confidence and strength were more apparent than ever, and she brightened the dark room even under the suffocating mountain of quilts. She was caring for him as much as he was for her, both offering what they could to alleviate their respective burdens. The next day after he found her unmoving with her eyes closed, he decided to let her sleep a bit longer before breakfast. Under the illusion of courtesy was an avoidance of finality. The longer he let her rest, the longer she was still alive.
Finally, around noon he walked her breakfast tray up the stairs and into her room, knowing that he would end up eating the food. The perfectly arranged bananas, the apples, the special biscuit he had baked and carefully spread her favorite preserve on would remorsefully end up in his stomach and he knew it. Though he realized the pointlessness of the arrangement and effort, he did it anyway, because she deserved it. The handles of the wooden tray provided him comfort and hope. The presence of the food suggested a will to eat and live, even though the stillness of the room eradicated that feeling immediately. He’d never seen a dead person before, but he did just like she told him. He talked to her for several minutes without response, touched her wrist, and didn’t feel a heartbeat. He put his ear up to her lips and didn’t feel breath. He set the tray by the side of her bed where it would remain for several years. He was never truly hungry again.
He wrapped her in several quilts and gently picked her body up from the bed. Her lightness broke his heart further, wishing there was more to lift. The easier she was to carry, the less of her there was left and so he cried. The higher he hoisted her, the lower he sunk into the wooden floorboards of her room. He walked her down the stairs, out onto their farm, and through the small trellis that was covered in thick ivy. He had dug the grave weeks ago by direction from his mother. It was immediately next to a small wooden cross with his grandmother’s name burned into the wood. At the head of the empty hole where he dug was a similar cross, with his mother’s name already burned into it.
He remembered smelling the burning wood one night and when he came to investigate, his mother was carefully crafting her chosen beacon of impermanence. He told her that he would do it, that she needed her energy, but she just laughed.
“I told your grandma the same thing,” she said and he laughed too, though he didn’t know why.
The pit itself wasn’t too deep, instead just deep enough. She didn’t want any additional energy wasted on something so frivolous as a grave, especially when there were ripe cucumbers to pick. No matter how ornate the tomb or how deep the hole, death was death and their memories didn’t live in the ornaments above the cold soil. She preferred simplicity like she did in all aspects of life and so he obliged.
He stepped into the rectangular hole holding the quilts and the body of his best friend, knelt to the ground, and laid her into the dirt. After brushing himself off, he stood there for a moment and considered peeling the quilt off to see her face once more. After several minutes, he decided he lacked the courage and began shoveling in dirt that was wet with his tears, filling the grave.
He spent the rest of the day on the porch in his mom’s favorite rocking chair. He understood why she loved it so much: The rhythmic sway was easy to get lost in. He looked at the plants on the farm and vowed to never let anything else die.
He would visit her modest grave next to his grandmother’s grave in the far corner of the pumpkin patch every couple months and tell them about each year’s harvest. Sometimes he would elaborate on the bounty, hoping that they weren’t worrying about him wherever they were. Sometimes he wanted to stay there longer, but he knew his mom wouldn’t have wanted that and so he toiled away at the farm.
She was right, since the farm did inherit her being in many ways. Sometimes picking a certain ear of corn would resurrect a perfect day spent together, or a sip of water from the well would remind him of the time they built a scarecrow and laughed for hours thinking that it could actually scare anything. He couldn’t pick and choose when the farm served these moments; he was just grateful it sometimes did. Every day without her, he seemed to lose more and more, so the memories deposited in these physical objects were a necessary part of her legacy to him.
Years passed as they did and eventually the physical objects began to fail. He didn’t blame them as their purpose was nourishment and convenience, not resuscitation. He remembered when he could and felt guilty when he couldn’t. All he knew was that he couldn’t let anything else die on that farm.
Every morning he woke up, drank his coffee, and read his copy of the Bible. It was the only book in the house. It was the only thing he did outside of farming. He remembered his mom had told him that those who lived simply were happier, that those with fewer purposes could give more to those that had. He didn’t know what qualified as a complex life, but if his life on their farm was considered simple, it suited him just fine.
“Morning, Mr. Henderson!” he called over the fence and waved to the only other human he’d ever known. Mr. Henderson was a quiet man much like his mom, but he waved back politely like he always did. The two barely spoke, but his presence comforted him. The small, daily wave was a gentle reminder of humanity even though the boy preferred solitude. He wondered how old Mr. Henderson was and feared the day he would lose him like he did his mom. A tomato only had room for one reflection and birds only had room for one spirit.
Later that day, he was out picking carrots by the fence at the end of the farm and found himself staring into the blackness. He looked at it for several minutes and wondered what his mom meant by poisoning him, by poisoning the farm. The 20-foot boxes were as shiny as ever and he had a sudden urge to run his fingers across their smooth skin. His fingers and hand subconsciously stretched out and he immediately withdrew them into his overalls.
Grabbing his carrots, he walked back to the house and sat at his mother’s grave. That day he didn’t talk about anything in particular but sitting there made him feel better. He grew to resent the carrots and what they symbolized. He rarely looked up from the task at hand when he was out by the fence, much like he couldn’t look at his mom in her final moments.
His dedication to the farm was incredible and seemingly unwavering. Decades passed and he was eventually tall enough to not need a ladder for the apple tree. He thought back on how badly he had wanted to climb that ladder. Now he could pick from it without assistance, but also without desire or wonder. Sometimes without obstacle, even the most cherished activity can be ruined. Sometimes the want outweighs the outcome and without that longing, something as beautiful as picking apples could be pulverized into a mundane chore overripe with resentment.
The farm itself was generating more produce than it ever had but he grew lonely under the shadows cast by the ever-growing crops. With every year, the crops grew more unfamiliar. Each generation of fruit or vegetable became further and further removed from the memory of his mom. Eventually, he could barely see her reflection at all.
The excess produce was becoming problematic as he never knew what his mom did with what they grew. Their pantry was full of preserves and the birds on the farm remained full. Some days he would spend more time disposing of rotten food than farming. The smell of rot would often keep him up at night as much as the stillness in the house. Sometimes he would lie by his mother’s grave and say Hail Mary’s in his head until he went to sleep.
On his 42nd birthday, he walked regrettably to the edge of the farm to water the carrots. His desire to fulfill his promise to his mom superseded his fear of the ominous structures. That promise transcended everything, providing him the luxury of neglecting whatever his own purpose was. This obsession made the farm bearable. The vague commitment he made all of those years ago left no space for self-reflection: He existed for a singular ambition. Unrelenting routine is a vital medicine in the war against mental or spiritual presence. It functions as an ointment to alleviate the itch without ever curing the disease. It stimulates slumbering souls into a state of marginal alertness, giving the illusion of a gratifying human experience. The perpetual fulfillment of mundane tasks masqueraded aimless production as personal growth.
To his relief, the watering can was already almost empty. The final drops pouring from the rusty spout represented freedom from the oppressive void that seemed to be growing in darkness if that were even possible. He shook the can several times and began walking back toward his house, but turned around at the suggestion of an unfamiliar sound. Although he didn’t want to, he found his eyes immediately plunged into the abyss, frantically searching for a deviation in the impossible black.
He found himself leaning against the fence, craning his neck past the white wooden pickets. As he continued to look, he heard the sound again, footsteps against the tile floors that surrounded their farm. Their echo pierced the pleasant hum of moistening soil. His hands began to bleed as they drove farther into the tops of the pickets, turning the once white fence red. The unexpected sound drilled through his temples as his mind spiraled.
“Mr. Henderson?” he called out. “Mr. Henderson, is that you?”
A bright light breached the darkness and shone directly into his eyes, which shrunk to the back of his skull, recoiling from the probing beam.
“Hey, you!” he heard.
“Stop, right there!”
“No sudden movements!”
“What the fuck is this?”
“Jesus, what is this place?”
“Do not run!”
But he was already running. He’d never met anyone outside of his mom and Mr. Henderson, but now three strange men had emerged from the darkness and were descending on the farm that he had given his entire life to. Birthed from the dark and eager to deprive him from remembering his mom, to break the promise he made to her. He got back to his house and immediately went to inform Mr. Henderson. He grabbed his suit coat and hung from it desperately, his sweaty hands failing to maintain their grip on the synthetic fabric.
“Mr. Henderson, what is happening?” he cried and turned around to see the three men approaching cautiously. Two of them were wearing blue uniforms and a third wearing a white coat stood slightly behind them. “Mr. Henderson, who are they?” he yelled, now on the ground clawing at the feet of the man he had barely spoken to for the entirety of his adult life. The neighbor stood as still as ever, refusing his pleas.
“What is he doing?”
“Don’t alarm him.”
“Get up slowly, sir.”
“Hands up and walk toward us. We’re not here to hurt you.”
He ran once more but knew that the sanctity of the farm was already destroyed, knowing that eventually the footsteps he heard behind him would offer him the same fate. Passing through the trellis, he collapsed by the branded cross and apologized to his mom. He’d done everything she taught him and it wasn’t enough. He cursed himself for not doing more. Why hadn’t he done more?
Although he would refuse to admit it, he often fantasized about the day when he grew older than his mom was when she passed and completed one final day of chores before dying in the same place she did. He confided this desire to Mr. Henderson once and hoped he would oblige in the funeral preparations. The man never acknowledged the confession and he took his silence as affirmation.
But there would be no final harvest.
He lay in a fetal position by his mother’s grave, sobbing uncontrollably at his failure. Crying at the prospect of not remembering. Weeping for his unrealized loneliness, at the betrayal he felt for the subconscious relief he experienced seeing someone other than Mr. Henderson. His fingers bored into the back of his skull, his hands bled into his long hair and dripped onto his face, entering his eyes and creating more tears. The sting was satisfying, as if the self-inflicted pain would be an adequate enough penance offering to neutralize his humiliation.
His mind collapsed as he felt a cold sting on his neck and then the abyss.
Through a dreamlike state he could hear voices and could feel his limp body being hastily dragged across the memories of his mom. The radishes, the pumpkins, the corn mourned his abandonment of the farm, and he wished he could tell them that it wasn’t his choice. He wished he could keep them alive even if he wasn’t.
“Who the hell is this guy?”
“This is the biggest server farm on the West Coast. How did he get in here unnoticed?”
“How did he get in? How was he growing those crops? There is no sunlight, no water, nothing.”
“I’ve never seen plants like those.”
“Who were the other bodies?”
“Investigation is pending.”
“How long do you suppose he was down there?”
“Security hasn’t been down here for years. It’s possible he’s lived his entire life down here.”
“It’s pretty likely.”
“That stump looked really human—Mr. Henderson was it?”
“He must have spent decades carving that into the neighbor he knew and loved.”
“We’re sending him to the psychiatric ward for tonight, until we can determine if he’s sane enough to stand trial.”
“Roger that, you kind of feel sorry for the bastard.”
He opened his eyes to a completely white room and felt a paper gown on his skin instead of the oversized overalls his mom had given him. He didn’t know where he was, but he knew it wasn’t his farm. The light was the same in the padded room, but there was no life, no growth. The cross was missing and so were the birds. He stood and approached the door that stood a few feet from him and pushed on the heavy steel without success. He tried to peer out of the window, but it was frosted over. He sat back down on the mattress that rested in the corner of the room and began to cry. He tried to think of his mom’s face and couldn’t, tried to feel her touch on his numb face but felt nothing. He tried to remember her favorite Bible passages, tried to remember carrying her down the stairs and burying her, but his mind remained absent.
He wandered around on the salted earth that filled his skull, picking up fistfuls of nutrient-deprived soil and letting them slip between his fingers. Days passed and no one came. His deteriorating memory was more painful than the cuts on his hands, more painful than anything he had ever experienced.
Eventually, he sat on the padded floor and pulled several strands of his hair from his head. He delicately folded them and placed them between the folds of the floor. Removing his bandages, he pulled out the stitches in his hand one by one, allowing the blood to flow freely down his cupped hands and into the fabric surrounding the hair. He took teardrops from his face and deposited them into the fabric as well.
After he was done, he lay in bed and slept for the first time in four days. When he woke, four sunflowers had risen from the places he had planted his hair. He approached them cautiously, feeling their petals between his fingers, letting the vibrant yellow wash over his face.
“If you shine bright enough, the plants will always grow,” he heard.
He looked around the room and there was no one, but in his head his mother’s face had never looked so distinct. He could see her picking apples for him. He could taste the iced tea they drank. He could hear her voice reading him one more story before he slept.
His farm was everywhere; she was everywhere.