Friday, April 6, 2012

Peak Oil

BY Jon Konrath

“Wanna fuck me in the ass with the gas nozzle for a dollar?” I ignored the man, tried to fill the tank on my little Toyota crapbox. “Spare change, dollar bills, whatever you got,” he said. “I’ve got a credit card reader for my iPhone, I can scan your Visa or Mastercard.” He reeked of piss, and looked like an out-of -shape defensive tackle ten years past his prime, someone who had taken too many direct blows to the head. I could tell from his eyes he was bent hard on something, maybe angel dust or paint fumes.
“Sorry man, I don’t speak any English,” I said. I wondered how long it would take me to unholster the 10mm Glock, take off the safety, and unload fifteen rounds in his direction. Probably not the smartest thing to do while pumping gas.
The hobo wandered off to his next mark, and I watched the LCD numbers throttle upward at a stunning rate. With my 400-mile commute, I assumed the position six or seven times a week. It always reminded me of this guy Sammy I knew in college, a freshman dorm neighbor who majored in business law when he wasn’t endlessly fucking with his Sega Genesis.
Sammy got off on pumping gas, literally. His parents were oil tycoons, or maybe mid-level managers at some huge multinational energy company. They must have fucked while watching ANWR drilling videos when Sammy was in utero, burned in some subliminal programming that got his wires crossed. Decades later, Sammy couldn’t refill his beaten Pontiac without getting a hard-on. I thought it was the fumes, but he’d spend his free time scouring the internet, looking for clip-art images of women at service stations. He’d jerk off ten, twelve times a day to videos he found on EPA emissions sites. One time, I went to his room to borrow a bong, and he had his TV hooked to a laptop, a freeze-framed image of a gas pump nozzle with a bright green rubberized plastic handle on the big screen. “Husky V, top of the line,” he said, rubbing his crotch through his stained jeans. “Vapor recovery, vacuum assist, auto shutoff lever, Safe-T-Breaks connectors and double hose swivels. Doesn’t that just make your dick hard?” I didn’t have the heart to tell him no.
Sammy flirted with videos and jpegs, and even bought a vintage Phillips 66 pump for his dorm room, but eventually graduated to the real thing, parking in front of the local Arco, masturbating furiously as people filled up on the budget-rate fuel. He’d watch customers shove their debit cards into the payment machines at each island and stroke his cock until it chafed, lusting over the long, veiny hoses leading from pump to tank, jetting gold streams of filtered Texas tea into the waiting, thirsty orifices of their vehicles. When the local cops busted him on a trumped-up vagrancy charge, he bought a used RV, just so he could spend hours filling the massive 36-gallon tank with his parental fuel card.
I ran into him a few years after graduation in a Denny’s parking lot, and we caught up while I ate a Cardiac Arrest Slam from a to-go container and he applied generic neosporin to his junk to cool the massive chafing. After he flunked out of school, his parents sent him to some outback Jesus rehab concentration camp in Arkansas or Idaho, one of those states where they look the other way when you taser and waterboard kids addicted to video games in the name of the Lord for profit. He escaped, rebounded, and now sold low-grade meth from his ancient RV, beating his choad at truck stops with 24-hour high-volume pumps. He tried to explain the fetish to me. “You know those facial videos, where dudes come on women’s faces? It’s similar, that visual transfer of forbidden fluids, a liquid that gives life, that’s fought over and which we will spend all of our earthly money pursuing.”
“I thought it was just a dominance thing, degrading women,” I said.
“What’s more degrading than burning through thousands of gallons of premium gasoline just to drive around this giant shitbox with a kitchen and a half bath inside? If I wanted to be politically correct, I could go buy a Prius, just like those guys could be responsible and jerk off in a hanky or wear a condom instead of blowing a load in a chick’s eyes. Same difference, right?”
I never saw Sammy again, but heard about his untimely end. When the massive 8.9-liter engine wasn’t burning petroleum fast enough to match his addiction, he installed dump valves to jettison gas between stops and run the tank dry faster. On a Fourth of July weekend, he drove down a back alley, pulling loose the valves to ejaculate his 92-octane load behind him. But some kids were playing with firecrackers in the road, and a loose sparkler wire hit the plumes of Chevron, enveloping the passenger compartment. All of the fume-soaked jizz rags in the back lit the class A Fleetwood like a funeral pyre. He lived for a few weeks, fourth-degree burns over most of his body, trapped in a hospital hell with no access to refueling paraphernalia, let alone the ability to jerk what was left of his penis with the remaining stumps of his hands.
The lever clicked, the ten-gallon tank of my econobox topped off. I didn’t even feel the slightest increase in blood flow in my nether regions: it did nothing for me, aside from the frustration of dumping another fifty bucks at my daily commute torture. I holstered the nozzle, affixed the gas cap, and went inside the AM/PM to check out the beef jerky situation, hoping I didn’t run into the whacked drug addict offering cut-rate sodomy to random passers-by.
  BIO: Jon Konrath is an absurdist writer from Oakland, California. He has written seven books, including Rumored to Exist, The Earworm Inception, and Fistful of Pizza. He's also editor-in-chief at Paragraph Line Books. When he's not trying to buy used medical equipment on eBay, he can be found at

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