What I Want
Personally speaking, I don't really want much of anything. I know that sounds pretentious, but I never really wanted much. When I was a kid my father would bring home dog turds he found on the streets during his business trips, and I usually gave mine to friends who seemed to want them more than I did. For years I collected used prophylactics. I sold many of them, mostly to pay off outstanding debts to comic book stores, but I still have a lot of used prophylactics, because I smell them a lot and consider used prophylactics to be the closest thing to any kind of representation of myself. Before I moved to Paris I gave away my old Chrysler, my television, my collection of semen samples, many jars of urine and vomit, all my stolen underwear, including unwashed panties and jockey shorts from the 1940s, all my photos I had secretly taken of my parents having sex, and other things too numerous to remember. I don't miss any of it. The problem with not wanting anything is that people don't really let you get away with it. Wanting things is the ultimate human ambition, and it really starts to get serious with anal sex.
To have anal sex, even a quickie with someone from a new encounter in the men's room, brings you into an exchange with that person's stuff, their psychological baggage as well as their butt and their underwear. When sex evolves into a relationship you are drawn into joint projects and long weeks of impotence. Projects can be anything, in any order, on any basis, from sharing a taste in pornography, to masturbating while looking at pictures of young children, to accommodating habits, to running your fingers into a baby's diapers and letting your partner lick them. Acquisitions involve every domestic appurtenance, without exception. Relationships also bring up the issue of failure and, therefore, the philosophical problem of Being a loser versus Becoming one of who you are in the Play With Thyself sense versus the what you or your relationship partner might want you to Do to Their Rear End sense, be that with vaseline, grape jelly, a banana, or your tongue. Partners usually want their mates to increase something, generally related to their genitals, but not something necessarily related to every aspect of their relationship, such as agreeing on the amount of sex with dogs permissible outside the relationship.
I've been accused, mostly behind my back, of having an overly small penis. That may be true, but the experience of such things can be subjective. The problem is, you can't always do things that work out in exact, or even increasing, exchange ratios with who you are, your personal circumstances, or what you want to become. Sometimes the things you do, like teaching or giving blowjobs in the alleys, say, aren't so rewarding financially. Which reminds me of the joke: What do you call a male prostitute who just lost his boyfriend? Homeless. (The problem with that joke is that it becomes a philosophical problem for me personally.) [. . .]
An extract from the new book Purple Years (Onestar Press) by Jeff Rian, art critic and longtime collaborator to Purple. The book is a collection of his most brillant texts, many from Purple, Purple Journal and Purple Fashion between 1998 and 2004.