Jan 8... I Once Knew a Guy

I once knew a guy who got cancer of the asshole. Seems smokin' a butt form your butt is a bad thing. Damndest party favour I'd ever seen; mind you, it made me sick, and most people sick, the first time but it's like everything else: you see it enough and you either become desensitized or you understand the beauty behind it.

He'd waltz around the party grinning like the mad hatter at tea time knowing full well he was the centre of attention whether the fellow Movers & Shakers liked it or not. Funny thing was they were always his parties and still the people came; still the people laughed; still the faint of heart got sick. Nothing like seeing a grown man bend over to pick up a fallen beer nut or an empty bottle and see this Hairy white double-moon holding tight to an 8-inch imported Cuban Cigar.

"Nothing but the best for my ass and me," he was known to say when faced with the inevitable question: 'What's with the Cigar?'

 I'd tell you his name, but unfortunately his story has been sold to some Web series or something, so the lawyers are on the warpath.

I met him through a friend of a friend of an acquaintance whom my sister met on a trip to England- Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon and all that.

I remember when I was just new to this whole Anal Smoking business of his when I swear he could (all of this is true) inhale smoke through his rectum and exhale it through his mouth. Mind you it took several minutes for the carbon dioxide to make its journey through his many miles of ducting and the like to reach this throat. But, if you stayed and waited you would have seen that he didn't sneak a drag from another Stogie; it was very real, I know cuz I watched.

He'd been doing this trick since as long as he could remember, he'd said he was about 15 or so when he began to drink heavily.  Heavily to the point where memories were sketchy at best- he believed it was a short time after such that the trick came into play.

"My Mom was in early Porn, before it became the "IN" thing," he'd once said to me. "So I guess it was natural. A natural progression of myself coming to terms with who I am as a person; and I think I am better for it, too."

Seeing him after the Surgery and the Chemo and the whatever else that comes from having Cancer, was tough. He was on the third floor of my home town General Hospital; by no mere coincidence he had had a room to himself. I had bought him a couple skin mags and a box of Kleenex and I walked in. I didn't even recognize him. I knew this guy for coming on 8 years now and seen his act for a great majority of that and figured I could easily pick him out in a crowd yet I walked in and I almost turned back. Luckily in viewing the Metal Med. chart on the end of the bed I found the truth.

He lay there, defeated, nearly lifeless and deformed. I wanted to cry.

All those years of laughter and joy. All those years of Horror and revile. All those years of painstakingly Nairing the hair on his derriere to resemble the face of Jesus from the shroud of Turin. The whole point to his amazing feat; the punchline; the Showstopper- was gone.

On his stomach all I could make out was two gleaming white mounds of giggly human (not so special, at all) butt cheeks.

"Doc says," he began, when he noticed me staring in great awe at his Non-descript backside. "Doc says, I'll be fine"

"Good," I said

"Yes," he said, shifting his bald little head on his hospital issue non-abrasive pillow.

The silence was so unbearable it put Simon & Garfunkel to shame.

"You lost Jesus," I said, trying to make light of the situation.

"Yes," he said. "That was Bad News Number One."

"Mmmm, " I said.

 Silence again.

 "There's more?" I said.

 "Yes."

I looked inside his yes, past my reflection in them; past the cornea; past the Brown and saw a hurt man who brought so much joy and humour to the 90's party circuit as 'That Guy who Smokes out of his Ass' and I listened as a friend and admirer.

"Yes," he said, repeating it to himself like he wasn't sure if he had already. "Doc says: I gotta switch to Menthols."

James C.