M O L D

I sat silent, slathered in semen, in the mold-filled trunk of a car. I was sweaty and spent. Warmed from motion and Texas winter heat. My nose itched and I felt like snoozing longer. There was little reason to get up. To emerge from my hidey-hole. These feelings came at the end of my every morning routine. Wake late in the trunk. Jack off to completion.

Wake.

Jack.

Repeat.

I didn’t yet know I was sleeping on mold yet saw fit to shoot spores across my belly. Dead dick seed. Snot and cum rags commingled in this dark, dank environment. This four wheeled contraption I saw fit to call home. I liked it in there. In the dark. A warm hole.

I was living in my car once more, this time the nice new one I picked up in Minneapolis. One night in that city I opened the trunk to look for kit to inflate a failing tire. The earth around me shot snow and sleet. These substances poured into my trunk, the little hole I called home. I wiped them as best I could but it was still wet. I fixed the tire then sailed south to Texas. There I set up shop, sleeping each night in the trunk on a residential road.

Each night I slept drooling on the same two pillows, above the same pile of blankets, beneath the same covers that warmed me. The space was tight, leaving little room to turn over. My hips had just enough space to not scrape the interior lid. I kept a piss jug and jack rags at my side. Snacks for the trail or if I woke hungry. In there the hours were endless and unchanging. The black blanket stapled to back seats killed the clock. Condensation formed on the interior roof, sticking to La Croix cans at my side. I didn’t mind. This was my secret world. Wet, dark, and hidden.

I’d wake with a runny nose or itchy eyes. I chalked these up to some phantom virus. A winter sickness uncorking my nostrils. I slept with toilet paper jammed up the pipes or set beside me. I used these rags to blow my morning nose, to wipe my morning cum. I’d lay in wait not wanting to emerge, anxious about each day for no precise reason. Just a general unease over living in this city alone, about lacking a life path. Every time I finally flopped out to the front seat, to sunshine, I felt fine. Forgot the thoughts from before. Let the new day imbue me with mental strength. But the pull of the trunk was powerful. The dark cave of comfort. I ignored how it made me itchy. Left me more asleep than alive.

Months after the Minneapolis moisture I retrieved the tire kit once more. I was greeted by tufts and strands of white mold. It grew everywhere as if a spider had spun a web of sickness. It clung to the cloth trunk cover and entire tire compartment. One pillow sprouted green but otherwise none grew outside the spare tire area. I slept on this bed of mold for months, spores inches from my snoring face. In an instant my runny nose, my itchy eyes, my chronic masturbation all made sense.

Perhaps not the latter.

I ignored the infestation for days. But I kept waking sick and tired so figured I should rid myself of the spores taking over. I went to Wal-Mart for white vinegar and baking soda. I bought the smallest case of each, just enough to construct my concoction. In the Wal-Mart lot I pulled up blankets and pillows, put them atop my car, and went to work. I used paper towels to snag mold that then slipped to skin. I sprinkled my sleeping surface in baking soda. Soused it with vinegar. The trunk fizzed and foamed like a shitty ass science experiment.

I kept it open as shoppers walked by, homeless people flitting through the lot wearing pajamas and pushing unmarked carts. I sometimes sat in this lot for hours just watching the weird people, the hobos, the Wal-Mart citizens and their unending drama. But today I had work to do. I pointed the trunk to the sun and let that orb work its magic. As day settled down the trunk still sat damp. I made a mattress and went to bed. I’d carry on as soon as the sun woke from celestial slumber.

The next day I drove to the park and opened the trunk to fresh air. I emptied it out, putting my possessions atop the car to dry. I took out the tire and carefully wiped it down. Sunshine and a slight breeze swept through the sleep surface. I looked funny to the stroller moms readying to hit nearby trails. My car all draped in blankets and body pillows. I scrubbed its interior as if I’d shit the bed. Wiped it all with an ever growing pile of paper towels. In time, with more sun and shine, the trunk was once more inhabitable.

The slow creep of mold was over. I checked often and it stayed at bay. Those little tendrils of white, the cobwebs of poison, died at the hands of my poor man antibodies. But little changed. I still slept in the same trunk each night. Hot, then cold, then uncomfortable. My body still sweaty. Still drooling. Still blowing loads into rags I slept next to.

I got better at getting out of the trunk but still had my listless and lazy spells. The cold morning hours spent sitting in sick rather than facing the day. The trunk hole was still a sleep cave. Still concealed the same despondent creature from light of day. This was a sickness no concoction could remedy. Could fix. Could cure.