KP Vogell


We only fuck on Sundays. That’s because you’d be embarrassed if people found out we’re fucking. On Sundays you stop in, say hi to the neighbors, smoke pot with them, then come next door to “pick up some things.” They assume you’re going through old papers. I mean no one would ever suspect that you’re fucking me. Most people think I’m a dyke. Men think I’m disgusting, a dyke, a waste of space, (a vagina not available for their use), I know it. To their faces you agree, people ask about your tenant, you joke and laugh it off and say it’s none of your business what I do in my personal life as long as I’m paying the rent. Also, they’ve all met your girlfriend. Petite, big-eyed, speaks perfect French, they congratulate you, they’re fucking jealous as fuck, they are imagining her tight pink pussy, but me, I don’t have one. I’m made of rough cloth and dried hair gel. For that, your girlfriend never suspects a thing either. You have good taste; you like beautiful things. I’m as ugly as fuck and no one can figure out why I bother, why I insist on existing. 

So, what happens on Sundays? You come in. We say hi. I leave you alone, I never approach you, both of us know I can’t approach you. If I ever did, you’d never touch me again. I have to pretend I don’t care that you’re here; I even act like I’m annoyed. I go to my room. What if one day I didn’t go to my room, what if I stayed in the living room surfing the web? But no, I always go to my room. I go in and lie face down on the bed, fully clothed. And what would I do if one day you didn’t come in (after a minute)? I don’t know, kill myself maybe. Every Sunday, sometimes for two minutes, sometimes for as many as forty-five, I lie there, wondering if this is the day you don’t come in—the last day of my life. The time I spend waiting, face down on the bed, is so excruciatingly raw, so intense, it’s almost as good as the sex itself, or maybe it’s better. By the time you do come in—just the door clicking open, that’s it, no words—I’m completely wet. Which is good because there is no foreplay and there never will be. 

You strip off my pants and slide in. You don’t use a condom. I never have sex with anyone, and I had my tubes tied years ago anyways. I always hated the idea of becoming a vessel for some man’s baby. You fuck me, always extremely slowly, and you cry out, very quietly, so as not to alert the neighbors. In these little cries, in the fluctuations and differences, I can hear everything—the fight with your girlfriend; the fights you still have with your father even though you’re a grown man; your worries about losing your hair, twisting your ankle surfing, or whether the business is gonna take off; that ex-girlfriend you still see when you travel to Brazil; your discomfort with the homoerotic experiences you’ve had. In fact, you fuck me because I look almost exactly like a boy, but I’m still a woman and so you don’t have to be gay.

I hear all these things in your little cries and most of all—the fear of not being good enough. I on the other hand, make no noise at all. I didn’t the first time, out of fear, and I don’t ever dare change a thing, in case that’s the thing that breaks the spell, that makes it never happen again. I think if I made noise, I would exist too much and my existence is disgusting so you’d probably get up in the middle of things and put your pants on and walk out. 

So, I’m silent, but inside I’m weeping uncontrollably, and shuddering, and crying out to God. Thunderstorms rage, earthquakes crack open gaping canyons in the earth of me. Giant monsters ravage cities. So that’s why I live, I live, I go on living for Sundays. 

But you, you who are beautiful and blessed, who are rich and successful, who are beloved by your parents, family, friends, by your classy girlfriend, by the neighbors, you bright boy, why do you only live for Sundays, too?

Artist Statement

As a kid, I always felt wrong, alien, and out of place. I grew up in a majority white, majority Christian part of America, and I am the child of a white Jew and a non-white Latin American immigrant. So, I absorbed the message that both halves of my identity were wrong, suspicious, criminal, and even satanic (not exaggerating, as other kids regularly told me I was going to hell.) On top of this, I was queer, although I didn’t even have that word at the time. I just knew that I hated everything people told me about what women are supposed to look like, act like, and do, and that half of my crushes were hellfire-worthy sins. I was too cowardly to risk being openly queer—openly myself, really. I thought that to be okay, I had to murder every part of myself that other people said was wrong. I got good at hiding, and I made that self-mutilation a kind of secret project. If I did it right, I could be accepted, and no one would find out that I was an interloper. I’m in my thirties now. It’s only in recent years, because of the hard work advocates and activists have done to make it a little bit safer to be queer and non-white in America, that, for this human, the pain of hiding has surpassed the fear of coming out. I’m still not out all the way, really, much like the speaker in this story, who is still fighting with self-hatred. (When you’ve been absorbing other people’s hatred of you your whole life, it doesn’t go away in a hurry.) She’s not free, but she’s trying to be. Even if there’s pain involved, which there will be.

KP Vogell is an artist, musician, writer, and Californian whose fiction has been published in PANK and The Good Life Review. KP occasionally posts on Instagram as @komischevogell