by Juliet Gelfman-Randazzo
Juliet Gelfman-Randazzo is an MFA candidate at Rutgers University-Camden, where she has recently written about deer, hand models, and trees. She is the author of the chapbook DUH (Bullshit Lit, 2022), and her work appears or is forthcoming in Passages North, Yalobusha Review, HAD, and Bedfellows Magazine, among others. She can be followed @tall.spy (Instagram) and @tall__spy (Twitter) but she can never be caught.
when I was a kid there a website that was almost youtube except it was a few letters off and it was a porn site.
if you mistyped youtube by a couple letters it would autocorrect to the porn site. I know cause one time I mistyped youtube and ended up on it. I have since heard this happened to other people. but I didn’t know that then. cause I was eleven years old and I had never seen porn before.
my friend came over for a sleepover. we wanted to watch a music video. I think it was chris brown’s “kiss kiss.” pre-rihanna. the one that goes she want that lovie dovie dovie dovie kiss kiss kiss in her mind she fantasize bout getting with me…
chris brown’s in high school. in the video. he plays the nerd and the cool kid. which was a common music video thing back then. everyone was always playing a nerdy version and a popular version of themselves in their music videos. and they were always in high school.
we had to watch it in secret cause my parents had to vet whether a music video was appropriate for me to watch. which it usually wasn’t.
we snuck down to my dad’s laptop. it was a chunky black laptop. a toshiba. with a thumb scanner he hadn’t set up. we opened it and typed youube or maybe oyutube or maybe yuotube and smacked the enter key hard.
a page popped up. but it wasn’t youtube. it was glossy candy colored photos of dicks with women’s puckered lipsticked mouths open astride them like parentheses.
our mouths opened too.
we screamed. ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.
we slammed the computer shut.
we ran upstairs.
we ran back downstairs.
we had to close the page.
we took a deep breath. our two bodies expanding and contracting in tandem. like slinkies.
we opened the laptop. we clicked the page closed. we gripped one another’s hands. we didn’t know what to do.
was it worth trying to clear the history.
could we scrub out just one search.
how did we delete the dicks.
we knew nothing about computers. we knew nothing about dicks.
we decided to do nothing. we hoped no one would notice.
we ran upstairs.
we pulled out a deck of cards. we played spit. slapping each others hands for stacks of sixes.
later that night we lay head to toe, covering the top halves of our faces with our palms, so we could imagine what each other’s mouths would look like if they were upside down