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Ninth Rule

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Sex with Tyler was like flat ironing your arm hair on a NASCAR track when the space between you and the cars was less than the gap between a pickle jar and it’s lid.  

I told Tyler that once, and the next morning I woke up with my dick in a jar of pickles.  The cold brine turned my dick into a gherkin.  

Every morning you wake up with a new muscle, one that fighting hadn’t found yet.  Sometimes they’d feel so foreign you were convinced it was just his jism, solidified and latched on like the sort of cancerous tumor you learn to make friends with.  

Once a week you’d wash your clothes by toothbrush in the shit water that jogged slowly through the pipes.  You didn’t let Project Mayhem take care of it because Tyler told you not to.  

“They smell one hint of your come and they start going rogue.  The only thing man needs more than a good fight is a bad lay.”  He says this every week before taking the toothbrush and doing it himself.  

When we go out for a job, as the waiters that replace butter with piss in cake or the secretary that leaves late after melting your hard drive and burning everything in the filing cabinets, Tyler irons my shirt.  It always does the most damage when they trust you first.  

One of the newer space monkeys notices and smirks.  Tyler steps up to him and puts out his cigarette in his standard issue lye burn.  The monkey crumples to the floor like a burning schoolhouse.  

Tyler Durden fucks like he’s trying to inject cigarette burns into your bone marrow.  

I think this is what Marla was trying to tell me when she told me not to get too close to him.  

“It’s a forest fire, and not the fun STD kind.  It eats you up and you spit it out but then it keeps happening and sets fire to your pubic hair.”  She takes a drag of her cigarette before putting it out on her dollar-fifty dress.  “Classic Cinderella, Ella of the used up carcass cinder.”

I should have listened.

Before white-tie events, Tyler fixes my bow.  

Marla sneers from behind the fridge door, and takes the last bowl of piss-free chowder.  I can hear the I told you so in her footsteps on her way to eat in the bathroom.  

“Ignore her, she’s just mad I won’t let the monkeys fuck her.”

A group of space monkeys suggests we run for congress.  At this point, we’d have enough votes to make prostitution a requirement over jury duty.  

I am Will’s engorged erection.  

Tyler fucks like oxygen isn’t flammable enough for him.  Like all the world’s water won’t be enough to put out a fire set by him.  

I doubt it would be.  

Tyler lets me sleep in his room because orgasms, like all other little deaths, bring him to life and he’s always out of the house before my dick has stopped twitching.  The mornings I leave his room, Marla is asleep in the hall with her skirt tucked into her bra and her hand still in her crotch.  

I don’t notice her quick enough and I trip over her corpse.   

She wakes up and wipes her come on her black dress, leaving a glossy photo-finish smudge.  “You know, your relationship with Tyler is not as bad as I expected.  I wish he fucked me like that.”  Dress still in her tits, she grabs her jacket and walks out the door.  

There’s a note from Tyler on my soggy bowl of cereal with directions to a hospital a few towns over.  I eat my sugar-cardboard and ponder the use of hospitals.  Fight club does spend a lot of time there.  

I start walking, hoping to make Tyler impatient and piss him off, but a taxi pulls up an insists I get in.  

“Sir said he is waiting for you, sir.  He is impatient to start your ‘meeting,’ sir.”  

I’d ask about the air quotes, but I know I’ll just get a rule recited at me.  

Tyler is replacing the last bolt on a mailbox when the taxi stops.  He doesn’t look at me until we’re inside the building, where he pulls my pants to my knees and sucks my cock until I nearly come.  

I am John’s heavy ball sack.  

He stops.  

“Project Mayhem is growing too fast, we can’t ignore women anymore.”  There are spots in my vision.  Blood isn’t reaching my brain.  “We have a few waitresses already in on it, but next is nurses and the pharmaceutical industry.”

“Uh huh.”  I brace myself against the wall as the air vent blows on my dick.  

“Put your dick away, there are ladies in the room.”  There aren’t.  He flicks it, amused.  I flinch; he squints when he looks at me, like the sun is trying to fry his eyes and he’s just fucking daring it to.  “I always get what I want.”

He flops into the front desk chair like a bored villain.  “Your gherkin aside, we’re going to infiltrate the medical industry, just to make things easy for the struggling Clubs.  Then the insurance companies.  Oil company assholes and the eco-friendly douchebags will have to be planned carefully.  We need oil for explosions, not cars.  Then maybe you can give Marla the presidency for her birthday.”

I don’t doubt the possibility.  He’s an unstoppable force, and I’m unmovable.  The world shifts under me to take me home until another cab pulls up onto the sidewalk to grab my attention.

Tyler’s in it this time.

“How can you walk like that?”  My cock’s still hard.  Tyler ruling the world hasn’t stopped that.  “Get in already.”  He doesn’t mean the cab.   

Nights when the monkeys are being competent, Tyler rides me like a moron gets fucked by a loan shark.  As if he wanted all of the limp-dicked pandas to learn from him personally.  

Those are the days he sleeps in and fixes my bowties.  

Marla was outside again, this time with a prom dress meant for a girl with Big Bob’s tits and a gallon tub of ice cream.  The way she chewed the melted goo had enough contempt to make the whole court system fall to its knees.  

“He fucks you like he loves you.  God it’s disgusting.”

I heat up last week’s oatmeal with a lighter.  The monkeys are hooking up the house back up to the main grid.  I miss the shit water already.  

“He knew you wouldn’t fuck him, so he fucked me instead.  He’s obsessed with you.”  She sets a pack of cigarettes on fire and warms her bones in the fire.  It’s ninety-six outside.  “Has he offered you the presidency yet?”

I glance up.  The glass bowl cracked from the lighter’s heat.  “That’s his birthday present to you, actually.”

“Wow, and I’m just some fuck off the street, I’m not even part of Project Maven.”

“Mayhem.  It’s Project Mayhem.”

She rolls her eyes.  “Point is, he’s going to give you lavish gifts and expect your dick in return.  Have you kissed yet?  He only kissed me the last night we fucked.”

“Only with lye.”  That wasn’t true, Tyler liked to hold makeout sessions just before letting me come to frustrate me.  

“You don’t see you after you pass out.”  

Sex with Tyler was like an exploding star.  A hadron collider, a slap in the face, a plunge into an oil-lubricated beach.  There was no being awake afterwards, unless you were Tyler.  

“He kisses your eyelids.”  She rolls her eyes so hard the optic nerve probably snapped.  

Tyler is at the bottom of the stairs, telling me to ignore whatever Marla says.  I dump the oatmeal down the trash and force the broken bowl into the garbage disposal.  

On another plane, the plot thickens.

The flight attendant gives Tyler my peanuts and I get his scotch.  He winks at me when Tyler stands up.

Tyler and I joined the MIle High Club a while ago, but Marla’s words make me think about it too much until Tyler’s lips are around my cock and he has his fingers up my ass and the door isn’t even closed and the space monkeys are watching like it’s some sort of privilege.  When I come onto the wall he kisses my forehead.  

It burns like lye.  

We land in Hawaii, some company that burns trash in cars.  It will save gas so we can burn more corporate douchebags’ homes.  

I don’t mention that we are, at the least, corporate assholes.  

We go to the beach.  “You don’t know pain until you have sands in open wounds,” Tyler says.  

There is no fight.  

“The world is my oyster.  What does that make you?”

“A grain of sand?  A plankton?”

“You’re the fucking pearl.”  Tyler takes a deep, angry breath, mad I couldn’t read his mind.  “You’re this cancerous tumour that makes the oyster valuable and worth my time, but has no nutritional value.”


“You always kill the one you love.”  I know this, because Tyler knows this.  

“On a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone will drop to zero.”  Tyler pulls a jug of kerosene out of the trunk.  

“Now you’re just repeating yourself.”  Tyler walks up to some richfuck’s beach home.  

I’m not going to pretend I understand the terms and conditions.  I hit agree anyway.  “I love you enough to castrate you.”

“I hate every stick of Ikea furniture.”  He throws a vintage lighter into the kindling.  

My fist found his way into his stomach, just as his broke my nose.  

The Ninth Rule about Fight Club is you do not talk about feelings.  This isn’t high school.  

Sex with Tyler Durden was like a rose.  That is, if you ignored the petals and it was made purely of thorns.  

But so fucking what?