Young Love Fucks Us All: How I Got Over My Youth of Depression and Bad Relationships
Young love is a business. Adult women are sold it in films like Twilight, The Notebook, andRomeo + Juliet and buy into the fairytale for two hours while putting themselves in the shoes of Kristen Stewart, Rachel McAdams, or Claire Danes, or whoever is falling deeply for the boy promising her everything. The disconnect between what’s happening on screen and what happens to them in real life never appalls them. Men may watch different movies, but their perspective on love and relationships is no better. Though they often feign cynicism and pretend young love barely even exists, that’s merely a stance that allows them to deny they’ve been hurt by their early relationships.
It’s in this period of young love that many of our wounds and insecurities are created—the same wounds and insecurities that keep us from finding a present-day love to make us happy. Perhaps if we found it easier to look back, we’d find it easier to heal those wounds and move on with our lives. We don’t because we’re afraid to—but why? Is it the memory of what some boy or girl did to us? Or is it the memory of having once been so earnest—of having promised the world not just to these boys or girls but to ourselves, before work, money, and real commitments came along to crush us?
Is it young love we’re afraid of, or having once been young? I decided to retrace my first clumsy romantic steps in an attempt to find out.
Buttloads of Pain: Illegal Ass Enhancements May Be America’s Next Health Epidemic
The horror that befell Oscarina Busse’s backside began in July 2009. The 35-year-old Floridian felt a dull but persistent itch deep in the meat of her buttocks, one that was impossible to scratch.
It wasn’t long before Oscarina noticed that her butt was changing colors—first turning purple, like a throbbing finger that had been wrapped too tightly with string, and then a cadaverous gray. From there, things got much worse. Her flesh started to crust and painfully peel off until, a few months later, the whole mess collapsed like a badly baked cake. The cheeks of her ass drooped down, loaded with a stew of poisonous goop that collected around her lower buttocks. What had once stood high and felt supple to the touch had become hot and hard and stinging. Oscarina’s derrière had transformed so much that it no longer looked like it was part of a human’s body; her five-year-old daughter mistook her fluid-filled cheeks for a poopy diaper, calling it a “full Pamper.”
Like thousands of women across the globe and increasingly in the US, Oscarina was suffering from the side effects of a black-market butt injection. Because of its clandestine nature, it’s impossible to quantify exactly how many people in the US are illegally getting their butts pumped up like a pair of Reeboks. But the number is definitely growing; due to the proliferation of reported disfiguring cases like Oscarina’s and even deaths, law-enforcement officials and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons view black-market butt injections as a burgeoning epidemic in the US.
Sticking Needles in Your Dick Is So Much Fun
We all know by now that the internet is full of horrors. My battle scars from virtual filth attacks are aplenty. I’ve had the cock windmill of Meatpsin burned into my psyche and endured eyeblasts of Goatse’s gaping men-anuses. But nothing I’ve ever seen prepared me for the visual assault I was hit with this morning when Allena Gabosh, the director of a BDSM club in Seattle, dropped a couple casual photos of a blood-spewing dick into my inbox.
“Probably my favorite scene I’ve ever done was putting needles in the head of a cock with a blood blister on it,” her email said, “And when I hit it the blood kind of just spurted in an arc and it was quite fun and silly and very messy!”
Needle play, the blanket term used to describe inserting needles into your body to get off, is quickly becoming one of the most popular forms of kink in the BDSM world. Signs of its ubiquity are even poking into the media: earlier this month, The Tokyo Reporterrather gleefully detailed how Yuka Fujisawa, an aging S&M queen in Kyoto, Japan, was arrested for withdrawing blood from the genitals of her male customers without proper licensing. The 43-year-old madam apparently used needles and syringes to prick three different dicks while engaging in “sexual services” over the last four months. She also told the police that she started performing needle play at an S&M club eight years prior. According to Fujisawa, “the practice had become a service performed on a routine basis.”
Meet the Guy Who Accidentally Shot Himself in the Heart with a Nail Gun
Getting a two-inch splinter while sanding plywood is a drag. Smashing your thumb into gooey pulp with a hammer is also a drag. But accidentally shooting yourself directly in the heart with a fucking nail gun is the sort of thing that makes you stop and wonder what the hell you’re doing with your life, and why you’re anywhere near a situation where that’s even possible.
Eugene Rakow is a 58-year-old self-employed carpenter living in St. Bonifacious, Minnesota. Don’t feel bad if you’ve never heard of it—a 2010 census set the town at just 2,283 people. This past Friday, Eugene was helping his neighbor build a deck when he made a little mistake, and accidently fired a three-and-a-half inch galvanized framing nail directly into his heart. Worse still, Eugene doesn’t have health insurance, and he’s got seven kids, all home-schooled. Luckily, his daughter Naomi has set up a Paypal accountwhere people can donate to help him pay the bills.
The whole thing became a bit of a local story, and I’m fascinated with the macabre, so what the hell. I hit up Naomi on Twitter and she actually got back to me, and was really, really nice, especially considering that her dad just went through the scariest thing that could happen in professional carpentry. I wanted to know what it felt like to fire a nail into your own heart, so I gave Eugene a quick call. He turned out to have more bravery in one little punctured chamber than I probably have in my whole body.
VICE: Hi Eugene. So I read in the Minnesota Star Tribune that you’re the guy who shot himself in the heart with a nail gun.
Eugene Rakow: Yes. Well, I was building a deck for a neighbor, and I was driving in nails at about chest-level. I was pushing the nail gun up, and my arms were in the air. Then the gun bounced and hit me, and just sort of shot a nail right into my chest.
I don’t understand. Did it bounce out of your hands?
No, not quite. It bounced up in the air and I caught hold of it. When the weight of the gun came back down it hit me in the chest, but I still had my finger on the trigger.
The Confusing, Controversial World of Lyme Disease
Meghan Hilliard didn’t even think about Lyme disease until she was diagnosed with it. Her doctors didn’t mention it either. All the athletic 26-year-old knew was that she felt physically sick and mentally drained. In early 2012, her knee started swelling; by April it was so big it was unrecognizable. She couldn’t use stairs. Busses had to lower their front steps for her to struggle onboard. Any joint movement sent her into what she called a “panic.” Whatever she had affecting her brain, too—she could no longer do basic math, had constant headaches, and couldn’t hold onto objects properly.
Meghan went to her urgent care doctor four times in addition to seeing an orthopedic doctor and a rheumatologist. Despite all of them telling her that her swollen knee was indicative of some sort of infection, nobody knew exactly what was wrong. She found all the doctors to be cold and dismissive. One thought she was looking to get prescription drugs. All of this was made worse by the fact that Meghan doesn’t have health insurance. Five months after her first doctor’s visit, she was diagnosed with Lyme disease and given antibiotics—the rheumatologist discovered it while testing her for lupus.
Lyme is an infectious disease that spreads to humans through tick bites. An early symptom is a bulls-eye-shaped temporary rash that appears around the area of the bite. Not everybody who gets Lyme notices the rash, and some of the other signs of the disease resemble the flu: fatigue, joint pain, chills, and mental confusion.
If You Wake Up and You’re Not in Pain, You Know You’re Dead
A selection of images from the forthcoming issue of Toilet Paper, Maurizio Cattelan and Pierpaolo Ferrari’s insane biannual publication, which they tell us will be out in the States “around September.” If what you’ve seen here isn’t enough to wipe the shit from your mind’s asshole, you should head to Paris, where enlarged images from Toilet Paper are now plastered to the windows of the Palais de Tokyo’s façade.
When Life Hands You Hemorrhoids…
If karma truly exists, then I must have murdered a baby to deserve hemorrhoids this bad. It feels like my ass is being torn apart with a razor blade every time I go to take a shit. For the past month I’ve just been trying to ignore it. But I guess when you don’t take care of certain problems, they only get worse. It started off feeling kind of like a paper cut—but now it’s bleeding, it’s irritated, and it’s burning, sort of like living with a mini-holocaust in my pants.
But what can my asshole teach us about personal success? Lots!
Most people have had to deal with metaphorical hemorrhoids at some point in their lives. They start off as part of you—veins, pumping blood around your body, filled with the elixir of life. Maybe this is a significant other, or a feeling of fulfillment at your job, or maybe its how oxycodone felt to you the first time. But then slowly after a while, the veins start becoming crazy and compromise your happiness. What will you do? Will you confront them right away and let them slide back into your anus where you’ll live happily in perfect harmony? Or will you let them swell, and swell, to the point where they become so big and externally aggravating that you actually require surgery to get them removed? Naturally, you’d chose to seek immediate medical attention and avoid any larger issues, like a normal, sane human being. But as we all know, it’s not always easy to make good choices and be sane, especially when we’re not even aware that choices are available to us sometimes.
At this moment in the Islamic calendar, we stand between two holidays in which truth is performed with the spilling of blood: Eid al-Adha, which was celebrated this past week, and Ashura, which will take place late in November. In both cases, the annual observations are accompanied by debate over the meaning of this blood and how “religion” is supposed to look.
Last week, Muslims around the world observed Eid al-Adha, which marks the completion of the hajj. The central character in the story of hajj is not Muhammad, but Abraham, whose willingness to sacrifice what he loved most in the world—his own son—is imitated when pilgrims throw stones at walls representing the devil. In honor of Abraham’s absolute submission to God, Muslims celebrate Eid al-Adha with the slaughter of a goat or lamb.
Towards the end of November, Shi’a Muslims will commemorate another sacrifice: the martyrdom of Husayn, Muhammad’s grandson, on the day of Ashura. Husayn gave his life in an impossible war against the unjust powers of his time. In a controversial practice, many observers of Ashura will mark their love for Husayn on their own bodies, whipping their backs with blades or lacerating their heads. Even within Shi’a communities, the practice’s Islamic appropriateness is debated. The image of men parading through the streets, drenched in their own blood, has become ammunition for more than one polemical agenda: Sunnis might use the practice to say that Shi’as are not legitimate Muslims, and Islamophobes look at the scene as evidence that Islam at large is fanatical and violent.