Photo by Matt Sharkey
Dir: Lee G.
I think I mentioned to you that my wife, Crissie, after 16 years, stopped taking the Pill on Valentine’s Day 2007. At first we were very excited to start work on the production of our new line of real-life Chris Nieratko action figures, but we haven’t had the best of luck over these past few months. Initially, I thought I hit a hole in one. A week or so after she stopped the birth control I made a deposit and was pretty certain that I’d just shot the magic bullet. I dragged myself off her naked body and handed her a towel. Then a pad and pen. “What’s this for?” she asked. “You might want to mark the date and time of conception—my work here is done.” She laughed, but I wasn’t kidding. I truly felt I’d gotten one past the goalie.
As days turned to weeks with no sign of her period, even she started to believe that maybe she was pregnant. You cannot begin to understand the sense of pride I felt knowing that my aim was that true. I began to refer to myself as the Sniper. I began doodling little sketches of penises with shotgun scopes and stocks beneath the words “BEWARE THE SNIPER.” I planned to get it tattooed on my body. I began to think that me and my penis were the cure to any woman’s infertility. Once word spread of my supersperm, couples the whole world over would be knocking at my door begging me to inseminate their wives. And maybe I would… maybe I would. But for a price! The Sniper doesn’t cum cheap!
As I sat daydreaming out my bow window, picturing myself swimming through pools of gold coins and jewels like Scrooge McDuck, my wife walked over to me and stuck a bloody piece of toilet paper in my face. Before my eyes the pools of gold dried up and turned to puddles of blood. She was not pregnant and I was not the Sniper.
I’ll be honest: Not being the Sniper really took the wind out of my sails. I’m a bit discouraged. My wife has been supportive of me as a failed superhero, saying things like, “Don’t you want to have some fun before you get me pregnant? Practice is the funnest part,” and “There’s always next time.” But all I can say to that is, “A trained sniper shouldn’t need a second shot! I guess I’m just not cut out to be a solider of fortune.” She thinks I’m being funny or cute or whatever wives think when they dismiss their husband’s feelings—I just don’t think her hearing is good enough to hear my dreams shattering.
Since then I’ve lost my passion for the whole deal. Yeah I blow my wad, but it feels empty, like I’m shooting hollow points. My concentration isn’t even there anymore. I continue to pull out as a force of habit. Christ! For 20 years I have been pulling out to NOT get girls pregnant, so now I keep forgetting that I have to leave it in if there’s to be any hope of me being even a recreational marksman. I’m considering tying a rope around us so I can’t go anywhere. I know this all may seem rather sad and uninteresting to you, being all young and hip and high on COCAINE, but this is what you have to look forward to. You just wait until the day comes when you have to second-guess the abilities of your penis. Now I understand why it took Christopher Reeve so long to muster up the courage to get back on a horse.
For more Chris go to Chrisnieratko.com. His new Vice book, Skinema, is available from Americanapparel.net.