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The Medium is the Message

Many of us are afraid of going to the dentist's office. 

In the Gutter, it's the dentists who fear the dentist.

The Medium is the Message by Beau Johnson



I’ve lined them up, positioning them five feet apart as I go.  As I am far from what you’d call strong, this took some doing, but once we find ourselves at the end I’m confident the message I’m trying to send will be clear to the audience it seeks.
              
My name is Neena Koufax.  I do this of my own free will.

The medium I have chosen for today is a unique one.  I don’t want to spoil any of the mechanics involved, not quite yet, so instead I’ll just say the situation Caldeen University has come to be in is unique as well, so in the spirit of calling a spade a spade, I believe we’ll label things a wash.

Long story short:  14 Caldeen University dental students are accused of participating in a Facebook group which joked about drugging and then raping their classmates.  An external investigation is launched as complaints arise in regards to the University’s bungling of its own initial investigation.  One step better: the University refuses to identify the students it suspends.  By suspend they refer to clinical practice as opposed to classroom.
              
Bullshit, all of it, and only because I’m living proof.
              
“You wanna come by tonight?  Bring Rhonda if you can.”  That was how it began, there with an invite.  Rhonda couldn’t go though, and eventually it had been me and three other third year students who showed up the time it happened to me.  The gas they used was the stuff from class; the stuff we would eventually use on the patients we would come to care for.  The only caring going on the night before I woke up a changed woman was of the selfish kind. 

These are evil men you have before you; vulgar.  Every goddamn one.
              
Complaints filed, investigation begun, I feel defeated, demoralized, as though everything is slipping away; that the men who raped me and posted about it “in jest” are being allowed to continue their education even though they laugh as if destroying me wasn’t a big thing.  Only when the University herds them together does my mind turn to a more basic mode, a baser level. 

You know what?   I believe I need to pause here for a moment, for me to just let you in on some things before we continue on.  I won’t take too long here, not if I can help it.  Before switching to dentistry I was in it for the glory is what I want to tell you all: surgeon all the way.  Things change though, plans are adapted, and sometimes you just fall in love with something more than you ever thought possible.  Know what I mean?  This is how I came to Caldeen University.  The background I give is for later in the show, before the plunge, when you might require knowledge as to how I’ve kept them alive for as long as I have.  Just a heads up is what I guess this is then, that and nothing more. 

I realize I won’t be getting away with this either, but really, this is not the point I’m trying to make.  What is, is this: there are consequences to our actions.  Always has been, always will be.  Some will get away with things.  Others will not.  It’s the way this world of ours works.  Perhaps things need to change then, yes?  And that’s where this began; when that little voice inside my head decided to take a trip.  I understood that if I didn’t stand up for myself they would never get what they deserved.  Oh they’d get something alright, a little bit for sure, but would it be just when compared to what each of them put all nine of us through?

No is the answer you’re looking for.
        
 And if you can’t find it in yourself to think this way then God have mercy you never run into someone like me.

Oh, you hear that?  Someone’s waking up!  C’mon, let’s go see.  Lots of stairs, I know, but at least the room has remained secure.  I filled it with the same gas they used on me; put it out slow as class was being taught.  Professor Burston has been affected by this as well and you can see him over there, asleep behind his desk.  Just so we’re clear, he has not been harmed in the making of this.

Okay.  Almost there.  As I’ve said, once I realized where they had been placed and that all of them would be together at the same time is when the shit got real.  I mean, let’s face it---it was like a dream come true.  One born of a nightmare, sure, but you get what I’m saying.  Once I saw the place…I mean, look at it!  How high up they are, how circular it is, each of them leaning down from the guard rail they’ve been tethered to.  And that the room is technically a circle is a boon unto itself, each position channeled back towards my live feed at the center.  Refurbished, it’s an old school teaching space, one the University takes pride in, full of staggered seating and standing room only around the top.  This is a good thing.   No, it’s more than a good thing---it’s apt.  You know why?  Because it’s old school justice I’m about to hand out.

Oh, it’s Jackson!  And of course it is!  Hey there, bud.  A little groggy are you?  Yeah, s’to be expected.  No, no, don’t try and pull yourself free.  Not till you take a good look at what I’ve used to tie you to the rail.  Look down, c’mon, don’t be such a sorry sport!  Didn’t stop you when you had me down, did it?  “Hate sex” is what you call it, no?  What you posted?  You also say the penis is a tool for men to teach women all they need to know.  Those were your words, weren’t they?  The ones I’m pulling up now?  I know.  I know.  The tape is rather tight but just go ahead and give us a nod then.  There, see, not so bad.  No smiles now though, eh?  Not for this camera, no.  For the others sure, yeah, why not, no one is going to really do anything about a bunch of girls who can’t even remember the night in question, are they?  That was another one of yours I think.  Or maybe that was Mark.  What say you, Mark?  Yes, Mark, I know you’re awake.  We all do; there is a camera pointed at each of you.  I imagine we’re ready then?  No one needs an explanation as to why we are here, do they?  Fellas, c’mon!  Tears, really?  I mean, really-truly?  Okay.  Okay.  Since this whole thing began with a question I’ll end it with one: within the abdominal cavity of the average male how much intestine do you think he carries?  Anyone?  The small intestine is about 20 feet in length and the large is 5.  Since I’m using both we’ll add them together.  25 feet times 14 of you is…okay…let’s see, carry the one.  Wow!  That’s 350 feet of you!  Or as I like to say: 105 meters of hanging entrails in response to the penetration of 9 women who never gave consent.   It equals what the boys and girls at home have already figured out.  What?  Some of you fellas still look confused.  Fine.  I can take care of that.  You ready then?  Okay.  Here goes. 

Contrary to what people believe, it’s the destination that things are about, not the journey.  Two, it will be the large intestine going first.  And third?  Well third is what this exercise has been about; what your penises have gone and taught.

Safe travels, boys.  Enjoy the fucking trip.


In Canada, with his wife and three boys, Beau Johnson lives, writes and breathes. He has been published before, on the darker side of town. Such places might include Underground Voices, the Molotov Cocktail, and Shotgun Honey. He would like it to be known that it is an honor to be here, down in the Gutter