Spencer knew he had to act quickly if he hoped to complete a full gratification session before Tiny returned from the so-called yard. While Spencer’s ability to achieve high-level masculine arousal had always been rather impressive and consistent prior to his admittance to the Attica Correctional Facility, he found that his body was growing increasingly unresponsive behind the concrete walls that his tax dollars had built. The drive was still there, but it was obscured by layers of ennui and understandable concern for his safety after that incident on the lunch line with Jeremy, a rather unsavory fellow who was certainly no Aryan brother of Spencer’s, even if he belonged to the eponymous prison gang.

Under such circumstances, a lesser man would have put down his penis and given himself over to depressive thinking and cowardly imaginings. But when faced with a mental obstacle, Spencer Grunhauer knew that he had to persevere, flogging the pony until it rose and marched again. And there was truly not a moment to spare, as Tiny had been quite explicit when he said that if he observed Spencer in the middle of another gratification session, he would “pull those nuts off.”

But would Tiny really do such a thing? Spencer was fairly certain that Tiny had enough regard for him to refrain from damaging his testicles. And besides, they were cellmates; compadres, in a certain sense. How fraught would their everyday existence become if Tiny made good on his bombastic threat? Spencer certainly would not forgive and forget. Destroy my testicle? Why, that is water under the bridge, good friend! How about the chow today? Those tater tots were outstanding! No, Spencer would say no such thing if Tiny attacked him in the fashion he had described. Or, in fact, if Tiny attacked him in any fashion at all. Simply put, it was not Tiny’s prerogative to tell Spencer when he could and could not masturbate. Tiny was not the Lord of Cell B-26. It was Spencer’s cell, too. And Spencer was fairly certain more of his tax dollars had gone into the brick and mortar of that cell than Tiny’s. Imagine that: laboring for a reprehensible organization such as the Center for Social Advancement all so one could be imprisoned with the proceeds from the payroll taxes one had so dutifully bequeathed to the State of New York week after week.

No, Spencer would not be told when and how he could achieve maximal release by a true prole such as Tiny. Was it natural for a criminal peasant to attempt to command a man of high station, a graduate of one of the country’s more highly esteemed liberal arts colleges? It was about as natural as the mouse asking the cat for the time of day. And Spencer was in no mood to listen to animals from the rodent class, even those who were ironically named “Tiny” while actually resembling a refrigerator of 1970’s vintage.

Spencer tried to banish thoughts of Tiny from his mind as he concentrated on his self-ministrations. But there was little in Spencer’s day-to-day life that provided fodder for such activities. The vast majority of people he interacted with were men—and truly, men of the lowest form. In simple point of fact, there were not too many Ryan Goslings walking around the average maximum-security penitentiary. No, the clientele of such establishments was generally of harder manner and rougher grain than the very well-manicured Mr. Gosling, who should really thank his lucky stars that he had never been convicted of a Class D felony. For it was doubtful that the young goose would fare exceedingly well in the penal environment, dominated as it was by violent gang organizations and the so-called guards, who largely failed to recognize that Spencer belonged on the other side of the bars, regardless of what a court of law had vindictively decreed.

After all, Spencer had fought for men such as the guards during his time in that cauldron of bile known as “society.” What was the Project if not an attempt to restore the noble prison guard to his rightful place of honor in the historic West? But there was only so much Spencer could do (could have ever done!), as the cauldron was always and ever being stirred and spiced by the native sons of Davos, master chefs that they were. What’s on the menu—global Marxism, you say? Well, that does not sound very appetizing! And indeed, it was not. Global Marxism was among the most distasteful of meals. And yet it was all Spencer had ever eaten. An entire generation had been weaned on this postmodern milk, dripping as it was from the teat of old Foucault.

Was there a time when things could have been different? As Spencer continued his skillful manipulations, he thought of Professor Nora Katz, the one woman who had taught him all there was to know about all women. Spencer still carried affection for his once-beloved Nora, but knew his abiding attachment to be a weakness, a fissure in the center of his soul. Romanticism was a luxury that men such as Spencer could ill afford in a world ruled by those who sought his end. Yet it was there, living within him like a resilient parasite, a steady flame for the radiant and despicable Nora Katz. It wasn’t quite that Spencer had loved her; he had loved the idea of a world where she was possible.

“What did I tell you?” asked Tiny, entering the cell as Spencer approached the outer limit of male excitement. To say the least, Tiny’s sudden appearance cast a pall over what had been a rather numinous moment.

“Nah, don’t put it away,” continued Tiny. “You had that chance.”

***

This is an excerpt from Dan Baltic’s new novel, NUTCRANKR, coming this Friday from Terror House Press.