Buddhist Rapist
Jimmy Chen

The Buddhist Rapist, before he raped the aspiring online writer under the influence of phenethylamine and amphetamine at a literature party, was simply a Buddhist; or rather, a young intellectual male living in the United States disenchanted with his country's religious, economic, and moral hubris, who felt more allegiance towards Buddhism, at least the idea of it, as conveyed in the various texts he stole from the library and habitually read, especially during more notably lonely evenings when his online friends were inexplicably not online.
He would often quote a key phrase glorifying human suffering to his male in real life friends seated around him at a bar in a circle whose candle was the fulcrum, its flickers seemingly sentient, sorrowful even, but not. His friends absently nodded, as if such compliance would sooner shut him up, which made him feel even more alone, and solidified his conviction to only pursue serious relationships online.
The aspiring online writer who incidentally was receptive to the idea of Buddhism felt, perhaps ironically, "detached" while he conceded to material desire inside her, and even more so when she discovered the residual crust of his semen on her abdomen upon waking the next morning, only four hours later, the pale rectangular light of a stranger's window already disappointing.
She will go on to discuss via text with her best friend forevers what technically constituted as rape -- the explicit denial of a woman pleading "no," or simply taking advantage of someone too biochemically euphoric to employ any discretion -- and her friends will text back an assortment of acronyms conveying "i don't know," "i don't get it," "in my honest opinion," and other vague sentiments.
The Buddhist Rapist did indeed wonder if he was raping this extremely high and very lonely girl who published a story a two years ago, who showed up at a literature party wearing a blouse whose sheerness was designed to portray her bra underneath, lending mystery to where there was none. He reasoned with himself that it wasn't rape because she never said "no"; that the absence of a negative did not necessarily imply the affirmative had more to do with intangible absolute dichotomies such as "yes" and "no" which he found inapplicable to this delicate and complicated situation. He ejaculated with five distinct and powerful contractions of the vas deferens, half drunk himself, yet sober enough to witness the surreal and irrational pattern his semen made on her body.
The aspiring online writer, still unsure after two weeks if she had been raped, and how much perceived intimacy was induced by the drug, sent a link to an offensive rap video to the Buddhist Rapist which had nothing to do with anything (not the video itself, but the context of the link), as a way of soliciting conversation without the vulnerability of seeming like she wanted to talk. Rap videos were often used this way: for white people with broken hearts to reach out to one another in ways that were emotionally oblique, culturally provocative, albeit somewhat racist.
They never saw each other again. Walking to the subway station, the Buddhist Rapist recounted in his mind a Zen koan whose message he interpreted as "nothing matters anyway," or during less patient moments, "fuck this shit." "I wish I lived in Asia," he thought. He could handle kimchi, not to mention meaninglessness. A quick kiss on the cheek outside the subway station was how he left it. She received it with drop in her chest, as if the tiny skydiver of her feelings had leaped off her collarbone into her gut without a parachute. If life was suffering, it suffered in empty ways. She let the machine eat a five dollar bill in exchange for a card whose magnetic strip knew where she was, but not where she was going.