Updated: Aug 28
(CW: Sexual violence, violence)
If you don’t like the reflection. Don’t look in the mirror. I don’t care.
He is a part of my Imaginary. When he looks into a mirror, what does he see? Black hair. Yellow skin. A nose from his father. A face he has yet to accept. A body he has yet to love. He takes his phone to take pictures of himself; taking apart, fragmenting his favorite parts in certain angles. A chance to make his body better in his image, his reflection. If only this was for his own self, but rather it is for his own capture. When he looks into the mirror, what does he see?
CLICK-CLICK. WATCH HERE TO SEE 1 Lunatic 1 Ice Pick ON BEST GORE.COM
I first heard of Jun Lin when I was fifteen years old. Thanks to my young internet addiction, I was led to him through pieces. YouTube videos circulated, sensationalizing his murderer.
GAY PORNSTAR CANNIBAL KILLER ON THE LOOSE. GUY FUCKS, EATS, AND DISMEMBERS BODY FOR VIEWS. HANDSOME-FACED MURDERER DOES SOMETHING SO FUCKED UP.
I never clicked on those links.
Antonio Viego writes in their book Dead Subjects:
“Critical race and ethnicity studies scholars have developed no language to talk about ethnic-racialized subjectivity and experience that is not entirely ego- and social psychological and that does not imagine a strong, whole, complete, and transparent ethnic-racialized subject and ego as the desired therapeutic, philosophical, and political outcome in a racist, white supremacist world. In the process, we fail to see how the repeated themes of wholeness, completeness, and transparency with respect to ethnic-racialized subjectivity are what provide racist discourse with precisely the notion of subjectivity that it needs in order to function most effectively.”
The first time I had sex? Well, you have to be more specific than that. I didn’t do everything at once. It took years for me to even have sex.
To write is to be in the company of ghosts. It is an act where you can acknowledge them as ethically or ignorantly as you want. I hold several ghosts with me. I always write about and to them. These days, one has been screaming to come out. It is time to write and do right for this ghost.
Eric Clinton Kirk Newman will not be named or mentioned in this piece.
The first time I ejaculated? I was twelve years old. It was an accident, and I thought I royally fucked up. Let me explain. I had a few weeks before I started the sixth grade. In order for your child to enter middle school, you have to get a few shots. I forget for what. One day, I got brave enough to finally look up some softcore porn on the computer. My young hormones went insane whenever I saw two, muscled, and shirtless white dudes kissing and feeling each other up. YouTube was such a haven for that. I loved how wild my body felt, the thrill. The beginnings of porn and sex addiction. I came across an extended ad for the gay porn website men.com. Oiled men kissing and rubbing themselves all over. A hot guy using his underwear to tease his cock. I watched carefully, and boom, it happened. I exited out of the screen, turned the computer off, and ran to the bathroom. I didn’t know what happened. It was like the reverse of shitting yourself. I didn’t understand what the substance was that came out of my body. Trying to be logical, I concluded that it was my body rejecting the vaccines I just received. I was concerned and curious. I wanted to see if I could do it again. It took me a few years to understand what was happening.
During my third year in college, I became interested in the psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan. Lacan could be associated with the structuralists, which were a group of intellectuals who believed language and thus its meanings have to be understood by its context, or through its associations to other things. Thinkers trace this thinking to works of semiotician Ferdinand de Saussure and anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss. Lacan became a key figure when he decided to combine the ideas of structural linguistics to psychoanalysis. He claimed that he would do Freud better than Freud. I grew fond of him by the simple fact that when my professor lectured about him, I was one of the only people in my class who understood what he was saying.
Somebody’s done for.
In the first part of the video, we see a naked person spread out on a bed with their hands tied to the bedposts. We are unaware if the person is conscious or not. Their face is covered with a white blindfold, only their lips are exposed. The bedsheets are dark. The room is slightly lit. The camera quality is grainy. On the wall above the person’s head is a poster for the film Casablanca. Moments later, a person with dark pants and hoodie gets on top of the body. The song “True Faith” by New Order is playing. A few moments later, the person pulls an ice pick from under the covers.
“Where did you learn to kiss like that?”
“You have the softest lips out of everyone I know.”
“Daddy wants your beautiful lips on his cock.”
My first kiss? I was nineteen years old. I was just starting my freshman year of college. I met a boy a year older than me on Grindr who said he wanted to hang out. He was nice, unlike the few others I have met up with online. I remember he was doing his calculus homework. I was doing my Japanese homework. We were alone in his big dorm room; his roommate was out. He said he would kiss me, but I had to make the first move. For some reason, putting me in the spot to make the first move made me so anxious. I couldn’t stop talking. I verbalized my overthinking. Then I did it. I never felt that kinda warmth before. In that moment, I decided kissing was overrated. There was no spark (maybe because I was kissing a guy I just met). When it was over, my mind turned off, thinking “Wow, that wasn’t bad.” The guy then grabbed my head and proceeded to make out with me. I followed him to the bed, feeling his body with mine. The door opened. It was his roommate. We gathered ourselves quickly and acted like nothing happened. He was in the closet.
Vladimir Romanov will not be named or mentioned in this piece.
One of the confusing concepts from Lacan is his Symbolic-Imaginary-Real Orders; a Borromean knot that we exist in always. Lacan explains it through a child’s development. Before we are even born, we exist in the Real. The Real is perhaps the opposite of what we understand things to be “real.” The Real Order exists without any language or likeness. We cannot describe it. We cannot compare it to anything. It is beyond language and our comprehension of the event. When a baby is born, they believe they are a part of everything. They put things in their mouths such as objects, people’s fingers, or their own feet. It is hard to fully describe the Real exactly because Lacan kept changing and refining what he meant by it, but if we think about it performatively, perhaps the Real should be hard to explain. In a way, the Real is the closest thing to “wholeness.” We return to the realm of the Real when we die.
My chest, especially around the stomach area, gets painfully uncomfortable when it is touched. I think it comes from my negative responses to tickling from childhood. I do not like to be touched in this area. I have a hard time having sex with this hindrance. They always want to kiss my chest and my stomach before they go down on me. I have to protect this area with my hand. If they do get close or hit the spot, a pain so deep affects my whole body. I hate when this happens. I had a partner who yelled at me once because the pain was triggered. I thought he understood, but apparently not. I hate when it happens. I really do.
With an ice pick in hand, the person stabs viciously into the other person’s torso. They don’t move; they take it. This act gets repeated over and over again and is done so with passion. There is no screaming, no moving. They are done for.
Not much is known about Jun Lin. He moved to Montreal from China to study computer science. He also wanted to move to Montreal to have a better gay experience. His parents didn’t accept the fact that he was gay. Jun was quiet, kept to himself, and he was kind. Even after he broke up with his boyfriend, he would always send a good morning text to him.
I am red meat; his beak
For this piece, I consulted three sources - a documentary, an art piece, and an academic article - to know more about Jun. The Netflix documentary series Don’t F**k with Cats is a three-part extravaganza of the murderer and the cat and mouse chase internet users did to find him. A group of people found videos of a guy killing cats for views. He purposely teased them and led them on to the point where the Jun incident became the final straw. The documentary, in its over three-hour run time, only covers Jun for ten minutes.
Thomas Bo Nilsson’s immersive installation piece titled MEAT was a 240-hour nonstop performance that centered around the internet café Jun’s murderer was found in. People could either go to the location or tune in to the live stream where people were online all the time. Matt Lambert created a trailer for the piece that centers around the gay pornstar cannibal killer and his obtuse narcissism. There is nothing about Jun.
Bobby Benedicto’s essay, “Agents and Objects of Death: Gay Murder, Boyfriend Twins, and Queer of Color Negativity,” juxtaposes Jun and his body with psychoanalysis, Georges Bataille, and Leo Bersani. I found Bobby’s essay disturbing, and I still need to chew on it. Bobby uses the figure of the boyfriend twins - where gay men date their lookalikes - to theorize and critique Jun’s killer’s ability to mutilate his body. Because he didn’t recognize Jun’s flesh like his own, he was able to stab him with the “ice pick,” which was actually a silver spray-painted screwdriver. Bobby actually watched the video. What disturbed me the most was that he recognized himself in Jun. Jun was a mirror for him, as well.
The Symbolic Order, according to Lacan, is the order of difference. This order we recognize the most because it is the realm of language. Language - according to the structuralist - creates meaning through difference. We understand words because they are not other words. We know what a chair is because we know it is not a table or a dog. The Symbolic Order is the order of difference.
In the next scene, we are in the bathroom. The body of the person tied to the bed is in the bathtub. We see the person’s face for the first time because their head is detached from the body and is twisted toward the camera. The person’s face is mine. The person who was on top uses the saw to divide my body into different pieces. My arms were cut off. My legs were cut off. My hands were cut off. My feet were cut off. My head was fully cut off.
When did I lose my virginity? I was 21 years old. I was severely depressed, heartbroken by the man who yelled at me about my chest. I didn’t know how to feel anymore because I just felt broken. I was home from college. My parents didn’t know what was wrong with me. I didn’t tell them why. They let me do whatever I wanted. I was chatting with a guy on Grindr. A guy 10 years older than me. He picked me up. We went on a Starbucks date. He took me to his apartment. He turned on the TV. We went at it. He took me to his bed and asked to fuck me. I said yes. He went into me. I thought it would help me get into me. Next thing I know, I am back home.
I have to be honest with you, reader, that I do not like this piece. I am having a hard time writing it, but it’s something that cannot be stopped. It’s like I am watching the video (I haven’t seen the video yet, and I am not sure if I want to). I wanted this piece to be the first time I address Jun and write about him. I’ve been upset about him for about a decade. He’s been in my body. I see his face when I look at mine. I am trying to put these pieces together. I am trying to get his body together. I am so upset because everyone forgets about Jun.
The Imaginary Order is the realm of likeness. It is associated with the Love of the Mother. Lacan explains we enter this Imaginary Order through the mirror stage. When a baby develops more, they start to hear language and notice that things are not really a part of them. The toy is not a part of me. The person’s finger is not me. And my foot is simply my foot. It is a world of images. This moment can be demonstrated for the baby when the mother picks the baby up, places them in front of the mirror, and asks, “Lukas, who is that?” And the baby sees themself, but it’s not themself: it is the image of themself. It is never us that we see. We are never attached to our worlds.
When I was learning about Lacan, I was in the beginnings of my “breakup” and my severe depression. Lacan made sense to me because Lacan is all about lack. I lack so many things even to this day. Nothing can fulfill this lack. We are always separated from the things we truly want. We never know what we want. We just have the things we think we do want. My professor then, to fully demonstrate this concept of lack and how we never know what we look like, asks: “What does a child say before they jump in the pool? They say, ‘Look at me,’ because they will never know what they will look like, and they need another person to fulfill what they lack.” I cried in class that day.
In the next scene, we see a dog eating pieces of my flesh. My killer cuts the pieces to the dog. He then eats me. And as a grand finale, he fucks my torso. Just my torso.
I am not his yet.
The left foot was sent to the Conservative Party of Canada. The left hand was sent to the Liberal Party of Canada. The torso was found in a suitcase by the dumpster behind Jun’s apartment. I don’t remember where he put his head. It took a while for them to figure out the body was Jun’s.
Luka Rocco Magnotta will be named and mentioned now.
What separates Luka and me in the symbolic order is just the letter s. I understand why Jun answered his ad. People like guys who look like Luka, and they never want guys that look like Jun. I didn’t find Luka attractive until I heard his voice and saw the way he held himself. That deep voice can make anyone attracted to masculinity go wild. I like his face. I like his demeanor, his mannerisms. He would have devoured me.
It’s easy for us to find trouble. Those of us who lack and never really see ourselves. Our fragmented beings trying to fulfill this wholeness. You should find yourselves first then you’ll find someone. You should be happy with yourself first. We try to find it in other people. Since I was 19, I tried to find it with every stranger that gave me attention. How many hotel rooms have I been in. How many married men. How many incidents where I feared for my life. I cannot count anymore, nor do I remember. I just know that I am still alive, carrying with me whatever still haunts me.
To write, as Chris Kraus would say, is to give an order to things. To write, for me, I also give a body to things. I always return things to the body.
He wants to be loved.
When he looks in the mirror, what does he see? I see myself in him. I see the black hair. I see the eyes. I see that we have the same flesh. I see my naked body and his. We are nearly the same. A mirror stage for each other because we lack selves. We have to always see one another. We have to cut our body in sections, choosing our favorite parts with the camera, sending the photos to the men who may kill us. But at least right now we’re alive.
And with my body, Jun, you will be okay. I will never let anyone hurt you. I will stop hurting myself. I will always be better for myself. I will always remember you, and I will remember who I am, why I am here, and what I need and want for myself. I will be okay, and you will be too. We will take care of each other.
This will be a first.