Monday, August 14, 2006

104 Degrees

[Another letter from my friend writing from Khartoum in Sudan]

It was 104 degrees Fahrenheit around midnight tonight in Khartoum, and the hot air in the courtyard behind my hotel was filled with the sweet smell of fruit-flavored tobacco. In the nighttime heat, an audience of a hundred men and women, some dark black, some Arab, were sitting still and quiet at tables set up on the grass. Clouds of mist were falling gently over them, giving some relief from the heat, spraying out from pipes that had been suspended high above their heads by the hotel staff.

Through the dark, and the mist, and the thick fragrance, I could see dozens of hookas in their hands and on the tables. Wisps of sweetened smoke curled out of the hookas to meet the falling mist. Many of the men wore long flowing white robes and Muslim skullcaps. Others wore regular pants and long-sleeved shirts. The women all wore burkas and veils, their veils pushed back, far up, past their foreheads and behind their ears, showing their necks and their hair and earrings, and their faces painted with mascara and lipstick; some mocha faces with skulpted eyebrows; some dark black faces with bright white eyes.

All eyes were on the stage, a raised platform at one side of the dark courtyard. Pulsing loud synthesizer music, played by two keyboardists and a drum machine, filled the space around the audience with an undulating beat so rapid, and with the voice of a male vocalist so energized -- singing a Middle Eastern melody so joyously but whiningly -- that it struck a strange contrast with the slow, calm swirls of mist, and the quiet, unmoving audience.

No one moved, because everyone was entranced. It wasn't the tobacco, the music, the heat or the mist. It was the young dancers: five young women and two young men. You couldn't take your eyes off them. Dressed from head to toe in white, flowing, traditional Ethiopian clothes, with bright multi-colored hems and sashes and jewelry and headdresses -- only their faces and hands exposed. The powerful sexuality that came pulsing out from the stage didn't depend on anyone showing any skin. There were no mini-skirts, no thighs showing, no men's muscular chests or women's low-cut blouses. But the audience was transfixed by the dancers' sexiness. The girls, maybe eighteen years old, maybe twenty-two or twenty-six, all had large, beautiful breasts the size of large grapefruits, or small coconuts, covered behind the thick white material of their traditional dresses but bouncing wildly like there was no tomorrow. Their lips were painted dark, blood red. Their faces were light brown, Arabic or maybe light-skinned Indian, and they were all smiling, smiling with their mouths open, breathing heavily, almost laughing, because they were moving so fast, almost hyperactively, rhythmically, jumping, again and again and again and again, swinging their arms and twirling their hands and fingers, with such joyous abandon, it seemed childish, innocent.

But not innocent. Not those blood-red lips, not their breasts, bouncing so hard because they were pumping their chests on purpose with just the right rhythm and speed to maximize each bounce. It looked like it might be painful for them. The frenetic movement of the two boys, eighteen years old, maybe twenty, was something like a cross between turbo-charged break-dancing and an epileptic fit. Chests pumping in and out so rapidly they rivaled the girls’ bouncing breasts in speed, right shoulder in, left shoulder in, right shoulder back, left shoulder back, faster and faster, two, three shoulder thrusts per second ..... also with such joyous, childish abandon that it seemed maybe, maybe it wasn't quite sexual -- but it was. At times seeming masculine, at other times joyously effeminate, the boys were a foil to the women, mimicking one another, smirking, smiling, pushing their heads forward and back like chickens. The women and young men all did the jerky chicken move, the neck snapping back with the chin tucked down, then forward again, over and over, at exactly the same time, in unison. Face forward then sharply back, forward then sharply back, all in rhythm to the fast-paced, whining vocalist and synthesizer sound. It seemed comical, the chicken theme, a bit absurd, awkward, almost violent in its jerkiness -- but blended in with the bouncing breasts, the jumps and squats in unison, the smirking and winking, the colored lips, the break-dancing chests and shoulders, it became part of a whole orgiastic sexual drama. Both the male and female dancers were doing it, but as my eyes settled on one of the women, it was impossible not to imagine her in the throes of orgasm, moving violently like an out-of-control chicken. It sounds crazy, I know, but don't people sometimes do strange things, in those moments of passionate abandon? (“Baaahhhhhhkkk, bok bok bok bok bok baaaahhhhkkk!”)

(So maybe I was a bit high on heat, mist, tobacco.)

Thursday, June 29, 2006

The Coolidge Effect

Apologies because its been awhile. A recent trip to Vietnam has resulted in a hiatus. Hiatuses are lame. So I thought now might be a good time to discuss something I learned about recently -- called the "Coolidge Effect."

When female rats are in estrous (in a lab) then
the experimenter can keep giving her new partners, one after the other, and
she will not tire from copulating with each. It is the male who tires,
and so must be removed and followed by a new male if the copulation is
to continue. On the other hand, when the male copulates till exhaustion
with a female, removing her and providing an new partner keeps restoring
his interest.

This effect (on the male) has gotten the name of the Coolidge Effect
from a joke about US President Calvin Coolidge. He and his wife are
visiting a chicken farm and are being shown around separately by their
hosts. Upon seeing a rooster, Mrs. Coolidge asks: "How often does the
rooster mate?" The reply is "Nine or ten times a day, Ma'am." So Mrs.
Coolidge asks: "Would you mind going to tell that to the President?"

When the President is given the message from Mrs. Coolidge he asks:
"And with whom does the rooster mate 9-10 times a day?" "With a
different hen each time, Mr. President." "Would you mind going to tell
that to Mrs. Coolidge?"

Friday, May 12, 2006

Fog of Whore

It was a bleak San Francisco night, 1993, about 50 degrees and drizzling lightly. I had been waiting at the stop for about 20 minutes, on the grimy sidewalk.

There was myself, a bum, and a bored whore. The bum was stooped in drunkenness, wearing an oil-stained raincoat hiding layers of unwashed sweaters. His face was a craggy mess. He had sidled up to the whore like a supplicant, and a scabby bottom lip murmured words I could barely make out: "cmon gimme piece of something something canya gimme piece I like it yea cmon.. what I want yea"

As he mumbled, he slowly continued to crowd the whore, but she gave no acknowledgement.

His feet staggered towards her as he continued his patter. Down the street I could see the bus approaching.

As the bus drew up to the curb and passed by me, she reached into her purse and briskly took out a small canister and squeezed the top, enshrouding the bum in a cloud of gas. A sharp rattling noise emerged from within the cloud. I watched, transfixed, as the bum's arms and legs trembled. AAACKKK HHHRRCCCHHHTH GAAAAAAAHH

Then the wind shifted and the cloud pounced on me. My eyes burst into flame as long hatpins were inserted up through the roof of my mouth, into my brain. I doubled over, gagging, and then sank to the pavement.

The whore got on. The doors snapped shut and the bus pulled away.

When my eyes cleared, I looked for the bum, but he was gone.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

"You Want It When, Bitch?"

A few weeks ago, I detached my grip from the withered corporate lingam to which I had been clinging. For 7 inertial years, I had gorged my abdomen like a tick upon the saccharine sap that coursed down its necrotic shaft. But a messenger's breeze carried nature's aroma to my nostrils; the notes of her fragrance relaxed my anxious arms, and slowly, and then with gathering speed, I slid down to *PLOP* on the warm earth. Here I find that I ambulate well enough. A forest of opportunity awaits; between the trees, open space & beyond, distant mountains.

One of the thrills of this separation was giving away my collection of chotchkies I've accumulated over the years. I also had to decide who would be the recipient of the totemic Xena doll, which was bequeathed to me by a dear friend who worked in another area of our phallus (on the underside of the ball-sac, Vas Deferens divison). For many months Xena had kept watch over my shoulder, her broadsword raised in her mighty clenched plastic fist, her projectile bosoms bursting manfully beneath her moulded breastplate. She'd been a strong companion, a familiar to keep me calm as the pointless busywork piled up and people rushed in to trouble me with random unnecessary urgencies.

How strange that androgyny should be more empowering than cock, under such circumstances? But on another level, it made sense - had there been a G.I. Joe in her place, or a bare-chested Wrestlemania doll, the telepathic voice I would hear would be not Xena's: "Function with pride and know that this unreality does not rate your noblest attentions" but "Do it NOW punk! Drop and give me 20!" and "Be a man, bitch!"

Every employee deserves to be the alpha dog of their own workstation fantasies. So Xena was the ideal wingwoman.

Of course, what I really wanted was to glue a floppy dildo on my PC with my name and title hung about its neck, and have a ceremony in which all execs would process by and minister to it with fragrant oils and chrism. Come to think of it, this is rather tame.. Now that I'm liberated from the evil Dick, I could imagine more inspiring tableauxs, roaming the forest floor with my own Cock in tow.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Sweet Charity

Last Thursday, I was riding into work on a crowded subway car. A ragged man entered from the door at the end of the car, tapping a thick wooden cane, his head tilted back, sunglasses on his face. He wore a puffy, ripped leather jacket, a grimy white shirt, and stained black trousers.

He shouted his pitch: "Good Morning Everybody! I'm blind and homeless and need a place to stay tonight! Anything you can spare, even a penny, will be appreciated! God bless you!" He shook a paper cup, in which a few coins rattled.

As he made his way down the aisle, tapping his cane ahead of him, passengers moved out of their way but did not otherwise respond. He came closer to where I was seated, in the middle of the car. I was relaxed, my legs crossed, extending into the aisle, blocking his way. As he approached I braced for the smell, but there was none. He had washed recently.

Of course, I felt an urge to move my legs and let him pass, like everyone else, but I also felt an instinct not to move. So I didn't. His cane thumped my leg and then, as he made an effort to step over my feet, he tripped, stumbling.

He reached out with a hand to grab a pole, caught it in the crook of his elbow, and spun to his right. His foot lunged forward and he found his balance after stepping on a woman's shoe. Other passengers were jostled. He turned his blind face to me and said: "Excuse ME SIR!" and proferred me his cup. I demurred, and after a tense pause, he continued to shuffle his way down the aisle.

But now men's hands reached inside pockets, and women opened their purses. The jingle of his shaking cup grew noisier as people reached out to give. After each donation, he bowed slightly and said, "God Bless You".

The question I'm wondering now is, did I deserve a cut? I would have taken a "God Bless You" at least.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Ample Annie's Treasure Chest

For two decades leading up to yesterday, when I finally Googled her, I had mistakenly remembered Miss Annie Ample as “Ample Annie.” As in Ample Annie's Treasure Chest, a saddle-stitched booklet of esoteric objects so bizarre and intriguing to my eleven-year-old mind that I can still recall the nervous tingle of surveying its well-thumbed pages back in the eighties.

Implements and contraptions, pouches and slings, tubes and spheres, potions and lotions, powders and pills, ointments and oils, creams, masks, boots, gloves, diagrams and detailed depictions of startling things. Plus the incredible Pocket Pussy Pal. Strangest single item I'd ever seen.

Turns out that the Treasure Chest was merely a mail-order sex catalog that my boyhood friend had lifted, presumably from his folks, and squirreled away in his bedroom for quiet study. The product selection was probably rather pedestrian and low-tech by today's standards. In fact, a friend sitting with me now would like us all to know that the Pussy Pal of yor has yielded to a novel crotch-emulator called The Flesh Light. She hasn't seen one up close so I'll leave it to you people to investigate further as you like.

The boy who introduced me to Ample Annie's Treasure Chest was the same precocious youngster who tempted us with the naked Hades-harlot in Suckle Me, Succubus. And it was on his television that I saw Angie Dickinson's mystical, magical soap-lathered breasts in Dressed to Kill, a psycho-sexual thriller that provided the first TV sex content I ever watched. I vaguely remember a taxicab scene in which a guy rips off Angie's undies and I thought, Geez, do we get to do that?

So this neighborhood kid -- who eventually became an attorney and married a New Orleans stripper -- was the first source of sexually-explicit material in my youth. Did you all have someone specific who opened your eyes to these things? Not your first sexual experience, per se, but your first experience of erotic media. Was it a sibling? Was it the neighborhood troublemaker? Was there a girl who led the pack? Was it YOU who discovered and spread the gospel to your peers? Also I was wondering if you have lucid visual memories of the content...

P.S. I couldn't find an image of the Treasure Chest, just this 1984 cover photo of Her Highness the Queen Mam(s).

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

A Stitch In Time

Last month, I bought two pairs of stylin' pinstripe trousers at the H & M on 5th Avenue. Because I'm dieting, and anticipating a slimmer future self, I went with the 32" waists, instead of the 34" which is a more accurate specification of my present girth.

I've always had a bit of a complex about my physical proportions. Once, in 3rd grade, before I grasped the concept of "circumference", the wise-ass behind me espied my label and told me that if my waist was 32" and my leg length was 26", that meant that I was wider than I was long. I fumed for a day or so until my less math-challenged friend clued me in to the geometric reality.

One enjoyable reality of my present employment is that the Man affords us an in-house tailor. Cosimo, an old-school Italian gentleman, hearkens back to a different era, the age of the one-hour barbershop haircut, the social club, the doctor who makes housecalls. Kneeling as he marks my new hemlines, he pauses for several minutes, gesturing with his chalk, to give me updates on his 92-year old father who lives in Maspeth, alone in his 6-bedroom house they have owned since they emigrated. "I could never put him in a 'Home'", he scoffs. "He has, what, only a few years left, let him live and die as he wants, in his own house, like a man." I nod. True words. Its the way I'd want to go.

My door, which was slightly ajar, swings open as a colleague barges in. He believes, perhaps, that he has given me sufficient notice because he has simultaneously, offhandedly barked the words "Knock, Knock!" before invading. He looks down at Cosimo kneeling at my feet, his face betraying a flicker of annoyance, and launches into a work-related question.

I consider his words, and say nothing. There's an awkward pause while my colleague regards me, with a "Well?" on his face. "What are you up to here, anyway?" he finally says.

I am moved to defend my time, Cosimo's time, to defend TIME ITSELF. "What does it look like? We're IN A VERY IMPORTANT MEETING!"

Moments later, Cosimo and I, now alone, regard each other briefly. Yes we are, we say to each other silently. In an important meeting.