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July 27, 2014 | by  | in Features Homepage | [ssba]


It seemed like the end of the world but it wasn’t. Something that worked previously had stopped working. He could feel it just below the stomach. Not throbbing. More like a ticking sensation, but the opposite. Denoting a shortage of time in its absence. He was not, by nature, a fatalist, but he knew it was time for drastic measures. This was an opportunity, he decided, to strip himself of inhibition, to make rash decisions, to stop apologising. This was an opportunity to drain all the potential inside him.

It was very late in winter, almost spring. Where he lived nothing froze, but things got wet for a few months. Each day the sun would rise a little higher and lure a little more moisture from the soil. By mid afternoon it would feel like all the water down below had gone for good. Out of reach, at least. Up in the canopies. It sank again in the evening, resting for a few hours just above the ground, making the air thick and heavy.

This particular absence, so it happened, manifested itself in an overwhelming desire to fuck. He had previously managed to convince himself of his own appeal, but he had never allowed himself to act in exactly the way he thought he could get away with. Maybe it was in his hair. Maybe some kind of scent. He’d seen, more than once, his reflection in the window of a dark building and he’d watched how heads would do their best not to turn. In the early evening, the wind picked up, ever so slightly, and carried with it the thin layer of moisture on his brow, under his arms. Right now, the world was on his side.

His seed, from now on, was a hot commodity. It was his moral duty, for the good of his species, to dispense it liberally.

He couldn’t talk to women, obviously. The only one he’d ever spent time with was his mother and he hadn’t spoken to her for three or four months. They all seemed to congregate together. They had their own cramped little spaces and their own conversations. From a distance he could see that some of them slept for twice as long as he did. A lot of them spent a lot of time caring for children.

He wasn’t interested in conversation anyway, so he told himself. There wasn’t time for it. He would find the first willing collaborator and stick it in. He might ask her name, feign interest in her ambitions. He certainly wouldn’t indulge more than two or three.

Starting wasn’t easy but it wasn’t hard either. He gathered momentum quickly. Suppressed the urge to lie and stare at the sky afterwards. Stopped looking anyone in the eye. Grew louder and more fierce than he usually was but it wasn’t directed at anything in particular.

His friends, his fellow men, experienced similar symptoms. Conceiving of no alternative, they dealt with their respective predicaments in a similar way. It could have been a final burst of catharsis, a deflation of feeling, an effort to make sure every anxiety was voiced before time was up. A kind of camaraderie formed, a healthy competition between men.

He trained himself to fuck for fourteen hours straight. Nap briefly. Move on.

He grew tired, but didn’t stop. His ribs grew heavy around his lungs. He knew he had ceased living up to his reputation. He could hear things being said. Things about shortcomings. He didn’t mind. He was doing this for no one else but himself. He began coughing up phlegm with every pained thrust.

His immune system started to fail. Tufts of hair would fall out seconds before orgasm. By now he was eating nothing, rarely sleeping, having visions of oblivion. He kept going. He refused to heed any warning about overindulgence, spat at concerned acquaintances and their talk of moderation. He’d scuttle off swiftly as he was finishing before anyone had a chance to notice the blood pooling in his eye sockets. Frothed saliva at the sides of his mouth. Whiskers falling from his little face as he went.

Not long after he began, in the middle of September, he broke. He found himself a hole inside a tree trunk and climbed inside. Black tailed, blue balled, muscles disintegrating from stress, parasites gnawing at his intestines, muttering something inaudible about how much more he had left to offer the world, he died.


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