saw a crappy screenshotted version of this photo I originally uploaded.
Don’t understand why someone would do it that way.

A wide-oh mouth spreading vents vocalizations to stem rising tide as if moans lessen the straining pressure. The protruding angle of wedged elbow hinge and the shift of wrist raise strange and secret maritime Braille poems between yawing thighs. Another arm stretches to press a finger into parted lips up to the second joint.

The first pornography I saw was a gift for my fourteenth birthday from Charlie.

A year younger than me, Charlie was really Kyle’s friend. Despite our parents efforts to ensure their kids maintained our own non-redundant age-appropriate friends, Charlie and I were thick as thieves.

So when I demanded a miniature golf/slumber party birthday celebration, Charlie and I finagled getting him invited over the same night to keep Kyle from feeling neglected.

Charlie had discovered his father’s stash of girlie magazines and he had cut out an assortment of images from the few he had managed to steal.

Except for being fourteen instead of ten or eleven, it was entirely prosaic.

That’s why I claim my second experience with pornography as my true first.


Every summer my parents invariably got sick of us not being in school and would hand off Kyle and I to whomever would take us. And despite Charlie being the kid who all the parents considered to be deeply troubled, his folks were always willing to host a rowdy bunch of teenagers.

Also, it didn’t hurt that Charlie’s older sister Caitlyn was just a few year’s older than me. Granted she was boy crazy cheerleader who wanted to be a vet and made a point of volunteering at an animal hospital four days a week. But even though we had nothing in common, I never disabused my mom of the notion that we were friendly.

After all getting scuttled at Charlie’s was generally held to be the best thing ever. And with Caitlyn giving me a wide berth, Charlie’s folks being so permissive and the fact that I could have as much privacy as I wanted or be one of the boys depending on my mood was thrilling.

On the second to last day of our stay, Charlie convinced Kyle and I to accompany him to a place he called The Fort. We got all the necessary gear together: Charlie grabbed a box of shells and his dad’s shotgun. I was assigned the Daisy BB pistol which consumed CO2 cartridges at roughly the same rate we consumed Mountain Dew.

Kyle wasn’t happy I got the pistol. And he actually had a point. I was hand’s down the best shot with it—able to hit a grape at thirty feet; but I had constructed a shockingly functional shoulder holster from some RJ-11 wire we’d found discarded.

Kyle, against bitter and vociferous objections ended up stuck with the rifle.

We set out across the back yard toward the woods lining the property.

The trek itself was mild to moderately pastoral with some Appalachian grace notes thrown in for good measure. We climbed fences, crawled along a fallen tree over a lazy creek.

We only stopped once.

We’d been angling through a rolling meadow when I spotted to Jersey cows staring at us from behind a barbed wire fence maybe sixty feet from us. Charlie saw them too and handed me the shotgun, motioning for holstered pistol.

I handed it over and watching him draw a bead down the barrel on the rightmost cow, fired—a whiz-click sound; missing high and right. He reloaded before firing again: a palpable hit. The cow didn’t seem to mind.

Charlie handed the pistol back wordlessly communicating: your turn. He reclaimed the heavy shotgun. I raised the pistol, aimed, breathed in deeply, halfway out and squeezed the trigger. The cow snorted and shook her brown head so I fired again.

I passed the pistol to Kyle who for all his pissing before now wanted nothing to do with it. Charlie was adamant he take a shot. Knowing Charlie we wouldn’t have gone a step further until Kyle at the very least shot in the direction of the cows if the darkening of the sky along the horizon didn’t so thoroughly telegraph the approach of a gathering storm.

The Fort, as it turned out, was less northing more and nothing less than a northeastern style farmstead, its wood panel exterior warped and waterlogged. It been white at one point; however, the paint had long since fallen away, revealing the ugly wasp daub grey siding. Scorch marks spread char-black up and out from the second-story windows.

Inside, there was only enough drywall left to imply the boundaries between rooms. Charlie headed upstairs, my brother trailing after him.

I moved room to room. But with the exception of dead leaves piled in corners, discarded beer cans and a grime-matted mauve hoodie ground into the floor beside a mangy, dust-encrusted mattress there was nothing to see.

The stairs sighed under my weight. And I heard a faint hissing, like rain against the side of the house as I climbed.

The stairs opened onto a picture window which Charlie stood centered in facing out. I realized the sound wasn’t rain; he was pissing out the window.

The second floor was completely open end-to-end: charred floor, rafters and dead light drifting dustily in through a handful of dormer windows.

Charlie’s stream of urine ebbed then stopped.

He turned away from the window; I looked away down the length of the open room where a dozen plus knee high stacks littered the floor.

I approached the nearest stack. A bespectacled young girl—too young?—smiled up at me; her glasses and face were lined with thick, white fluid. A second before what I was looking at dawned on me, I realized this girl bore a startling resemblance to a classmate on who I had an outsize crush. This girl had the same glasses, same playfully innocent smile and nearly flat chest.

The other stacks revealed comparable material, a hodge-podge of hardcore mainstays (Hustler, Stag, Swank) as well as more off-beat fare with highly questionable legality (i.e.70’s vintage Color Climax).

I was in a daze and it Charlie a minute to take a green object from him.

The object consisted of a thin, green scarf carefully wrapped around something square-ish. I unfolded the top two flaps, followed by the two beneath it to reveal a stack of Polaroids.

The first two were only clear enough to offer a general impression of what was depicted: high school kids having sex on the ratty mattress downstairs.

However, the focus in the third image was stunningly crisp: a girl, maybe fourteen, naked except for an open, button front shirt, cradled by a second girl—naked except for panties—who crouched beside her. The second girl’s left nipple was pinched tightly between the first’s bone-white teeth. The cradled girl’s right elbow was clasped behind her knee. The fingers on the second girl’s right hand where laced together with the first girl as she helped her hold her knees wide for the naked boy between them. The cradled girl’s right held the boy’s cock, covering the head; a forked trail led from a small pearlescent pool on her abdomen—the longest branch stretching across her flat chest to just below her supersternal notch.

With the angle of view the second girl and boy’s body formed an ellipsis framing the first girl.

I was too overwhelmed by what I saw to discern whether or not I liked it. Not knowing how I felt about what I had seen made me profoundly uncomfortable.

I flipped through all the Polaroids once before wrapping them up and handing them back to Charlie. His expression asked what I thought. The roar in my ears was deafening, I couldn’t think so I ran down the stairs and out of the house.

Outside, I circled the building aimlessly. I picked up a black spray pain can. Stood it on a white rock Grabbed the pistol, shot, reloaded, shot again until the can spewing the rabid black foam.

The boys were inside for a while. But before we headed home, Charlie took the pistol from me and gave it to Kyle. Who in turn offered me the rifle but clutching the shotgun, Charlie advised him that it was better if he held onto both.

With each step, my wire holster swung awkward and empty against my body.

In my life, maybe half-dozen things have caused such overwhelming sexual arousal as that third. It wasn’t just that I felt an affinity for the content and or the execution hauntingly beautiful; what got me was the openness.

Keep in mind that at my Xtian high school admitting to suffering any sort of sexual appetite let along a non-standard deviant one was forbidden. Anyone who even intimated as much was castigated.

And while I have no way of knowing how matters turned out for the people in that Polaroid, I believe with all my heart, mind and soul that sharing that kind of intimacy with others is the only truly sacred thing in this world.

It’s like asking: is this darkness in you, too? Have you passed through this night? But instead of telling about it, you take the questioner by the hand and show them your answer.

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