|The Story||The Authors|
|Jake was tired. He hadn't slept. He'd been studying nonstop for hours trying to get the information crammed into his head. People roamed the library like drones. Ocassionally he was distracted and would get tired, but mostly he was driven by a sense of fear and panick. He had less than 8 hours to figure out how it worked. Every cup of coffee was like a two hour fuse, eventually burning out and needing to be re-lit. The only thing that could stop him now was himself.|
His eyes stung and his head ached and he was unable to study the manual's user-hostile pages for more than twenty minutes at a stretch before being overwhelmed by lack of sleep. When this happened, he would slump forward, into a buzzing, yellow-tinged state midway between reverie and dream; the blood would rush to his extremities and his thoughts would swirl around visions of Pamela... The backyard of the Dijonaise farmhouse he'd grown up in, lush with poppies in early summer, thrushes dying among the mustard-fields, great flapping Red Admiral butterflies migrated down from Mother England, stopping for a week to binge themselves into narcosis on poppy-pollen, headed for the Mediterranean to summer among the rich... |
Of course it was all gone since he was a young man of seventeen, paved over and now a munitions factory, but in the dream he is back there as he is now, a man of twenty-six, leaning against the barn-door with the self-consciously seedy slouch of a perpetual Humanities grad student, cigarette dangling from between his slightly pouty lips. The ennui of the first truly hot, humid days -- ah, one could start drinking chilled white wine with breakfast even, just to ease the torpor, the slowly crushing lassitude which he had convinced himself and his best friend Henri was evidence of the imminent heat-death of the universe in microcosm...
And then the barn door opens and she walks out... "Oh, Jake, I was hoping you'd be home... There's something I want to show you..."
So saying, she begins to unbutton her dress, with an excruciatingly seductive button -- by -- button pace, running her pink tongue over her white teeth. He sees she is wearing no bra -- her tan cleavage catching the merciless sun among all the tiny drops of sweat with which the weather has fraught it, and he can taste their saltiness in his mind, and the texture of her skin beneath -- no bra, and (he assumes, hopes, prays) by default, panties either... He takes a step toward her, and another -- and is awakened by a clumsy library assistant dropping all fifty-seven pounds of Volume 8 (Embl -- Fils) of the Oxford English Word Origins Dictionary...
His bladder is fit to burst from all the coffee; but the insistent erection he hides beneath the lip of the table prevents him from standing, going to the men's room, pissing, and splashing cold water on his face, rubbing his tired eyes in the mirror and perhaps smoking a cigarette -- just the thing a man needs, in his case, to wake up... But he won't. He just couldn't bear to stand up and cross the room with this stiffy, certainly not in pleated chinos. He tries to think it away -- imagine that! All the men the world over trying to conjure one into existence, and I have to wish it away! And if each man is given but a certain number of them, and no more, what future night of ecstacy am I halving? Sigh...
|It definately seemed like a plague affecting primarily men. He once asked a girlfriend how often she found herself getting wet "down there" for no apparent reason at odd times throughout the day, the way men get spontaneous erections. She giggled and replied, "virtually never". Why are women characterized as capricious when sometimes they seem like such intentional beings compared to men? His uncle Rajph seemed like a completely intentional being. His life was completely structured and predictable. Rising at the same time everyday, going to bed at the same time every night. Gone fishing on sunday mornings. No chance for variation. A completely structured life like a well kept train schedule. Surely Uncle Ralph didn't get spontaneous erections. Or maybe he did.|