Dec 8, 2008
When the Levee Breaks and the Gorillas are Loose in Your Soul
There are some moments in life that will stop your heart and cause your blood to run chill in your veins.
Some are more severe than others and the varieties can be More Serious and Less Serious, depending upon the implications of each incident as they are examined on a case by case basis.
But the irony of such instances lies in the fact that the nature of these moments is largely visceral and you probably won’t have the kind of time you might need for proper reflection and the gathering of empirical data that will afford you the opportunity to pontificate overmuch on exactly how you should, or how you are going, to react. Things happen fast in this life and you can’t always take the time to prepare your reactions in normal or measured terms and conditions.
When I was a child I was playing in the yard and I looked out to the tree line and wondered, for some unknown reason, exactly what I would do if an albino gorilla suddenly shattered out of the trees and ran, full-speed, at me bellowing like a demon from the very mouth of hell itself. It is a vision that has haunted the corners of my mind for many long years and I can’t seem to shake it.
Why would anyone imagine such a thing? And why albino? I suppose it would only add to the high order of strangeness for such an event. Even though a gorilla running rampant around the woods in the American South would be strange enough, it still doesn’t quite trip my weirdometer the way it should.
But there are other, more prosaic, events that can still elicit a blood chilling moment of True Despair that will settle in the pit of your stomach like a ball of dry ice and send you shivering and screaming into the night just as surely as any wild-ass gorilla loose from the zoo or the late-night Circus Train that derailed on the outskirts of your small town for no good reason at all.
Last Saturday, I prepared myself for a Night Out on the Town. I got reasonably dressed up and waited patiently while my young lady friend spent her time in front of the mirror making certain that she looked as good as nature, and cheap, indoor lighting would allow.
She chose an outfit designed to ignite the fire in my loins and send my mind reeling off on too many Barbarella-related tangents. (She had on boots that were entirely too reminiscent of my favorite Science Fiction Heroine.)
But I am, after all, a fully-grown and respectful Southern Gentleman and I felt sure that I could contain my precarious moods and remain calm and not let my libido get the better of my logic.
And I did quite well…at first. But then came the night-life and the neon and the slow-hokey music with its pulsing beat and the churning burn of whiskey on the back of my throat. At last, my words began to slur, my vision doubled and I felt the Need to spirit her away to the more private confines of Chez Rooked where I could light the Space Lamp and get Down to Work and maybe, just maybe, talk her into wearing a low-slung leather holster with my silver ray gun in it and the top of the scabbard sheared away with the “speed-draw” in mind. All in all, it was shaping up to be a good night.
The Lamp was lit, the blinds drawn and we settled in to take care of a little unfinished business.
I’ll spare you the gory details except to say that it was a raucous and wild ride and we held on to it as long as we could but then…when the dénouement arrived…and I “withdrew,” I saw the one sight that no man wants to see. The Condom had broken.
As I looked down at that single, shriveled band of latex wrapped so neatly around the base of my penis…I felt my heart stop and the blood freeze in my veins.
Some scientists will tell you that achieving Absolute Zero is impossible, except in theory, but I’m here to assure you that all molecular activity ceased in my body and the World Stood Still. And somewhere, from some distant outland of my memory, came the bellowing call of a huge, albino gorilla coming at me at Full Speed and the fear leapt into my throat followed all too quickly by a stream of expletives that would’ve shocked Lenny Bruce.
I cursed the manufacturer of the condom and started yelling about the inadequacies of their laboratory testing and screaming about tensile strength and stress tests. Condoms were meant to be a sign of sexual liberation…of Freedom, not this…oh Dear Lord not this.
I lamented all the whiskey and music and those damned boots! Why did she have to wear those boots? Why?
My son is only five months old and I’m still adjusting to life with an infant in the house and I can’t imagine having another one with which to contend already. And what if it was a girl? How in the hell would I ever manage to explain Menarche?
I left the room immediately and spent the rest of the night sucking on a rum bottle and muttering and cursing until I fell into a fitful and uneasy sleep filled with nightmares of rabid albino gorillas and endless chases.
The next morning, she flatly refused the Plan B Pill and we went out for breakfast and a couple of pregnancy tests. She “passed” one and we put the other away for future use…after the hormones begin to do their Thing.
So now we’re tip-toeing around each other and trying to pretend that everything’s fine and normal but we are under siege now and the winds of winter are blowing tidings to me that I may not wish to hear.
And sometimes, if I turn my head just the Right Way…I can hear the distant, muted roar of a distinctly simian nature and I know that my days are numbered.