Well…the Poll has closed and the night has opened up. The Masses have spoken and it looks like the “Rookies” section will remain where it is and may the Lord have mercy on all who disagree.
The sky went dark, the air turned frigid and the wind kicked in and blew many strange tidings and spirits my way; not the least of which was the Ghost of Smoky Joe.
He called unexpectedly and invited me out for the night to a local bar where we could sing a few songs, get back in the Public Eye and just generally spend a little quality time pretending that we weren’t saddled with so many responsibilities. He had some new songs and I had some old ones…and they all needed to be sung.
We headed out into the chill.
“So,” he said, “the poll is done huh?”
“Yes,” I told him.
“And you’ll be keeping the pictures up?”
“Well,” he mused, “I guess everybody likes sexy pictures.”
And he was Right; everyone likes them or, at least, there’s something about them that piques the interest or whets the appetite of most people; whether they support the concept or not. It led to many weird ideas that I knew would be on my mind for the rest of the night.
After all, the pictures aren’t technically dirty; they merely present the illusion of sexuality or, more to the point, of sex. Perhaps it could be dissected even further to the finely honed theory that what they really represent is the Vagina.
It is, undoubtedly, a strange and mysterious orifice that has given us centuries of pondering and frustration. It fascinates men no end. Perhaps we’re merely experiencing the residual effect of some half-remembered trauma that we suffered in the dark and narrow channel of the birth canal and it has caused us to spend inordinate amounts of time just trying to get back in there in the hope that we can finally explain to ourselves just what this enigmatic tunnel is all about and what it really means in a huge, confusing Universe and to us personally.
“It is the One Constant,” Smoky Joe said to me. “It’s never far from our minds.”
“Right,” I agreed.
It is certainly one of many subjects that make me stay up too late at night while I cook French fries at 2 AM and ruminate over those thoughts and ideas that trouble my soul from time to time. Like wondering precisely where, at this Very Moment, the Yeti might be hiding. And thinking of how Americanized the idea has become. The Nepalese people don’t think of him as the “Yeti” or even the Abominable Snowman. They call him Metohkangmi which means “Indescribably Filthy Man of the Snow.” And, of course, I had to ask myself if we couldn’t find a vaginal application for this concept. You know, something like: Metohvaginangmi; which would mean “Indescribably Filthy Vagina,” but not necessarily of the Snow. But I did often wonder, in the night, about some subjects that were only tangentially vaginal; like whether Tyne Daley and Sharon Gless would ever get the Old Gang back together for a Cagney and Lacey reunion.
We got to the bar and discussed what beverage might compliment a night like this properly. Perhaps a fine wine; maybe an Anjou or a light, dry Bordeaux or even a Vouvray. But when the bartendress approached us we said, in unison, “Rum and Beer.”
We took our drinks and tuned up the guitars and settled in to wait for our turn on stage and to soak up the Night Life and get back to the subject of the Vagina.
“I’ve never been partial to bald ginch,” Smoky Joe told me.
“I agree,” I said. “A little hair is needed. If nothing else, it’s some kind of camouflage…just to keep the mystery alive.”
Or, I thought, maybe if it was kept shaved down into some kind of shape like a heart, the Liberty Bell or, even better, a lightning bolt or something hip and cool like that. Yes, it needed to present the air of exploration; of discovery. Like some secret codex that has lain hidden in the remote desert or deep jungle for centuries and is filled with curious glyphs and symbols that speak of Other Worlds and Realms that are, perhaps, peopled with angels and devils and gods of all sorts who demand worship at this fecund and odoriferous altar of No returning. It should never be totally shorn, unless you could get down and press your ear against it and maybe hear the ocean as if from some great distance.
And maybe, I thought, it helps to create the idea of Danger, which is a prime component of sexuality. Sure, why not? It is the One Thing in our society that is most carefully hidden, well guarded, of prima facie Paramount concern and yet is still ubiquitous and unavoidable. It’s always at a distance of mere inches away; protected only by the thinnest layers of shimmery material and pure, white cotton. There, within reach, but seemingly still at arm’s length, is all the velvety mystery and white heat that it contains and all the wet promise of ecstasy that it can deliver. And we will do almost anything to get at it. It makes the world go mad and no Risk is too great to gamble when the Brass Ring is within sight. It is a Weapon and a Currency and it produces the lubricant that greases the gears of our short-lived existence. It literally makes the World go round. I believe that more murder, mayhem, madness and destruction have been committed in the name of the Vagina than any other thing in all of history, with the possible exception of God. But it still strikes me that the Vagina, even its mere evocation or invocation, is as esoteric and sublime as any religions totem, dogma or deity. And its devoted supplicants can be found in far more quarters and quiet cloisters than any god who has ever been.
Then again, maybe I’m overstating the case. But probably not.
Smoky Joe leaned in and whispered to me, almost conspiratorially, “Pussy’s a strange place,” he said. “Things get pretty weird up inside there.”
“You’re telling me?” I said over the lip of my glass as I scanned the crowd and noticed all the young girls who had finally realized the value of their own genitals. And now they were eager to trade and find out just how much this magical contraption might fetch on the Open Market. The Sky was the limit; depending, of course, on the quality of the specimen in question. None of them wanted to suffer the beat down consequences of over-use, the unfortunate ooze of the clap or the heartbreak of incurable viral infection. But that’s the risk you run when you put it on the table, as it were.
The girls were all young and they had also recently discovered the effects of alcohol and the nature of bar room life. They treated it as if they were the first to have found this powerful secret and they acted as if it was a New Toy they needed to play with in reckless ways until the novelty had worn off. They clearly reveled in the company of drunken males who were as young and inexperienced as were they and I wondered how many of them would end up learning Hard Lessons about Knock-Out Drops, date rape and the value of contraception.
We kept drinking and we eventually made ready to hit the stage as two excessively young, excessively drunken girls staggered onto the dance floor and began making out furiously as they stumbled over tables, bumped into the other dancers and finally collapsed in the floor in a half-passionate embrace with their lips locked together and too much skin showing. It was all the Illusion again. It was meant only to elicit the appropriate response and to create the idea that here were two-count them-two vaginas that were hot, wet and ready but were not meant for any man. They were Off Limits in the throes of a fashionably lesbian encounter. The young men gathered around and cheered and clapped and watched with longing. But Smoky Joe and I knew better. A few years ago I would’ve been all over it, but now, all I wanted was to drag them out of there and take them straight to a priest to be shriven. And even if I had been all over it, for all their affected sexuality and willingness to get kinky and experimental, I knew they’d balk if we offered them the chance to slip away with us for a little tag-team action and to show them what a Real Penis could do to their young, nubile bodies. All they wanted was to give us the Illusion, to create the Buzz, to get deep into Vaginal Branding and to see to it that their Stock would rise and that they could command the kind of Price they wanted and expected for their Goods. And there was, admittedly, a premium to be placed on something like this, but it wasn’t worth all the hoops we’d be expected to jump through. After all, we were tired and we had more important things to do and we both had Vaginas of our own waiting at home and we had already invested enough in them to keep us from spending any time or hard-earned-dollars on two new ones that we hadn’t even Road Tested.
So we sang our songs and tried to forget about vaginas for a while.
But we didn’t. And we both knew, on the long ride home, that we never would.