This is the place, the place I once read about in a book. He and I, naked, in this sun-dappled glade, our bodies entwined in post-coital compatibility. He is chewing on a stalk of emerald-green grass, I desperately want a cigarette. But he is trying to quit, so I suppress this natural urge.

We need no words here, during this time. We share a mutual satisfaction. The acts we perform on one another are a catalyst, we quite literally screw the truth out of each other. During that time, we tell each other boy secrets: how he thinks he's too skinny, I think I'm too hairy, how sensitive his midriff is. We ponder that...why can he touch that beautiful layer of soft flesh covering his entrails with any amount of force or pressure, yet when I think to touch it with any part of my anatomy he quivers, curls into a ball. We think it is a male reaction, something primal, a fear that I am not a lover, but a predator looking to bite and claw and tear out his guts in violence. We try to overcome that base reaction (I don't have it, but many males I have been with do) with my fingers, my tongue, my toes, my cock. We find boyish delight in this provocation, wonder in the mystery that is this flesh. We are scientists of joy, performing these experiments on each other's bodies, seeing what kinds of nirvana we can evoke. We take no notes, and we never speak in words.

We never speak here. We only do. We only act, we never question. Here in this glade there is only us--where time is suspended and pleasure is forever. He writes novels and develops philosophies with a moistened fingertip tracing a circle of fire around one aroused nipple. He shows me how he takes care of himself, in the hopes that I will show him my own secret way. I do not disappoint him.

We model ourselves, each for the other, in a way that I cannot imagine he does with her. We compare, appreciate, admire, but never compete. It is perfection, flawed only by our unspoken words, tempered with the knowledge that to introduce language into our trysts would only shatter this lovely illusion of perfection. I long to ask why he spends this time with me, I long to know what it means. But I am a man, so I cannot ask these questions. It would anger him, to introduce thoughts into this place of doings. It would confuse if I presumed to take things here in this place, this place where we are only meant to give. I do not attempt to pluck the thoughts that I know are churning and burning and turning underneath his placid facade. I don't really want to know why we are here, not if it means never coming here again.

Eventually, he stirs, and begins to make leaving noises. This time is over, and with a lover's delicate care he takes the towel we always bring and dries my skin, kissing it at every opportunity. I do the same to him, wondering how many other men are doing this across the globe right now. I wonder what that virus that is language killed in the animals we used to be. Somehow evolution introduced cognizance into our species, and we became a species of liars. Or perhaps we just became better liars. I once tried to go without speaking for 3 weeks and discovered that it was easier to tell the truth to those attuned to me, but I could also still lie...just by shaking my head when I wanted to nod it. I nod my head now in utter truth when his eyes ask me whether or not we have done well here today.

I know this place, I've read about it. This is the place where women cannot go, they dare not, will not, should not go. I regret that notion more than words can say. I do not speak here, though, so that regret will be forever untrue.

Several months later, I discover she is pregnant. Apparently I was in a competition with her, for him, that I didn't even know about. Had I known, I would have said she won before she even met him. After all, he and I never spoke, we never thought, we only did. She always suspected what we were doing, but how could I give voice to those suspicions, when never he and I discussed what we were doing with anything more than grunts and smiles?

Now a child is on the way, and that glade, that place where women are not allowed, will be ripped from all of us; even she, who does not know, will know it is gone. I do not expect this child to grow up in a happy home. Women wake us men: to adulthood, to sex with consequences, to the responsibilities of parenthood. Some of us resent that, become Peter Pan, forever boys. Some of us never realize that we have gone from a sleeping to a waking state. Some of us are afraid to be roused, or aroused, from that slumber.

And yet we will never speak of these things. I do not expect this child to grow up in a happy home.

Jai guru de va om
Nothing's gonna change my world,
Nothing's gonna change my world.

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