Puer Aeternus





Puer Aeternus


by Adrian Flange


K.E. was a woman who pondered strange things, like how mutations in the pleckstrin homology domain of dynamin 2 caused dominant intermediate Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, and why nasturtium leaves smelled like cocaine. This is what Peter lovingly typed on his computer with a smile. What an absurd beginning to "Puer Aeternus" he thought to himself, and got back into bed, his mind and energy wandering, restless. Sure, he had finally just had a night of pretty good conjugal sex after months of nothing, but it wasn’t with Karen. He still had energy for her; and the writing story thing, the conscious effort to sublimate his desire for her (another way to be inside her in his mind), just wasn’t working.


So with the kids next door and his wife at yoga, he conjured her up very quickly (because he was very good at that sort of thing and who knew when the kids were coming back) and was on top of her on a foreign bed, in a foreign place, somewhere high in the mountains. (It must have been the mountains because all he could see gazing out the imagined window of the charming cabin his kind colleague loaned him was blue sky, sun and a distant mountain top.)


"Can you feel me"? he imagined saying.

"Yes," he imagined her saying back, having never heard her voice, so creating some aural composite of his two favorite loves from his youth, and maybe a little bit of his mom. But he didn’t know this, thank goodness, the part about his mom.

"Can you feel me feeling you?" he then said, big saucer eyes matching hers, as he slowly went into her.

"Mmmh, ye—s………I can," she said.

 "Good," he said, smiling at her, slowly moving inside her.

He was kissing her, they were kissing, and he pulled away a bit and said, "I want you to feel me more. I want to come inside you…"

"But you can’t…"

"I’m selfish…" he whispered, "I want to get you pregnant."

"Peter? What are you—"

"I do…I can’t help it."

"I don’t believe you…You’re testing me…" she said.

"Testing? No...It’s what I want. Why won’t you let me?" He was still moving inside her but real slow.

"You sweet thing…Because… because we’re 40," she smiled. "Because we both have kids……. Because we’re married…..Ohhh…you feel so…so…good…. And because….."


"Because…we can’t have a child, Peter…"

"Are you sure you’re not testing me?"

"You feel so good ….I’m afraid you feeling so good… I’m afraid of losing this feeling."

"Kar, I’m telling you I want to make a baby with you. You’re not going to lose me."

"But I don’t understand…I’m confused…..You’re...we're...marr —"

"Shhh…" he said, catching the tiny tear that she didn’t even know was slowly making its way toward her hair.

"Dad! Miles got in a fight with Kevin so Stacey told us to come back!"

Fuck. How many minutes was that? Two? Can’t a red-blooded, over-worked, under-sexed man ever get a chance to fucking masturbate in peace, for god’s sake? Of course it would have been a pretty good orgasm when she finally said yes…She always said yes in his mind. She always said no in her emails. No, you can’t call. No, I need to push you away a little. No, I’m afraid to meet you one day in half-a-year or a year. Well, she didn’t always exactly say no. Sometimes it was no and sometimes it was maybe, which really meant no—at least to Peter whose brain chemistry only did yes and no, black and white, hot and cold.


"I’m sleeping!" he yelled to them; and got up to write this sex fragment down. Maybe he’d send this to her, he thought — could be a nice start to another months-long hot and heavy email exchange. But then he thought again. Flying away from Janis and the kids for a few moments alone in bed was good; and writing about it, good too, as long as it stayed in the folder called K. But sending it to her was reckless and dumb, and basically suicidal, he knew. So he kept "Puer Aeternus" on his desktop, and in his mind cradled her head against his chest after the drinks’ reception at the dumb MLA '06 conference; and vowed to keep utterly true and merited praises about her Being — to himself. g




Adrian Flange is the pseudonym of a notorious primatologist. His story "White Fur" was published in the 4th issue of Entelechy.


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