"What's the world for you if you can't make it up the way you want."

-Jazz, Toni Morrison


The End of Gender

The End of Gender

    In 1956, me and Dickie, rural creations, were emerging from the 'mud between our toes' to that next world of 'dual carbs' and 'dabs of Brylcreem.'

    It was the unrestrained urges of early May and June; the juices busting their casings. The unrestrained mating on those dirt roads in rural America. 

     “Yes," I said, "yes, I will, yes.”

    The din of the water frogs; the air thick with pollen and hatches of newborn; swarms of emerging life.  My world at evening-- awash with seed. We, in transition, walked down those dirt roads, still mysterious to us boys in the dark. The sounds and smells and taste of it in our mouths, in our lungs, in our eyes and ears. While our older brothers and sisters, amidst it, we're fucking in the coupe on vinyl seats, parked amidst the weeds aside the woods; AM songs that split your heart. "Oh, please stay with me, Diana." Teenagers gorging on procreation. A post-war orgy. A post 'winnowing' in Europe and the Pacific; regeneration of the species.

    So, I am now past that rush of juices. But certainly can go back and taste and smell and feel them--all viscous and pungent on me then. How we slowly released from her orange swatch.  Way past I am now of what was left of agrarian America in '56.

    I am now old and past both the field and the factory. Disappearing for the very same reasons, I believe, that there is not much fucking anymore on that rural road...and probably, for that matter, neither any great killing of Americans elsewhere; not in any case, flesh to flesh, bone to bone. Rather the killing is with a joystick in Tampa: death by drone.

    The flesh and juices, the fecund and the procreation, are harder to find---the burgeoning of the baby under the frayed cotton dress; the diapers strung out on the clothesline off the grey back porch.  No, we are moving inexorably past procreation; Where I live, we are Post Procreation. We are only in it now for the electric jolt across the synapse. And soon enough, with virtual sex on the horizon and the dirt road in absentia, no juices whatsoever anymore. Just the psychic jolt, as far removed from flesh as the drone is from that erstwhile WW2  troop, turning his knife in the enemy's gut.

    So, no swell under the cotton dress, no infant clothes on the line. No overwhelming fecundity. No more do the weeds sport sacs of cum on the road where I grew up. 

    No, inexorably, no need for cock and balls, no need for the orange swatch and the ineffable curve in your grasp. All vestigial soon.

    No need, I suppose, for men and women as distinct and certainly no need ever again for 'Me Too' since 'me' is becoming equally 'all of us' as a post-industrial phenomenon.


David R. Holdridge is 73 and trying to figure out how dying is playing out in his case. He is a veteran of several wars, beginning with Vietnam, and a published author (Avant Garde of Western Civ, Press Americana). He currently lives in Beirut, Lebanon.

Untitled For the Moment

Untitled For the Moment

Cheese Stick Fucking

Cheese Stick Fucking

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