Losing them, fixing them, forgetting to put them in
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Tim Farrington is the author of the cunnilingus entry in Dirty Words: A Literary Encyclopedia of Sex (Bloomsbury USA), which can be found on page 69 (really). He lives in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
In retrospect I can see the appeal. The world according to Blick was a grimly serious place, as orderly and attractive as one of Pebbles’ mobiles; he dangled his international system of coat hangers and dental floss, and my sister gaped up at it like a dazzled kitten, batting at it from time to time with her little paw.
And still I persisted in the belief that my condition was manageable, that I was, more or less, steering the careening vehicle of my life. That is, until my mother died, terribly, of stomach cancer, in the winter of my forty-first year. That was when the wheels came off.
I don’t know why certain faces are magical for me, why a particular set of features should seize me with the conviction that all of love and meaning can be found in the way an eyebrow lifts, or the way the corner of a mouth tucks in to suggest a smile. But Louie’s face always seemed like such a miracle.
Wayne had proposed marriage, and she had told him she wasn’t sure she wanted to be married right now. Actually, all she wanted was a long, hot shower. She wondered how this man could ever have made her think her heart had opened as never before. It was becoming something of an ordeal just to be polite.
He’s functional now, of course, a basically normal guy. That’s what gets me — I look at him and marvel at what a ground of pure craziness that normality is built on.
Bobo looked up. The devil took the opportunity to slip out of his grasp and go rest by the wall. He had a huge black cloak, and purple sneakers, and came across as very urbane, but he bit in close situations. Bobo had learned to avoid his teeth.
In a man of his size and complexion, however, many found the reserve unnerving. Mr. Cody, the history teacher, referred to him in private — with more than slightly nervous humor — as “My Bad Conscience.” Also, as “Doom.” Most people called him Elmer, and stayed out of his way.
Howie got his guitar the day the Soviets invaded Czechoslovakia, and he named it Elijah. It made a big impression on him: there he was in his living room tuning this new, magic thing, watching the tanks roll into Prague on television.
Enos had died that year, pathetically, and Jethro had seen in his eyes before they closed only relief that he no longer had to keep a parallel set of double-entry books for that God. That God was busy all the time, balancing numbers. Jethro had no desire for His heaven, and no fear of His hell.