Jumat, 16 Maret 2012

ANCIENT PORNO by Peter Nolan Smith


The term pornography was derived from the Greeks linking two words; prostitute and I read.The portrayal of sexual acts can be traced to pre-Ice Age. Scientist have claimed that a naked figurine carved from a mammoth ivory was man's first attempt at figurative representation. Opponents to this thought counter that lurid images were not found amongst the thousands of neolithic cave paintings around the world. I'm certain that the ancients hid their XXX material far from the prying eyes of society whether they were Cromagnon or Neanderthal.

In the winter of 1965 the Pentagon abandoned the hilltop missile installation in the hills above our suburban development. LBJ had no interest in protecting the previous president's hometown from nuclear destruction. Teenagers from the South Shore flocked to Chickatawbut to vandalize the deserted army base. Within weeks anything of value had been trashed by our lawless legions.My best friend Chuckie Manzi and I took advantage of the lull in destruction to seek out an opportunity to cause more ruin. We entered a dilapidated office not far from the missile silos. The corners were steeped with beer cans. The impact of bullets pocked the walls. Fire had scorched the entrance.

Teenagers had a hard time getting guns or beer in the 60s.The parties held in the office had been for adults.Maybe even older."Look at this." Chuckie had discovered a a moldy cache of 1950s porno mags."These aren't Playboys." I opened one. The contents ventured to another dimension of perversity than the Playboys that we had found in Chuckie's father's closet. This was not the birds and bees. This was our introduction to the reality to sex.

We separated the magazines into genres with the care of the archaeologists handling the Dead Sea Scrolls. Most was straight. Some were homosexual. "This is sick." Chuckie had found a section of men whipped by women. We didn't have a word for that perversity or those of men with women who were men. Chuckie and I didn't have a word for that. In many of the photos the women were completely naked and the men wore sox.

"Why you think the men wear sox?" Chuckie was dumbfounded by this mystery.

"Maybe their feet are cold." I wore my sox to bed in the winter.

"No, the girls' nipples aren't erect."

"Why does that rule out the cold?"

"Because mine get that way in the cold." It was simple logic at its best.

"Maybe the actors forgot to take them off in the excitement."

"If a girl is naked, I'm going to be naked too." Chuckie took some of the queer stuff. One of the boys looked like him. I didn't comment on the likeness.

When I got home, I stuffed the magazines far under my mattress. My mother liked to tidy the covers after we went to school at Our Lady of the Foothills. I shared the bedroom with my older brother. He fell asleep before me. I explored the magazines one by one. My fingertips smelled of their pages. The things on that paper inspired long evenings of masturbation and I dozed off during the morning classes. My grades were slipping from As to Bs. Mother Superior examined my eyes. Her glasses were thick. Her nose sniffed at my hands. I washed them with Ivory Soap after every time I sinned in deed and thought. <"What's your excuse?" Sister Mary Josef had been born in Stuttgart. The 7th grade called her 'Sister Hitler'. She beat students with a ruler and usually for no reason.

"For my grades?" I had been the #2 student in that class. "I reading all the assignments and finishing my homework."

"Chuckie Manzi is having the same problem, only he's slipped from B to C." Sister Mary Josef was tall. I was scared of her. She also taught at a school for the deaf. I had heard stories about how she treated those girls.

Nasty as the magazines under my bed.

"I don't know why."

"Have you been touching yourself?" She seized my hands and turned up the palms. Her eyes pingponged across the whorls of my flesh, as if she was reading runes.

"No." I answered with feigned horror. The sisters said that we would grow hair on out palms if we sinned with ourselves. I shaved every morning with my father's razor. "That's a sin and I'm an altar boy."

So was Chuckie and my older brother. We were paid $5 for funerals and $10 for weddings. People died more than they got married in our parish. Three funerals a week came to $15. Levis cost $6 at Walker's Western Store on Boylston Street in Boston. I had every color.

"Make sure you do nothing to lose your soul." Sister Mary Josef released my hands. "I'll be watching you."

My nocturnal forays into the magazines became more clandestine. My older brother dropped off to sleep early, but my mother was insomniac. She didn't shut off her lights until after THE TONIGHT SHOW. Once her bedroom went dark, I slipped my hand under the mattress. My boy scout flashlight guided my travels through a maze of warped encounters. I read each magazine a hundred times that spring. Their images and words were memorized more fervently than the Baltimore Cathecism.

And no one saw nothing.

Same as the anthropologists searching for erotic prehistoric paintings. They existed in the recess of unexplored caverns. Chuckie and I scoured the Blue Hills for more pornography. Our magazines were falling apart. We traded them back and forth to each other, but we needed something new.

Red Tate was the man to ask. He lived at the dump. His home a concrete bunker. Something bad had happened to him in the Korean war. My uncle said that Red was a hero. My uncle had won the Silver Star. He gave Red money for beer.

"I'm not giving you anything weird." Red Tate exploded after hearing our request. "You're good kids. How you think people would talk if they found out I was giving kids stroke books."

"We're not kids." I protested since I was almost 13.

"You don't even shave." Red Tate touched my cheek. His fingers smelled like discarded cigarettes. The callouses were rough as a cat's tongue. "Stay away from that shit."

"But you must have some." Chuckie was desperate.

"I'm not interested in sex. Not the real thing. Not the fake." His family kept him in clothing. He actually didn't look too bad if you ignored the scar jagging across his forehead. Red must have been a good-looking soldier in his youth. "Not any more."

"Maybe you can answer a question."

"Like what?" Red licked his lips. The talking made him thirsty.

"Like why do the guys in porno books never take off their sox?"

"That's easy. They keep on their sox so they can put on their shoes easy if the police raid the studio. That's where you get the expression 'blow off your sox'." red pushed me away roughly. Parents didn't want him speaking with children. he was pure danger in their status quo minds.

Chuckie and I were disappointed by Red's refusal.

By month's end the magazines were in shreds. I threw mine away in the woods. Chuckie flushed his down the toilet. They clogged the pipe. The plumber didn't say a word to Chuckie's father. We returned our devotion to our studies. Chuckie was B+ and I was A-. Sister Mary Josef commented my dedication.

"I was saying prayers."

"So was I." And I continued by requests to a pagan god for more pornography.

Certainly the nuns' god was not into filth.

He had more important things on his mind.

Me, I had only one thing.

And it wasn't god.

Not then and not now.

Wicked forever.

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