August 1961, the summer of my seventeenth year.
The gold moon rose gracefully that night, its silver light dancing on the ponds and pools that dotted my father’s guppy farm. I was packing my bags, set to leave the next day to attend State U on a badminton scholarship. My father had hoped that I might stay on, but the hard life of guppy farming was not for me. Like most boys, I craved adventure. I had just packed my tea kettle and the last of my bath salts when the night erupted in a mad orgy of shouts and sirens. A circus train passing through town had jumped the track, splitting the peaceful night with the moans and squeals of man and beast and twisting steel.
The next morning, I trekked out to where the wreckage lay. In the night, several animals had escaped. A stunningly large-breasted dwarf approached me and asked if I would join the men on the search line. She thrust a poster in my face. It read “Sheeba,” and on it was a dark beast with fangs and furious eyes, her thick black arms straining the chains that bound her to a bright red platform with a gold sign that read “She-Ape.”
Here was my adventure.
Marching through the woods, I quickly lost interest. My pace slowed and I fell behind the others. Distracted, I slipped on some loose gravel and rolled into a mossy ravine, skinning my knee on the way down.
Righting myself, I heard a stirring in the brush and looked to find two deep brown eyes – sharp and curious. Sheeba.
Her gaze was steady. Her body coiled, ready, but her eyes…Her eyes were strong and probing.
I was afraid to move.
As was the fashion then, I wore a banana as a hat. I took it off and gave it to her. She accepted it. Curling her lips into a circle and extending a curious hand, she motioned toward my knees.
“Yes, they do hurt quite a bit,” I said.
Spreading her mouth wide, she nodded her head from side to side, raising her arms high.
“I guess I am a little clumsy,” I said. We both laughed.
Her hands were large – heavy and strong – not delicate, but graceful. Her dark skin gave off a sheen like well-worn saddle leather. I still remember how cool they felt when she passed them across my thigh and brought them to rest upon my red and throbbing knees.
“Not so very different,” I said aloud. She bowed her head and exhaled a soft whispering hoot. Not so very different, indeed.
She stirred and crept closer, crouched above me. Her whispering hoots became steady and rhythmic like a prayer, an incantation, a spell.
Quickly, she was upon me. Her small, pendulous breasts undulating with every move. She shredded my clothes, then pinned me to the moist fertile moss. Briefly, she stood, and I glimpsed her lady-flower, plump and rich like the flesh of a lychee nut. It danced for a moment, then fell on me like a hammer made of honey, wrapped in velvet, and dusted with a wispy layer of confectioner’s sugar.
Her passion was strong and willful. The moments became an infinite blur of sensations: the feel of her taut and hairy thighs clenching and flexing; the taste of her fingers in my mouth; the sound of a distant rock dove calling, kuloo, kuloo.
Thrashing, roiling, grinding, snorting, moaning, panting, straining, sweating, bending, stretching, quivering, and yes, a little bit of crying.
The frothy ecstasy rose and rose until a short and sudden pop.
I saw the dart sink into her breast; watched her eyes as the passion become rage when she saw the men. She stood to fight them.
“Sheeba!” I cried, “No, Sheeba.”
But she would not be swayed. She charged the men, bursting past them and off toward the edge of the woods. I followed her as she ran to the open wheat fields beyond.
Pop. Pop. Pop. More shots. But this time there were no darts.
Kneeling by her body, I held her hand. I, a boy-become-a-man. She, an ape, more man than I would ever be, more woman than I would ever know.
Jamie Buell is a writer, teacher, and comedian living in Chicago. He teaches writing at the Second City Training Center and performs occasionally around town. He has a wife, a dog, and a baby. He is now 132 days closer to death than he was when Cease, Cows first published him.
Lead image: “Hands.” (via Flickr user Martin Fisch)
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As James Baldwin reminded the unfeeling hordes: “Love is where you find it.” Bravo Mr. Buell. You found it beyond the wheat fields. Others have found it in the sticky ocean swirls off the coast of Maui, where man and dolphin merge in gooey indistinctness. Bravo. Love wins!
Poetic. Good dialog.
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