Traveling alone terrifies me now. Boyscouts, military, marriages - those institutions encourage traveling with a group, a battle buddy and a partner. Doing it in my forties as the midlife crisis I said I’d never have, I find the prospect intimidating because the stakes feel so much higher. Or maybe it’s the thousands of dollars I am hauling around. Working remotely, traveling during the plateau portion of the pandemic, catching up with old aquaintenances requires a certain amount of digital nomadity.
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A Meditation on Being Shorn

I am here in the bath tub, with a razor-blade pressed against my scrotum. Snagging a pernicious pubic hair on a leathery sack grants me focus and acuity. My concentration reveals that I am infinite and my existence is both conditional and unavoidable. I am in the league with celestial bodies that sowed the preconditions of my existence Whatever the truth of the universe happens to be, I am infinite because I am here and shaving my balls.
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The Thing the Truly Matters

“You just look around, look into the eyes of a child, or into the eyes of your beloved, your mother, your friend - or just feel a tree. Have you ever hugged a tree? Hug a tree, and one day you will come to know that it is not only that you have hugged the tree but that the tree also responds, the tree also hugs you.” - Osho A certain lady asked me, “What is the ultimate thing that truly matters to you?
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A Celestial Event

Out there in the universe, there is a celestial event conjoining with our gathering today. A once in a thousand lifetimes event has aligned all our calendars to mark the birth of a binary star. Two heavenly bodies enter a stable orbit. They dance and spin around each other, pulling and pushing, each correcting when the other may falter. They are balanced by their differences as much as their similitudes. As their energies accrete, we must adjust our calculations to consider this new phenomenon.

We must heed the long histories and vast improbabilities bringing them together. Note how the elements and compounds gather, each individual part shaped and influenced by the others around it. They crossed paths at the exactly right time. They reshaped the fabric of space and time and made a place of their own. The composition of each collision will forever be part of their creation. Each gaining gravity, fusing new atoms and growing into something bright enough to draw our eyes upward in wonder.

If we look closely, we can see the individual details distinguishing each shining point even as they appear as one. Just as our ancestors plotted the sky with shapes and fables, as they told tales to explain what they saw, we will tell their epics full of love, adventure and hopefully just enough drama to spice things up a bit. After all, Hercules labored for his Megara. Perseus rode Pegaseus and battled for his Andromeda. Ariadne’s craftiness guided Theseus through his labyrinth. We will share stores of how these two separate, but equal parts balanced their cosmic dance with their stabilizing forces and unique additions. When we behold them, they inspire us like the ancient stories we all read from the tapestry of the galaxies.

If we trace the strong steady blue light, we can see a proud warrior with his strong arms wrapped in a loving embrace. He stands tall and noble - a suitable subject for overwraught odes. Those arms extend from a heart that warms us all against a cold and uncaring universe. That heart pulses and puts out love and appreciation for those in his orbit. We see a kind face with limpid eyes twinkling with an impish humor that can draw groans from the vacuum of space. He inspires myths of mischievous love, of innocent joy and of endless generosity.

The other star shines with a radiant white light. In her, we see an understated lattice of lace casting a radiant corona - a dryad wrapped in a crest of sea foam and bathed in glittering dust. She emanates a nurturing radiance that quietly promises the ripening of summer fruits. She imparts the headiness of intoxicating cane sugar and the delicate joy of a summer’s day. We see a face placid with gentleness, wisdom and a smirk sharp with a witticism should anyone get out of line. She is the polar star who reassurances us that we will find our way.

Each may be beautiful on their own. Each might align our sextants to the correct angle. It is now that they are joined that we can truly find our way. We can add new stories and seeing them together will remind us of the meaning.

Together, they shine brighter than ever. Fused, they brighten the sky and create a new constellation. They join a family full of points of light. They connect constellations made by generations of stars spread out like a jeweler’s trove on a lustrous blanket. Legends of all shapes and sizes form a new map centered around two hearts beating as one.

Elegy to My Testicles

You are either born impotent, made impotent, or choose to become impotent. Each represents a branching in the sex. Each informs the worldview of the subject. Even in powerlessness, it’s all about that dick.

To be born impotent, you must discover your sudden inability. We do not like to realize our limitations for they are markers of the borders of our mortality. Our body will fail us. It’s just a matter of when and where and most debilitatingly how.

But to suddenly realize you cannot procreate. You cannot continue the species. If you were the last man on earth, your unique calling to repopulate would result k utter failure by no other fault than a freak accident in the genetic code.

To be made impotent is worse. It has a denial of agency. Some accident, some side effect, some catastrophe had to deny you your ability. It might be as random as an error of your genetic code,but it might have far more complicity. What if you needed to choose a medical treatment that made you sterile? What if a car accident drove a hunk of steel and plasticized leather where it counts? What if some moralistic government who just discovered the joys of chemical warfare decided to castrate you for the greater good? To be made impotent invites someone to blame.

We spend our lives coming to terms with the nihilistic whimsy of the universe. Each lesson learned in life is a fundamental reminder of its impermancy. Every morale is a punchline pointing to death. The grasshopper starves. The frog drowns. The scorpion does what’s in its nature and ours is to come to a terminal end.

There is a drive to continue. That’s where the tragedy of involuntary impotence comes in. We all seek to resist death and live on in some way. Some create art, but we got here as a species by those who chose to make life. And to steal away that ability to create must cause some deep anger in the eunuchs.

That leaves those who chose to not continue on the generation. I’d group those who biologically could but who socially cannot in with the involuntarily impotent because I want to zero on those people like me who actively chose to castrate themselves.

And before you go all, “it’s reversible,” know that it only kind of sort of is. The urologists make it a point to underscore how restoring the vans differens is an expensive, full surgery with a 60 to 70% percent success rate. There’s that heavy buyers remorse and the fact that you are awake and lucid and trying desperately to count the ceiling tiles as some dude solders your balls.

So why actively choose to deny yourself the ability to create life? While our part in the process is momentary at best, we still hang a great deal of our self image on the role of a father. We all have the same fantasies of what kinds of fathers we would be. We view ourselves in shades of difference from our own fathers. We use our differences as fathoming rods to measure our depths. Why we would deny ourselves the ability to prove we that were right, that we were better.

For the sex, of course. You mean to tell me there is an outpatient procedure to ensure that I can have an uninhibited sex life free of the terror of a whole new lifetimes worth of commitment? Sign me up. As long as I can piss standing up and masturbate, slice the motherfuckers like tangled fishing line. STDs are bad enough. While most are curable, there’s a few scary ones and the big one that at best results in a lifetime of medication and side effects and really awkward conversations.

Sure, we get to help our partners by finally evening the playing field a little bit. It might not be equal pay, but at least you don’t need to fuck with your hormones anymore. It’s a lot cheaper to get the cut and the only real side effect is an aversion to frozen peas.

As for the whole need to procreate thing, I am not sure if you have noticed, but the world is on fire. Good on you inseminating optimists for having a rosy outlook. We got enough going on in the world that we don’t need my dodgy dice rolls making it worse. I’ll just bet on the fact that the world is better off without me having direct responsibility over another human being. I can enjoy my harmless little evolutionary culdesac and ponder the cool new scar I have on my scrotum.