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Friday, June 29, 2007

Episode 10: Feeling Blue

What has gone before: Andrew Weazle, the owner of a failing coffee shop on the University of Alberta campus trades what he believes to be the final Friday night deposit in return for 'magic coffee beans' from a homeless man. After dumping the coffee made by the magic beans into a potted bonsai tree, a massive ash tree mysteriously grows overnight inside the shop. Following a miraculous weekend which saves the coffee shop, Andrew suddenly and inexplicably leaves work in the company of a mysterious and fatally attractive woman...


There is a common misconception among North American males regarding the term “blue balls.” Most men are under the impression that this dull, throbbing ache whose terminus is the testicles but spreads throughout the lower abdomen is the result of entering a state of arousal which ends before, shall we say, gratification. Or as Mick Jagger once sang, “can’t get me no satisfaction.” This misconception has been used, as is the propensity of the North American male to do so, as a guilt trip to get said satisfaction from one’s object of arousal (unless that object of arousal is 2 dimensional, in which case, one can simply literally take matters into their own hands, which leads to the question why people would refer to any sort of hanky panky as things “getting out of hand.” If things weren’t in hands, there really wouldn’t be much of a problem, would there? The problem comes when things “get into hand.”). The truth of the matter is that once the blue balls have set in, the only thing that is going to make them go away is rolling on the floor, because the reality is, “blue balls” are God’s way of letting someone know they need to stop being in a state of arousal and go mow the lawn. Or eat. Or go to the washroom. “Blue balls,” simply put, are caused, not by entering a state of arousal without climax, but rather, by entering a state of arousal and then not coming out of it for, oh say an hour or two. Or three.

To be accurate, there isn’t really a time fixed to the state. When Andrew was 15 and on vacation, he met a cute girl with brunette curls who was staying at the same hotel as his family was. They went for completely chaste walks, enjoyed demure moments seated on benches hand in hand, and exchanged innocent kisses goodnight. Then, one night while frolicking in the pool after the rest of the family had turned in, the brunette with tight curls (who by this time was wondering if she’d grown a tumor on the side of her face, since most boys had normally tried to explore under her shirt by this point; Andrew was completely inexperienced and so uncertain as to when to proceed to “next base”) swam over to Andrew who was sitting on the steps of the shallow end of the pool, and sat down in his lap.

There are moments in every young man’s life where he gets exactly what he wants and then finds himself at a complete loss for what to do with it. Most young men anticipate their first sexual experience with the anticipation of children on Christmas Eve, and Andrew was no different. He was not “taking things slow” out of virtue, but simple fear. He would have loved to explore beneath the shirt of the cute girl with brunette curls but was positive such a course of action would end badly. So when she swam over and placed her bikini-clad bottom on Andrew’s lap, he was initially very excited, hoping that this might have something to do with “next base.” Excited enough that the girl with tight brunette curls could tell, given her proximity to the source of the information.

Andrew had been correct in thinking this would lead to “next base”. The kisses were no longer innocent, but involved tongues, which Andrew recalled might have been second base, or perhaps the point where the shortstop normally stands. Hand holding gave way to holding other things (once again, things “getting into hand”) and things were moving along nicely when his father had called down from the balcony of their room, “Andrew?”

The fashion in which “blue balls” occurs is as follows: when the male becomes sexually excited, the arteries carrying blood to the genital area enlarge, while the veins carrying blood away from the genital area are more constricted than in the non-aroused state. As a result, more blood stays in the genital area than goes out (the clinical term for this is vasocongestion, which is difficult to say and likely lead to the coining of the easier-to-pronounce “blue balls”), a state which is necessary for certain physiological transformations in the male genital area necessary for the sex act. If the male gains “satisfaction” within a certain amount of time, the volume of blood in the genitals is reduced. If the act is prolonged and the blood trapped in the genital area for too long, one learns quickly that while the wages of sin might not be death, pain is.

When Andrew’s father called from the balcony, Andrew was amazed at how quickly blood could travel from one area of his body to another. The damage was done however. Things had been “in hand” a little too long. He had passed the point where he would have spelled relief o-r-g-a-s-m. He now had his first case of blue balls.

He’d said a hasty good night and staggered out of the pool, to discover a sensation akin to having a ten-pound weight strapped to his testicles with a bungee cord. He suspected that in all the frolicking he and the cute girl had been doing, she’d inadvertently racked him; a light tap on a testicle can be as bad as falling straight down onto a balance beam.

He’d hid his discomfort as he exited the pool area, but once he was out of sight, he doubled over and crawled up the stairs to his hotel room. Slowly, painfully, he dragged himself upright before turning the knob on the door.

Before he could open it, the door swung in. Andrew’s dad was standing there, a wry smile on his face.

“You don’t look so good,” he said.

“I think I jumped into the water funny,” Andrew replied. “I think I smacked one of my nuts cannonballing.”

“M-hm,” his dad said, still blocking Andrew’s entrance. “And my guess is we had a little blueballing.”

Andrew had stared at his father a moment. “Uhhhh…” he said.

“Yeah, I thought so,” his dad said, and stepped into the hallway, closing the door behind him. He squatted down, and then rolled onto his back, bending his legs and tucking his knees to his chest. “Do what I’m doing,” he told Andrew.

Andrew looked around the bright, fully lit hotel corridor.

“If you want to keep feeling like you’ve got an elephant strapped to your sack, then be my guest,” his dad said. “But if you want some relief, then do what I do.”

Once he'd gotten over the shock of his father saying "sack" instead of "scrotum" or "testes", Andrew slowly, gingerly duplicated the position his dad was demonstrating. “Now rock back and forth,” Mr. Weazle said.

Andrew could feel the ache subside a bit just by curling into that fetal position. The rocking did make things better. And while they rocked, they talked. His dad had given him the “sex talk” when Andrew was in grade five, but this time it wasn’t so awkward. His dad was pretty upfront with him about some things. Condoms had been one. Blue balls was another.

That night was all Andrew could think about as he lay on his bed, his knees tucked against his chest, waiting in vain for the ache in his groin to go away. It had been ten minutes since he’d adopted the posture and nothing was happening. He wished he had the strength to get up and get something for the pain, but he could hardly move. Getting into the fetal position had been work enough. Rocking had exhausted his final reserves of strength. All that was left was to hope he fell into the oblivion of sleep, beyond the ache and pain.

It hadn’t started out as pain. Quite the opposite. She seemed to know more than simply how to please a man. It were as if she were directly connected to the very base of Andrew’s desires, and utilized every wile, every resource, every part of her body to send him to the edge of ecstasy over and over again. He had gotten to the point where it had become a blur of sweat, skin and sensory overload. And when it was finally over, he’d noticed the ache. He’d noticed it before, but hadn’t cared. He’d been single too long, and even when he’d been with a girl, they were never like this.

She had taken charge when they’d arrived at his place. In one way, she was like the cute girl with brunette curls in that she was exactly what Andrew had always desired, was convinced he would never have, and was scared shitless and uncertain of what to do when he finally got it. She, on the other hand, was neither frightened nor tentative. She had been bold, confident and at times, even aggressive.

Andrew had never done drugs, but he assumed that the delirium he achieved at some point in their fucking (it should be noted at this point that the author isn’t fond of using this word to denote the sex act, but believes that the act falls under three broad categories; lovemaking, which is between people who are deeply in love, who have been together with each other through difficult times and trials and know each other better than they know anyone else; sex, which is what couples do who have been together for some time and have decided to move things along physically, and fucking, which is what one night stands and “momentary lapses of reason” fall under) was akin to what being on acid might be like.

Now that it was over, he just felt spent. Used up. Drained of his vitality. Unable to move from the bed, he let his head loll to the side so he could see what time it was. Midnight. I spent the whole day like this? he marveled.

“I need to get up,” he mumbled. “Need to eat.”

As if in answer, She walked in the room with a plate of fruit. Andrew couldn’t imagine where she’d gotten the fruit from, since his fridge was usually close to empty; he subsisted on freezer-foods and stews and pastas from cans. She took a slice of honeydew and held it to his mouth. Her eyes looked at his cradled position with a look of interest.

“What’s this?” She asked.

“Nothing,” Andrew said through partially chewed honeydew and released his legs.

“You’re in pain,” She said.

“A little,” Andrew replied.

“We can’t have that,” She said, and ran her hand down along the ache. There was a flash of ice, like liquid cold, and then the ache was gone. “We can’t have you in pain. We have so much more left to do.”

“Not tonight,” Andrew murmured. “I’m too tired. I’m flattered, but really, I’m too tired.”

“Nonsense,” She told him, and fed him another slice of honeydew. “We’re just getting started…”

When Andrew was a teen, he and his best friend Richard had come up with the idea of “the girl in the closet.” She would look like a Playboy model, want nothing but sex, and live in the closet until called upon. She would not want to go to chick flicks or go shopping for clothes. She wouldn’t even want to spend time with you beyond sex. Andrew’s last thought before the delirium stole over him again was that She was the girl in the closet. And like so many things he thought he’d desired, finally getting Her wasn’t bliss; it was sublime…compulsion and repulsion all at once; it wasn’t just that he didn’t know what to do with her, but a part of him still above the delirium was really starting to wonder what she was, really, and Andrew was growing more uncertain with each passing moment that he really didn’t want to know the answer.


6 comments:

Gotthammer said...

An uncharacteristically verbose episode. I'd have said "long", but I was trying to avoid the penis jokes all the way through the episode. Sex can be funny, but I didn't want things to be puerile. The sex here isn't gratuitous, it's serious. I think Magik Beans is like Buffy: The Vampire Slayer in that it's the sort of tale in which life can be "writ large".
It was also surprising that this episode ended up at the word count it did given that I'm reaching that point I often do with creative endeavors, where I've gotten distracted by other possible projects. So the next few weeks are going to be diligent work, not labors of love. That's why I love you guys, the audience, because I know some of you are waiting on Thursdays with expectation. And I greatly appreciate it, and all the comments. They're the fuel on this creative flame.

Anonymous said...

Yes, it's long. Worse, this episode does nothing to move the story along.

While director's cuts are wonderful for the purpose of re-writing, it would be very nice to see where the story is going and what happens next.


Steve

Gotthammer said...

Thanks for your candor Steve, but I'd argue that it does move the story along in an indirect way. It might be an overly verbose way of saying "they had sex for so long that Andrew ended up with blue balls" it's also a way of doing it without resorting to erotica. In addition, I've heard several comments that Lara is a well-fleshed out character while Andrew remains a bit 2 dimensional. Trying to add some back story to who Andrew is.

All the same, I appreciate the constructive criticism!

the philosopher one said...

I do agree that I have been thinking the same concerns that Steve has mentioned, although I was also thinking of your counter points, but I am just wondering when the next episode was going to get come, I'm getting blue balls for magik beans...gah! i have shocked even myself. Now you'll never be able to write it with that horrible image in mind.

Anonymous said...

Now that I have my criticism out of my system and have had it answered, what's happening in the tree?


Steve

Gotthammer said...

Blue balls for Magik Beans...who'd have thought? I was preparing for summer speaking at camps, so I had to forego the July 5 episode, and then was AT a camp with only dial-up internet, so missed the July 12 episode. I'll make up for it these next two weeks by pulling two double-shift weeks like I did earlier this year. So expect two servings of Beans this week and next.

As for what's happening in the Tree...nothing at this point Steve. I've "gone back in time" to revise and rewrite the space between January and March in the storyline. Some character development, but also having some strange happenings outside the Tree, so that the entrance to the Tree is the final rising action leading to the climax. I realize this may endanger my regular readership, but the other option was to keep stringing out storylines without back-story. Some of the stuff I'd meant to introduce early on will be coming up in the next few episodes, and this directly affects the action once inside the Tree.

So everyone, stop wishing for the action to return to the Leprechauns vs. the Polar Elves storyline until about the end of September. I would make an apology, but I'm writing a book here dammit!