He And I
I know that’s me. I remember that afternoon: a house in the Sunset District of San Francisco with an intimate playroom in the basement, owned by a friend, since passed away. The woman was my wife, now ex-wife.
I remember Michael Rosen, the magnificent photographer who took the shot, saying “Open your eyes” over and over again. I remember she was almost standing on her head, laying backwards on a GYN table with her ass raised high. I remember the shot took a long time — so long my hand began to cramp. I remember the day Michael’s sent us a copy of his magnificent book Sexual Art with the photo published in it.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. They say that pictures don’t lie. They say ‘photographic evidence.’ I don’t know why ‘they’ are, but when I look at that picture I wonder about what’s real and not real, about who that man really is.
He: so assured, so strong, so magnetic. He looks like he always has that twinkle in his eye, always has that smile on his face. The kind of guy you know, absolutely know, sings through life, dances through his days.
I: They say that depression is the feeling of being worthless, not valued, ignored, dismissed. That’s wrong, though. Depression is actually the absolute, certain knowledge – unshakable – that you’re worthless, not worth paying attention to, are constantly dismissed. I don’t have good days and bad days, I have bad days and awful days. Been that way all my life. It’ a constant struggle. I’m depressed right now and I was depressed when that picture was taken.
He: a sexual adventurer, an erotic extremist, a howling-boy, a roaring-man, a pierced and tattooed kinky contortionist.
I: I lost my virginity at 22 to a prostitute in London. I didn’t have sex again until I was 27. I was married soon after which is when I began to play in the kinky pool: tried bondage, cutting, polyamory, caning, marched in the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay/Transgendered parade, edited a newsletter for an alternative sexuality organization, got some piercings (only my ear and navel) and a pair of tattoos. Yes, I’ve done all that, plus many other things, but the simple, honest truth is that I’m sexually pretty simple. I like big beautiful girls – and all I like to do is be with one who wants to be with me.
He: frozen, trapped, in time. He will always be in his early thirties. He will always have that body He will always have all that hair.
I: the big five-oh just hit me … a little over a week ago, actually. The hair is gone, now I keep it cut very short. The beard comes and goes – mostly goes — depending on what I’m doing and how diligent I am about shaving. For the first time in my life I’m beginning to feel … old, and I hate it. I’ve always pushed myself, have constantly driven myself to do as much as possible and now … now I’m facing the fact that I can’t do things like I used to.
But, you know, looking at the smile on his face, the glee that’s there in that photograph, I wonder if it isn’t a good thing that he’s out there – and that he and I are connected. I don’t feel it most of the time but sometimes, when the mood is right, when the stars are aligned, I actually see myself in him – and hope that what other people see in that photograph isn’t just a flash of light in the past but is, instead, a frozen part of myself … a part that will always be within me.
M. Christian began his career in erotica, writing under his pseudonym, “M.Christian.” He has established himself as a very prolific, and chameleonic, author specializing in literary erotica, but he’s also been widely published in other genres, which is where he wishes to focus his career going forward. M. Chrisitan’s erotica stories have appeared in every “best” anthology series including Best American Erotica, Best Lesbian Erotica, Best Gay Erotica, Best Bisexual Erotica, 200 other anthologies and magazines –- he’s been published as four best-selling collections: Dirty Words, Speaking Parts, The Bachelor Machine, and Filthy.
He is also an accomplished anthologist, having edited more than 20 books such as The Mammoth Book of Future Cops, and The Mammoth Book of Tales of the Road (with Maxim Jakubowski); and Amazons, Confessions, and Garden of the Perverse (with Sage Vivant). He has recently expanded into mystery, horror, and humor with the novels Running Dry (Alyson Books, 2006), The Very Bloody Marys (Haworth, 2007), The Painted Doll (Lethe, 2007), Me2 (Alyson, 2008), and Brushes. He has worked with many publishers including Carol & Graf, Orion UK, Robinson UK, Avalon, Thunders Mouth, Haworth Books, Alyson Books, and many, many others. His author’s site is at http://zobop.blogspot.com/with links to all my publications.