A Perfect Wedding [sample]
by Charles L. Mee
[Julian jumps, startled, and turns.]
Oh! A priest!
I didn't mean to frighten you.
I'm Father Thane.
And you are?
Julian. I'm Julian.
People these days
they just assume
because you are a priest
you only want to have sex with them in some way.
Oh, no, no, no, no, no.
I didn't assume that at all.
Probably people think, some people:
it's an unnatural state
and so of course it seeks some
and one never knows whether one oneself
will turn out to be
Whereas you yourself
you might not be seeking an outlet of any kind
you might be just happily
Will you be conducting the wedding service, then?
No, I'm just a friend of the family.
I'll be attending as a guest.
Oh. Good. Good.
I always thought I might like to be celibate.
because my life has become so complicated
it's not as though your life becomes so simple
if you are celibate.
You find then you still need to struggle
with all the human impulses
that continue to rise up within you.
But then you can deal with them
like a hermit in a cave.
all the complications of life
come from adding a second person on the earth.
In the earliest days of the theatre
you just had one actor on stage
telling a story
and then the Greeks added a second actor
and so you had
and then a third and fourth actor
and then you have plot complications
just like in life
so that finally a person is just adrift
in an entire society
frustrated at every turn
or helped along by strangers
whose motives are never entirely clear
wars break out and famines
young men get up on the rooftops of McDonalds
and shoot the innocent people in the parking lot
all these things become possible
as soon as you have more than one person on the earth.
And yet it could be
that a life without a second person
is not quite human in some way
and when you try to live such a life
your head simply fills up with uncontrollable imaginings
of what life would be like if there were another person in your life.
I myself find
when I am alone at my prayers
for no reason at all
my mind might suddenly turn to nature
and I will find myself thinking about
Releasing the Butterfly in Search of Fragrance
where the woman sits on a gnarly rock with her legs apart
and the man sends his jade whisk into her vagina
and moves it from side to side
to seek the heart of the flower.
Or the Lost Bird Returns to the Wood
where the woman lies back on the embroidered couch
with her legs in the air
grasping the man's thighs to guide him through the woods.
Or Letting the Bee Make Honey
where the woman is lying on her back on the brocade quilt
raising her legs aloft to meet the jade whisk.
Or the Starving Horse Races to the Trough
where the woman lies flat on the couch
with her arms wrapped around the man
and he supports her legs on his shoulders
so that the whole of the jade whisk enters the barn
and leaves not a trace behind.
Or Two Dragons Fight Till They Drop
where the woman's head rests beside the pillow
and her hands droop in defeat
as soft as cotton floss
and her soul is about to depart
on dreams of the future.
Do you see what I mean?