Hot Moon Howling.

As I stood on my patio this morning, squinting and readying for the day’s ensuing heat wave, my mind tripped and stumbled down the embankment of memory. Suddenly, the steam that danced upward from my cup began to act as a portal through time. My surroundings started to fade as my gaze travelled further and further away from the present.

Eventually, I found myself many years in the rear. The place? A small town protected by the gargantuan expanse of the Rocky Mountains. The time? Summer. A stiflingly hot summer, much like the one we are in now. Though I’ll admit, the heat didn’t seem so bothersome back then. The only existence of priority in our adolescent minds were that of delinquency and what kinds of fun we could get up to during those dog days.

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That’s how we ended up by the tracks, our pants down by our ankles, half-squatted, bleach white butts poking out toward the rails, just waiting to moon the unsuspecting conductor. What can I say… it was a small town—a long summer…

At the end of those sunlit days of summer vacation, my friends and I were due to start grade 10. This seemed like a big deal to us back then, so we wanted to make the most out of our time away from scholastic responsibilities.

I had a core group of friends, great guys. We each took turns sleeping over at each others’ houses, and when one member was unavailable to hangout, another was surely in rotation to do just that. I had been hanging out with my friend, Harvey, or “Harv,” a lot that summer. He lived a little-ways out of town and his property backed right on to the tracks. Sometimes, when his parents weren’t home, we would sneak into the garage and carefully select a club each from his dad’s golf bag. We’d grab a handful of stained, off-coloured golf balls and line up on the crest of the hill overlooking the bend in the tracks.

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“He lines up for the shot, the crowd is hushed with intense anticipation. This one’s for all the marbles. He waits… he sees his shot. The back swing… follow through… CRUSHES IT! That ball is outta here!” Both Harv and I each took turns doing commentary while the other smashed the ball. Our goal, as inane as it now seems, was to strike the metal plating of an oncoming locomotive. That was our version of a hole in one. Nothing sounded as sweet to our juvenile ears than the sudden “clang” of ionomer resin striking the side of a moving train. That hollowed “bing” was music in the highest of hysterical orders.

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One afternoon, myself, Robbie and Harv all sat leisurely beneath the shade of a sprawling Silver Maple. I was reading a comic book while Robbie and Harv discussed the perfect bust size for their fictional objects of desire.

“I dunno, man… anything more than a handful seems like a waste,” Harv said assertively.

“Okay… so, when you grab dinner and it’s your favorite dish of all time, you only ever grab one serving of it?”

“What? Hell no! Always go back for seconds… fuck, thirds!”

“Exactly! Dude, boobs are the greatest thing on this planet… hell, the planet is shaped like a boob, and you’re telling me that a handful is enough? No way, bro.”

“Matty… weigh in on this?” Harv said while casting a pebble at my left shoe. I ascended my gaze from the masterful illustrations of the X-Men, and examined both of their expressions for a moment. I put the comic down and lifted both my hands and pantomimed what I felt to be the “perfect” size and shape.

“See, I told ya…! Handful all the way!” Harv exclaimed haughtily.

“Fuck off… that wasn’t no handful. Matty, tell em!” Robbie begged. I tossed the comic down in a display of bother.

“Fellas… none of us have even seen a real boob, let alone touch one… you wanna know what the perfect size would be…?” Harv and Robbie answered with subtle nods. “The perfect size would be any size from any girl that would be dumb enough, or willing enough to even contemplate allowing a buncha permavirgins like us touch them! That’s the perfect size!” I ended my pontification with a smirk, allowing the boys to know that I was just playing around.

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As I went back to reading my comic, Robbie’s head snapped to the side. He peered off through the trees. “Boys… you here that?” We three now leaned our ears to the ether in hopes of picking up whatever Robbie had just heard. And there it was; rumbling just beneath the sounds of our own breaths—a train—still far enough away for us to haul ass over to the hill. In unison we leapt to our feet and bound through the trees toward the overlook.

We got there just in time to see the glint of sun kissing metal; the train was on its way. Harv asked if he should run back and get the clubs from the shed, but there was no time. A new plan had to be forged, and that’s how we ended up with dropped trou on the side of a hill. In our minds, it was really our only option.

Our snickering intensified as the train neared. The sibilant scrape of metal wheels fornicating with track grew louder and louder as the heft of the train roared on. I peaked over my left shoulder in time to see a bewildered conductor attempt to decipher what it was that he was seeing. Furrowed brow and a contort of facial expression ignited an uproarious guffaw from me. Robbie started slapping the alabaster canvas of his rear end and Harv followed suit. The poor driver was helplessly manacled to the tracks and was therefore mandated to live through this abhorrent display of anatomical savagery.

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“HAHA! Fuck y—” Before Harvey could finish his obscenity, something bad happened. In his zealous attempt at mockery, he lost his footing and was now tumbling down the twig-laden hillside. Like a scene from a movie, Harvey was rolling and flailing with gaining momentum, and the only direction this hill went, was toward the track; which at current moment held a speeding caterpillar, operated by a man who had just been punished with the sight of three pale moons!

Robbie and I froze, our pants still slacked around our ankles. The violent ‘snap’ of branches and other forested foliage competed with the sound of the train. For a moment, I really thought Harvey was going to roll right onto the tracks. What a way to go. Could you imagine that headline in the paper…?

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Fortunately, luck and nature were on our side that day. Harvey came to a stop a fair distance from the train but was now entangled in a heap of leaves, dirt, twigs and Bur thistles. I hoisted my pants back around my waist and began navigating the decline as fast as I could. I could hear Harvey moaning and muttering.

“Harvey… Harv, are you alright?” No answer. Just another moan. Turns out Harvey was fine. He had knocked the wind out of himself and other than some scrapes and cuts, he was in one piece. The three of us laughed and as the comfort of knowing that Harvey was alright set in, the jesting between us re-emerged.

“Hey, Harvey…”

“Yeah…?” He said, still a bit winded.

“Nice cock. Does it come in mens?” Harvey looked down and realized that he was still without pants. He chuckled as he pulled his shorts up.

I’m going to fast forward a bit now, but we ended up at my place. Robbie and I were playing a wrestling videogame when Harvey came back from the bathroom. He was always a bit of a pale kid, but I couldn’t help but notice that his normative pallor was just a little more pronounced at current moment.

“You okay, bud?” I asked sincerely. He winced as he lowered himself to a seated position at the foot of my bed.

“Yeah. It’s just… well…”

“What? What is it, dude?” Robbie and I paused the game. He now had our full attention. He struggled to find the words, but when he did, well… we probably could have reacted better…

“I think I hurt my dick…”

You ever had those moments where you are laughing so hard that for a split second you think that it’s possible you might die due to lack of oxygen? Yeah… well… that was happening.

“Fuck you guys! Seriously… I cut it. I had a sliver in it!!” Upon hearing the sliver in schlong declaration, my laughter eased moderately.

“Dude, what? You had a sliver in your…”

“YES! It’s fuckin bleeding. I don’t know what to do…” All eyes now traversed awkwardly in the direction of Harvey’s nether region.

“Hey, bro…” Harvey asked with concern shaking his voice.

“Yeah, dude…” I responded.

“Um… can… can you go ask your mum what I should… what I should do?” There was a brief moment of pause shared between we three. It was broken by two things: One; Robbie started to chortle once more. And two; I responded—

“The fuck? No way, dude! I’m not gonna go ask my mom about your cock and balls!”

“Dude, not the balls, just the meat! Seriously, it’s bleeding… I don’t know what to do.” Harvey pleaded. My mum was considered the ‘cool parent’ among my group of friends. This was due to her relatively lax parenting style. She didn’t care if we drank, as long as we did it under her roof. She didn’t care if we stayed up late, as long as I got up and chores were done. I believe this led to Harvey’s comfortability of request. It did not however bring me any comfort as I was the one tasked with having to go talk to my mum about my friend’s wounded member.

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“Let me get this straight—you want me, to go downstairs, look my mum in the face and explain to her that you need medical advice about your ‘twig and berries’ because you tripped over your own two feet while mooning a train, fell down a hill and somehow managed to dry hump a spruce tree? Abso-fucking-lutely not!

“No, dude… don’t tell her about the train thing…”

Jesus, of all the things Harvey didn’t want me to tell my mum…

Robbie was now bent over at the waist; he wasn’t able to even pretend that he was concerned. His laughter had become him.

I looked at Harvey and examined the sincere wash of concern that now saturated his features. Without saying a word to him, he knew that I had acquiesced to his request. I sighed and then began making my way downstairs. I began picturing how the conversation would go. And the more I navigated this fictitious colloquy, the more apprehensive I became. As such, I chickened out. I’m not proud of it, but there was no way I could do this. I never did reach the bottom of the stairs. Instead, I waited for an arbitrary passage of time and then returned to my room. I opened the door and was instantly met with inquisitive stares from both a tear stained Robbie, and a very pale Harvey.

“Well… what’d she say?” I am not proud of what I did next either… certainly less ashamed than the thought of asking my mother about my buddy’s aching appendage, but definitely not proud. I realized at that very moment I had a choice to make: I could either come clean and explain that I was unable to complete the task… or, I could fuck with my friend—I chose the latter.

“She… she said that you have to put it in Peroxide and then use a Band-Aid and some gauze.” Harvey’s face fell from its boney prominences. His eyes were as wide as saucer plates.

“Per… Peroxide? My… my… I gotta dip it in?”

“Yep. You basically gotta bingo dab your giggle stick into it.”

“Jesus… That’s gonna… dude… And if I don’t do it?”

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“She said that you could develop and infection and that the doctors would have to cut out the bad part and basically make you a man-gina…”

“A man… a mangina?! what?!!”

“I know… I felt the same way. God speed, brother.” I inched back from the door and motioned toward the bathroom. Harvey knew what he had to do. Well… he knew what I had told him he had to do. I watched as a nervous Harvey entered the bathroom. He stood in front of the mirror, almost transparent in colour now. I grabbed the supplies from the cupboards and placed them onto the counter in front of him.

“Good luck, buddy. Let’s save that dick, yeah?!” I said while swallowing a visible smirk. He nodded anxiously. I closed the door and went back to the bedroom. I revealed the truth to Robbie, who upon hearing what I had to say, buried his face into one of my pillows in an attempt to muffle his glee.

Through the other side of the wall, we could hear medical packages being opened and bottle tops being turned. Both Robbie and I waited with ears pressed to the wall. There was a brief stoppage in time where no sound could be heard at all. This was horribly juxtaposed to what followed; a pained yelp from an adolescent and his cracking voice. The next recognizable sound was that of a body falling to the floor and curling into a fetal position.

I wish I could tell you that I felt bad… I didn’t. Any time you had a golden opportunity to mess with your buddy, you had to take it. You know, as I think back on this memory, it begins to don on me why it is that women live longer than men…

Amidst our quieted bouts of laughter, I heard a muffled voiced beckon from the bathroom. It was Harvey. He was calling for me. I collected myself and went to the door and then knocked.

“You alright, bud?” I asked.

“Yeah… can… can you come in here?”

I slowly pushed open the door and peeked in. A sight that I will never forget greeted me upon entry; Harvey… standing there, shorts down to the floor, hands by his sides and a poorly wrapped mess of Band-Aids, cotton gauze, and tape suffocating his unit. It looked like a cock mummy! The Pharaoh of Pubis…

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Pharaoh of… Pubis circa 1998

“Dude, it hurt so bad… fuck, it’s stinging” Harvey grimaced.

“Well… yeah… But at least you’re not bleeding!” Harvey looked down at his mummified penis, then over at me, then back to his member.

“Holy shit… I’m not bleeding! I’m not bleeding!!! It worked. I gotta go thank your mum!”

“No—” I was about to say no. I almost let Harvey in on the ruse. But then I realized… my friend was about to go and thank my mum (who had no idea about the wounded womb broom to begin with) for saving his life.

“Yeah… she’s downstairs, having a tea. She’d like that.”

At the culmination of this memory, I found myself smiling while stood on my patio. I looked to the sky, trying to find my mum amidst the vast sprawl of blue. Memories like this make me miss her all the more.

You’re probably wondering how the interaction went between my mum and Harvey… well… that’s a blog for another day.

Until next time, enjoy the heat. Stay off the tracks…

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