Past Imperfect

Past Imperfect – #515

Henry: “I told you that I don’t want to talk about it.”

Anais: “But Henry, we are both progressive writers who have challenged the world to let us speak freely and openly, without hesitation, about our basic carnality and the ways in which we pursue and express it. Didn’t you just spend 200 of the 300 pages in your last novel celebrating the fact that women have a nexus of pleasure?”

Henry: “Of course I did. It’s one of my famous literary quirks. But that doesn’t mean I’m ready to analyze my… issue.”

Anais: “But that’s just it. You are not issuing. Your little soldiers are not marching forth. But there is no reason for you to feel ashamed in admitting that you are in the throes of erectile dysfunction.”

Henry: “Are you really saying that out loud as we promenade on the Rue de Testosterone in the City of Lights?”

Anais: “I don’t know why you just said that, considering we are actually stumbling our way down Degradation Avenue in Detroit, but I think I understand. Despite being revered by the counter-cultural fringe of literary society, a small part of you, and I’m not making fun of your anti-tumescence, still adheres to the American notion that manliness is based on virility.”

Henry: “How French of you to sublimate my situation into a critique of western values.”

Anais: “Oh, please. I’m not sublimating anything. The American airwaves are filled with advertisements about the sundry ways in which rigidity-challenged men can easily get their medical-insurance providers to cover the cost of raising the Titanic. We’ll put aside the fact that those same insurance people blow a gasket if they are expected to assist women in any way with their reproductive situations. The base line here is that American men who can’t get the ball in the basket should no longer hide in the closet of limp linguini limbo.”

Henry: “Okay, fine. My pasta has not been al dente lately. Are you happy now?”

Anais: “Yes, I am. Because that now allows me to address the other definition of erectile dysfunction.”

Henry: “Are you suggesting there’s more to the story?”

Anais: “Indeed I am, and I relish the opportunity to add another chapter to the saga. Just because you can get your infantry to salute, it doesn’t mean they get a free pass to invade foreign territory. You have to push the right buttons or France will not throw her legs asunder.”

Henry: “Ah, so this is a reference to foreplay.”

Anais: “It’s a reference to the fact that you don’t know what foreplay is.”

Henry: “This conversation sounds like another one of our books is going to be banned by people who like to pretend that sex doesn’t actually happen despite the eventual appearance of offspring.”

Anais: “Precisely. Now, let’s go find you some Viagra and an instruction manual.” 

Henry: “Are you implying that I need to take a pill that will make me feel better about myself?”

Anais: “Oh, please. We both lived in Bohemian Paris in the 1930s. We know all about taking things just to see what would happen. Would Picasso have painted the things he did if he hadn’t been taking things?”

Henry: “Good point.”

Anais: “Splendid. Let’s trot off and see if we can make your own point just as good.”

Previously published. Some changes made, including an extended ending. I realize that archaic literary references may not sit well with certain folks, but I’m a firm believer that we should all be reading more, everything we can, even if the work is old and dusty and shoved in a barely-visited corner of a used bookstore. Therein awaits magic…

14 replies »

  1. Don’t worry Henry. The new updated hardback edition will be issuing forth before you know it. Now, do as Nin says; start flicking through your homework, because no foreplay makes Hank a dull boy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Of course, as inevitably happens these days with the supply chain, the hardbacks are on back order and the only option available is a softback, often used and only available in an obscure, back alley on Amazon. (I suspect Henry will find this news suspect.) Still and all, homework never hurt anyone, unless you are a public-school teacher having to grade such…


  2. By the looks of my Spam folder, some algorithm somewhere thinks I suffer from overcooked rigatoni. They promise not only al dente, but also an upgrade to manicotti. Then I can have my choice of a bride from a country on the other side of the globe.

    On the subject of dusty old books… I used to love the “Free Books” bin at the library. I’d take whatever wasn’t a text book or a bodice ripper. I found some enjoyable stories from people I’d never heard of, and can’t remember. Books are treasure chests with varying gems and junk, waiting to be examined by each new finder.

    I remember the days of taking things just to see what would happen… ahhh the 80s 😉🤣🤣🤣

    Liked by 1 person

    • First, love the “manicotti” angle, with it’s delicious wordplay…

      Second, some of the best books I’ve ever read were the result of digging in free or super-cheap bargain bins at various literary emporiums. There are so many worn-out, lovely treasures out there, just waiting…

      Third, yes, those magical 80s. We made some interesting choices, eh? 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yep, there’s a lot of prosthetic action going on with movies and the more-racy TV shows these days, often more equine in nature than human. As if we don’t already have a lack of validation in our lives… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    • March thusly he did, and really, most people who exhibit any degree of originality often do the same. Of course, this doesn’t necessarily mean their marching is GOOD, but at least they realize that there’s more than one station on the radio….

      Liked by 1 person

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