Of Cocks and Existentialism by Laura Roberts

Once upon a time, a sweet young Girl cheated on her boyfriend with a guy she met over the Internet. If this sounds like a pretty standard tale, just wait. This innocent Girl sucked cock “immaculately,” according to her Internet Romeo, and the two ended up shagging in the back seat of his girlfriend’s car just hours before the Girl had to board a plane back to her own boyfriend.

Did I mention that the Internet Romeo’s girlfriend was pregnant with his child at the time of this torrid affair?

If that isn’t sin, I don’t know what is. As a Catholic, the Girl should have been far too caught up in guilt over dozens of tiny sins (like her failure to attend mass on a weekly basis) to ever find herself tangled in such a twisted soap-opera storyline. But there she was, humping a strange man in the back of a Neon and watching the windows fog. He assured her they were in the right, that their feelings were based on “more than just monkeys fucking.” Somehow, she believed him. It helped that she was a student of philosophy, a believer in Existentialism, and that her faith in the Catholic Church was becoming as watered-down as consecrated wine.

Surely she was also seduced by his exotic foreignness: he was a Southerner with an enormous cock, a self-educated young man with a penchant for nihilism, higher mathematics and Asian pornography. He was, in short, everything the child of Republicans should fear and loathe.

Clearly, he was her soulmate.

Sin, for an Existentialist, is whatever one feels guilty about having done. There may or may not be a God to judge our wrongdoings in the end, but the real issue is self-loathing. Kierkegaard called this “the sickness unto death,” for how can one really focus on living if she is wrapped up in hating herself for everything she’s done? Kierkegaard advises a leap of faith, trusting in God for answers and forgiveness.

As a Nietzschean, the Girl screams, “God is dead!” and tries to turn her weaknesses to strengths.

Yes, she is a sinner in traditional and even contemporary ethical terms. Yet without her sin of adultery, she might never have left a loveless relationship. She might never have sought the comforts of philosophy, nor the arms of half a dozen Mr. Wrongs. Without her sin, she would not have found others who felt the same—yearning for greatness when faced with mediocrity. She would not have poured her heart out to an online diary, nor would she have met her subsequent boyfriend, who innocently invited her to Montreal for a party he was throwing. She would not have lain in his bed, waiting for his kiss to wake her from her dogmatic slumbers, and she certainly would not have moved to Canada to start a new life with him.

We must learn from our mistakes, or else we perpetuate cycles that will consume us. Sin helps us to appreciate saintliness, to understand the value of what Aristotle called “right action.” We may never fully achieve this lofty goal of right action undertaken for right reasons, yet we come to understand more fully what these reasons and actions are when we trip up, when we fail. Sin is the ultimate satori (or “kick in the eye”); it allows for enlightenment when we come face to face with the full extent of what we have destroyed with our own hands.

The Girl has forgiven herself for her youthful indiscretions. She has come to some small understanding of her own circular pathways. And now, she just hopes that someday she’ll be able to set foot in New Orleans again, without a knife-wielding voodoo queen slavering for her blood.

Don't hold your breath, child.
-END-

BIO: Laura Roberts is a graduate of Concordia University's Creative Writing program, and is currently working on her first novel, with the dubious title Blowjobs for the Soul. She is also in the process of writing a guidebook on the subject of Montreal's “sexy” side, as a tribute to her former life as the “V for Vixen” sex columnist at Hour.ca. You can find more of her work online at http://buttontapper.com, or follow her on Twitter @originaloflaura.

11 comments:

Bill Baber said...

liked your story- different and still fun...

Glenn Gray said...

Original, sexy and deep (on a metaphysical level!)

Laura Roberts said...

Thanks, guys. I guess maybe I should've mentioned in my bio that I'm a recovering philosophy student? Anyway, I think I may have more like it in the days to come.

randallmarx said...

A good mix of drama and stream of conciousness throughout. Also, it has one pulpy element where this again like a previous story on here is about character and much less action. It explores the internal aspects of the character much less the external. I also like how you mixed in philosophy in the story. It is one of the things that got me back in reading fiction was that mixture of philosophy into storylines and I first discoverd this reading Richard Ford's A Piece Of My Heart, it remains his best novel. It is a perfect illustration of how best to mix in philosophy and character in a story as you have done so well here.
Good job.

Philip Gaber said...

That was very well conceived and an entertaining read. Poise and control abounds. Best of luck on the novel.

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