Another philosophy lecture, 2 PM, the usual drowsiness. Why did universities have classes right after lunch? As class started, Greg looked around the room, as though he hadn’t seen it a hundred times before. Still there, the incongruous dark wood paneling, the scuffed green linoleum, discolored acoustical tiles, fluorescent fixtures hanging down and buzzing just enough to be annoying, the worn tubular metal chairs with their wooden seats and the wooden desks that flipped up and down, various meaningless names and symbols scratched onto them, historical chewing-gum underneath. Greg slid forward on the seat, slumping, gazing at the front of the room.
It was a good course. Prof. Daniels was smart and conscientious, lecturing from memory, always spinning out a lucid argument that took exactly fifty minutes. There were twenty students. Greg allowed himself to ponder, one more time, how discouraging Prof. Daniels’s appearance was. Cheap dress slacks and dress shirts, poorly ironed; a slick bald head with a few disconcerting long locks of gray hair on the sides; his plump middle swelling between his skinny legs and narrow shoulders; a long, thin neck holding his oval head that talked and talked, the mouth ejecting elegant logic through an expressionless face. Greg thought, as he had before, “I hope I never look like that.” For now, Greg was small but fit, with a naturally attractive body kept trim by daily running.
The lectures were always good. But the thing was, Daniels spent much of his time spelling out the arguments of the assigned readings slowly, explicitly. Sometimes Greg needed the clarifying repetition. But when he didn’t, it was hard to pay attention, and this was one of those days. Daniels was adding nothing to what Greg had already learned about Bertrand Russell’s Theory of Descriptions and Peter Strawson’s rejoinder.
And Greg was tired. He let his eyelids drop, eyes half-closed. He took a few deep breaths. He found his thoughts turning to, who else, Mike. After several months of staring at him, Greg was ready for his first real sex with a man, prepared by nothing more than a few drunken man-on-man hand jobs with random semi-conscious straights. Mike was a third-year philosophy major. How pleasant that someone so cute was also so smart. Greg was halfway through his first year. Greg would have been happy to grow into someone like Mike--confident, relaxed, funny. And smart, but cool about it, no arrogance.
It was evening. Greg and Mike passed each other, crossing the diagonal sidewalk through the quad, headed in opposite directions. Mike turned around, greeted Greg by name, and asked if they could go out for coffee. They had never spoken before; Greg was thrilled that Mike knew his name.
For a long time, their conversation in the Student Center was easy. Mike shared his impressions of the philosophy program and the various faculty, all of them odd in one way or another, almost all of them worthwhile. They talked for a while about their favorite pop songs. Mike expressed his special admiration for Frank Ocean and Janelle Monae; Greg, confused, wondered what Mike might be trying to communicate. Then Mike said it: “Sometimes, Greg, I feel like you’re watching me.” Greg inhaled, stared, paused. Then Greg said it: “Because I admire you. You’re smart, and successful, and …” —the last bit he barely mumbled— “handsome.” He felt a fierce blush. Mike’s eyes held Greg’s steadily, kindly. Mike spoke slowly and carefully, with a slight smile. “You know, Greg, I don’t mind having sex with men.”
So that was that. What happened next happened fast, and Greg wasn’t sure of the details. Somehow, they were on Greg’s bed, or Mike’s bed, or maybe in an empty hallway. There was quiet music, or there wasn’t. The important thing was that Greg, for the first time in his life, had a cock in his mouth, a strange sensation. Mike had a cock, and Greg had one too, so Greg felt as though he knew every tiny sensation that his lips and tongue were creating. Or did he? That was what philosophers called the Problem of Other Minds. Greg pushed the philosophy words out of his mind and came back to the sensations, to the wet softness of his tongue and mouth and lips and throat pressing the soft skin of Mike’s hardness. Greg moved slowly, wanted to feel everything, every micro-particle of the experience. He paused over the cockhead, holding it in the front of his mouth, exploring with the tip of his tongue. He pulled back to look, and thought, “Mike’s corona is beautiful.” Then he thought, “Corona is one of the few medical sex words that sounds right for what it means.” Then, unbidden, a rehearsal of the Theory of Descriptions started up. “Something exists that is Mike’s corona. For any two things that exist, if they are both Mike’s corona, then they are the same thing. Anything that is Mike’s corona is …” Appalled, Greg banished the words again, and this time, they didn’t come back.
Really, there weren’t words for what Greg was feeling. Why was it so deeply satisfying to slide Mike’s shaft in and out of his mouth? What was this state of mind, at once fully relaxed and astonishingly energized? He realized he hadn’t been hearing Mike’s fast, deep breathing, his quiet moans. Had Mike’s hands been caressing his head the whole time? Mike’s cock, Greg’s mouth, Greg’s mind, dazzled and numbed—where had the rest of the universe gone? Then he tasted Mike’s hot cum and felt the cock pulsing in his mouth and heard Mike nearly shouting. Then everything stopped. Gradually, Greg began to notice other sensations—Mike’s hands massaging his sweaty hair, the moist warmth of his cheek against Mike’s thigh. He realized his hand, holding his own cock, was wet. He wanted the moment to last forever.
“Well,” he thought after an immeasurable stillness, “I guess it’s over. It was perfect.”
Then Mike’s cock surprised Greg by starting to move. Not just twitch, or push and pull, but really move, like a snake. What was the word? Prehensile. Mike was looking at Greg with an odd smile, like he was sharing a mischievous secret. Now Mike’s cock was growing, as long as a forearm. It reached up and stroked Greg’s brow gently, a caress, then patted his cheeks, and tickled his lips playfully. Greg didn’t expect this, nor did he expect his own cock to lengthen and rise up beside his stomach, as obedient to his will as any other limb. Greg pulled himself up along Mike’s body to taste his mouth. As they kissed, their cocks braided together, unbraided, braided in the opposite direction. Greg felt his hands swelling, growing hot, becoming impossibly sensitive. Did hands get hard-ons? He brushed his hands against Mike’s sides and shuddered at the unfamiliar pleasure.
Then Mike pulled their two bodies together, tight, their chests and bellies pressing hard. Where their bodies touched, it was wet. And quickly getting wetter—all along their bodies, new orifices had opened, liquid oozing out. And there were new projections from their bodies too, a hundred prehensile cocks sprouting, stretching forward as they groped their way into the holes. Mike pressed his mouth against Greg’s, and Greg felt their heads melding together into something new. Suddenly Greg realized there was no difference between Mike’s thoughts and feelings and his own. He felt it all from the inside—but there was no inside or outside, as their bodies wove together and began to glow, a single radiant sphere, intolerably hot and brilliant until the intensity peaked and the sphere dissolved in a shower of blue sparks, fading rapidly in the night. Greg gasped, overwhelmed, undone.
Greg gasped and opened his eyes and realized that he was in Daniels’s philosophy lecture. He wondered whether he had just made a loud noise. He looked down at his erection, pushing the crotch of his pants far upward. At the summit of the khaki hill, there was a large wet spot. Slowly and, he hoped, inconspicuously, he raised a hand to wipe the drool off his chin. He looked around the room. Everything seemed to be normal. Daniels was offering a final summary, the other students were listening and taking notes, no one was looking at him. He couldn’t shake off the feeling of Mike’s body, his cock, their transfigured embodiment, the dissolution into blue sparks. And there, two rows ahead, was Mike, sitting calmly, taking notes, as though nothing had happened.
Nothing had happened. Crestfallen, Greg understood that he had made it up. The class ended. Greg watched the others leave the room, and then gathered his materials. He resolved to introduce himself to Mike soon. Maybe not today.