We didn't know whether we wanted the baby, so we drifted in indecision until Lucinda passed the third month of pregnancy. And then it became a question of murder.
It was to have been a casual affair of impersonal intensity. We played at all the slick chic city games that New York tosses to its corroded citizens as it attempts to raise the final pockmarked erection on the deathbed of western civilization. We began with boredom and openly oblique glances at one another's bodies, estimating the size of the cock and the texture of the breasts as we brought the tips of our tongues to our teeth and hummed reflectively. We both had had an unencumbered summer before us, and were thinking what a pleasure it would be to have a bed-mate for the season, someone sophisticated, someone who would curl up and fall away easily when the leaves began to turn in the autumn. With decadent delicacy we mounted a scene which we could play like real life on an actual planet in a universe that had the brass balls to exist and manifest itself in utterly arbitrary format. We decided to spend the summer on Fire Island.
But she was empty, and still sought to be fulfilled. And I overflowed with conflict, and had fantasies of peace. Thus the second time we fucked I entered her from behind and drove so compactly into her need that I dislodged the diaphragm and sent my sperm scurrying into her womb.
Our bodies froze, her ass raised and tilted, her cunt glued to my cock, and there was not a tremor anywhere inside us, only the consciousness of that single messenger braving its way through fallopian mazes and immeasurable canyons to liberate the living awareness of another human entity from its protein meditation. The child was conceived.
And then the hatred began, for Lucinda and I had become implicated in birth, and were half in love with death, because we could both hear the siren song to the species.
Suicide had become our collective destiny, and those who honored life would be left like erratic lunatics to wonder at their choice while the rest of manwomankind marched in its mindless progress toward destruction. As the autumn approached, our decision became clearer. Abortion had just become legal, and we wondered whether it had also become admirable.
Lucinda opened the door of the apartment. We were spending a weekend in the city, away from the heavy presence of the ocean with its constant vast indifference to the arrogant creature which had begun in the scummy film on its surface and now littered its shores with all forms of waste. I lay back on the bed, the taste of sperm still stinging my tongue. In the thrilling semi-concealment of a clump of bushes in Central Park, I had knelt with the rough corduroy against my cheeks, the cold white zipper catching at my lips, and the hard intimate cock romping in my mouth like a porpoise at play. The man who had stood over me was a stranger, someone whose eyes had met mine in that unmistakable glance which passes between men who desire one another's bodies. There was no passion or personality in my behavior, merely a muted impulse which I had long ago ceased to question and which led me again and again into this classic pose of cocksucker. His legs trembled as he began to come, and I held his ass in my hands, drawing him more deeply into my mouth. He sucked the breath through his teeth, grabbed my shoulders, and came without any stinginess or reserve, his ejaculation squirting into my throat.
While I cruised among the benches and the bushes, Lucinda went to visit her mother. I didn't tell her about these adventures of mine because we had made an agreement not to test one another's limits of acceptance or jealousy. But when I returned to the apartment, I was horny; I wanted to have done to me what I had just done for another.
She threw off her cape and dropped her handbag on the floor. It was a yellow leather pouch, richly embroidered with violet wool and bits of glass, made in Portugal. It was expensive enough to transform its gaudiness into good taste. She looked at me from across the room, and without a word we exchanged descriptions of our moods. We both wanted to fuck; we both wanted privacy. She went into the bathroom to undress, leaving the door half open. As she removed her bra, her dark breasts sagged with a pendulous grace that never ceased to be seductive. I was no longer excited just seeing her body, as I am the first few times with a woman. Gross visual curiosity is very quickly satisfied. Now I had to couple what I saw with an eagerness to touch in order to be aroused.
"I ran into Albert today," she said, her back to me. "He's let his hair grow and is wearing clear polish on his nails. I think he's finally admitting to people that he's gay."
"It's about time," I said. "He's almost fifty."
"He said that Tiny Tim is really William F. Buckley in drag."
I laughed, but I could feel the energy flowing out of me and into that silent pit of depression which formed the core of her being. I felt my cock stir. The quality of eternal suffering, of bottomless helplessness, was the essential aspect of her erotic appeal. To fuck her was to take final revenge for the evil which existed in the world. I bridled at my desire. Part of me wanted to yield, to drown in the black numbness of her center. And some of me fought desperately against the pull, attempting to retain what thin thread of moral sensibility still ran through my calculations.
"This is playing games with personality constructs," I thought. "Just fuck her, use her as she needs to be used. There is no abstract decency, there is only the pulse of survival, and it knows no other dictate than cruelty. There is only what we are, not what we think we should be."
I split internally into warring ideological camps, the many identities battling for supremacy. All the conflicting conditionings of my entire life clamored in contradiction. "What does it mean anymore, to be human?" I wondered.
Two nights earlier I had lain next to her, my hand on her belly, feeling the life force swell and diminish with each breath. "We are transformers," I thought, "just oxygen pumps, one rusted link in the chain of sentient beings. All of our ideas and visions and speculations on the matter are only illusion."
I had felt totally alone, caught in the ineluctability of my own death. "It won't be any big deal," I thought. "No extra added significance. My heart will stop. And I won't be."
On the level of ego, the realization had horrified me. But as I found myself rising to terms with the fact of non-existence as an objective reality which constantly mocks all that is, I retreated into a state of warm irony.