I sat, legs crossed up like a pretzel, trying to contain the excitement that swelled in my brain and in my body. A million different scenarios unfolded in my mind, all of them including me being given a key to Man City. I had yet in my life experienced such a feeling of possibility. Looking back, I can definitely see how it became a feeling I would forever begin to seek in my life because to this day it is something I am constantly on the hunt. I have heard the phrase “chasing the ghosts of his past” before and I know this feeling, deeply.
One problem refused to be silenced in my brain: where am I going to hide my treasure? I had some ample hiding spots in my bedroom as it used to be the attic and was converted to a room for me and my brother. I could crawl into the small closet space and traverse my way around the entirety of the house on the inside of the walls.
This is where I had hidden cigarettes and beer cans from my parents and where I found the gruesome kill of a jealous cat when the other one had kittens. This seemed like the perfect place as it already had drugs, alcohol and danger associated with it, the sex was the missing ingredient.
Amidst all of this joy and wonderfulness still lurked the dark truth in the back of my mind and now it was becoming stronger and stronger, pushing its way towards my lips, desperate to escape. I can think of at least few people who would describe me as a “Too Much Information” guy. It is true that I have few limitations on what I believe is appropriate to be shared in public or in one on one interactions with people who are close or not so close to me. This is something that I did not come into late in life one day. It is a result of not having much of anyone to share the littlest thing with as a very young child outside of my brother. Once I had people to talk to I went all the way with it. I find there is not a lot of middle ground in my life when it comes to me deciding to do something.
The only sensation I experienced that was more strong than the visions of being the Casanova of my grade school, was the desire to be known as the Casanova. A bit confusing, I know. I had to tell someone. I had to get it out of my head. I had to be adored. I had to be loved. I had to be needed. These things would not happen unless others knew of my treasure. I had in my possession these magical magazines for only about an hour or so before I could no longer contain them to myself. This would be my downfall and has continued to be my downfall later in life.
I cannot keep to myself things that are exciting. It turns out I have never been able to do this. I wish I could show more restraint, but it seems that once I was able to share with people, had people around to share with, I have never been able to stop that sharing. Even when it goes against my best interests. I am not the best person to tell a secret, unless that secret is so big and so serious that you would be hurt or damaged if I did tell it to anyone. But, you don’t want to tell me things that don’t need to be out until later if they are good. Keep that shit to yourself or my head will explode trying not share your good news.
So, it was done. I picked up the phone and within minutes I had no less than three other young boys in my room looking at my trove. We poured over the pages together, trying to seem like we hadn’t seen this for the first time. We could not contain our excitement most of the time and why should we have done so. This was to be exciting, in fact, the most exciting thing that had ever happened to any of us. Seeing this joy on their faces and hearing it in their voices was worth the coming tragedy. For this short moment, we were kings. We were masters. With great power comes great responsibility. Absolute power corrupts absolutely and even as a child I knew that harnessing the power of these magazines was too much for my virgin mind to handle. We would all go down together now. We were bound through our forbidden knowledge.
Would we split up the collection? It seemed wrong to separate them from one another. We toyed with ideas on a rotation of the mags on a weekly basis, but even as boys we knew that was a bit too creepy. We knew it was creepy because the thought of being the last guy to get part of the collection after the rotations would have too many unanswered questions. What exactly had these girls been through? A very man-driven thought process emerged as not wanting to be the last guy to get his shot at some of the women. They would be used up by then, dirty. Ridiculous idea? Completely. Real at the time? Absolutely.
Our compromise was brilliant. We would find one location to stash the women and had to be a place in which we all had equal access. It could not be one of our houses and even though I had rescued these women from their previous enslavement, I could not handle the constant responsibility of granting access to them. The creek. In our neighborhood was a creek where we would always hang out. We would keep beer cans in the water in an attempt to keep it cool and smoke cigarettes. This is the place we hung out at during the day and would sneak to at night. Other kids in the neighborhood knew about the creek and that was a problem. No kid, regardless of his alleged friendship could control himself to not steal this treasure. Across the street from the creek was a small wooded area that was rarely used by anyone. It was smaller in size and had no real appeal other than cover from the outside.
We decided it was in this small wooded area we would stash the beauties. A place so magical and so special needed a name. We couldn’t be so nonchalant about a place that would change the course of lives. It was perfect. Looking back it is obvious that my love of alliteration has always been there because I named it “The Pleasure Pit.” It was just cool enough and creepy enough sounding to foreshadow my love of the inappropriate and wonderful. Three boys, young men, going to a place to look at pornography together in the woods, it should have had a creepy quality to its name. The Pleasure Pit was perfect.
The Pleasure Pit was heaven on earth for a very short time. We had made the necessary preparations to ensure that during rain the women would be protected. Not out of chivalry or some instilled respect for women as much as our desire to keep them around for as long as possible. Even as young boys we were acting in ways to keep women around us longer first, respectful to them second. We would smoke, drink and discover the naked beauty of women after school and on the weekends. We would read the articles, trying to learn about how to have sex and become the most knowledgable one the fastest. It was the space race. Who would plant their flag on the moon first?
These times bonded us together in a way we had not yet experienced as men. We had done sports, cussing and even breaking the law together. We had talked about girls and what we wanted to do with them, but we had never bonded in direct knowledge and experience over women before. It was a wonderful time. A short time, but very intensely wonderful. I was our downfall. The one who had brought this joy to our world would be the one responsible for destroying it. I knew the whole time that it would happen this way and it almost seemed like it had to be this way. We were not worthy of this dominion, we had done nothing to deserve these spoils. When something is too good to last, unless it of the purest heart, it will not last. It will always fade or be taken from you if you are using it for your own good. I facilitated this with a quickness which I even found shocking.
My older brother. He was blood after all. We fought constantly and we so close in age that everything was some form of competitive battle of strength and wills. But, he was blood. He was my brother. I told him about the Pleasure Pit. He was shocked. The story astounded him. I would be lying if I said that I did not find extreme joy in telling the details of my discovery to a set fresh of ears.
Something about someone hearing what I say for the first time that has always brought me extreme pleasure and joy. He was dumbfounded and silent as he listened. I could tell he was stacking up questions in his brain for when I was finished. I eagerly anticipated answering the unknown questions of the future.
It was no later that the last syllable of the last answer to the last question came from my mouth that he was out the door and down the street to see with his own eyes this eighth wonder of the world. I followed as quickly as I could with eager anticipation to see his joy and wonderment and also with a deep, pervasive fear. I knew this was the beginning of the end. How could I expect him to keep this secret to himself? This was too much power and knowledge for any young man to handle alone. Even Jesus would not bear this cross (okay, probably a bit too far there). I had hoped that sharing this information with my brother would bring us closer together and I believe it did. I knew he would betray this knowledge to his friends, but it was okay.
No more than two days later, the women were gone. The Pleasure Pit had been totally ransacked. Barely anything remained worth a young boy’s attention. Small scraps and pieces of nondescript photos were strewn about, scattered, forming jagged pieces of an impossible jigsaw puzzle.
A puzzle that would impossible to complete and would be impossible to satisfy the curiosity of young boys who had already seen too much too soon. No longer could we be tempted or teased by the slightest bit of cleavage or an exposed thigh. We had been to heaven and back. We had seen the fruits of every man’s labor and we could no longer settle for anything less than complete and total nudity. We were now and forever more jaded by the purity and beauty of the naked woman. There is not going back after you see that. You can un-ring a bell or un-see a naked woman and thank god for that.
My older brother’s friends had pillaged the Pleasure Pit and taken all of the centerfolds and any other nude photo from the magazines. What they had then done with them was the only thing that tempered my sadness and disappointment. They had toilet papered a girl’s house and taped all the nude photos and centerfolds to the outside of the girl’s house. These naked beauties were freed and put on display in a true act of rebellion. I could respect that. I had had my time with them. They were forever gone now. Into the world.
The most valuable lesson I learned that day is that you can never truly be at ease with or keep a woman you have stolen. You can lock her up in the basement or even hide her in the woods to keep her existence a secret as long as possible, but she will be taken from you. She will be taken from you as you took her from someone else and it will come as no surprise to you. In fact, in will be a relief because you no longer have to wait for that fateful day to occur. Her freedom from you is the same as your freedom from yourself. You will be infinitely more happy when you find someone you can be with out in the open and you can only do that when you find your way out of the Pleasure Pit.