2003-04-11 1:05 p.m.
The hills are alive with the smell of semen.
When I was an early teenager, I had a best friend named Matt Levelle. He was three or four years older and lived around the block from me.
In spite of our age difference, we had a lot in common. We both liked Depeche Mode, The Cure, and Robotech a whole lot. And, we enjoyed a lot of the same activities. You know, the sort of things that young boys do—building model boats and blowing them up with fireworks, building model airplanes and blowing them up with fireworks, walking over by the creek at night looking for logs or anything else to blow up with fireworks, sneaking out to the local schoolyard at night to light off fireworks, and developing elaborate schemes to come up with money with which to buy more things to blow up with fireworks.
Ah yes, I shared some great times with Matt Levelle.
I remember one time we were riding our bicycles down my street, Ellery Street in San Jose, California. Matt commented that the pollen in the air "totally smelled like semen". I had never smelled semen before. I guess it had never occurred to me to smell my own semen. We pedaled forward and I said nothing. The wheels on our bikes were spinning, and so were the wheels in my head. Was there something wrong with me for not thinking to smell my own semen? Or, even worse, what if "normal" semen smelled strongly enough that one could notice it's scent without even really having to try to smell it? Was my semen somehow inferior because it lacked this strong, present smell?
Years passed, Matt and I grew up and grew apart. Matt joined the Navy. I joined the world of artists and musicians and freaks. We lived in two worlds that never collided again.
But as I grew up I had many more sexual experiences—many. And, just like any seasoned, old grain farmer, I became much more intimately acquainted with the smell of my seed. And, I remember cruising down Ellery Street—by this time I had graduated from bicycle to automobile—and smelling springtime's delicate mixture of oxygen and nitrogen and air pollution and pollen particles.
And, for the first time I smelled the pollen that Matt spoke of and I realized that it really did smell like semen. A lot. So much so that it was a bit unnerving. It almost felt inappropriate—like having an erection while sitting next to your ailing grandmother in church on Christmas. And true to the analogy, it was also kind of decadent and empowering at the same time.
Now, I am not and have never been any sort of a horticulturist or plant enthusiast. I can barely tell the difference between a bush and a tree or a fruit and a vegetable. So, I of course had no idea from which tree or bush or fruit or vegetable the smell emanated. But, I sure knew semen when I smelled it—and on this warm spring day the air reeked like "free sample day" at the Mega–Sperm Discount Semen Perfumateria. I remember smiling and my eyes widened with my new realization. In my mind I named the unseen plant the semen tree.
The semen tree, unlike me, is very discriminating about when it spreads its seed. Based on my nebulous olfactory memories, the semen tree only likes to fill the world with sperm during April and May. What the hell does it do with itself for the other 83.3% of the year? Ten months is a long time to abstain.
But each spring, after the ten–month dry spell, the semen tree just goes bonkers and blows out loads like the world is one big bukkake movie. And every spring since then I anonymously smelled the fruits of its labor. But, two days ago I finally met the semen tree face to face or the first time. It was 9 AM and I had just pulled into the parking lot at work. I gathered my things and opened the door of my car to step outside and sploosh. The smell of airborne sperm flooded in, washing over and enveloping me like a tidal wave of springtime semen.
I looked around and found the tall hedges in front of my parking spot were just exploding with tiny blooms of the palest yellow–white. I walked up to them and took a whiff. They were definitely the ones responsible for every springtime's big crazy jizz–fest!
It is amazing how much memory and inspiration can be triggered by the tiniest particles, the fine dust of pollen, the unique handshake of the semen tree.
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