Saturday, September 10, 2005
Fifteen minutes past dawn. They were running late. In the square, a great crowd had gathered to watch the hanging. As the guards thrust him through the iron gate a mighty cry went up. He caught his first sight of the gallows where he was to meet his fate, and was amazed to find that he had an erection. Walking forward, through the narrow corridor that two parallel lines of policemen were holding open for him, he could feel the awkward stiffness of it against his left thigh. He hoped no one had noticed. Fortunately the chains they had put on him meant that he was forced to walk in a clumsy, crabbed fashion anyway, so any obstruction should go unnoticed. And thankfully the prison pyjamas were a size too big.
As he drew closer, it occured to him that the noose was a sort of minimalist womb, a sort of abstract vagina. That was how it would be - the hood slipped on for protection, the moment of blind fumbling, and then his head would slide easily, expectantly into the noose, feeling the rope tighten around him. The thought of it made his legs weaken. His penis, on the other hand, stayed as steady as ever.
What the hell was he doing, going to his own execution with a full-blown hard-on? He wondered whether, when the time came, he should tell the priest about it. Surely it must be a sin of some sort to die with your sex raised like a lusty banner. Not that he had any real hope of salvation, anyway, but still.
Almost at the steps now. The crowd was going wild, cheering him on for all they were worth. He could sense their excitement through his skin. He felt no resentment against them, just a sort of diffuse, defeated bitterness that hung in the air like the last of the morning mist. And still his member wouldn't go down. Inspite of himself, he began to feel a little proud of it. At least one part of his body was ready to receive death, to grab and penetrate her, tasting her to the hilt. How strangely comforting it felt to think of death as a woman, who could be charmed, perhaps even dominated. He felt a slight stirring in his heart, like the arm of a puppet being tugged by a very long string. Then he was on the top of the scaffold, watching the hangman come towards him, and his legs finally gave way.
In the end, it all happened the way he had pictured it. There were the usual formalities to be gone through first, the polite foreplay of extinction, words incoherently mumbled and lost forever beneath the libidinous screaming of the crowd. An awkward moment or two while everything was properly set up. Then the sudden gasp of the floor giving way, announcing that he had plunged at last into that final orgasm, and his body jerking wildly at first, then going stiffly rigid, then sagging limply earthward.
When it was quite over the crowd let out a collective sigh, then immediately began gathering their things together, preparing to leave. He still hung there, of course, spent, drained of all life, a flaccid body dangling in defeat, and the day not even properly begun yet. But no one paid him any attention now. His time was past.