The Fertility Test

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic

Sometimes I wonder if the idea of fiction is itself fiction. 

I think you always operate within your sphere of experience and knowledge, and I know for certain that writers are bound by the same laws. I doubt very much there’s anybody who conjures up ideas completely out of the blue. Every idea, every grain of inspiration that results in a pearl of a story (or a tangle of thorns) spun around it, is in fact second hand. Nothing’s original, only modified to a point that originality can then be claimed.

And now I must assure you that none of what I describe actually happened.

Ever been for a fertility test? I did once, attempt to find out how virile and plentiful my swimmers were. It was a test that was part of one of those freebies that most companies hand out to their employees once a year, those tiresome (but free!) Annual Health Checkups! And if you’re like me, when something’s free..

For reasons best not speculated about, the fertility tests were scheduled last, at the fag end of a day spent on other routine medical examinations and plenty of waiting in line. All day long, I’d offered a look of reproach to every other corporate freeloader I met, as if taking advantage of free health checkups was my privilege alone. When I finally reached the end of the line  (Is it the end of the line you reach, or the beginning?) in the Andrology department, all I wanted to do was get over with it as soon as possible (Hi doc, these testosterone tests on my testes are testing my patience causing testiness), go home, forget the unpleasantness of a day spent staring your own mortality in the face, and get on with routine. One of those typically feminine nurses gave me a small plastic cup, and a quiet room. You’d think that was enough, right?

Now here’s a secret. Don’t believe anyone who tells you sex is “refreshing”. Most men will attest that ejaculating (while lending itself to a dreadful pun) takes a lot out of you. Add to it this spartan, sanitized environment. No mobile signal in the room. Not to mention the lack of printed materials to help you get in the mood. Are they sadists? Shall I sue?

Okay then. There’s two ways to do this. 

Either stir forth from memory those remnants of films or books discovered during childhood that caused certain interesting responses in your organism, stop-rewind-replay those in your brain, and play with yourself while mentally projecting this internal movie. (Now playing!)

The other approach is a strictly physical approach. Go further back in time and experience what you are feeling, when you are feeling it, as a purely physical response to purely physical stimulation. Count on billions of years of evolution to bring forth a reaction based on countless generations’ similar experience, a response to those same repeated movements, those same organic manipulations, that same internal gasp of the biological being, and finally those week-kneed pulsating throbs spewing forth those sacred and glorious seeds of creation. (To  half-fill that pathetic and plastic cup)

Neither approaches worked. 

I spent what seemed like several hours on the problem.I worried if the nurses thought I was enjoying myself a bit too much in here. Perhaps they were mocking me. There has to be a correct amount of time one spends in here. Worried I’d become a source of ridicule, I regained my limp composure and began to make my way to the door. I’ll do it later, I’d say. When I was feeling more up to it, I’d say. And then there was a knock on the door.

It was her. The same nurse. She’d handed me the cup and routinely asked me to go fill it. Remember? 

She glanced at the empty cup and my dignified failure. Then she walked in and closed the door behind her and offered to help me. Help Me, that's what I said, yes, she offered to help me.

One might wonder what I thought about all this then, but sometimes you go with the flow, right? And did I mention I considered myself a fairly good looking specimen? In my finer moments, with the right light and viewing angles, you could even call me striking, with a vague resemblance to one of those onscreen fellows that most women fussed about. So, no doubt my looks and dark brooding manner had proven irresistible to her. And there is such a thing as two consenting adults engaging in intimate contact, simply due to the force of mutual human attraction. Right? Right. That plastic cup I carefully held was promptly discarded and it lay on the floor unused, crumpled and now totally moot. It was suddenly not that important. A thousand or a hundred billion, it was all the same to me.

Giggling reader, don’t get me wrong. Stark intercourse was off limits here. And I’m too much of a gentleman to be specific about what actually transpired. Honestly, if I’d simply just walked away, there would’ve been no trouble. But some details I must now offer in order to, if nothing else, hurry along this sorry tale. (And the learned reader would note the unmistakable thread of rue running through the seam of my tale, and already knows that what follows is not meant to titillate, but are strictly functional details to make the context clear)

All that be damned. Here’s what happened, I kid you not. Of course my heart swelled, and a general air of enchantment filled the air. The outside world went about its own business unconcerned. Nurses pushed intravenous drips into already sedated patients, janitors sanitized already clean floors. But I was in a different universe (one of toil and blood), with thoughts flowing but words not quite there, crowding a narrow passageway of a lust that that can only be regretted in retrospect, each straining to be the first to escape confinement, to actually exist! 

Eventually I spurted my appreciation at her single-handed dedication, and everything about me was quiet and contended, and everything about her right hand was wet and sticky, and there she was, looking at me with a gentle and maternal smile. 

Then we heard the PA system, summoning a particular doctor to a particular station, and reality asserted itself. She rushed me out, hustling me out of the room with her good hand, her calm look reassuring me that our secret would remain safe forever. I assumed she wanted the room to herself to fix her hair. Regain her composure. Wash her hands. That sort of thing. It seems I was mistaken. It seems her hand went where mine did not.

Because a few years later I was walking around the same neighborhood, reminiscing about my chance encounter at that carnal clinic, and a contended looking woman walked past me, holding by her hand, that very hand!, a little boy who looked just like me.

Submitted: March 27, 2021

© Copyright 2021 nkshirsa. All rights reserved.

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