by RE Hengsterman

I suppose doubt begins to creep in when daylight slips past the horizon. Or maybe it arrives with the first hint of hesitation from my erection. If I’m honest with myself, I’d choose the latter, but none of this is really about honesty. So I let my mind wander until a single drop of rain splats the windshield, snapping my attention back to the present. I’m making the twenty-minute drive across town, and it’s enough time for me to slip-slide down the rabbit hole. Above, a full on rain hides amongst the cumbersome gray clouds, as it has since daybreak.

The moment I arrive the sky finally collapses, releasing everything trapped between the gray. And with the rain, the last vestige of my confidence washes away. A reasonable person would take this as a sign. Apocalyptic rain on the way to meet a lover. Instead, I sit in isolation with the rain and draw comfort from the pit-pat-pit metal sound that taps the roof. I figure I’ll buy some time for the stimulants to work, so I watch the run-off vanish into the storm drain, pulling all the street trash along with it. I extend my arm out the window and feel the water against my clammy skin. I allow it to pool in my hands and use it to rinse the sweat from my face.

Today, I take a little more time than usual. I have no idea why. Maybe it’s the increasing fragility of my erections. Or maybe the magic hasn’t had a chance to work yet. Either way, I find myself asking the question, ‘What the fuck am I doing?’

When you realize this is a question you frequently ask yourself, it becomes problematic. Nevertheless, I continue the one-sided banter.

‘I am a man,’ I whisper. And as if that’s not enough I add, ‘I’m doing what men do!’ The conversation feels both odd and pathetic, but mostly pathetic.

Deep inside I twist. Anxiety brings tiny beads of moisture to the surface of my skin. I feel uncomfortable and moist in the wrong places. I steady my hands and pound another bottle of $1.99 gas station magic. The sexual arousal concoction is followed by a wave of nausea. The bottle says one every 12 hours, and I’m on my seventh in the last 30 minutes. This is also problematic. I toss the empty, and it lands twisty on the seat with the others. My heart begins to sprint.

‘I am a man,’ I whisper again, but louder. The volume just above a hesitant question.

Twenty feet from me, in a dimly lit townhouse, a lover waits patiently and unaware. I work myself into the ritual. I rock sideways in my seat. Then I rock forward. I squeeze the wheel hard and push my ass firmly into the seat. The rectal pressure brings a hint of stiffness to which I stir with anticipation. It’s time.

Ahead, the porch light and windshield meet the rain, and all kaleidoscope into a blur of distortion. I rub my eyes to sharpen my focus, and beg the last bottle to work quicker, muttering ‘get hard motherfucker, get hard!’ In the background, the radio plays an unfamiliar song. The wipers dance along rhythmically, and I feel they are mocking me.

How this all came to be, the limpness that softens my manhood, I can say with certainty is a small part of a long, sad story. I will say, I am no longer myself. I haven’t been myself for a long time. The endless lies are the dark curse of sexual indulgence. Or for that matter, endless lies are the curse of any indulgence. Right now I hastily chase the growing tingle in my cock that’s pulling me forward with an invisible tug, past the door, up the stairs, and into the bedroom. I rush to undress before the feeling retreats, and I implore the same from my lover using words that hide my desperation.

The door shuts, and quickly I disappear into her.

When I awake, I feel her weight straddled between mine. Misfired semen is still moist on satin sheets. I shift away from the wetness and find her ear within the darkness and whisper a few words to soften her disappointment. I can feel her finger lightly trace my chest, but her words remain internal and thus fail to impale my manhood. I don’t question why, but I am forever grateful.

I close my eyes and let the moment fade to black. I love you fixes so many things I think to myself as I drift towards sleep, the words still slowly dragging across my lips.


R.E Hengsterman is a writer and film photographer who deconstructs the human experience through photographic images and words. He currently lives and writes in North Carolina. See more of his work at and find him on Twitter at @rehengsterman