Paganistan: Notes from the Secret Commonwealth

In Which One Midwest Man-in-Black Confers, Converses & Otherwise Hob-Nobs with his Fellow Hob-Men (& -Women) Concerning the Sundry Ways of the Famed but Ill-Starred Tribe of Witches.

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The Way of Guy with Guy


A Thoroughly Unedifying Tale


He was a man who loved women, though he often treated them badly: handsome enough but, deep down, really something of a creep.

(Just how much of a creep he really was, we didn't fully understand until years afterward. Beauty without morals is a dangerous combination.)

Personally, I would have described our relationship as glancing at best, but whenever he saw me, he would immediately rush over and talk at me animatedly and at length, with an emotional intensity that belied the (as I saw it) superficiality of our acquaintanceship.

Finally I figured it out.

As it turns out—how could I have forgotten?—the two of us had had what at the time I thought was casual sex after a ritual one night: so casual, in fact, that it slipped my mind for decades.

(Hey, it was the 80s; people did that sort of thing back then, and not just in pagan circles, either.)

Apparently, that's not how he saw it, though. I gather now that I was his “everybody-tries-it-once” guy, to whom he had granted intimacies never-before and never-since bestowed on anyone else. Because of this, in his eyes, the two of us shared a deep, lasting bond with one another.

Gods: I'd had his virginity, and didn't even notice. Maybe that makes me the creep.

So much for facile moralizing.

I haven't seen him for some while now; I don't even know if he's still around. On the off chance that we do ever run into one another again, I don't plan to mention my new-found understanding, though. Hey, even creeps have their pride.

Surely, for the sake of our one time together, I owe him that much, at least.


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Poet, scholar and storyteller Steven Posch was raised in the hardwood forests of western Pennsylvania by white-tailed deer. (That's the story, anyway.) He emigrated to Paganistan in 1979 and by sheer dint of personality has become one of Lake Country's foremost men-in-black. He is current keeper of the Minnesota Ooser.


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