Uncle Carl

My great great uncle, Uncle Carl (on my mother’s side) invented pornographic moving pictures. I mean, history’s been rewritten. He doesn’t get the credit he deserves (not that my mother’s upset about that).His was one of those paradigm shifts.

Before him, pornography had been just about power, and exploitation. Carl invented objectification of women.

Everyone said that Carl hadthe most amazing skin. Iimagine I can see some sort ofglow in the few tinctographswe have of him, but its hardto tell.

Carl’s mother loved him, butshe was shy. When he was aninfant she carried him withher always, and she bathedhim and tickled him and gavehim a million little hugs everyday. But when he grew up alittle, became a little boy, loudand gregarious as boys alwaysare, she realized he wasactually a separate person andher shyness returned.

After the age of seven, the only physical contact she had with him was holding his hand when they walked in town, and occasional kisses on the cheek (one each birthday, christmas, and when departing or arriving from any journey).

And Carl might have seemed gregarious to his mother, but he had inherited her shyness.

Once, when he was twelve, and a new guy moved into town, and before the new guy had ‘learned about Carl’, the new guy played a practical joke (the old pail of water ontop of the door) and got Carl soaking wet. And Carl loved it, it was so palsy, almost like a hug. But of course, Carl didn’t get mad like he should have, and that just left all his classmates even more intimidated by him.

But Carl grew up, and in the end he wasn’t particularly unhappy.

So, from the age of seven, for the rest of his life, Carl never touched another person, except for firm handshakes, familial kisses, and not too tight hugs. He never cupped a person’s face in his hand. I mean, at least physically, at one level.

But then you get into philosophy, and the sex drive.I mean, I have this one friend who has been forgiven for the most insensitive, destructive acts by past lovers, because they all feel he has some uncontrollably strong sex drive. He would die without a regular fuck. Its just a scam they all play on themselves, because he’s cute, and I’m sure he’s great in bed, but that he’d die. Come on now. I mean, who hasn’t sometimes felt like that, but you just masturbate, more than once if you have to, and it all becomes manageable again.

So Carl. Carl had a sex drive. That he dealt with. And considering he couldn’t even imagine kissing someone, let alone sex, he saw no reason to be self conscious. He had nothing to gain or lose. I mean, he was shy, it was hard to talk to anybody, but it was no easier to tell someone about what he had ordered for breakfast, than to tell them about his late night virtual world.

I have a portion of a letter he wrote to his friend Wilfred Franklin:

“I can remember, as an adolescent, when I would have dreams during my sleep, dreams of sex, and these dreams would be so intensely physical. I would feel the woman’s skin, and feel all of her textures. I was amazed, I couldn’t imagine where those sensations were coming from.They were all so real, they had to be based on memories, but memories beyond my recollection, memories beyond my life. As I have grown older these physical dreams have stopped. Now my dreams are purely visual. I see the bodies and the acts and they are beautiful and sensual in and of themselves. I must admit to you, my dear friend, that I have not been able to give up all hope of ever being with a woman, in this lifetime, but I have certainly lost the ability to even fantasize such an event. It seems easier to imagine that the world will end tomorrow in one of those fiery cataclysms described by Wells. So, although it must have been a slow process, I have realized that now the objects of my sexual desire are no longer women themselves, but merely the images of women. I have had to bypass my skin.”

So it wasn’t that Carl made the first pornographic movie.He never made any. It was a letter he wrote to WilfredFranklin that made Franklin make the first movie.

Before this, pornography excited men because it was proof that somewhere their sadly ideal world existed, where real women would walk around naked, and smile, and do exactly what men wanted.It was an aid to imagining real physicality’s, real touches.

But Franklin was a technical genius, just beginning to understand this new media, of moving pictures, and how much easier it made fooling the mind into an alternate reality. And he was intrigued by Carl’s new found mode of sex, and became determined to find it himself, through his art. And he did.

Carl never watched any of Franklin’s movies. He was a bit too much of a prude.

I’ve been told that I have my uncle’s skin. I don’t know.

But pardon me if I don’t touch you, it’s not that I don’t want to. It’s all a bit confusing.