The Genealogy of Pops

The first thing I saw was blue. The second thing I saw was Pops. The first thing I feared was God. That’s how I learned to order the universe. My first memory of a place was Boat-Raft-City. It’s a pretty cool place. Everything’s pretty all right. I mean it’s small. But that’s the deal. We only live in small communities now. It’s considered best for everybody. Stronger individuals. Everybody knows everybody. A healthier zeitgeist. Less schizophrenic living.

We live on a boat. Or rather, more precisely, on boats. Correction. Like, we live on boats that are tied together. So like a raft. Or a collection of boats, that on a macro scale operates like a large raft, and, on a regular level, looks and operates like a boat. On a personal scale I live on a boat called the Haphazard. It’s kind of like the ass of the raft.

There’s other dudes out there. Other people on other raft cities. But we don’t talk to them. It’s kind of culturally forbidden on account of our unwavering need to maintain a healthy communal psyche, which would be in severe jeopardy among the presence of outsiders. Outsiders whose thinking can simply not be ac-counted for. Like one time, I saw a boat of outsiders-whose-thoughts-couldn’t-be-accounted-for throwing babies overboard their ship. Which made my throat tight. I’m glad we don’t do that here. And we do some weird stuff. But so yeah, we don’t socialize. I mean we trade. Sometimes. But we never socialize when we do it. Pops said that’s why guns and armpits were invented: so we don’t have to socialize. So-cializing and unhealthy zeitgeists were the reason the Old World ended. Now we just put supplies in lifeboats and hope for honesty.

Back to the babies. The thing about the babies is population control is super important on Boat-Raft-City. Turns out babies are super easy to make. Turns out you and me and everybody can have a hand in the making of babies, but too many babies on Boat-Raft-City is bad for resources, which creates food and water short-ages, which creates unhappy people, which creates an unhealthy zeitgeist, which leads to wild tribal violence and sometimes, confusingly, even more babies. So we control babies. The only time banging is technically allowed is under an Elder Su-pervised Procreation Session or ESPS for short. I’m a little uncomfortable in an ESPS on account of performance anxiety issues and an atavistic sense that an un-known Elder is checking out my butt. Also, when the participants finish, the Elders do a little clap and sigh wistfully.

Unsanctioned bonking is a big no-no but we do it anyway. The Elders try to catch sweaty teenagers off guard but it’s a hard thing to prove if they don’t witness any penetration. I’m a sweaty teenager and a conscientious objector to the policy. If it were up to me I’d be bonking left and right. Personally, I’ve bonked a sum total of one and a half times. The one time was an ESPS with Lilly Simms. This was, to be honest, pretty much a brokered exchange. I’d speared a bonkers Marlin fish that day and brought it to Elder Simms as a sort of let-me-pork-your-daughter-gesture. What ensued was the best, and only, ESPS of my life with a clap at the end and eve-rything. The general consensus is and was that I’m radically beneath Lilly. In that particular instance I was.

The half time I bonked was just for fun and I remember it much better. Lilly and me were in an overturned lifeboat and even though it was dark the water shone emerald with luminescent algae. I remember how flecks of green peppered Lilly’s skin like stars in a cosmic swirl, her body lithe and barely suggested in a sea of black motion, a human constellation. For me the moment was seminal. Lilly made me finish in the water. Which was painful because salt got in my dick-hole. So it on-ly counts half. But I’d do it again, I’d definitely do it again.