Funny, I never thought I’d be in a position where I could type something like that. Well, here I am! Actually – here we are. Me and my wife, Ingrid. Talk about an amazing vacation. It’s interesting, I’m going to be dead soon. I’ll be honest with you, though: I’m not even a little bit bothered. Hear me out.
When Ingrid and I stumbled upon that cave and did some impromptu spelunking, I was a little concerned we might get lost. Luckily, It became pretty obvious after the first few minutes that we wouldn’t. The cave was small. The interior, though, was unlike any cave I’d ever seen. It was absolutely brimming with mushrooms. All different kinds; some looked like portobellos, some were stringy and white and hanging from the ceiling like hair, and there were even some of those fat weird ones that smoked when you broke them open.
Ingrid and I are vegans and excellent chefs. On top of that, we love mushrooms. Ingrid’s good at picking out which of the ones in our yard are safe to eat, so I let her determine whether or not the ones in the cave were okay to bring home for dinner. To my surprise, she couldn’t tell! She’d never seen mushrooms like that before. Sure, there were lots of similar ones out there, but we didn’t want to chance it. I was disappointed; if we could’ve eaten those, we would’ve had a dinner for the record books.
Anyway, we kept walking. We got these great flashlights from my father-in-law for Christmas and they did an awesome job illuminating the path for us. As we went, the smoky mushrooms and the portobello ones started to appear less frequently. The stringy ones, though, were everywhere. They clung to the ceiling like white tendrils and we had to push them out of the way with every step we took. We didn’t know where we were going, but it felt like an adventure through an alien world.
Right when we thought the stringy mushrooms couldn’t get any thicker and we were tearing off handfuls just to keep moving forward, we came to a clearing. It was the rear of the cave. There was nothing there except one extremely large and extremely weird-looking fungus. I don’t know if it was a mushroom or what. It had a cap like one, but it was riddled with small, raised craters; they reminded me of the acne I had when I was a kid and how zits would look after I popped them.
Ingrid walked right up to it. She was totally fascinated. God this feels good to type. Every single key press with my raw fingers is like a tiny o****m. Ingrid ran her hands over it. I told her to be careful; I didn’t know if there were rats or spiders in the thing. I didn’t have to worry. There weren’t any bugs or anything in the cave at all, from what we’d seen. She asked me to come feel it with her. I did. I must’ve poked too hard I can’t believe how good this feels and all this orange smoke came out. It was a little scary at first. But then, after we took a few, good breaths of the stuff, it wasn’t scary at all.
How does simple typing feel this good? We went back to the resort. People looked at us a little funny because we were covered in orange dust, but I didn’t mind. I could type forever and ever and ever. We got back to the room and took a shower. We were in such an incredible mood. The shower water against my skin created a feeling of pleasure that was unlike anything I’d ever experienced. Ingrid, too. I don’t know how long we were in there together, just standing still and letting the water wash over us.
After we got out and toweled off (another incredible sensation just like typing), I had a little fall. There was a patch of water on the floor. I slipped and jammed my pinky and ring toes against the door. One toe went one way, the other went another. The area between split wide open maybe two inches up my foot. I expected to scream in pain because that’s what someone normally does when they get hurt, but something else happens. I screamed, but it was a scream of ecstasy. Intense, powerful ecstasy. My body shook with pleasure. The only thing I can equate it to would be sex, but it was beyond sex. Beyond such a small, localized feeling of delight.
My entire body hummed with physical joy. Once Ingrid realized I wasn’t in pain, she bent down to inspect my wound. With a shy tentativeness I’d recognized early in our relationship and had grown to love, she pressed her index finger against the bent and dislocated pinky toe. Again, fireworks of pleasure. She grinned at me and pulled the toe. We both heard it crack and pop as she wiggled it back and forth. Ingrid studied my face, enjoying what had to have been an expression of fervid elation.
Time went by while she pulled and twisted my broken toes while I stared at her beautiful face and relished the sensations. Then she did something I didn’t expect. Ingrid took her index finger and slid it inside the slit in the flesh. I could see it inside my foot, bulging under my skin. I whimpered. She was inside me. Her body inside mine. Without giving much thought, I pulled her down on top of me and bit her collarbone until a small hole formed. She mewled her assent. Like Ingrid had done to me, I slid my finger down into the new, pristine cavity and felt the warmth within.
I will not dwell on the details of the hours that passed. I’ll merely give a highlight that still, even as I sit here with my body exposed – my real body, not that which was hidden by flesh – gives me impossible joy. It was the moment Ingrid and I were staring into each others’ eyes. We’d degloved our arms and legs and were sitting, cross-legged, in an embrace. As she stared, she ran her warm, red hand across the muscles of my cheek. Then, reverentially, she slid her index finger underneath the remains of my lower eyelid and drifted deeper, back behind my eye.
The sight of my beautiful wife blurred slightly, both from partial loss of vision as well as unfathomable pleasure. Diligently, but with obvious love, she slid the finger in and out, gradually applying more pressure from behind as she went. When I thought I would pass out from the feeling – when the joy was transcending my consciousness and I feared I might slip into heaven right there – there was a rush of relief and unwinding of tension as my eye tumbled from its socket. I felt it against my cheek, resting against the musculature. My vision was strange and lacked coherence, but it didn’t matter. My love moved her mouth to that which she’d freed and began to taste me. I saw a brief glimpse inside her before she closed her teeth against the optic nerve and incorporated that part of me into her own, radiant body.
It’s a few hours later. Ingrid passed away after she asked me to experience the feeling of her heart beating against my mouth. She was unable to reach her heart before she slipped away. I expected to feel horror and sadness, but there was only determination and excitement. I know in a few moments I’ll be with her again. Alive elsewhere. As I looked around our room at the stringy mushrooms growing from the splashes of blood and the bulbous smoky ones growing from our discarded flesh, I knew I had to tell the world about what we experienced. About what the world itself needs to experience. Imagine how life would be if we all felt this level of intimacy; this level of pleasure.
I managed to reach the switch for the bathroom fan and I popped the majority of the smoky mushrooms we’d grown. The beautiful, orange swirls of smoke drifted up into the vent. Now, as I type this, I’m praying it will reach those in most need. People need to feel this.
I’m going to go now and open my belly. I’m going to stretch out everything inside as far and wide as I possibly can. The more I am exposed, the more I will feel. Then I’m going to lay next to my love. My Ingrid. Her last words before she passed were, “run with me.” I can feel my legs fluttering in anticipation for our first run together, hand in hand, through the moist fields of heavenly mushrooms.