Two older men sat on a porch, friends. Today, they were remembering the first time they’d had sex and what that was like. They both agreed it was a life-changing experience and had a hard time explaining what it had meant to them even though they both knew what it must have been like for the other.

One said what made it complete for him is that his lover told him just after, “I will always love you.”

The other shared the same thing but added, “… but man, things changed after that. She was jealous and said things like no one will ever love you like I do, and no one else can give you what I have. Just know that, because there are other women in the world, but they’re not me.”

His friend was shocked. This man had been held hostage, being made to feel like no other woman could give him the experience he just had.

And of course the duped man, in his naive youth, believed her because the experience of sex for the first time was magical! She had to be the reason and who would want to risk losing that experience?

As they went on, the one asked the other, “You did actually come to find out she was full of shit, right?”, to which the man responded, “Well of course! She went on telling me the same sorts of things about other stuff too. Things I was no first-timer at. Figuring she was blowing smoke and because she had become so intolerable, I tested the waters!”

“And?”, his friend asked. “I was confused. The sex was pretty much the same, but the magic was all gone. But, it wasn’t there to begin with the first time.”

He continued. “First time, I thought I was loved. Second time, neither of us were fooling each other.”

“What was the magic then?”, his friend asked.

“Nothing magical at all really. Just trusting I was loved. Turns out, I wasn’t. Love wants to end the talking where your lover left it: ‘I will always love you.’ It don’t fear you don’t love them to leave them and so you gotta lie about things.”

Talking a bit more, they realized aloud that sex is great, feels good and all of that. But the more lovers you have, the more you realize you have to work at the magic. The “love is this, not that” kind of magic where it still exists even when you aren’t having sex and maybe your lover isn’t even there; that kind of magic.

The Reverend said to his friend, “Not just anyone can do metaphor. I’ll just tell you, God loves and so do I. I don’t think that comes with anything else. You’ll always have that feeling, you know, no matter where you go. The magic is being there and being free to leave. Being there because there’s something to stay for. We’ve all gotta grow up that way at some point. Lots haven’t and maybe never will … but we’re old and gassy.”

“See you Sunday?”

“With my ‘come hither’ look of course!”

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