"Whenever I go into a restaurant, I order both a chicken and an egg to see which comes first"

Saturday, October 1, 2011

As You Like It, 21st Century Version

I was wondering what a 21st Century version of the Shakespearean comedies, such as As You Like It and Twelfth Night would be.  That is, how to preserve the cross-dressing , gender confusion, and sexual dynamics but place them in a modern setting.

Here is my vision and synopsis of my 21st Century Shakespearean comedy:

Linda and Justin were recently married after a short but purposeful love affair.  Hector was 29 and Linda was 42, not quite a May-September relationship, but getting there.  Linda had wanted a child for years – ten years to be exact – and she was getting desperate.  She knew that her eggs were getting old and withered and there was very little time remaining for her to conceive a healthy child.  She was not particularly attractive, even to men of her own age; and she knew that her chances of conception improved the younger her mate was.

She did everything she could to make herself look younger.  She went to a hypertrichololgist  to remove the mustache from her upper lip.  A few years ago it was a turn-on to younger guys who thought it was Sicilian sexy, but now, after many shavings, it was a permanent five-o’clock shadow that was now an embarrassment an impediment.  She joined Weight Watchers, got a personal trainer at the gym, went to a cosmetologist who had many Washington and New York luminaries as her clients, and always met new guys in a favorable light. 

Finally she met Justin, a PhD student who had been too serious about his studies to be active socially or sexually, but who, like Linda, knew that the clock was ticking and that it was time to get serious about a family.  Of course, his clock was ticking at a far slower rate than Linda’s who felt that she heard her biological clock marking off the hours and minutes of fertility.  In any case, they both were ready for marriage and children.

Their first year of marriage was as happy as it could have been.  Rather than calculate Linda’s time of the month, temperature cycles, and rhythms of desire, they simply made love every night, assuming that this high-frequency copulation would certainly produce results.

Unfortunately, nothing happened.  They went to various fertility clinics which counseled relaxation therapy for her and boxer shorts for him.  Apparently tighty-whities constrict the balls, raising their temperature and making the sperm groggy and unwilling to make the trip up the canal.  In their elaborate history told to the fertility experts they explained that their lovemaking could not possibly increase, and therefore these exogenous factors had to be invoked. 

Meanwhile, Larry, a good friend of Justin’s and something of a pussy hound, figured that he now had an even better chance of getting into Linda’s pants than ever before.  She had always been diffident and concerned, worried about an unwanted pregnancy, but as her desires for a baby totally distorted her concerns about a ‘legal’ child, she became more promiscuous.  She had always liked Larry, and now she felt liberated and somehow more primitively human.  In caveman days women were fucked by many men, men of their choosing.  Who cared if it was The One; only that the fucker was a Good One.  So, who cared if the baby were Justin’s or Larry’s, just so long as she conceived. 

She fucked Justin, Larry, and Hector from her office but she still did not conceive.  Justin was tested and, being 29 and healthy, it was not surprising that his sperm count was high.  In reproductive terms she could leave off fucking other guys, so she did, but gradually.

After a year and no baby, Linda felt desperate, and she and Justin needed to change plans.  Artificial insemination?  Not good since it obviously was her eggs and her problem.  Surrogate mother?  Well, possibly, but the idea of relinquishing all her DNA was abhorrent.

At the same time her younger sister, Marta, a lesbian, got married to Chloe in a ceremony in New York shortly after the laws permitting same-sex marriages was passed.  Both Marta and Chloe were younger than Linda, both around 30; and as life would have it, they both wanted a child.  They toyed with the idea of anonymous sperm donors from Harvard, especially since the donor program now created sub-categories.  That is, not only could you get a Harvard student, but you could get a scholar-athlete with a WASP pedigree.  Of course the price was high, but the rewards were significant.  They dismissed this option, feeling that although their son or daughter would be Harvard educated and blond, it was still a crap shoot.

After much reflection, they considered the possibility of having one of Linda’s brothers – Jaime or Herbert – be the sperm donor.  This would preserve the DNA and would keep the baby within the family.  Neither Jaime nor Herbert were married and it was unlikely that they would be.  Both were introverted intellectuals and dreamers who would settle for nothing less than….you guessed it….their sister.  Linda, however, refused to even consider this twisted form of incest – and New York law specifically forbade it – so if either Jaime or Herbert contributed their sperm, it would have to be to Chloe, Marta’s partner.  OK, said Marta, both your brothers are dorks, but I have to admit they’re cute and intelligent.

Marta and Chloe discussed the possibility of either Jaime or Herbert fucking Chloe to ensure a “natural childbirth”, but Chloe was a stone dyke for whom the idea of some guy’s dick in her made her wretch.  OK on the brothers, but it had to be the test tube route.

Along the way, Linda and Marta began talking about their reproductive dilemmas.  Years afterward, neither one could remember who came up with the ingenious solution to satisfy everyone; but they had to agree it was ingenious:  Jaime or Herbert would impregnate (or contribute to an in vitro fertilization of) Chloe, who would give the child to Linda; and Justin would impregnate Marta who would keep the child and raise it with Chloe.  The hook-up between Justin and Marta was not as DNA pure as Marta might have hoped, but it was close enough.  The deal was done.

The only issue was which of the brothers would contribute the sperm.  Jaime could care less.  He had fucked so many women that his genes were well into the mainstream.  Herbert had no particular ethical dilemmas and agreed readily to help out both his sisters.  Jaime and Herbert flipped a coin, and Jaime won.

The fertility ceremony was talked about for years.  All the families, once the children were born, got together in a family estate in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and celebrated birth and life.  The relatives, particularly the older ones, could never quite keep the biological and social links straight – that is, whose kid was really whose – but in the end, like in a Shakespeare comedy, all’s well that ends well, and everyone lived happily ever after.

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