>Le Petit Mort


It’s called Le Petit Mort not because it makes you feel like dying, but because it’s the closest thing to pure life that we can know. The male brain cannot think about anything during the few seconds during which it occurs. Try it. Nothing. Your gaze will blur as your mind goes blank and then your eyes refocus and you can think about work tomorrow, or what you’re going to eat for dinner, or how your socks smell.

In studies, most people are happiest during sex. That takes into account all other pleasurable activities, such as eating, sleeping, reading, and blogging. This is no surprise. The transience of the act is part of why it is so appreciated. Obvi.

It’s called Le Petit Mort because it is ultimate life. And life and death are two sides of the same coin. You feel so alive, so consummately in the now, that the only thing it relates to is death. You want to be kept in that position forever if you could , with your brow furrowed and sweat pouring down your hot stretched oh-face. It would be perpetual bliss, but the only thing you’re even close to being forever locked into is that point sometime in the future when you will no longer exist. That and taxes.   

And when you are old and impotent and death closes in, you will feel nostalgic about your youthful virility. You will wish you had some of it back, but you can only enjoy the memories of her spread-eagled, like Candice Crawford, on the floor, and the sounds of the grainy softness, and you will feel both closer to and farther away from death in the distance of those memories. That will be Le Grand Mort.

By Daniel Ryan Adler

Daniel Adler writes fiction and nonfiction and is finishing his MFA at University of South Carolina.

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