You find that rift in time in your basement, behind the water heater, and you’re able to go anywhere you want, to any time you want, and you’re pumped. At first you nose around to see your mom as a child, to see Kurt Cobain blow his head off. After a while you think about how to make it work for you. You could bet on sports or influence historical events, but you have only one thing on your virginal mind. You want to get laid.
You think it will be easier to make it with chicks who lived in the time of Lincoln or Washington or Caesar, because you know cool stuff. You think there will be a few who won’t recognize your desperateness. Ones who won’t mind your bulldog looks and wet dishrag personality. Ones who have never used the work ‘loser’ or ‘geek.’
You figure you have a competitive advantage, being from the future and all. You figure cable TV, Penthouse Forum and the Cosmopolitans you sneak-read at the library have given you unmatched knowledge on how to please a woman. You figure once you please one, the rest will come begging for you.
But it doesn’t work like that. Women aren’t turned on by knowledge of things to come. And soon you find that men have known how to please women for hundreds of years. You’re still not special. So you go back further and further, hoping to step into a point in history when men were selfish pigs.
But the wenches of King Arthur’s court don’t go for you, and you can’t get an invitation to a Roman orgy, and the women of the nomadic tribes in the desert of the pre-biblical Middle East were getting their share, and you’re sitting on your bed all horny and depressed, when it occurs to you: you have to go back to prehistoric times.
You figure that Cave Man only stuck around long enough to lose his load, then went out looking for mastodons to kill. You figure that Cave Woman would just die for a good love shudder, and then she’d tell all her cave woman buddies, which would provide you an after-school activity you could do for months.
So you slide through the rift into several thousand BC, dressed in your ICP T-shirt and faded jeans, and after a little looking, you find a camp. It’s full of women and children and they really do live in a cave. And the women are working with animal hides, and the children are sorting berries, and you walk into camp with a big grin, because this is going to be a blast.
At first they are afraid, and they pick up big sticks which you should take as a sign. But you have this way about you that people have always found disarming, and they settle down and you start to help with the berries. Pretty soon you’re making hand puppets out of leftover pieces of hide, you’re entertaining the kids, and the women seem pleased.
So that night in the cave you almost don’t make your move, because they’re uglier than you expected and they really, really smell, but you have a hard on that’s ready to burst, so you do. You roll over to the nearest one, who reminds you a little of your best friend’s mother, and you slide your hand up under her deerskin and gently stroke. At first she pushes you away but you persist. It must feel good because she lets you. You rub until she moans and the others wake up on alert. She tells them about you with grunts and gestures, and they all want a turn.
You do them one at a time, and it reminds you of the scene in Little Big Man, except you aren’t getting yours. So after you finish off the tall one with the curly hair with your hand, you slide on top and she lets you. You try to go slow, which Cosmo said women like, but you can’t. You finish in seconds, but you keep at it until you’re too soft to stay in. You start to feel bad, but the others are wanting you so you move on, fingering and fucking them until you all fall asleep.
The next morning you’re the last one up and you stroll out to grab a bite to eat. You figure you’ll head home and come back another day for an encore, but just then the men return from the hunt, carrying and dragging dead animals into camp. The women make sounds at them and use hand motions that remind you of last night. You try to greet them with a smile and a wave but they become agitated and surround you. You approach one with your hand outstretched and he punches you, hard. The little bastards are strong. You hit the ground and then roll in time to avoid having a large rock crush your skull. You jump to your feet and you run.
This is where you have an advantage. You ran cross country in tenth grade, and with your long legs and Air Jordans you jump out to a big lead—you’ll be home in time for lunch. You plan to use your newfound confidence to call Kim from third period English. But when you look back the cave men are behind you, not gaining not falling back, just matching you stride for stride.
You step up the pace and they are still there. Two miles, three, and they are still there. They will not go away. Your lungs start to struggle for air, your legs start to burn and you are hoping you soon hit that wall that runners hit, after which you can run forever. But the wall hits you and you cannot get through it, and you start to weaken. You search for options but there are none in prehistoric Earth, just you and them. And they are gaining.
You try to remember where the rift is but everything looks the same, and you must have passed it miles ago. There is a lake to the left and a high hill to the right and you wonder if they can swim and you hope they cannot. You dive in kicking and paddling furiously, breathing with every stroke. You hear splashing behind you and you try harder, but there is no more harder left to try. You glance back and they are swimming, and they catch you.
They drag you back to shore and stand around you, watching you gasp for air, holding your side, which has sharply cramped. They stare at you for a moment—not affected, not even breathing hard—their eyes wide and wild. Then they start. First it’s a murmur then a chant then a shout. They pick up sticks and rocks and pummel you. You try to dodge the small boulder coming at your head, but this time you cannot. Before you go dark, you wonder how many guys have died at the hands of jealous men, and wonder if maybe you’re the first.
(First appeared in Opium Magazine in 2002)