Friday, March 28, 2008

OXFORD CONFIDENTIAL:
Snake Brothers are Mysterious, Infuriating Animals
(When You Don't Have a Penis...)

SNAKE BROTHER -- Slang. A term used to refer to the unique bond between two or more men who have had sexual intercourse with the same person at sometime in their lives, thus creating an overlap in sexual histories. Provenance of term unknown but may be indigenous to North America. However, the concept was understood by Ancient Mesopotamian, Asian, and European civilizations. For gay men the term also applies, but with more complications to the dynamic.

For female equivalent, see
TRENCH SISTER.


OXFORD, Ohio (ZP) -- I waited. The question was coming. I could feel it.

As pathetic as it is, I'm actually quite skilled at these sorts of things. I had a sneaking suspicion, too, that my sparring partner also had some experience in such verbal sport...

"So Jason, you and _____ went to school together in Greeley?"

Before I could answer her husband's question, the Diva intervened.

"Honey. I knew lots of guys in Colorado. We hung out. Jason was a reporter..."

I laughed, oh so slightly, nodded, took a sip of my iced tea.

"Oh. So you just hung out then?"

I took a bite of my salad and tried to not simply burst into all-out laughter, nodded with a full mouth in the direction of his loving wife. Lunch was her idea. She could answer the question.

Oh yeah. He knew. Or, at least, he suspected.

The game afoot! Time to cry Havoc!, let slip the dogs of war...

* * * *

Despite all the discomfort and uneasiness, I couldn't help but wonder, after all these years, if the Diva still got off on being handcuffed to bathroom sinks and spanked, or if she and the ol' hubby had ever, well...

Back in the day, she was such a fun little thing, all explosive darkness and piss and rage, domineering, driven by lust and hidden insecurity. I was, well, a lot more fun and free myself back in those days, too, cloaked in my own naivety and ignorance, pushing my boundaries with drugs and booze and sex...

Oh, trust me. I'm sure the Diva's husband was pondering similar things. I've been in his shoes before. And he'd, heh, probably been in mine. Dogs of war, since the time of Julius Caesar, typically hunt the same prey because such beasts are usually bred in the same pounds and kennels.

What husband wouldn't wonder, seriously, what his wife was like before he knew her, back when she was a Colorado Chicana! wild child, smack dab in the midst of her Oooh! This will piss off Mom and Dad! I'll fuck an Anglo! phase? He's undoubtedly heard stories, probably bits and fragments, here and there from friends of hers, relatives...

What husband wouldn't be at least curious about that past? And, frankly, what lover from the past wouldn't be intrigued by thoughts of how women of memory evolve and grow and mature into the present and future wives and lovers of such noble, intelligent men?

Snake brothers, of course, aren't supposed to ask such questions out loud. That'd be rude. And, well, quite possibly dangerous. The unwritten rule of the Cult of the Snake Brother is, well, that such things are best not discussed, left silent.

Hell, the snake brothers of Helen fought the Trojan War because they couldn't handle such knowledge. Mark Antony, Caesar, and Ptolemy destroyed much of the Ancient Western World because, well, they couldn't deal with the fact that Cleopatra initiated the dynasties of Rome and Egypt into the phallic serpentine brotherhood.

Why, now, would modern men ruin such a wonderful lunch with such stupidity? Life's too short these days, the social norms that once drove Primitive Man mad with jealousy now a curious antiquity for the educated and experienced.

* * * *

The Diva was not amused with the pissing contest, our testing of certain waters to see which Snake Brother would wince first.

"We were, you know, just ... friends..."

The Diva then went into a long, drawn-out explanation as to how she and I knew each other back in 1997, explained in twisting, prefabricated answers that almost made me wish that I was, indeed, the guy she was describing...

All she had to say, really, was that we were... just... friends. Pauses, like photographs, really are worth a thousand words.

The Husband smirked. I smirked. Nothing makes for a good meal like good dinner theater. He kept looking at me. I kept looking back at him, nodding and eating my salad.

Men really do bond over making women uncomfortable. Payback, yes, for infecting our gender with the cooties and wet dreams of youth...

At least she acknowledged that, well, both of her male dining companions had just...friended the shit out of her at some point in the last decade.

* * * *
A decade.

A whole fucking decade.

That's enough time to turn any snake brother into as docile a reptile as your average timber rattler in winter. A man's blood, at least the blood of seasoned, educated men, rarely boils at the mere hint of a partner's previous sexual history. Who a woman fucked in some long-forgotten house in Ratfuck Colorado is, to such men, as historically meaningless as Abe Lincoln's last shit in the White House.

It's not like her husband was getting ready to build a goddamn wooden horse to storm the table or anything. And it's not like I was gonna chew my breadsticks down into a dagger to stab him on the way to the Forum.

Jesus H. Christ. The rules of the Snake Brother Cult have, well, evolved since the days of spears, Greek fire, and spoken Latin...

* * * *

I kept grinning like a retarded clown, sipping on my iced tea and gnawing on my salad. The Diva's husband was half-grinning like a razor-scalped madman, drinking his wine and chewing up his vegan pasta.

And the Diva changed the subject. Quickly.

"So Jason... are you seeing anybody? Married?"

Well-played.

Check. But not checkmate. There was still game left...

* * * *

Some women just don't have the same sense of adventure they had when they were young, back when they wore no underwear, wore plaid miniskirts and purple lipstick and tight black Sonic Youth teeshirts, back when such women seduced and screwed like demons whilst certain former 19-year-old aspiring reporter's housemates watched through the living room window...

Rather than bring up the past decade, I simply explained that, well, I'd found religion and the Republican Party, had become a Born-Again Virgin, held hands with peroxide blondes at church potlucks...

The Diva nodded and went back to her lunch.

Wait. Does she really buy that horseshit? Is that believable after ten years?

Holy fuck, we were just talking about strip clubs and blowjobs ten minutes ago...


* * * *

The hubby leaned in, smiled.

"Heh. Sounds like Cincinnati. So you really are married then?"

We both snickered like 14-year-olds staring at our first glossy boobies in a copy of Hustler.

And as I explained, in between snickers, that, well, I've been engaged two-and-a-half times in the past 10 years, as I explained that, yeah, why the hell would I want to get married and ruin my peace and tranquility...

"Dude, you're a really cool guy."

"Yeah, man. I see how you got the hot goth girl here."

"Hey, do you like Tom Waits? You look like a Waits kinda guy..."

"Well, fuck yeah, dude."

"Baby, he likes Tom Waits! Did you know that? Hey, we caught that gig down in Louisville..."

The Diva was not amused.

What'd she expect? C'mon now.

Snake brothers usually have more in common than simple momentary spins on the ol' vagina rollercoaster. Hell, if there weren't similarities, we probably wouldn't have ever been attracted to the same woman, or once had the same woman attracted to us, in the first place...

I've been snake brothers with worse.

Being a Snake Brother is just one of those mysterious bonds between men that even some of the most modern, liberated women just aren't comfortable facing.

And, sometimes, that's just fucking hilarious.

- # # # -


11 comments:

librarianwoes said...

I'm an all or nothing kind of guy so I don't tend to remain friends with former lovers. This doesn't mean that I ignore former flames, or that I'm not civil to them if/when our paths cross. That said, most of my old lovers feel the same way, and because of this I cannot for the life of me figure out how some people remain close friends with past lovers and even wives. In my experience, any guy who's hanging around an old lover is doing so with the hope that they are going to get together again... Someday.

My wife is close to a few old "friends." I believe that this puts me (and their wives) at a significant disadvantage. Sometimes when we're out together having drinks with them I find myself thinking, "If you let me sleep with your wife just once we could rectify this 'problem'." Not because I'm even attracted to their wives but because it would be a fantastic equalizer. Only then could we all feel equally as uncomfortable. This would be an effective way to determine how we all feel about just hanging out together. ;-)

The ZenFo Pro said...

Woe:
Lol, this was kind of a fluke - we ran into each other here in Oxford while the hubby was checking out a possible grad program. Small fucking world...

She literally asked me if I was the "little brother" of myself. She, of course, looks a whole hell of a lot different, too...

This was, well, one of those one-night sorts of things back when I was in college. Actually, it's the reason a few folks still tease me about handcuffs - oh, witnesses...

coyotemike said...

You have to wonder what sort of plot she had in mind that the two of your foiled, once she realized you were you.

cooper said...

Personally I am kind of fond of all my snake sista's. ;0

The ZenFo Pro said...

Mike:
Lol, no fucking clue.

The subject of the Cult of the Snake Brother has been, heh, a common theme around these parts lately...

Fun Fact: At one time last year, 40% of all men over the age of 21, gathered together in one college bar here in Oxford, were all snake brothers?

And, heh, there's a Tom Waits element in THAT tale, too.

Coop:
Heh, having dated my share of bi women, well, I kinda like my trench sistas too :P

EsotericWombat said...

Reminded me of this

Of three snake brothers I've met, one can't stand me, another I went to high school with and considers me a brother irrespective of all that, and another I once had brunch with after sleeping with our lady in common, who he was in an open relationship with. We chatted as if nothing was up, and it certainly seemed to mess with her

The trench sisters of my pantheon seem to like each other quite a lot, which is cool.

max said...

Um, personally, I would never purposefully put an ex lover and a current lover at the same table. There is just no way that could turn out well.

zydeco fish said...

That's a really interesting post. I hate to admit it, but I've never heard the term trench sister before. I learned something today.

The ZenFo Pro said...

Wombat:
Generally, my snake bros, over last year at least, all really do have wierd Tom Waits fetishes. Strange shit.

Trench sisters, same...

Max:
Very bad idea. Yup.

ZF:
Lol, amazing the sorta random shit one can learn online, huh?

Martin said...

Good Job! :)

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