The following is an excerpt from "Chicago Stories" by Michael Czyzniejewski [Curbside Splendor, $14.99], a collection of humorous, fictional tales "narrated" by famous Chicagoans, including Roger Ebert and Barack Obama.
In a Séance at Playboy’s
100th Anniversary Party,
Hugh Hefner Speaks on
Sex in the Afterlife
Are you seriously asking? I could tell you, but think about it: Do you really want to know? I mean, mysteries are called mysteries for a reason: You’re not supposed to know, and trust me, I don’t think you want to know. Besides, have you considered the possibility that maybe I’m not the best basis of comparison? Considering my experiences on Earth, I have a slightly skewed idea of normal. My standards were, after all, abnormally high. I had a pretty good run, one might say, so afterward, what could I expect?
To be honest, I went in with no expectations. I couldn’t complain, could I? And I certainly couldn’t expect an upgrade. At best, I hoped to continue. Remember, if I went by Judeo-Christian standards, nothing short of doom awaited my arrival at the party. Thankfully, I wasn’t going by Judeo-Christian standards.
So you could say I was optimistic, ready for anything. But if you really want to know, and it seems like you really do, I’ll tell you this, and let you figure it out for yourself: Think back to the first time you ever made love, or more poignantly, were about to make love, that feeling of anticipation welling, a tear that just won’t make it over the hump of your cheek. Think of the moment when you knew that your partner (or partners) was ready, was willing, that all your preconceptions, everything you’d heard—from parents, teachers, your big brother, TV and movies, adult magazines, anyone you knew—nothing even remotely prepared you for that moment; nothing they said, nothing you saw, nothing you heard could scratch the surface of what you were thinking. How it couldn’t even approach the instant when you made contact with your partner, confident in what was about to happen, knowing that you were no longer going to be a virgin, that you were entering the realm of the sexually active, that you were a member of that club that once seemed impossible to join, the club that, as Groucho once said, you wouldn’t want to be in because they’d have you as a member.
Now try to recapture that feeling of fear turning into joy turning into elation turning into wild abandon, into passion, into mindless, animal sex. You and your partner becoming one, your membership in the club approved for platinum status. That fear, that happiness, that elation, that feeling of belonging to someone who would have you, the greatest moment in your and everyone else’s life. Do you remember that? Well, it’s nothing like sex in the afterlife.
This story first appeared in Artifice Magazine.
Illustration by Chicago artist Rob Funderburk