Chris Maser

      While bathing naked in the Nile one evening in March 1964 near Jebel Adda, south of Abu Simbel Temple, with my back to the shore as I watched for crocodiles, I heard a series of giggles behind me. I turned around to find most of the Nubian villagers watching me, including women and the children I played tag with. One of the men pointed to my exposed penis, and indicated that it was minuscule by pointing the end of his index finger. He then extended his arm and moved his hand from his index finger to his shoulder, indicating the magnificence of his organ, which cause the women to clap their hands over their mouths, as the whole audience erupted in convulsions of laughter—me included. I have not found another people to be so joyfully uninhibited in their wonderful, child-like innocence as the members of that village.

     My mother had bugged me for years about getting a girl friend. I was a loner, however, and preferred the freedom of wandering the trails of the Coast Range and Cascade Mountains and exploring the river near my home. I had no time for girls or towns.
      One evening in February, 1964, while at Jebel Adda, I had a brilliant idea. There was a wonderful collection of desiccated bodies from the excavated graves lying in neat rows. I selected a woman who was remarkably intact, and pick her up carefully. Holding her next to me, one of the men took a photograph of us, which I sent to my mother—telling her I was now engaged, but that the wedding date had yet to be determined. She never mentioned a girl to me again. I have no idea what she did with the photo, and now dead for over a decade, she can't tell me.

© chris maser 2011

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