Stage DivingShe’s a reversed vasectomy and a spontaneous remission. She’s the flowers you didn’t plant and the love you didn’t go looking for. She’s a tornado, a hurricane, and a cyclone too. She’s the springtime scent of the magnolias in the wind and the summer song of the cicadas. She’s the thrill of first love and the sting of rejection. She’s a snake bite in the grass and the snow falling leisurely, oh-so-leisurely, to the ground.

She’s the baby sea turtle who makes it and an unexpected result. She’s a contented cat’s purr and a four-leaf clover thriving in an abandoned city lot. She’s the mosquito that made it into the tent and a cool breeze on a hot day. She’s a bejeweled salamander under a mossy rock and the flash flood that wipes out a village.

She’s the twister in your bathtub and the sun on your face in March. She’s the lightning that splits the old oak and the smell of that first kiss. She’s the Act of God your insurance company won’t cover and the money you found on the street. She’s spring’s first butterfly and a control-freak’s worst nightmare.

She’s the woman Francis hated, the one he wanted to torture on the rack. And she’s a dandelion that pushes its way through the concrete, smiles at the sun, and thumbs its nose at our Faustian virtù. She’s the trickster of old and the sworn enemy of technology. She’s chance, chaos, and a kiss. And she’s dancing like a siren in your peripheral vision, with an impish grin, beckoning you to let go, close your eyes, and fall, fall backwards, into her loving arms. She can’t promise you anything, anything but life, in all its beauty and terror. Her name is Fortuna. And yes, Niccolò, she is a woman.

Is this what you had in mind, sweet philosopher, when you closed your eyes and bungee-jumped into the cool Chicago night, only to realize that the bungee-cord, which was really just the cord of a lost phone charger, was missing? Guess that’s when bungee-jumping into the November night turned into sky-diving into the urban jungle. Or was it stage-diving, Babette, into the dimly-lit unknown, only to find yourself carried, supported, and touched, by a simple sweetness, a kindness to complete strangers, which makes you think you might be able to fall in love with humanity all over again?

—John Faithful Hamer, The Myth of the Fuckbuddy (2016)