This is a recent dream I had about strange men living in the jungle:
Deep in the jungle, far deeper than any man from outside would dare go, within the borders of a tiny village, lives a strange race of men. They are compact and grim; their skin is dark, as are their eyes. Strangely, each man binds his scrotum tightly inside of a compact, bamboo package. Each also secures his phallus to the small package with small lengths of vine knotted in an intricate pattern. All of the men also carry a sharpened obsidian knife, the purpose of which is two fold. One purpose is for hunting and self defense, and the other is for procreation. There are no women in the village of the Men, which leads me to speak of the lake.
The lake is on the village’s border, and the old chief Ulphua says that it is magic. It is expansive, disappearing at the horizon. The waters are clear and deep; in the shallows you can easily see bottom, but out further, there is only an deep abyss, deeper than nature should allow. Each year, the eldest man goes to the lake, and this year it is Ulphua’s turn. He leaves amidst a great ceremony of fire and dance.
“Bring us back a stronger chief!” joke some of the young men, veiling the tears in the eyes with smiles and feathered headdresses. The older men are solemn, banging their drums and chanting low, filled with the knowledge that they will soon need to take the long walk themselves. Ulphua walks proudly, his head held high, bedecked in a simple crown of jungle leaves.
“Where you go, we will go.” the old men chant, trying to smile as their friend passes by. “We don’t frown, you will return in another skin, you will return as our kin.” The chant continues, deep and droning, until Ulphua has walked so far that he can no longer hear it. He walks to the lake, placing his jungle crown on the shore. His father told him what to do, and he stretched his memory so that he could remember his lessons.
Looking intensely at the lake, he lets out a shout that echoes across the waves. Nobody shouts back, there’s not even a whisper. Ulphua smiles, his remaining yellowed teeth like corn kernels amongst the steel wool of his thick beard. He pulls his knife from its sheathe and wades into the shallows. Further and deeper he goes, until he disappears beneath the waves. He is a powerful swimmer, and he swims as deep as he can; the light above shimmers through the water.
Ulphua feels his lungs begin to strain – they are hungry for air. His instinct tells him to swim back to the surface, to take in the air, to live. He struggles to keep what little air he has in his lungs, but his vision has begun to darken. His very spirit demands that he swim upwards and live, but his mind is set, the knife is in his hand. Grabbing his genitals, he makes a single, hewing stroke with his knife. There is blood and pain, and Ulphua shouts, the air leaving his lungs forever. As his world darkens, he sees the blood trailing the seeds he has planted in the abyss.
His last memory is of his father teaching him the secret of birth.
“Each of us is born from a man that has gone into the lake and planted his seed. When a man plants his seed, he becomes three men: two will return to the village, and one will remain with God, within the lake. Those that return are adopted by a father and taught, just as I have taught you. This is the most grim task of our lives, but it is one that must be undertaken so that we may thrive.” with a smile on his face, Ulphua sinks deep into the lake, awaiting the embrace of God.