The Wood

Have you ever had a perfect moment? I have. Many times. But once you have one perfect moment you become addicted. All you ever want is perfect moments, you search for them everywhere and will go to great lengths to get them. With this in mind I set off for Redwoods National Park in California. Where the trees rise so far into the sky that you can’t even see their tips. The types of trees that can be one second majestic and the next pure evil – but always truly beautiful.

A park ranger tells me where to find the most beautiful of trees. The Boy Scout Trail. But there’s a problem, she says. The road that usually leads to the trail is closed for maintenance. The only way to get to the trail is to walk along the road for four miles. Then to get to the end of the trail that’ll be another three miles. If I want to go on the Boy Scout Trail I’ll be looking at a fourteen mile hike. Minimum. But I’m almost guaranteed to be the only one on the trail.

It’s a pain in the arse. But there is no distance I wouldn’t walk for perfection. My mind is set and half an hour later I’m walking along the closed road. Already the trees are towering five stories over me. These trees are just babies, yet still astounding in their infancy.

Sooner than I’d thought I found the trailhead where the trees became larger, turning into gentle giants as the afternoon light splashed down on them. Soft moss covered the sides of the trees and tender ferns snuck out over the trail to brush against my legs. Each tree seemed to have its own shade of brown and I turned my head to look at the vast canopy of leaves high above me.

A few steps later I stopped with a scream, anxiously running my hands through my hair. I’d walked into a spider’s web, the whole thing splashing across my face. Despite the initial fright I started to feel a deep satisfaction. This could mean only one thing. I was alone on the trail, the first to walk along it that day and destroy the spider webs built up over night. Ten minutes later I felt the benefit of this solitude when I sat down to drink some water. It was then that I noticed the silence.

No wind. Or birds. No water. Or insects. No traffic. Or voices. Nothing.

I closed my eyes to focus on the sound, but there was no sound. Only the gentle drum of my heartbeat. Du-dump, du-dump, du-dump. For a moment I considered singing or shouting, just to fill the void. But I knew that as soon as the sound left my lips the forest would never be the same. That any noise would betray the silence. A gentle silence that came from the trees.

Continuing on my way I could feel myself getting closer to my perfect moment. The trail started to snake its way down into a valley, the trees growing wilder around me, the undergrowth thickening. I wondered how any trail could exist in a place where the trees are so wild. A moment later I found my answer. A tree with the diameter of a car and the length of a tennis court lay in front of me. Suddenly the path went at a right angle, running along the entire fallen tree. This was not a trail created by humans, but by the forest itself. A footpath guiding me through the impenetrable forest. Soon I found out where as the forest opened up at the valley floor.

The trail twisted to its end, where a small waterfall had managed to carve it’s way into the surrounding jungle. I sat, deciding again to close my eyes, this time to listen to the roar of the water. Immediately the noise slammed through my ears and into my body. An auditory attack refreshing me, almost as though the water were flowing over my own body. Contentedly I opened my eyes to be confronted by the sight of a hummingbird gliding along the top of the waterfall.

Soon the hummingbird was joined by a partner and gracefully they spun around one another – dancing above the white foam – eyes connected like lovers. As the dance ended the partner departed leaving the hummingbird to hover alone for a moment. Not knowing what to do without her, he zoomed down to the edge of the waterfall and sat atop a rock. Lonely, he contemplated. And in his contemplation I joined him, lying back, looking up at the trees, enjoying the perfect moment I’d finally found. But as most do in times of perfection I asked myself “could this get any better?” But really I only meant to confirm to myself that this one moment cannot be spoilt. A moment this perfect couldn’t get any better….Could it?

It’s then that it dawned on me, remembering a conversation from earlier that week. A friend explained to me that some humorous man was petitioning for a male equivalent of Valentines Day. Men everywhere go to extreme lengths to please their woman on Valentines. It was time we had our own day. A perfect day just for us, where we got everything we wanted. The solution to a man’s perfect day is simple, only two things are needed. Steak and blowjobs. Thus the idea of Steak and Blowjob Day came into being.

Sitting in front of the waterfall I realised that, yes, a steak and a blowjob may indeed take the whole experience up to another level. I rummaged in my pack and pulled out some homemade chilli from the night before, savouring every bite in my new surroundings. With a burp I considered my version of steak to be a complete success, but then my mind moved on to more pressing matters. The blowjob.

It was then that I realised the burden of my solitude. Mentally I was satisfied but physically I was not. Alone in the forest I could never be truly content. Unless of course I. Well I could always. You know. With my hand.

A voice in my head sounded disgusted. “Daniel Baird! This is a National Park you couldn’t possibly do that” I started to reason with the voice “But who would see? I’m all alone! I could make it quick as well! Real quick! If I don’t get distracted I could finish in thirty, maybe sixty seconds.” The voice continued to fight though. “But what if somebody walked up on you?!” Yet for every argument I had a counter argument. “Who’s going to walk up on me? It’s late in the afternoon. I’m the only person that’ll be on this trail all day. Plus I bet people do this in the forest all the time!”

Eventually my mind gave in. The opportunity was too good to pass up. I decided to do the activity all men in seclusion enjoy.

Again I closed my eyes. Again the noise of the waterfall flowed over me. But this time I concentrated my mind and began to think. But nothing came (not yet anyway.) I thought harder about…getting harder. But it didn’t work. So I started to CHANT “harder” instead. “Harder! Harder! Harder!” But it was useless. I was getting desperate. So I tried to picture cheerleaders. Nope, try again. Lesbians? Nope. But lesbians always work. Nope. I thought of the sickest, most grotesquely disgusting image possible. Midgets being shat on by donkeys while they masturbate. Who’s masturbating? The donkeys or the midgets? Both of course! NOPE! Desperately I thought of the simplest thing. Just a nipple. One, solitary nipple. Nope. Nothing.

Opening my eyes I slumped back with a sigh and started to think: oh well, I guess it just wasn’t meant to be. At least I still have this beautiful forest to fall back on. This beautiful…some might say ‘sexy’ forest. With its dirty leaves. Oh baby look at those leaves shaking in the wind. It’s so sexy. Oh yeah, keep shakin’. And you, waterfall. With your lovely…wet…rocks. Mmm. You better be wet you…wet…rock! Yeah. And you banana slug, you slimey…hey,wait! Where’d that banana slug come from! Don’t be looking at me while I try to masturbate! You’re putting me off god damn you!

I collapsed into the rock once more, having learnt that even the beauty of nature isn’t good enough to kick start my passions. Then I had an idea. Maybe I had some inspirational material in my bag.

Hurriedly I tipped the contents of my bag out onto the ground and started to work my way through them. Unfortunately like all good hikers I travel light and was barely carrying anything. Quickly I searched over a Clif Bar for pornographic materials but all I found was a cartoon of a man rock climbing. I added this to my “maybe” pile. Moving on I looked through my wallet, pulling out some dollar bills. Carefully I considered the portrait of George Washington before shaking my head. Not really my type. What the hell, put it on the “maybe” pile anyway.

Lastly I came to a small leaflet I’d picked up from the ranger station. Each page was dedicated to a redwoods trail, each trail illustrated by photographs. I skimmed hastily through the pages and was halfway through the booklet when I found her. A small, fat college girl in one photo who was walking towards the camera. I carefully checked the rest of the leaflet but there wasn’t another girl in sight. Going back to her I took a closer look. Small shorts adorned her body. Too small it seemed, for her stomach was protruding out of them. Instead of showing off her amazing legs the shorts simply made me aware that she hadn’t shaved them in at least three months. A large clump of acne on her face almost distracted me from the fact she had the nose of a pig. The acne couldn’t distract at all from the two large sweat patches under her arms – it could easily distract from her breasts though, because she had none. But wait. I stopped a moment. Squinted my eyes. Do I see nipples? Suddenly excitement flashed across my face. She’s wearing no bra! I can work with this. I can work with thissss!

Lying back I held the leaflet in my hand, eyes squinted and I stared at the bra-less monstrosity – tried to find her attractive. I could slowly feel something moving down there. I started to build on the thought of her being braless. Hey, she’s probably a teen too. Braless teen? Oh baby! Now there’s definitely something moving down there, just slowly, but it’s happening. It’s then that I looked down to be met by my banana slug friend. Slowly sliding along the front of my pants.

For the last time I conceded defeat. But it’s ok – the woods don’t mock, or judge… they just give you the silence to do that to yourself! After sitting for a while and listening to the water I threw my things into my bag, slung it onto my back and with a hop in my step set off for camp, back to my tent, for a proper “perfect moment.”

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