I had taken to the affectation of a cane lately, a rather lovely golden cobra-headed number which actually did aid my stride, ameliorating a small foot injury I suffered in Barcelona in 'ought-3 at the hands of the green muse and its cousins. Using the cane of course brought to mind the riddle of the sphinx, asked before she strangled and devoured those who failed to answer correctly, to wit: which creature in the morning goes on four feet, at noon on two, and in the evening upon three? Greek grammarians tried to make the connection between sphingein (to bind tight) and sphinx, but according to my old Britannica, the etymology is dubious. But drawn into this associational vortex is the recent clamoring of a number of my women friends to serve a fantasy of mine in the leading of a public deflowering, to be bound tight inside my body (ahem, as it were), much like the Vugusu who required the bridegroom to deflower the virgin bride in public, until the poison of modernity left too few virgin brides available for this ritual‡, but Lynne has maintained that this right of possession is hers and hers alone. So this fantasy, like so many of my tired life, has disappeared, as the cane also has gone the way of all things, broken and left under the glaring eyes of the oh-so-watchful Swiss TSA-equivalents.
‡ African Marriage and Social Change, Lucy Philip Mair, p. 50 and Black Hearts, The Development of Black Sexuality in America, Nick J Myers III, p. 3.