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    Lenny Bruce
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Critique of Pure Reason - 1. Critique of Pure Reason

Critique of Pure Reason



Immanuel Kant immediately fascinated me, yet this story is not about him, but about how he changed my life.

When our philosophy teacher first told us about Immanuel Kant, it immediately seemed to me that his rational approach to the world, his definition and contraposition between science and metaphysics, were what it took to give a new order to my mind always ready to wander and digress.

Our teacher was immediately clear by introducing the philosopher born in Konigsberg. He anticipated us that Kant could change our lives and he was right. At least to me.

How right he was, I understood it quickly, but not for what I thought would be, because Immanuel Kant changed my way of thinking, of reasoning, and also changed another crucial trait of my life.

Actually, it wasn't exactly Kant who changed it, but it was my grandmother's grandmother, who had probably been a witch.

It was the beginning of our senior year of high school (1) and the teacher informed us that studying and deepening Kant's knowledge would take at least two months of philosophy classes. Then he also said that at the end of those two months he would question us all about our knowledge of Kant’s philosophy.

He also told us that he always imagined that studying Kant was like climbing a mountain and that get a good grade, at oral exam (2), would be like climb the Mount Everest.

After the second lesson I was taken by the enthusiasm to know as much as possible about this little man, less than five feet tall, but so important for the modern world and, it seemed, also for my intellectual development. What followed was a careful research with the books I had available at home and then at the Municipal Library, where I was well known and whose attendants shuddered just to see me enter.

When I asked to borrow the Critique of Pure Reason, I had an unpleasant surprise. Of the three copies in the Library, two had already been lent and the last one was to be available for consultation and could not be borrowed.

Those were times when you didn't rush to buy what you thought was necessary for you. First you were going to look at all the possibilities for a loan through your relatives, uncles, cousins, then your friends and your parents' friends. I then discovered that almost everyone in my family had studied Immanuel Kant, but no one had delved into it enough to require reading the original texts. Only then did I realize that I had been born into a family of doctors, engineers, and mathematicians and, in any case, people with all kind of degrees in hard sciences and not in “metaphysical” sciences.

Was I the first, for who knows how many generations, to have developed certain odd curiosities?

“Unhelpful unrealities” said my father, half aloud, when, at dinner, one evening, I was blabbing about my enthusiasm for Kant.

“What did you say?” I asked incredulous.

“He said that the nightmares generated by the oral test about Kant, that he had to endure during his High School, haven’t yet ceased to have effects on his sleep and his dreams!” my mother explained to me, while my grandmother was laughing.

“Oh, yes, I remember,” said my grandmother “he didn’t eat for a month while he was preparing for the oral test!”.

That was my family.

Anyway, when I found out for sure that the book could not be borrowed from any acquaintance, I proposed my mother to buy it, but, as I said, those were years when you did not buy everything you needed, indeed it was believed that missing something was highly educational.

I was desperate, the teacher was already about to move on to Kant's next work, and I hadn't even read the first one. Then my grandmother remembered that her mother's mother had been one of the first women to graduate in philosophy at our city's university. It was possible that the fifth generation before mine came to my rescue.

Where did this woman's books end?

She lived in the second half of the 19th century and no one in the family seemed to remember a lot about her.

My grandmother described her ancestor as a weird woman, without giving any further explanation. Consultations followed with a couple of cousins to establish that, if something remained and was not already present in the libraries of her various heirs, it could only be in the attic of the Villa.

The Villa, with the initial capital letter, was the country residence of our family for an unspecified number of generations. The current property was fortunately my grandmother’s.

In the summer, the Villa was still the meeting point for our whole family.

The attic of any villa built at the beginning of the nineteenth century is by definition exceptionally large, dusty, and crammed with the remnants of a number of generations, but the sacred fire of my education did not allow any delay.

It was late autumn and the days grew short. At the time of this story, in the Villa there was no electricity and what had to be done was done with natural light or with the help of lamps and candles. Grandma gave me some indications of the layers of junk and bric-a-bracs in the attic, pointed me to a corner, fortunately under one of the skylights and wished me good luck.

I didn't have close enough friends to ask for help. My parents, with various excuses, fled and sent me alone. Just after lunch, I got on my bike and rushed to the Villa that stood and still stands a few miles from the city, even though it is now embedded in the suburbs.

I arrived out of breath but animated by the genuine desire of the Pure Reason, the same I was talking about earlier. I climbed into the attic and found it dirtier than I remembered. The corner indicated to me by Grandma was occupied by a stack of wooden boxes, high to the ceiling.

As I approached, I felt my heart beat hard, because perhaps I glimpsed what I hoped to find. The boxes were really full of books. Whether they were great-great-grandmother’s, it was all to be determined, because, as I mentioned, in my family we all compete to find which of us could read more books during his earthly life.

I counted that there were forty boxes, then I noticed that they were numbered. What else could I expect from a family of engineers and mathematicians?

I started looking for the box No. 1 that fortunately was at the top.

When I took box No. 23, I noticed that finally, among others, philosophy texts were beginning to appear, and they were really incredibly old. I quickly passed the backs of the books, but I did not find what I was looking for. The next boxes were filled with books probably belonging to Donna Costanza, my great-great-grandmother, but she didn't seem to be in any way fond of Immanuel Kant. There were what looked like texts of philosophy, then I became curious and tried to understand what else interested her, what her predilections were, and I discovered that many of those books were manuals of occult sciences. So little hard science and a lot of metaphysics.

That's why maybe she didn't like Kant.

At the bottom of box No. 30, under the books, was a very thin notebook, with a waxed canvas cover and closed with a worn-out lace. I only noticed it because I removed a large tome and underneath you could not see the wood at the bottom of the box, but the waxed canvas of the cover. At that point I had lit the candle that I had brought myself out of prudence.

My grandmother's prudence, not mine, of course.

The notebook had a very worn appearance and inside there were no more than thirty sheets bound and sewn to spine, written with a very neat handwriting, certainly nineteenth century. Each page had a title and a few lines of explanation. The headlines were quite curious. Divination of love, Omen of Desire, Spell of Protection, Omen of Weather, Foreshadows of Good Fortune, and so on. Maybe the great-great-grandmother was a little superstitious, I thought.

I put the notebook aside to show to the family. If five generations ago there was room for magic in our family, perhaps there would have been now a little space for philosophy and someone, between my grandmother, my mother or my father would be moved and would buy me the book I so longed for. I was eighteen years old and had no vice. I didn't smoke, I didn't drink, I studied diligently like everyone in the family. I had some ideas that I had never shared with anyone, but it was, in fact, a private matter. Perhaps my parents would surrender making me happy.

Having these thoughts, I kept scrolling through the notebook sheets, and on the page whose title was The Omen of Desire, I read a sentence that struck me:

"Make a wish in front of a lit candle, then blow to extinguish it. If the wick shines your wish will come true, if it smokes, it means no."

It seemed like the right spell in the right moment. I was desperately desiring something, in an attic, with a lit candle right in front of me. Why not try?

"I want, very strongly I want…" I said convinced, quoting Vittorio Alfieri (3), "Immanuel Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason" I added in an even louder voice and then I blew on the candle.

To my delight the wick shone and did not smoke. At least for what I could distinguish in the uncertain light of that November afternoon.

I rushed to relight the candle now reduced to a butt, because my grandmother, always prudent in waste, had not given me a whole candle.

I counted eleven more boxes. If the wish would come true, it was more likely that a benevolent spirit would push me to look for the book in the remaining boxes, and not that one of my parents would agree to buy a new book. As I said, in my family, we are prudent with our expenses.

No. 33 box finally contained what I was looking for, along with Kant's other two Critics. They were the very three books I dreamed of possessing at the time, and I thought very well of my great-great-grandmother, blessed her with all my heart and sent her my love of bi-three-grandson, about a century younger. Then I was struck by the thought that the number 33 is very connected to No. 66 and then to No. 666, with all the meanings connected. At the precise moment I was having that thought, the candle went out and, because the sun had completely set and the residual light of the sky did not come to illuminate anything in the attic, I fell into absolute darkness.

I was eighteen years old, I was the scion of a family of atheists, socialists, rationalists, mathematicians, I had not even been baptized and I was the terror of my religious teachers (4), so I refused to believe extinguishing the candle was due to a supernatural act. Least of all it was the timely discovery of the books. I didn’t believe in spells.

And yet, I had felt kind of like a puff toward the candle, more like a breath.

The candle was not worn out and no breath of wind was blowing in the attic. I confidently rub a match on the box and lit the candle again. I looked boldly around, put everything where it was before I came to the attic, took the three books, the notebook, and started to descend into the Villa, mainly to regain the rational civilization of my home.

The candle went out again, let's say, in an unjustified way, and I felt a chill that I thought legitimate.

The books and the notebook fell out of my hand, but luckily, I held the candlestick firmly. I lit up the candle again, as quickly as possible. I bent down to collect the books and check that they weren't damaged, then I noticed that the notebook had opened in half and showed a sheet whose header was the word “Coercion”.

Without thinking about it, I gained the steep ladder and descended with reasonable calm to the ground floor, shut down the Villa, got my bike, and headed home. I confess that, while pedaling with rational calmness, I looked behind me a couple of times.

I came home pretty quickly, that is. I proudly showed the three books to my grandmother, but I didn't tell her about the notebook.

I was so hungry, for the run, for my discoveries and for the fear I had taken. My grandmother provided me an urgent snack and I went to eat in my room. I flipped through the three tomes promising to study them conveniently the next day, when I had been calmer and predisposed to the Critique of Pure Reason or Practical Reason or Critique of Judgment. At that moment it was metaphysic that attracted me the most, so I took the notebook and opened it to the same page with which it had opened falling.

Under the title Coercion was this text, which was a spell, for me an extraordinarily significant one:

"Alone in the night of the full moon and under an ash tree, name the name, he will persuade himself. Name the name, he will be obedient. Name the name, he won't have a will. Name the name, he will have no recollection. Name the name, he will become the full object of your plan!"




When I wasn't studying, reading, chatting with my parents or my grandmother, I meditated.

At the time television had just entered our homes, we had only one channel with a poor programming. Unfortunately, I was no longer young enough to watch the boys' TV, which every day at 5:30 p.m. signaled that it was time to have a snack. At that time, I was just as hungry, but I stopped reading and prepared something to eat.

And that night, reading and rereading the spell, I was thinking to my former friend Francesco.

Our friendship dated back to when we were children. We were friend because our parents were friends. Curiously, we had never attended the same school, but we had seen each other enough to get to know each other and grow up to be true friends. Francesco knew the Villa well and with his parents had been a frequent visitor. In the garden and the surrounding countryside, we had spent countless afternoons playing and, when we were already older, even on our own. Until one afternoon last summer, when after playing football, something had happened that drove us away.

Except for some of my schoolmates, I did not hang out with other people and Francesco was the only, true friend among my few acquaintances. My books, my studio and my fantasies had always kept me company.

In the last years Francesco also became the main object of my thoughts and my desires.

We discovered that both enjoyed spending long afternoons at the Villa, playing football. We played one on one, using the ground under the pinewood. Two stakes planted in the ground were the goal and we challenged ourselves to center it from all corners, on one side and the other, trying to get around the trees and the opponent, when he was not on the goal line to prevent the other to score. Our games were always very physical, we ended up on the ground all the time, on the carpet of pine needles, without hurting ourselves. We pushed, we fell on top of each other, we touched each other. One to the other, in all places. Growing up, those very long games became an opportunity, for both of us, to cultivate our friendship, the mutual knowledge of our characters, to discover the attraction we felt for each other, without ever admitting it or even just mentioning, explaining, one to the other, those sensations.

I was sure of it, because I thought about those feelings all the time, and I'm sure he did too, but those were things you couldn't talk about, not in those years, never.

The facts remained and the best proof was that we continued to meet and do the same things. We spent a lot of time together, almost every Saturday afternoon.

Those were endless plays in which every game action was strenuously defended and contrasted, materialized in physical contact, with the legs intertwining in an attempt to steal the ball from the opponent, the bodies that touched, joined, crushed, when we ended up on the ground. And the tangible outcome of that interest, that pleasure, that transport were the erections, mine and his, that we could not fail to notice, feel, seek, but that absolutely could not be admitted, much less pointed out.

We were physically similar, tall, and slender, but not skinny. He was blond, I a little darker, we sported hair as if we had been recruited in a boot camp, because that was the only cut allowed and conceived. He had smooth hair, I wavy, if my hair could grow. Francesco was not a geek like me, he was not always reading or studying, he always had a smile on his lips, I almost never, but we understood each other enough to play football together, even if he attended his Church for all the Functions and I was, at my young age, a proclaimed atheist.

When we had played enough and started to get tired, every contrast became a scuffle. We ended up on the ground and we rolled fighting, laughing, trying to immobilize the other. That could be more me than him, but often was him as well. On those occasions I was, we were, even more aware of the excitement we felt. Without sharing the thought, the concept, in any open way.

When one was immobilized, he usually gave up, openly admitting his submission. In those cases, the winner could magnanimously release him or, if the offense had been serious, proceed to punish him, tickling mercilessly the other and even spanking him. The punishing was given and received always laughing, even several times during the same game.

I don't remember who was, but we were certainly small when we started doing this and it was hard for us to spend a game without us tickling at least once. I was the one who most easily also spanked him, because I was better at playing football and I was a bit more robust and stronger physically, so when we fought, I ended up winning and immobilized him more often than he did.

At the end of the last summer, on one of those beautiful September days, hot and fragrant, we were sweaty and a little tired. I threatened him unnecessarily because he kept pushing me and pressing me.

"Don't push me..." I shouted once again "if you push me again, I'll lower your pants and spank you on your bare ass, until you start crying!" I said, pretending to be exasperated, but just being overly excited, exhausted by another summer of unfulfilled desire.

Because we had been often together at the beach where his body was on display, barely covered by a swimsuit he had clearly overgrown. For a new one he had probably to wait till next summer. And during the season my desire and frustration had only increased. I was missing something important to complete his picture in my imagination.

As expected, that fateful day, a couple of minutes later I was on the ground with a sore ankle for a kick I received from Francesco. The fight was quick, and Francesco was on my lap in a short time. That day I would have done what I imagined doing for at least a couple of years, but I had never found the courage to do. I was ready to do anything to see more of his body, that piece I was missing.

I was eighteen years old and had never seen anyone naked, other than myself.

In those years you went to the gym only at school for Physical Education and you certainly didn't use to shower together. If you were using a gym, you would change quickly to go and wash at home, somehow.

My fantasies were limited to artistic images, mainly to Dante’s Divine Comedy illustrated by Gustave Dorè (5), to Michelangelo's David, which was my ideal of a man, and other classical examples. So, I was extremely interested to see and possibly touch Francesco's privates and do more if everything went well.

On my lap, Francesco writhed as usual, laughing, and joking. After the first tickling, however, I changed my pace. I wasn't kidding anymore. I wasn't laughing anymore. I wasn’t tickling him, I was touching is ass. Francesco, on his own, was unashamedly rubbing his groin on my legs. We were both in some kind of trance, I was stroking him, occasionally spanking him, he was openly rubbing on my lap. We both were hard, I knew about mine, I felt his. Those perceptions pushed me to the next and ill-fated step.

Then, we all boys wore cotton shorts with elastic, there was nothing to unbutton or untie. To remove them you just had to pull down. And that's what I did, discovering Francesco's butt still covered with his briefs, the white ones, with the high belt that came well above the navel. I kept stroking, caressing, meanwhile, I had almost immobilized him, tucking my arm under his arms. He tried to wriggle his legs, but he was stuck and could only suffer and rub his groin. We both were breathless.

I persisted with my crazy plan, put my other hand under the elastic of the briefs and lowered them all at once, finally discovering his butt. I was caught by that image, his ass, that I had in front of my eyes. Then I realized that something else was happening.

Francesco was wetting my legs, he was coming on my thighs, the excitement had betrayed him. And my excitement betrayed me, too. I bent over him to cushion the spasms of my own orgasm that was bathing my underwear.

Before I calmed down, Francesco managed to wriggle out, slipped to the ground. He was covering himself feverishly, but I had a fleeting view of his cock, not yet totally flaccid, seed wet.

"Francesco..." I shouted.

He was already running toward the bicycles, but to get out of the Villa he had to wait for me, because the gate was closed, and I had the keys.

I needed to think, so, I took the ball and hid it as I always did, then I reached Francesco who was shaking the gate, trying to open it.

"Francesco..." I said again, "I’m sorry, please..." and I tried to touch his arm.

"Leave me... let me out!" he cried, he was maddened.

"Come on, Francesco..."

"No!" he yelled again and slammed his bicycle wheel against the gate in a desperate attempt to open it, slamming it again.

"I’m opening... wait..." I said as I removed the padlock "I have to explain..." but he was already out and running towards the city.

I tried to chase him, but I hardly saw him anymore. I just hoped he could get home safe and sound.




I reread the spell, for the umpteenth time:

"Alone in the night of the full moon and under an ash tree. Name the name, he will persuade himself. Name the name, he will be obedient. Name the name, he won't have a will. Name the name, he will have no recollection. Name the name, he will become the full object of your plan!"

“And of my desire!” I thought out loud.

Could it work with Francesco?

I looked at the calendar to check the phases of the moon and found that on Saturday, November 26, 1966, there would be the next full moon. I had three days to get ready. As for the ash tree, I wasn't sure if there was one in our garden at the Villa, but somehow, I knew that there would be at least one. I should have asked my grandmother, if possible, without making her suspicious.

My grandmother was a retired math teacher. She had also been the relentless and never-forgotten principal of one of our city's high schools. Now she was an adorable old lady, who kept her keen intelligence unaltered, coupled with the great experience accumulated in reading the thoughts of those much younger than her, a skill that she now regularly exercised only in my regard.

I tried to tell her that I had just reread Bram Stoker’s Dracula and wanted to get a stake of ash tree in case the need arose.

"I don't believe a single word you said to me!" was her categorical answer.

After a bit of back and forth, she revealed to me that in our garden, just behind the pine wood, in the area that bordered the property, there were two centuries-old ash trees, planted, it was said in the family, by his grandmother, Donna Costanza Fraccalvieri, who in her old age had suddenly become interested in the garden, having completely ignored it for decades. She had pretended two ash trees and became very fond of them. That was a story that amused her sons and grandsons.

With my heart in turmoil, I found an old botanical atlas in my grandfather's library and looked for the characteristics of the ash tree and the shape of the leaves, so that I could locate it in our garden.

My rational mind was completely eclipsed, dominated by desire and lust. Because I was confident that the spell would work. Then I reasoned that, not having told anyone about the spell, if it had happened that Francesco would have remained hostile, unapproachable, nothing would have happened. I wouldn’t have lost my face with anyone, except with myself, for believing the notes of an old woman probably arteriosclerotic, living a century before me.

That it all began with the search for a copy of Immanuel Kant's Critique of Pure Reason, added involuntary irony to the whole thing.

In the early afternoon of Saturday, I ventured to the Villa to locate the ash trees. I spotted them, they were twin trees, tall and slender, close enough for the canopies to confuse and intertwine. They were exactly where Grandma suggested. Closing my eyes, I could see the old lady, dressed in black, raise her arms and solemnly utter her spells.

I decided that by night of a full moon the spell meant in the evening, not even too late, because otherwise I could not explain my absence from home during the night.

I told everyone I was going to the movies and I walked. Even taking the bike was impossible, so as not to arouse suspicions.

My mind was at work. I was thinking to Francesco. Despite my attempts to re-establish a bond, give some explanation, remain friends, he simply ignored my existence. It wasn't hard, because to see each other we had to look for each other, and after a while I didn't do it anymore.

I regretted his friendship, the ready-made jokes with which he always defined my pointy personality, our endless football matches, punctuated by accidents that always led to fake fights to end with the tickling administered to the loser. Those were pure excuses to touch each other. I was so sad.

I told myself that I shouldn’t have insisted to force him to do things he did not want to do or to which he was not prepared, but I also told myself that I could not resist any more. For years we had touched, we had felt the excitement of the other, without even saying a word to explain ourselves.

As I walked, I mumbled the spell.

"Name the name... Name the..." I was already a bit sweaty from fatigue, I did not remember that the Villa was so far away. I had gone there very few times on foot, I had always gone it using the bike or going in the car with my parents " Name the name... Name the..."

That night there would be no need for lights, the sky was clear, and the moon was already shining in the sky, giving shadows to the objects, once you were away from the street lighting.

Under the pine wood it was dark, but I oriented myself easily until I reached the pair of ash trees and there underneath it was even darker, as if the moon were not full. I hovered in the exact center between the two trees and looked around. I noticed that a little wind was picking up, a breeze that I had not felt before. It was really cold, as I had not felt arriving at the Villa. Maybe I sweated for the walk and now I was getting cold.

I had no intention of lighting the candle I had in my pocket. I did not want to give to whatever was there the idea of blow out the candle.

I was looking around and I had one last doubt.

Was I supposed to wait till midnight?

I'd thought about it, but I'd discarded the idea out of impracticality. There was no way for me of staying outside for so long. If the kingdom of the afterlife wanted to help me, it would have done it at seven and a half o'clock in the evening. Sorry, not later.

At that moment, a moonbeam passed through the blanket of the trees and illuminated me, how else to describe what happened? Suddenly I could see the two hedges that bounded our property, the pine wood in front of me and the outline of the Villa.

Was I really seeing them, or did I just imagine seeing things and figures I knew very well? My usual rational mind pointed out to me that the moonbeam, if it was that it was, had given me a vision of what was around me, but what was encircling me had stayed dark. I was shaken, but I argued to myself that tonight nothing was rational, and the reason had nothing to do with it. After all I was there to cast a spell on my best friend, former best friend, so that I could do to him and make him do unrecognizable actions that then, hopefully, he would forget. Not so plausible and realistic or rational.

It was a full moon night, I was under two ash trees, and I was busy.

"I’m alone in the night of the full moon and under two ash trees. Francesco Valla, you will be persuaded," I screamed, hoping to awaken only the right souls and ghosts "Francesco Valla, you will be obedient. Francesco Valla, you won't have a will. Francesco Valla, you will have no recollection. Francesco Valla, you will become the full object of my plan!"

“And my desire” I thought again, but no sound left my lips. Avoiding upsetting any ghost.

On the Villa fell an absolute silence.

Not long ago had come the echo of some car passing on the road not far away and also the song of an owl. Now I had only the echo of my words in my ears, but everything was quiet, unspoken? As if around me, above me, a cloak, a dome had fallen that isolated me from the rest of the world.

I shook my head, like when you came out of the water with your ears plugged.

Slowly the pressure dissolved, the light that had lit me faded, the darkness returned to where it was right, and I heard again the noises from the woodland. I distinguished a car passing right in front of the Villa and then the cry of the owl, which seemed stronger, closer, as if it had moved to look at me better.

I walked quickly home because it was late. And in those days, I was not allowed to be away from home beyond a certain time, except for very justified reasons. Those would be specifically, the midnight Mass at Christmas and Easter, which I did not attend anyway, some night procession for the Holy Week that I still ignored. In short, an 18-year-old, like me, atheist and skeptical, had no reason to be out of the house after nine o'clock in the evening.




On the morning of Sunday, November 27, 1966, the next day, I went to look for Francesco.

That night, a little tired from the walk and the emotions I experienced, I slept like a log. I do not remember what I dreamed exactly, but something must have been, because the sheets was particularly tangled up when I woke up.

Curious beyond any saying about what his reaction would be by seeing me, I set out to meet him on the way out of Mass that he attended every Sunday with sincere faith, I believed.

He was on the churchyard and chatting with a girl. All around there were many other young people, satisfied for having fulfilled their Sunday duties to the divinity they worshipped.

I approached him from behind, but he sensed my presence, because he turned suddenly, first frightened, then stared at me and immediately lowered his eyes. He hurriedly greeted his friends and without raising his eyes to me, with a submissive attitude, came to meet me, stopping at less than a meter.

"Let's go," I told him, still unsure if I should explain him or he already knew everything being in my power.

Was he really in my power?

"Look at me," I ordered, and he immediately obeyed "do you know what's going on?"

He shook his head. He really didn't know, anyway he obeyed me.

"I cast a spell on you..." I explained smiling, almost not believing the words that came out of my mouth.

"You... a spell?" he was rightly incredulous too.

"Last night, around seven and a half..."

"At half past seven... last night… yeah… I felt sick, my head was spinning!"

"There, precisely..."

"What do you mean?"

"That was my spell! Fuck, Francesco, now you're really mine!" and then I headed home, without giving any further explanation. He followed me, he seemed completely devoid of will.

In the days before, when I still wasn't sure that the spell would have worked, not that I took it for granted, I had made some plans. I needed, first of all, a place to take Francesco. It could not be my house, where rarely there was no one.

Anyway, I had the advantage of living in an old palace, where there were many places to hide. More difficult would have been to find a place even sound-proof, because, as far as I had in mind, we would have made a little noise. Tickling creates commotion and Francesco was very ticklish but taking into consideration the spell I had in mind to push a lot further my discovery.

I evaluated different solutions, also considering the need to enter and leave without being seen. In our building there were empty rooms in the attics and in the cellars. Thinking about the nature of the activities we would have carried out and the necessarily succinct clothing that we should have adopted, considering that it was already almost winter, I immediately abandoned the idea of the roof and oriented myself towards the underground that, by its nature, retains an almost constant temperature. For a moment I also thought of using the wing of the apartment where my grandmother, a widow, lived, but there was always the risk that she would want to look for something in an old closet, just as we were engaged in acts that she would consider weird.

So, I opted for the cellars. There was a courtyard door, and no need to be seen. In particular, I would have used the second underground level where there were two large rooms literally dug into the rock in which my ancestors kept their reserves of wine. Now they were in disuse, because my grandfather had been abstemious and even my father was not interested in drinking. Those basements, however, still kept their sturdy doors, fortunately with internal locks. There was therefore no danger of being locked inside.

Francesco knew the place for playing with me when we were kids.

As we approached home, I wondered what his level of participation in the events I had planned would be. I wouldn't have liked to have a rag doll on my hands. Tickling and some spanks are shared experiences, played in two, between those who give and those who receive who must offer the right reaction, spiced even by a reasonable attempt to escape. Also, the other activities I had in mind could have used some involvement by the people participating.

Tickling and caressing a puppet would have been reductive and certainly wasn't what I wanted.

I wondered how far the power of that spell would reach, if it completely annulled the will, making the subject's answers mechanical, or operated in a more refined, more selective way, obfuscating only those qualms that had prevented Francesco from enjoying my spankings the other times I gave them to him.

The other doubt I had was about the duration of the spell, and also how to lift it, would there be a way to get the subject back to his normal life? Anyway, those were concerns for the future. Now I had an obedient partner to play every game I had in mind.

And I was very eager to play, so, I rushed a little bit and Francesco obediently kept up.

We went into the cellar without being seen by anyone and quickly descended into what we as children called the caves. The second cave, the innermost one, was a square room rather large and high in the center up to six meters, with a single light bulb hanging from the ceiling. There were a few barrels along one wall and a few easels piled along the other wall. A single, old armchair was placed right under the lamp. I had put it on the day before.

If someone had led me into an environment like that, I would have been scared, at least reluctant, but Francesco seemed absolutely serene. And that's when I realized how the spell really worked. The bond, the connection that had been established between us, perhaps, transferred to Francesco my reactions to the events, zeroing his. At that particular moment I was comfortable because I knew that in that environment there was no threat for me and, if Francesco reflected my reactions, he was relaxed too. There were surely threats for him, but his perceptions were filtered by my mind.

Perhaps even my excitement would have reflected on him, and it was time for me to find out.

"Do you know why we are here?" I asked.

"No... should I?" he answered serenely.

"Francesco, you avoided me for three months, you ignored me, you pretended you didn’t see me. I had to make up stories with my parents... I told them that we had argued… I don't know what other lies I had to tell them..." I said, without being able to stop me, waving and I noticed that he was surprised and that my words were worrying him "What the fuck, Francesco, do you realize?" I ended up shouting, while he looked at me scared and was clearly agitated.

I tried to calm down and saw that he too was breathing regularly again. Yes, it had to be just like that, now his psyche depended on mine.

I sat in the armchair and beckoned him to approach, took his hand and folded him on my lap, in the position where I preferred to keep him. I stroked his butt and gave him a few spanking. He moved, tried to escape, complained, but that was all. Just like I wanted him to do, the way I liked him, no more than a try to escape, nothing spectacular.

I tickled him, with him continuing to move and try vainly to free himself, while I held him still. Then I went to give him some caress and it was a new thing for both of us. I finally, really touched his ass. I palpated him as if I had been blind, examined him centimetre by centimetre to imprint shape and texture in my mind. When I was satisfied, we stayed a few seconds still, as if to catch our breath.

"Do you know why I spanked you?"

"To punish me?"

"Yeah..." and I gave him one more, so to strengthen my opinion.

"Ouch..." protested him.

I moved my legs a little bit to feel his cock on my thighs and it was as I thought.

"Your cock is hard!" I said then.

"No!" he tried to raise his ass, so as not to make me feel it on my legs. It was just like I expected him to do, which I wanted him to do. I was really driving his actions now.

"No, what? Your cock is hard, I can feel it... you like it, don't you?" and I pushed my finger into the middle of his ass, where the hole was supposed to be.

He still jerked, but I held him tight, I blocked him so he wouldn't escape me.

That was a dream come true, I had Francesco on my lap, he who could not free himself, because he was blocked by my spell that would hopefully also prevent him from remember what we were doing.

For that day it was enough, I did not want to exaggerate, and I still had to understand what his next behavior would be, his reactions. I had good ideas for the future, but for the moment I would have stopped there.

I freed him from my grip and he almost ended up on the ground. He got up and immediately tried to massage his ass. Making that movement, he pushed his pelvis forward and highlighted the hard cock that was tightening in his underwear. I couldn't resist and grabbed it with a lightning-fast motion, squeezed it moving my fingers, and tickled him.

That was a joke that went a long way in my high school between us kids. Surprise from behind the bad guy, grab his groin and ask him to whistle. Whistling while laughing or shouting, it's virtually impossible. Francesco had another problem and couldn't do it because his hard cock was sending him unequivocal signals.

My massage was getting him to wet his underwear. I clearly felt his reaction of horror to the prospect of having another orgasm in my presence. And then I made another discover, communications between our minds were therefore two-way, even though I was the one who made the decisions. I mentally ordered Francesco to continue fighting ejaculation, though I knew it was an instinctive reaction that had little to do with the will.

I stopped touching him a moment before he could come, and he looked at me gratefully.

"Next time we'll try to get around the problem," I said.

"Thank you..." he said and smiled at me.

I put my arm on his shoulder and pulled him to me. We almost hugged.

"I'm glad we're friends again, Francesco!" I dared to say.

"Me too!" he admitted. I mean, I made him say that.

I let him go back to his life. Before I went any further, I wanted to make sure that he didn't remember anything, with no conflict in his precious little head.

I gave him an appointment for that same afternoon. I would have expected him for a very thorough visit. I almost had a desire to play doctor.




Francesco arrived on time at three o'clock, he was smiling and seemed to me at peace with himself, in the sense that he did not have the air of someone who was experiencing a deep inner conflict. More simply, he seemed to have no memory of what I had done to him that morning.

"You decided to come..." I said a little unnecessarily.

"You told me to come... Shouldn't I?" he asked, widening his eyes with surprise.

That dumb attitude wasn’t characteristic of him. I had to be more careful not to distort too much his personality. But I was learning how to adapt my interference.

"Of course, I told you!" I said reassuring him.

I pulled him in and hugged him tightly, then we went to greet my mother and father who welcomed Francesco as a prodigal son. He had always been the only friend to visit my house and had been missing inexplicably for a few months. He too seemed happy with that welcome, but, as I knew by now, that was my reaction and maybe not the one Francesco would have had if I hadn't cast my spell on him.

I knew there weren't ethical justifications for my actions. I knew it well, but I had decided to deal with the moral aspects of my actions after having a little fun, so I took Francesco by his hand and dragged him to my room, closed the door and made him sit on my bed. I had also turned on an electric heater to warm up the room, since we would be taking off our clothes in a little while.

"Tell me what you've done in these three months and leave nothing aside... I want to know everything!" I said happily.

It's not like I wanted to lower his underwear right away, I was interested in him, what his life had been like in those three months. Anyway, to play the doctor and do other things to him, I had to wait for my parents and grandma to go out to see my aunt who lived on the other side of town. That would have given us at least three hours of freedom.

There weren't many important events that he could tell me, except that the school was going pretty well and then that he had tried to get engaged to a girl he met at church, but the girl wasn’t interested. It was a lot of distress for him because he thought it was his fault. He confessed to me, a little blushing, that he didn't really care about the girls and he did it to try how it was to get engaged. But he sadly discovered that he didn't like women, he said, he didn't find them interesting at all. He thought it was much more interesting to argue and fight with me and he ended up with a smile.

I was about to be moved, then I remembered that those were my opinions and not strictly Francesco's. Maybe those were his opinions filtered through mine.

From the other side of the house came my mother's voice announcing that they were leaving.

I rubbed my hands, put aside all my moral qualms and prepared to discover Francesco, in every way.

"You know... I've thought about you a lot in these months..." Francesco had started talking again "I thought so many times about what we did at the Villa... how we had fun..." he was saying.

And I was going to believe him, then I remembered what I’d done and said stupid to myself. But if I kept telling me that those were my ideas, my opinions, my desires, being with Francesco would become immediately boring, it would be like to read the same book indefinitely.

"And... I’m really, really sorry” he was still talking “I didn't want to see you anymore... After that night... I was scared and I didn't know what to do..."

"Francesco..." I interrupted "do you really think what you're telling me?"

"Yes, why? Don't you believe me?" he said, and from that moment on something changed and I became truly persuaded.

In the sense that I could condition him hiding my power even to myself. I briefly congratulated my subconscious, then I got busy enjoying this new soul mate of mine. I felt really comfortable.

I got up and held out my hand and then he was in my arms. We hugged tightly for a long time, then I kissed him on the mouth. We didn't open our lips, because we didn’t know how to do it, we had only seen it at the movies. I squeezed him tightly and stroked his butt.

Francesco performed the identical actions to me, and this caught me by surprise, because I wasn’t expecting him to do it. He did it on my desire without my explicit intervention. I congratulated again with my subconscious.

I realized we both were hard and that was an instinctive reaction that could not be induced by my will or his will that I controlled. Maybe Francesco really felt longing for me and I with my spell had removed only the qualms that prevented him from expressing his real feelings.

I knew I was scrambling a little, but I liked the idea a lot and I stuck very much to that thought.

I took off his pullover, knitted by his mother. He did the same with mine, knitted by my grandmother. With the shirts we did as soon as possible trying not to rip the buttons. Our wool underwear flew away and for the first time the skin of my chest touched his chest and it was a heavenly sensation. To get rid of the pants we tinkered with the belts and with the buttons of our flies. When our trousers went down to the knees, we were left with only our briefs on, hard cock against hard cock.

Tight in the embrace that I had longed for years and that Francesco was getting used to being able to wish for, I stroked his butt and felt him hold his breath.

"Forgive me!" I mumbled.

"You too!" he reassured me. I reassured myself.

I pushed him on the bed, so he could lean on his elbows. I untied his shoes and took off his socks, his trousers. He was almost naked, then I sat next to him.

"It's up to you," I said, and he immediately did the same to me.

We lay on the bed, our bodies one in front of the other, and we looked at each other, with our breaths, short for the emotion.

I reached out to touch his cock, but he shied away.

"If you touch me... it's going to end… suddenly, like the other time..." he said in the throttled voice of those who are frightened, excited, exalted.

I stroked him on the cheek and came closer, to kiss him on the mouth. I made him lay on his back and with extreme caution I lowered his briefs. It was the first time I saw him completely naked, apart from that fleeting look in the excitement of that summer afternoon. He was beautiful. I was lying on my own and expecting him to do the same to me, which he did.

"How beautiful you are," he whispered, then gave me a kiss on the lips, on the tip of my nose and on the eyes I had closed.

I moved over him and hugged him, we almost didn't move, but too soon together we soaked our bellies. It wasn't easy to breathe normally again.




Since that day, more than fifty years have passed, and we have never left each other. My subconscious continued to send Francesco my directives and with him I never seemed to read and reread the same book. The spell continues to work, even if we're not that young anymore.

I should confess that over the years I used the spell again, but never with the same purpose for which I used it the first time. Having some power over who should boss up on you or over the people on whom your material well-being depends, can be helpful. So, from time to time, I'm back under the ash trees in a full moon nights, with my bless to my great-great-grandmother.

And I continued to deepen my knowledge of Immanuel Kant, who, despite everything, I still consider as my spiritual father.




(1) Italian High School is a five-year course of studies usually for 14 to 19yo students.

(2) At the time, in Italy, philosophy was taught only in some High Schools, called Liceo, and the tests were only oral and individual. There was no written test to pass.

(3) Vittorio Alfieri was an Italian dramatist and poet. His motto “I want, very strongly I want” sums up his request to be tied to his chair by his servant to make a commitment to become a tragic author.

(4) At the time, Religion, Roman Catholic, was compulsorily taught in Italian schools of all levels.

(5) Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy illustrated by Gustave Dorè was the place were a lot of Italian gay teenagers, in the XX century, found the fuel for their fire. The poem, mainly the Inferno (Hell), was eloquently illustrated with naked bodies of the damned to Hell.

Copyright © 2020 Lenny Bruce; All Rights Reserved.
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I thought this story was very well conceived and implement, an enjoyable and engrossing tale, set in a different environment to the usual stories which added a touch of magic in itself.

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