Geoff Bouvier’s “Cosmic Joke” and Human Sexuality

by P.K. Korankye  ·  May 06, 2019

Geoff Bouvier’s “Cosmic Joke” from Five Points Volume 17, No. 3 reminds me of the core of what drives the human need to have a sexual relationship with someone who a person deems attractive. As the popular saying goes, whatever act an individual engages in, whether said individual is male or female, is at some level undertaken with the mindset of potentially procreating and furthering the species. Throughout the years, sex has been a taboo subject in virtually all cultures in the world. We adhere to keep our children from learning about sex until we are certain that they are at an age when they will not exploit this commonly misused information. Bouvier’s story does an excellent job of making a presumed sexual experience seem like a cerebral pursuit:

“I watched another person’s head go down in my friend’s lap, and my friend’s face at last was transformed as I’d always wished, eyes rolled, mouth wide, teeth bared, and the whole cosmos laughing.”

Bouvier’s flash fiction piece  introduces the widespread sentiment of attempting to live vicariously through someone else’s moment or experience, when one is unable to personally encounter said experience:

“The moment my eyes crossed the lines and planes of the most beautiful face I’d ever seen, I had an inappropriate thought. I wanted to see that face in the throes of utter delight.”

The character’s desire to see his friend’s facial features upraised in a moment of  erotic passion brings to mind a deep-seated inkling: affably-streaked pleasure is an extraordinary venture that we cherish and value. In a way, Bouvier has  captured a small part of this encounter, albeit in a much more acceptable manner. The art of grinning or even laughing when we are amused is a reminder of what lies within us, and how our quest for a more happier or satisfactory life is more often than not, tied to the communal relationships we have in our lives as we traverse from the childhood of innocence through the coital peak of adulthood.


Pethuel Korankye is a student at Georgia State university, majoring in English with a Creative Writing Concentration.

Photo Courtesy of Creative Commons, Pixabay