"Dr. Sanchez, you look awfully tired, how about a good massage?" This was Carolita, his graduate student and he could tell from her eyes she had more on her mind than a massage, but logistics demanded a rain check -- a rain check he really needed since horizontal graduate students were becoming harder to find these days and Carolita knew just how to turn him into (as she put it) a different kind of bone man.
Affairs with his female graduate students had become an addiction to Tomas. He had other lady friends, but they always ended up talking about journals and university politics, light years away from these clandestine, dog in heat's at the digs. He always encouraged Carolita to wear the tightest of jeans when she was kneeling in front of him, dusting and probing for artifacts, anticipating as he did, considerable probing of his own later that night in the tent.
His colleagues were offended by these antics (the men because they envied him and the women because they knew their husbands envied him), but Tomas didn't care, plus, he was the best Paleontologist in the bunch and everyone knew it. So the beat went one --especially at night in the tent.
In truth, they were both very happy. First, because life is ALWAYS worth living when you're aroused (a Tomas axiom), but also because the herbivore bone truly was an exceptional find, well worthy of a monograph. For Cari, happiness was her strengthening conviction that Tommi simply couldn't get on without her -- which was probably true. She knew he was addicted to her sexually since he followed her around like a dog in heat, but she also really liked (loved?) her Tommi and decided she was going to have him propose to her. She too was a promising Paleontologist, abd, soon to be Ph.D., and thought, in balance, having a professional companion who was an addicted sexual partner (his addiction to her body was very important to her), was the best of both worlds. The age difference wasn't considerable, 15ish years, and she knew both of them would probably be discretely sleeping around later anyway.
She also knew the clock was running on her child bearing years. She deeply wanted to have a child, probably not more than two, and Tommi had his act together financially, so between the two of them, they and their children would have covered that necessary but not sufficient condition for relationship happiness which most couples in the world die like dogs for the lack of. She knew, far more than Tomas, that in this most recent of anthropological institutions (i.e., marriage), cash is king.
Dr. Sanchez, however, addiction or no addiction, was a fish not so easily netted, tending to subscribe to, "If you're not with the one you love, love the one you're with". This didn't mean, however, that he'd been leading Carolita on, since to his immense relief the subject of marriage had never come up, but it means he thought of Carolita more as "a" woman and not THIS woman. His joy with her is real and he knows it. Lacking her for a day or two sexually is like lacking air and they laugh and have fun together, and he knows this too. What he doesn't know (or chooses not to know) is her uniqueness. To him, she's genus young woman, not an individual. Thus, intimacy, for Tomas, always dies in typology and over and over again he wonders why even though he knows the words, he never gets the music.
But the bone, the bone, what about the bone? The bone was neither a necessary nor sufficient condition for the personality/hormonal intermeshings of Carolita and Thomas. No sexual juices will recombine the animal of which it is the residue and no monograph will rekindle the collective breathing of a species whose lungs ceased to inflate and deflate scores of millions of years ago. Dr. Sanchez's genital bone will cease to exist in that box city into which even paleontologist's are plopped in fewer years than his hands have fingers and his femur will do well to be poked into my a mole a few centuries hence.
Thus, dust, dust, dust for Dr. Sanchez and the passionate Carolita. This BONE, however in Carolita's lap, is a veritable miracle, echoing as it does, its frozen form over millennia of millennia.
This once upon a time herbivore (retroactively, of course, a herbivore, unless we allow it pondered, "Gee, I'm a herbivore, and proud of it!" while it ground its greens), was a once upon a time reality, doing it's reality thing in a reality world, just like Dr. Sanchez and Carolita . . . and all the rest of us. Most probably it never took comfort anticipating that MILLIONS of years hence one of its vertebra (retroactive, again) would be snuggled into the lap a very unfrigid graduate student, bouncing in a pickup, driven by a paleontologist in heat, who anticipated beating up his department head (in print) with it.
Makes you wonder what we're not anticipating, doesn't it?