New Englanders are relatively starved of archaeological ruins other than frost-heaved stone walls from vanished farms snaking through the woods or the smooth walls of the Quincy Quarries. Not one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World was on our side of the Atlantic nor from Africa or the Far East graced list either thanks to the Eurocentricity of the 19th Century's tomb raiders.
My seven wonders of the world are the Potala in Lhasa, the funereal Ghats of Varanasi, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Sanctuary of Truth in Pattaya, the Chartes Cathedral, the moon-lit combs atop Tikal's pyramids in Guatemala, and Sophie's Bar in Phnom Penh.
Antiquity and size are not prerequisites for my wonders, however Stonehenge certainly qualifies since archaeologists have uncovered a vast network of Neolithic villages on Salisbury Plain in England suggesting that the earthworks were part of a much larger religious complex.
British authorities have roped off the stone circle from the public.
Previously you could drive up to them in the middle of the night to party with drunken lager louts around a fire. Football fans probably attempted a form of cow tipping with the 4000 year-old monoliths, forcing the squares to ban any contact with the great Circle.
Bangkok has its own Stonehenge in the Hopewell Project.
The government spent billions of baht for a commuter rail system.
Not one length of rail was laid on the concrete pillars.
Hundreds of years from now future inhabitants of the world will wonder about the Hopewell Project's purpose.
Same as anyone driving past them today.
Was it a road to nowhere or Thailand's attempt to rival Stonehenge.
I've been to Stonehenge once.
With my friend AJ on a Neolithic tour of the Salisbury Plain.
Avesbury Circle, Stonehenge, and then the Silbury Mound.
Archaeologists have argued over whether the Druids, ETs, the devil, Merlin, or drunks with time on their hands built the massive monuments. As a descendant of Celtic blood I prefer the Druid theory.
On my visit I intended to strip naked in the circles, however both the Avesbury and Stonehenge were swarmed by tourists.
The Silbury Hill rises rises over the treeless plain. No one else was on the mound. AJ and I climbed 130 feet to the top, where my friend explained the hill had been built by thousands of workers over scores of years in different periods dating back over 4000 years.
It was older than Stonehenge, although not as old as than me even on mornings after I've drunk a lot.
The day was sunny.
AJ and I stripped naked.
We vowed not to believe in gods.
Neither of us avoided looking at the other's body, because straight men shouldn't be naked together within arm's length.
We faced the four points of the compass.
AJ had a bigger belly than me.
He glanced below my waist.
I turned to the north without a comment.
I have no problem with betting naked with gay men. They have no interest in my body. My penis is never big in public, which is why Michelangelo's DAVID should also be a Wonder of the World.
Firstly no one talks about the nudity or that the giant statue's penis is as as small as mine after a cold bath.
And there's no chance I'll get naked at the Hopewell ruins, so I'll have to wait another 4000 years until they deserve such an expose. Thankfully by that time I will be dust in the wind and any thoughts about naked men atop the Silbury Hill will be forgotten too.
sic transit gloria.