A Treatise on a Penis: My Penis Brings Other People’s Insecurities to the Fore and They’re Like It’s Better Than Mine. Damn right, My Penis Isn’t Sublime. I Can Deal With it, If You Give me Time
June 9, 2010, 6:13 pm
Filed under: REBECCA | Tags: , ,

Dear Sarah,

The hours are long but not as long as my penis. I know, I know. You’ve heard about my male member before. You’ve been hearing about it since Spring 2005 when we met in that French class; you, huddled, brow-furrowed and consumed by a fog of tightly-coiled rage. With sharp, violent strokes you etched upon blue books and exhaled deep, indignant sighs. I, lip-snarled and deliberate, spread myself out over two desks and a swath of space in my big nylon wind jacket and my heels muddying up the perfectly adequate old wood-and-plastic desk chairs.

I remember it all as if it were five years ago. You, electrically emerging from a stupor of thinly concealed despair, were asked to recount the lyrics to an Edith Piaf song. With utter instant transformation, you arose from your huddle and bellowed with artful waver the lyrics that were just as soon drowned out by me, piercing your split second of self-actualization with an arrogant spew of vitriol:  BABY WHEN THE MUSIC LOUD, I GO’ MAKE YOU SCREAM AND SHOUT.

Your body froze and then shook as if in rigor mortis. You ran, humiliated, enraged and curtailed, through the halls of the former Triangle Shirtwaist Factory and out into the street, knocking over a couple of CAS girls with paper containers of crepes and slamming into the heavy briefcase of a pimply Stern kid and finally rushing past the cackling of a circle of Tisch boys and girls outside the Tisch building. You ran, oh, how you ran beyond the borders of NYU and far, far into the East Village which was, in those days, a burnt-out fire-burning crack den of shooting galleries and utter neglect. You fit right in. Lofts, in that era, could be got for a mere $10/month provided you were unmoved by constant thieveries and ill treatment by violent drug dealers.

Soon you had established yourself among a makeshift medley of aspiring writers and performers who appreciated your talent, your heart and your courage wrought of humiliation. Roger was a good friend. He taught you how to play guitar; he got you off that nasty drug habit. Mimi taught you how to dance; Jonathan Larson helped you set all your experiences down upon the page. In English, no less! No more self-protective French. You were an open, earnest artist. No more subterfuge, no nothing. Only the truth.

AIDS ravaged the neighborhood and soon a new order prevailed. Cheesy, pricy, humdrum establishments with no evidence of your recent past, the past with its good friends and trying times that helped you grow up and gain grace and now it was all gone. There was nothing left here for you. You walked out through the soon-to-be-demolished alleyways alongside the former McGurk’s Suicide Hall (now Avalon Chrystie Place), swelling with sadness and remorse tempered with thankfulness for the transient time spent with wonderful people when SUDDENLY I APPEARED.

HEY BABY WHAT YOU DOIN, I said. But before you could answer, I whipped out my gigantic penis! and beat you into a bloody muddle of bones and skin and watery eyes that looked like egg yolks. Jaundiced eyes! When the police came to carry me away, I screamed “It’s not my fault! I was protecting the city from her jaundiced eyes! Yellow fever! I was warding off a second epidemic! Just like AIDS cures homosexuality, my vigilante justice cures viral diseases!”

That was all I got out before a giant phallic baton slammed down upon my skull. I write these words from the New York State Psychiatric Institute. Somebody paid my bail and saw to it that I got treatment. I’m so lucky to have these safety nets. As for you, I can’t say you’ve had it so good. I wanted to apologize for all that I’ve done for making your life worse than it already was. My doctors–and by extension, my newly expanded sense of myself—have come to understand that it was only my envy and misplaced anger that led me to treat you so awfully for so long. I don’t expect you to forgive me, wherever you are (I’m having this letter printed on the front page of the New York Daily Eagle. I’ve got friends in high places. I’m so lucky to have all these loopholes. I wish you had the same).

I shamed you, I maimed you, and as for my very long penis, I do believe I intimidated you and made you feel inferior. I’m sorry I flopped it around, so many times, in front of your face, after French class, before you even had a chance to do your impression of Edith Piaf. I stepped on so many of your dreams, and cut you down right when you were beginning to find your footing. I’m sorry. My penis is nowhere as long as my grief over my past errors is great. You see? It’s still all about me. I apologize.


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