I saw my penis lying on a blanket
Next to a broken toaster oven.
Some guy was selling it.
I had to buy it off him.
He wanted twenty-two bucks, but I talked him down to seventeen.
I took it home, washed it off,
And put it back on. I was happy again. Complete.
–Detachable Penis by King Missile
I dreamt that it was morning and you said, as if it was no big thing, “Hey, kid, why don’t you take the penis today? I’ve got a lot to do, so I won’t even really notice it’s gone, and it might be fun for you.”
“This is what I love about you,” my dream self said to the you in my dream. “Nobody else would ever think to be that generous.” And I meant it, as both my selves. Ultimately, this is a dream about your generosity.
“Okay, then. Let me keep it till after my shower, so I can give it to you clean,” you said, stepping out of the plaid pajama pants that I love that you wear, because there is something serious about a man who wears actual pajamas. “Then I’ll show you a little bit about how it works, and you should be good to go.”
And then I was in your Montero, instead of my Volvo, driving downtown in a pair of old jeans, a flannel shirt and work boots. I could feel the seam of the jeans sort of crushing my (or are they still your?) testicles—not painfully, just in a way that was clearly a change from how they had felt when I’d been standing up—as I sat in the driver’s seat. Moving from gas pedal to brake was different with a cock and balls, much in the way it’s different when wearing heels. I found myself constantly reaching down to readjust their positioning.
I had no clear destination. The road was oddly consistent for a dream road, everything where it really is. I pulled into the parking lot behind Great Wall restaurant to decide what to do. Calling a friend seemed wrong. What would I say? “Hey, Patyon lent me his dick. Can I come over and fuck you?” Even my dream self found that appalling. Maybe it would have been all right if I was still twenty, but my friends are all, like me, middle-aged women long since over the excitement of novelty sex.
I got out of the truck and walked toward the adult bookstore. I thought, Penises like pornography, right? But as I walked down the block, it occurred to me that I was still mostly myself and that someone I knew might see me going into the shop, so I went to Blue Moose for a cup of coffee instead. I felt different, more masculine, and caught myself flirting with the tattooed, dreadlocked barista. But I’m in there all the time, usually friendly, and she didn’t seem to notice when I stared alternately at her hips and breasts. I tipped her well and took my dream latte to a table in the back corner of the coffeehouse, ashamed of myself.
I weighed the options. I could hire a prostitute but, in this small West Virginia college town, it wasn’t immediately obvious how I’d do that. Also, it’s not like this was a disposable penis. This was your penis and I wasn’t certain that I’d feel as positively inclined toward it afterward. There are, I’m certain, prostitutes here, but probably not the storied sort who are well-groomed and erudite and command prices upwards of a few hundred dollars an hour. The idea of putting your penis into a woman who seemed unclean, or even just a little dumb with bad teeth and a desperate air about her, wasn’t exciting. It was disgusting. So I ruled that out.
I thought about waiting until later and going to the local gay bar to see if I could find some game young man who’d find the whole thing entertaining enough to indulge me. This seemed more likely and less awful than finding a prostitute. Young men are the opposite of middle-aged women in this way, aren’t they? Sexually adventurous, still excited by the idea of the transgressive? But this is your penis, and since you don’t use it to have sex with boys, I’m not sure that I should. Also, Vice Versa wouldn’t open for hours, long after we’d normally be in for the evening. And I’d rather be at home than out trolling the bars, even on such an exceptional day.
I got back in the Montero. Before starting the engine, I reached down and cupped the crotch of my jeans, feeling the heft. Halfway down the dream road home, I awoke. You were standing beside the bed in your solid-citizen pajamas, just getting up for the day. Rolling toward you, I pulled the covers over my shoulders although it was summer and the house was already warm.
“I had the strangest dream,” I said, and told you what I had dreamt.
You said, “Only you, kid, would have that dream and end up too ethically conflicted to ever actually use the penis for anything.” You shook your head and changed out of your pajamas into a pair of khakis and a button-down shirt. Your daytime solid-citizen attire.
“But that’s why it’s interesting,” I said, sitting up in bed in a ratty old purple nightshirt I probably shouldn’t be wearing so early in our relationship. “Is that what it’s like, having a penis? Do you spend a lot of time thinking about opportunities to use it, and then dismissing most of them?”
“No. There aren’t that many opportunities for using your penis. If you used your penis two to four hours a week, that would be a lot. There are 168 hours in a week, so you’re talking about a small percentage. But 99.9% of your relationships have nothing to do with the penis. You can be a man, but being a man’s got nothing to do with having a penis. The penis is the last item on the menu. A woman doesn’t want a penis, she wants a person.”
Which, of course, is true, but not at all what I was trying to understand.