Watering the letters
The troubles with the manhood
It was a Friday afternoon. I was in a diner drinking a cup of coffee and having a bite with my girlfriend. At some point I left the table to visit restrooms. The restrooms had just three pissoirs and I took the middle one. Before I finished a random guy, about a foot taller than me, took the pissoir on my left hand. Although there was music playing in the background, every movement of our bodies sounded. He unzipped. I heard the friction of his hand pressing against his jeans and then I heard a click-like sound reminding me of triggered solenoid or two magnets pushed close together. How could he make such sound with his dick? I wondered and looked down there. This guy was not ordinary type. He was strong and superior to most men but when I looked down the direction where the magnetic sound came from I saw a thumb-like shape with a yellowish tube leading out of it. My heart pumped weirdly. I looked down there again and then I followed his superior body up until I reached his eyes. His stand was unshakeably confident. It felt even threatening to me. When our sights met I saw all his suffering through the face expression that was supposed to cover it and I felt it deeply because that was the real juggle of life that bites with no compassion and I could not beat it.
Back at the table with my girlfriend we carried on with our normal discussion. The topic of the moment was the Skinner’s box. She as a psychology student had a lot to say about this and I listened. In brief, she said that the box is also called an operant conditioning chamber and is used to teach animals some certain behaviour patterns by exposing them to a stimulus. If the animal reacts to it as intended, then the animal is rewarded and so the behaviour pattern reinforced. For a moment it sounded like describing our human society that in fact works on the same principle. Regarding work, school, or just any sort of official institution, we are constantly being put to our places. Every step that is socially correct is rewarded and reinforced but what about the people who do not exactly fit into the conventional trails? The Skinner’s Box features conductive cage that can temporarily electrify itself to deliver negative reinforcement to the animals inside. The human social box has got many tools but the most efficient seems to be the one that involves psychological tyranny that is often imposed on people of too different cultural backgrounds or on brilliant people in ordinary groups. It might be a way how to sustain life as a successful group that comes from our nature. Would then being an outsider be selfish? These outsiders often suffer tyranny for seeing life their own way, but doesn’t it make them foolish? There are many Indi people coming to richer countries. They are often being laughed at for their way of clothing, their accent they are often shorter than the European’s and yet they rarely step away from their commons and earns university degrees. Are these people foolish or high achievers? We all live live in Skinner’s Box but these guys are being constantly electrified and they are standing lonely against the crowd of laughers and won’t move, so who are these people?
A fish is glittering around me. A small one. I am in a deep sea. The water presses on me. My heart beats fast and strong, shooting into my toes and finger tips. The consistency of the dark blue water thickens. The fish is suddenly gone and a dark spot in the distance starts quickly approaching and I close my eyes and wake up looking for my dick.
I kept thinking about that dream for the entire day and I was aware of it being related to the event from the diner that had happened. ‘The guy will never have sex in his entire life’ I thought. ‘How does the knowledge of that feel like?’ The inability of having sex came in my mind first but the psychological boundaries might have been more severe. The idea of asking a woman out with a hope for an intimate relationship with no penis sounds bizarre. So, this guy was condemned to life of loneliness, an absolutely empty darkness of his own thoughts and never satisfied sexual desire.
Few nice words were said, and I appeared in the middle of having sex. It was a nice sweaty summer sex as good as it could have got after four years of daily practising. I am not a good judge though. A good sex, in my opinion, occurs when noise produced gets the neighbours disturbed but the traffic in the street won’t stop. That was how it went that day. I loved it and I hoped she loved it too. Shower followed. Washing my treasure, I started questioning him: ‘what I would do without you (said with a sigh). How my life would be different? Would I become a bitter pedant addicted to getting to work on time?’ These thoughts were floating in my mind as a single story of Hemingway’s iceberg. The contemplating about the dickless man’s destiny somehow integrated into my mind. I started seeing myself in his position with his sufferings and no dick. I had that bad dreams that did not feel intense but made me wake up with the conviction that my dick was snatched by a dark spot, just like a cookie from a table.
Furthermore, the realization of me overthinking came besides of all these events and I tried to push them away out of my head by recalling the square numbers between one and twenty when I was alone or by coming up with new topics to talk about when there were some counterparts available. The more I used this technique to suppress these thoughts the more it felt like my own dick was about to fell off and that’s when the Hemingway’s iceberg started swinging from side to side showing its underwater surface. The upcoming days were fearful signs of me going delusional. My dick was changing colors, it varied in shape and size. He felt heavier than normally.
The deep-sea dream happened again but there was no fish, no light, no dark spot. It was just me swimming toward the sandy bottom as freely as a mermaid, with no dick.
It was a nice morning that happened once upon a time, but it was no fairy tale. I sat a coffee on the table, read through the world news and went to the local sex health clinic for a sexual health check. The doctor sat me down and started questioning:
‘Are you in a relationship?’ - ‘Yes’
‘How long?’ - ‘Four years’
‘Have you done vaginal sex? ’ - ‘yes’
‘Have you done oral sex?’ - ‘yes’
‘Have you done anal sex?’ - ‘yes’
‘Have you ever had sex health check before’ - ‘nope’
The questionnaire was quite extensive and took a few minutes to finish.
‘Do you have any specific problems down there? Any rashes, blisters anything that is not normal?’
I explained my situation. I told him about the guy with no penis, about the overthinking and the dickless dreams and that it really felt like there had been something wrong with my penis and that the feeling had been chasing me for a few weeks. While I was explaining what my troubles were, the doctor’s eyes occasionally moved slightly upwards just like eyes do when one laughs. I think he had a little silent giggle for himself and I noticed it, which allowed me to realise that I did some overthinking that had gone beyond the boundaries of the universe; and then the story of mine gave me a little private giggle too. We were both too polite to me to express the amusement out laud and so we sat next to each other in silence privately giggling inside our heads until he said: ‘You’ll pee into this container. The toilet is on left hand side in the corridor. When you’re back we’ll take some swabs and I’ll examine you; before you leave, my health assistant will take a blood sample from you, so you have the screen complete and don’t need to worry.’
‘Take you trousers off and lie down on the table.’ The doctor said.
‘Now I examine your stomach.’
‘Now, roll your boxers off and I’ll examine your testicles.’
I just followed the instructions and took my trousers back on within a couple of minutes.
‘Well, everything feels to be normal. It looks okay too. You don’t have to be worried.’ And then he said it: ‘In my opinion, you have been just thinking too much about the misfortune of the other guy.’
‘We are finished here. You just need to wait till my health assistant calls you for taking the blood sample. And don’t forget to call in for the results. But I think it is going to be all negative.’
The reassurance that the dick did not look ill cheered me up and on top of that my balls got cuddled. I could not get the smile off my face. Every sound was amplified, food tasted better and I felt the presence of love everywhere. That day was the one of the happiest times of my life.
The visit of the doctor calmed me down a lot, yet the ill-thoughts weren’t over. Even though the doctor said that there was nothing wrong with my dick, I couldn’t just accept it. However, what the visit gave me was a different perspective that occurred to me while I was reading The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir; that book was for feminists what On The Road was for hippies. She described in the historical context why women were the Others.
Nowadays the social differences between men and women are not as distinguishing as they used to be and while women in some places has eliminated themselves being labelled as the Others, groups of people living at the same places gained that label. These are the immigrants, refugees who can barely speak the native language. These people are always the evil for the native inhabitants and that makes the foreigners inferior which places them in the same position in which women used to be. In my opinion, The Second Sex is a great book that speaks about position of women in society over time but can also answer, to some extent, the modern question of a person in a foreign country who is today looked at and called the Other. Interesting fact is that the hatred comes mostly from men, and the discussion exists in society and is always negative and the media, the independent sources, call it the immigration problem which is a confirmation and typical behavioural positive reinforcement just like in the Skinner’s box.
It was somewhere between page one and two hundred where I realised that one of the Skinner’s box techniques was applied on me by myself. I lied the demon down on the table and it spread its legs in front of me as if I overdosed myself with a coffee and my daily dose of nootropics. The man, toilet, no dick, tube, me back at the table, admitting that shit happens, not sharing that experience, bad dreams, my dick falling off, doctor. It was sequential, instant and realising.
I saw another man suffering. I admitted that bad things happen. I did not tell anyone. I started suffering myself and I accepted it by the admittance that such things happen I got the positive reinforcement from my dreams, thoughts from everywhere and that led me to building new behavioural pattern which eventually the media called the dick problem which is a confirmation and typical behavioural positive reinforcement just like in the Skinner’s box. I eventually visited a doctor because I recognised my own ill-thinking.