The bathroom door is a little sticky when I try to close it. I wonder if the latch is lining up. I close both doors, left and right, because I still feel self conscious about my nakedness. After these years my skin fits me like a knit sweater that is gradually becoming larger. There is a slight ominous flicker in my chest right under the breast bone. I don’t know what it means. The heart? My Dad had already had a heart attack at my age. Or maybe mild bronchitis. Whatever it is makes me cough as I pull my t-shirt over my head and toss it down, then take the elastic bands of my tighty whiteys and shove them down, feeling the cool breeze on my balls. I kickj my underwear into a corner.
I reach down into the cabinet left of the sink and pull out the glass digital scale and put it on the floor. The motion wakes it up and the numbers begin blinking as I feel that wobble in my chest again, a small interior peal of thunder. I put the scale on the floor and wait for the numbers to settle before I step onto it.
Well, that’s it.
No need to go further. Not really.
Where’s my dick?
This is the modern, well fed, naked man’s equivalent of waiting for the ground hog to see its shadow, or not. Shit. That’s the dick test.
The dick test is simple enough. If you’re a guy, can you stand straight as a Marine without any tricks and look south and see your dick? No? Something in the way obscuring your view? Then either you need a bigger dick or a smaller belly. That’s the large and the short of it.
Back when I was coloring my hair it was obvious the carpet did not match the drapes as gay guys like to say. Hair color hurts. You can grit your teeth with masculine patience and let the ammonia chew on your scalp like hungry ants, but if you decide to color the carpet down there too while you’re at it – well brother, you’ll only try it once.
A comforting steam fills the room and gives the vanity mirror a romance haze that hides the overall loose skin and lumpiness. There is nothing as boldly sexy as a beautiful woman just when she begins to go to seed. Guys, we don’t get to have that moment, I think. We might maybe hope to look “distinguished”, whatever that is. I am an aging man, not yet conspicuously old, but coming to terms with his fragile vanity. There’s those worse off. Or maybe just less lucky. So far the destruction is minimal, but then there’s that mysterious flutter again right in the bullseye of my chest. My eyes still have to ability to lie to me a little bit with my gray-silver birds nest of carpet and my manhood hanging down, slightly to the left, but the whole scene in front of me, as King Lear says “smells of mortality”.
Naked as a frog, my body still has a petite and symmetrical shape, good shoulders but with an obvious belly. And below the belly, there’s that. Serviceable. Fully functional, if lacking in inspiration. My overweening belly needs to start doing about fifty sit ups a day. And Little Me there, well, Little Me was once very fond of doing push ups. Like the old playground joke, I made him do push ups in a dark wet cave until he threw up.
I do love my dick. I think I have a modest but pretty dick. It’s nice looking, circumcised and symmetrical. Friendly. Out going. Well portioned but non-threatening. Welcoming. Affectionate. Playful. Mostly disinterested and no longer demanding.
I wonder how women feel about their vaginas? It must be different for them, because everything is hidden, you can’t just look down. If a woman or a girl wants to look at her pussy she has to really make an effort. For women its not only hard to see, but it’s like a Swiss army knife; things are happening down there! Oh my god, bleeding, peeing, orgasming, birthing babies, yeast infections, pleasure, pain, it’s a sewer! It’s a fountain! It glows! Men, our dicks are good for two things and that’s it. On. Off. We’re pathetic. We could shave it. Tie a bow or a ribbon around it. Draw a face on it. Put a hat on it. Write our names in the snow with it. Not that much. Freud? Penis envy? Bullshit. Men secretly have pussy envy. We want what women have. Its way more interesting.
Sex is easy. Interesting is hard. It’s much harder to be interesting. As you get older you put more of a premium on interesting. You want somebody you can talk to. You want somebody who doesn’t bore you. You fear being boring yourself. Most of all, you want somebody who doesn’t judge you.
My ideas about love are on the move these days. In our society, we place a great deal of weight on sex and passion and fulfilling erotic love. These things are nice if you can have them, but the truth is they don’t last indefinitely. I think, maybe, I think what we want in the long run is someone reliable. Someone who doesn’t run away when you’re not at your best. Someone who loves you when you are uinlovely.
I asked my son – What is a Man? A manly man? I told him a man has to answer that question for himself at sometime, but to my way of thinking, a real man is one who stands by you. Someone who takes
responsibility for the ones he loves and doesn’t leave when things get rough. A dick is someone who leaves you on the side of the road when it’s not fun anymore. You want that steady hand that bears witness to your life. That’s the real dick test.
Don’t ever be a dick, kid. That will always be a part of your deal.