I vaguely remember a woman who looked somehow like a clown. Her face was painted in a strange way, a little scary, not menacing. Alluring in a forbidden way, like Miss Henson my favorite substitute teacher who wore a tight sweater. She invited me close and as I reached for her, she rolled a large ball towards me. I mounted the ball, sat on it, and bounced up and down, up and down, up and down - unh unh unh - until I felt a wild rising in my loins like hot milk boiling over on a stove. I was eleven years old.
I opened my eyes in bed, in midnight darkness, with the voices of mom and dad and the comforting babble of the TV far away in the living room. The singing, painfully sweet thrum between my little legs was linked to a pumping action going on by itself down below, the swollen knob of my penis throbbing like a heart beat, spouting gouts of wet warmth into the cotton cloth of my little Fruit of the Loom tighty whities I had been given for Christmas.
I’m wetting the bed, I thought.
My little brother slept on the bottom bunk. Five years older and presumably more durable in a fall, I slept on the top bunk. I rolled over in the dark and felt my underwear sink wetly onto my belly and stick there. On my back I felt a big wet spot on the sheet, melting and sticky. Something hot, thick and gooey like a fistful of Spaghetti-Os drooling down the sides of my legs. It was just everywhere. Was it blood? Something had broken inside while I was asleep. Something fatal, like when the water hose had broken on Dad’s little red Rambler sedan, dumping a load on the road. This was way worse than shitting the bed when I was sick. I would die now, broken inside, wallowing in my blood, ralphing up my guts through the tip of Mr. Weenie. The sweet singing thrum had fallen to a vague tingle. I felt oddly emptied, almost at peace and mortally frightened.
I lifted the rim of the elastic band and looked. It was too dark. I couldn’t see. There was a tremendous amount of feeling down there, but no pain. I felt energized. Wide awake. As awake as if I had had a nightmare instead of . . . of what? Was it a witch? Cast a spell on me? Had the clown woman cast a spell on me with her big bouncy ball?
I peeled down the soaked underwear and there was a huge smell like bleach. Blood didn’t smell like that. Blood never smelled like anything. Blood tasted like pennies, did this taste like pennies? The thought of putting it in my mouth made me gag.
There was a flashlight near the window ledge. I dropped the underwear in a splat on the floor and flipped on the flashlight.
A pool of something like snot was drooling everywhere, dripping onto the sheet. A gob of it glistened on the blanket. My guts had vomited out everywhere. My guts had exploded all over me in my sleep. Maybe an animal had gotten into me and was about to carve its way out of my belly. I waited in silence, the spot of light gleaming on the thin scattered hairs that had begun to grow there, poking up like weeds in the muck. There was nothing to wipe it on.
I climbed down and slipped into the bathroom. In the strong bathroom light I looked at the carnage running down my leg. I grabbed baseball wads of toilet paper and wiped and dumped them into the toilet.
“I’m okay mom.”
“Are you sick?”
“I’m okay. Really”
“Are you pooping?”
“No – yeah! Pooping. I’m okay.”
“I told you not to eat from the fridge.”
“I’m all right.”
I listened for her to go away. Soon I didn’t hear anything, and then their voices in the living room. My belly was like fly paper. Tissue stuck to it and tore. The stink of bleach-guts was everywhere. I rinsed a washcloth in the sink and wiped the smell off. Dirty little boy. Dirty dying little boy. Wetting the bed. It’s not my fault! Something broke! I’m hurt!
But, how my broken Mr. Weenie, the weenie I had vomited my guts out of, the way how it felt when I was wiping it with the warm washcloth, washing it slow, stroking and gentle, poor Mr. Weenie. It was nice. Friendly. A feeling that if I went on wiping it with the wash cloth, something, something weird might just happen by itself. Maybe if I went on wiping it a little more, it might fix itself. That bouncy ball feeling might come and fix it for me. Except that now Mr. Weenie was getting a little bigger, and it felt funny. Kind of sticking up. I couldn’t will it to go down. My gooey white snotty guts were piling up in there and it was going to blow up like when the Coyote uses a stick of dynamite to get the Roadrunner. Blow up and shoot blood and meat all over the bathroom. I would scream and cry. That would show them. Then they’d miss me. Then they’d be sorry they’d treated me bad.
I snatched my hand away, praying, no no no. Please Jesus, don’t let me blow up and blood and everything.
When my weenie got small again, I dried off and thought of the underwear pooled on the floor back there. I needed to do something. I needed to tell someone. In the morning, In the morning I would tell Dad I was dying, that something in the night happened, some rubber hose inside my belly had burst and broken and guts had leaked out of me and I was sorry, and I was maybe going to die in agony and would miss Christmas.
I went back in and kicked the underwear under the bed. Maybe I could throw it away. Maybe I’d have to save it and show it to the doctor. The doctor would look horrified and disgusted, maybe throw up on the floor, blaaarggh, and whisper something to Mom and she would cry.
I pulled out a new pair of underwear and climbed back up to my bunk. I lay in the dark thinking of the clown lady. She might come back again. Maybe she would bring her big ball with her and let me put it between my legs again. And ride it up and down.
Yes, I thought. I would like that.