The D. C. S. G. Meeting
The room the meeting was held in was tall-ceilinged, and not particularly wide. A thin and well seasoned carpet of high-traffic gray covered the floor, and held at center a ring of dented, paint-chipped, brown folding chairs in a cone of fluorescent light. Dollies at the room's shadowed edges collected additional chairs, folded tables like a giant's deck of cards, a forgotten fake ficus and two ferns with woven basket bases, and in the far corner a basketball hoop sat like a well-trained dog with a leash in its mouth: quiet and still, while its eyes betrayed the begging within to be played with.
"It's my turn, then?" Reed asked, his voice quavering; three donuts and two Styrofoam cups of cheap coffee, already weighing heavy, dropped to the foundation of his stomach.
"If you're ready," Russell, this week's facilitator, replied; his voice understanding, coaxing.
"I don't know how you'd ever be ready for this, but figure I'll talk anyway. Um, well — my name is Reed."
"Hi, Reed," the circle of men greeted him in practiced unison.
"Hi. Well, I guess it started for me, as I've heard some of you say it started with you, with that goddamn commercial. Of course it really started years ago, but that commercial was the catalyst. That commercial is why we're all here tonight. That Andy Griffith Show rip-off whistle, and that ridiculous grin on the actor's face, contrasting the covetous and meekly inadequate looks from his friends and coworkers. But most of all, it was that wife, that Donna Reed wife with that I bow before you Oh my Lord expression, at the door when he comes home from the office. I know I have never seen that look — at best, I would get the Oh good, it's you — but I believed in the possibility of that Oh my Lord look, and knew I would never get it without some help.
"I was average — oh that evil word average! You never realize that average represents the majority; that though it means no more no less it sure as hell in the face of more feels like less. In the sneaky nights when my wife was out of town and I visited the back room of the internet I never heard that sage, Jenna Jameson, say, 'Oh Baby — fuck me with that average-sized cock!'"
The learned men of the circle nodded and murmured that this was, indeed, very true.
"My wife certainly never said anything regarding it. But through her sister I thought I had proof that I didn't satisfy my wife: she tells her sister everything, and since I've never so much as caught an accidental gaze across my crotch to confirm or deny a description, much less the hungry look of siblings that gauge each other's Christmas presents to speculate on whose is the more grand, I knew that my wife had never felt the impulse to mention a word or hint about it to her unsubtle sister. There was, obviously to my mind, nothing to tell.
"She also, certainly, never said anything during sex; but then women never do unless they are compelled to. No one says, 'Yes yes Oh yes Oh my God Yes!" cause they think it sounds appropriate: it's only said when the body cannot contain it, when it's pushed out of you; steam from the teakettle; and clearly I didn't have an adequate pusher.
"And afterward, when she did speak, it would only be to say, 'I love you,' in a voice where the intention was not an expression of awe or satisfaction, not a distension to bursting of pleasure-induced emotion, but more a reminder to herself of why she settled for less."
Reed cleared the moist wavering from his voice and continued. "I had studied and dismissed the various enlargement theories: from jelping, to the ubiquitous Swedish-made Penis Enlarger Pump, and accepted that the only way to get added length was through extending the urethra — which meant implants, and you know what that means…"
Only one man nodded, and so Reed had to explain, "Implants are donated, as in cut and pasted dead-wood. And I don't know about you, but I don't like the idea of any other man's cock being in my wife no matter that it's only a few inches and now sewn onto me." Everyone nodded to this, and winced to the anatomy-text feel of the explanation, layers of painted plastic sheets lifted to show the implanted section, knowing it would be dead gray next to their living pink.
"But then there was that commercial, with that By golly I got something that'll knock her fillings out! confident smile. So I looked into it. I should have known better, but that commercial man's smile and that commercial wife's eyes were acid upon my base reason. I really thought that I had my wife's interests in mind too — that it was love and a craving for her pleasure that motivated me to order the information packet and thirty-day sample.
"And oh, how that packet was my poetry! The succinct summary of my interest; not hope, but the promise of certainty, in the tested magic of chemicals; Miracle Grow for the dried magic bean of the underprivileged and average Jack. It was the internal-ness of the proposition that held the most weight, the elemental-ness. And as the listed possible side effects were inconsequential compared to the potential full frontal effect I started taking it immediately.
"And, though I had never really expected it would, it indeed worked like magic. At the end of the free trial period I was half an inch longer and a quarter inch wider. I ordered more. I hovered over the postbox for its delivery like a fly waiting for the dog to drop its shit.
"But then, as you all know, the beanstalk showed me that there are no laws governing magic, and in a single night, it grew to this…" Reed stood up slowly, loosened the drawstring to his sweatpants, and pulled them down with his boxer shorts in the manner that all the men in the Deformed Cock Support Group had before him, and revealed a penis that was two inches long, and five inches in diameter. "It was like a rising soufflé that suddenly collapsed." Then added, flatly, "When aroused, it inflates like a Chinese Lantern, to about six and a half inches long. It takes so much blood it makes me woozy."
Reed covered himself, whipping the pants up and sat back down, hunched with his side to the group. The man with the penis shaped like a regulation sized football that has seen too much punting squeezed his shoulder fraternally; the man with the broccoli-crown-tipped cock murmured pity but inwardly thanked God that he, at least, was still relatively functional.
"I didn't realize what had happened until my groggy morning pee went sputtering like a showerhead set on massage. I screamed. My wife flew out of the shower, yelling, 'What! What!' then, looking down, seeing, was shocked to a naked dripping silence.
"You know what happens next, because I've heard you one-by-one repeat the sequence: the frantic trip to the hospital where nurses snickered as if you couldn't hear them through the curtains, and young doctors asked if they could take a photo with visions of their byline in the top medical journals tickertape chattering through their heads; the belligerent call to the pharmaceutical company's customer service line where they refer you to the universal magic-unaccountability-spell of use at your own risk fine print; to the plastic surgeons by referral who tell you candidly that your insurance doesn't cover this type of thing and quote you a bill where essentially you trade your house for your old penis back, which seems pretty reasonable to you, but your wife is in your ear saying, 'You want me to rent cause you popped a few pills that exploded your cock like popcorn?'
The man three chairs over squirmed at this, foreshadowing his show-and-tell at the next group session.
"But that wasn't what my wife said and that wasn't how she said what she did say. She cried at each disappointment. Her hands were never fisted in defiance or indignation, but on my shoulders squeezing, and rubbing a thousand circles into my back, holding my shaking hands firm; and the week after my plastic surgeon visit, when we tried to discover if I was still functional, she only spoke soft, patient, encouragement.
"But, most importantly, on that black, shameful night when she came home early from work and caught me trying to masturbate, and I answered her surprise by yelling at her, 'What else I can do? What else can I get that release now?' Biting her head off because it was the closest one I could rip my teeth into.
"And she answered me in a steady, tear-watered cadence, 'I'm not crying because of what you're doing — I'm crying that this is what you have to do for it. That I'm unable to share in pleasure with you now is devastating — I feel its absence like I'd miss an organ: it's hard for me to function without it.'
"And I felt two new shames explode in my blood: the shame of destroying something beautiful and substantial for both of us through my needless vanity; but I especially felt ashamed that I had underestimated the woman I loved. I belittled her with my assumptions, my misconceptions. I thrust the blame of my ridiculous imagined shortcomings onto her lovely head. My envy for the attractive inconsequential was a cancer for our love life, caused me to commit loveslaughter… "
He would have gone on but his sadness crushed him, braking his quickly-derailing figurative train of self-depreciation. The group wiped away their own parallel tears and the man with the dick shaped like a question mark, the tip always ready to piss into his belly button, stood up and bowed with him, pulling him in with an arm around his shoulder.
Facilitator Russell stood up, coughed the emotion from his throat, and said, "I think that's enough for us to handle this week — we can end a little early. Let's circle up."
The men huddled together, weaving arms around each other's backs and then chanted in unison:
"Shoulda been happy with my share, I know
But I took some pills for my dick to grow
Now a deformed cock is what I own
But at least I know I'm not alone!"
They repeated the last line several times, each time louder, amplifying with fraternity and unzipped confession until the last one rang echoes in the tall, dark space above them, the basketball hoop in the corner snapping the waves up like soap bubbles.