Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Bathroom Monologue: On Compensation

The other evening I was out with Alice and Woodrow, on our way back from the range, and we spent several miles behind an enormous pick-up truck. I don’t know the model because they all look the same to me, but it seemed about one class below a monster truck. It could have crushed my little Corolla on a whim. He was ogling its size when Woodrow snickered.

“Somebody’s compensating for something,” he said.

Alice nodded, holding up a pinky finger. She flexed it in the direction of the truck. “Probably can’t even get it up.”

Even though they had the tone of joking, they didn’t laugh, and their expressions weren’t quite smiles. They were like joyless imitations of smiles, which is probably what got me thinking. I stared through the rear window of the pick-up, but it was too shady for me to make out the occupant. I could only tell that he was alone, which seemed appropriate as Woodrow started riffing on his likely insecurities.

Was this man in his giant truck insecure on account of his penis? If so, why? Who could have ever come into contact with it to make him feel insecure? Possibly his family. Possibly his lovers. Possibly his doctor, and it sent a pang through me thinking that a doctor was the least likely one to shame him over whatever was wrong with it.

Family and lovers. Maybe a prostitute glancing the wrong way at the wrong time, but no, mostly it would be a wife, or a boyfriend, or his siblings as he grew up, or a parent. And these people, in whom he’d be so emotionally or sexually invested, would have so hurt him that he’d spent something like $20,000 on several tons of gasoline-powered steel, just so he can feel better – feel adequate.

Alice poked my shoulder and said, “I bet his right hand tells him it’s a good size.”

Sometimes I feel alone. It’s usually when there are other people around.

1 comment:

  1. In a crowd is certainly when I am most likely to be lonely and I do spend a lot of time alone in my head. Which is not all bad.
    For such a short piece, this is really telling. Thank you.


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