(first appeared on the www.freeflashfiction.com webpage 8/17/12)
I’ve said it before and I’ll type it again, your embarrassing moments are really the only things that are truly yours. It’s hard to picture any success I’ve had without thinking of the people or circumstance behind it. Not so with those times where you are completely mortified. While I won’t go as far as to say they define a person, they certainly throw a spotlight into the nether regions of who you truly are. Now obviously you’re sitting back slightly in your chair eager to hear about one of mine. I mean, I’ve set the stage, now all I have to do is start in and tell you about that one time at the bachelor party …
Not going to happen.
I am rarely ashamed about anything I’ve done but the bachelor party incident is not something I will willingly share unless a certain amount of water boarding is involved. Probably a great deal of it. Now, before you go rushing off to read another blog about cooking or Jesus, I will throw you a bone and tell you another story that is almost equally as humiliating. That seems very fair to me.
It was my first day of college. I had just been dropped off by the parents and was fresh off meeting my new roommate for the year. A large, thick young man who didn’t seem particularly bright and mumbled his words a bit much for my liking but on the other hand it could have been worse. At least that’s what I was thinking to myself after our initial interaction. I was stacking towels in my closet when he walked by and casually mentioned that the showers were co-ed. He then departed the room and left me frozen in place.
Literally, my arm was holding a towel half way on route to its destination and there it remained as I processed what I had just heard.
It was quite obvious he was too much of a dullard to be kidding; he must have thought it just neighborly to mention it as he saw me putting away my towels.
My legs almost gave out before I made it to the edge of my bed where I promptly gave up any pretense of standing and let gravity do its thing.
The battle inside my head began in earnest. My eyes were thrilled with this news because it meant seeing boobs flopping around whenever I chose. The rest of my body was panicked, knowing I was physically a complete disaster. Any girl who caught sight of me naked would soon spread the word that the Lance Manion show was something to be missed at all costs.
Except … for my penis.
I’m going to come right out and say it. I am packing.
But let me back up a bit and explain something about the young Lance Manion that sat trembling on the edge of his bed. He differs greatly from the Lance Manion of today who is so comfortable speaking about himself in the third person. Back then I was a bit naive. Not only had I not been around the block much, but I wasn’t even sure where this block was. Events had conspired to keep me a bit behind the times if you will. I was entered into school a year earlier than most kids and I hit puberty much later than other males. Those two factors worked together to make sure I didn’t get my bait and tackle until well into my junior year of high school.
That’s right. Junior year. Is it any wonder I’m fucked up?
While all the other boys, even most of the freshmen, were walking around fully loaded I still had the starter kit. I remember distinctly an inebriated girl approaching me at a party sophomore year and attempting to thrust her hand down the front of my pants as she said, “Let’s see what you got down there.” I reacted as if the invitation had come from my wrestling coach. The look of confusion on her face was profound. Any other boy would have loved to have been in that spot, but any other boy would have had a functioning dong for her to grab. I had the junk of a 6 year old so I had to backpedal and make excuses and flee the party before word of my sexual transgression reached the ears of my friends.
I guess while I’m dishing here I might as well tell you another regrettable result of my late blooming. I had ZERO idea what was going on between the legs of females. There was something I couldn’t understand and didn’t have the nerve to ask during health class. Even now I’m having trouble typing it so you can appreciate just how stupid I was when it came to the physiology of the fairer sex.
Ok. Here it is.
I didn’t understand how girls could swim or take a bath.
I know, you’re no closer to understanding what I mean having read that sentence. Why on earth couldn’t a girl go swimming or take a bath?
Because I thought their uteri (plural of uterus) would fill will water.
There I said it. I didn’t understand why water wouldn’t just go rushing up their tubing and make them sink. I had seen plenty of pictures of the female genitalia and it certainly didn’t look to me like the vagina shared any of the water-tight properties of the anus. I literally imagined a girl climbing out of the bath and having to stand there as her vagina drained like a punctured hot water bottle. I would stand poised and ready at the edge of the pool as girls hurled themselves into the deep end, seemingly oblivious to the peril their large-capacity uteri put them in, waiting for the frenzied request to dive in and start hauling them out before they drowned. A call that never came.
That was the Lance Manion that sat on the edge of the bed absorbing the news that I would now be showering right next to these confusing creatures. My next thought was whether or not they made shower chaps. If I could get my hands on a pair of those bad boys I was convinced I would be ok. They would hide my skinny legs and bony ass but prominently feature my giant penis. I was just about to head down to the school store to see if these ego-saving items existed in plastic or if I was going to be forced to spend a year showering in leather when my roommate returned and saw me sitting on my bed white as a ghost.
“You know I was kidding right?” he asked.
The Lance Manion who is currently occupying this chair, and who has little trouble talking about himself in the third person, as I’ve mentioned previously, would have casually laughed and played the whole thing off but I swear the Lance Manion on the edge of the bed simply pitched forward unconscious.
I passed right the fuck out. I guess I hadn’t taken a breath since he left the room. I remember him asking me if I knew he was kidding as the room got dark and then nothing else. A few hours later I came down with strep throat and spent the next two days in bed feeling like I was about to die. Alone and unloved at some god-forsaken college in the middle of a cornfield and to this very day I’m convinced my immune system shut down temporarily because of the shock of picturing myself walking around in front of naked girls wearing nothing but leather chaps and a large boner.
That’s about as close as any event could ever sum me up.