Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Penis Monologues - 2

"The Vagina Monologues is a set of monologues which deal with various aspects of the feminine experience. A recurring theme throughout the piece is the vagina as a tool of female empowerment, and the ultimate embodiment of individuality." - Wiki

I'm all for equal rights, don't get me wrong, but I couldn't help imagine men adopting that tone. This could be part 2 of that series. If you want to find out more about The Vagina Monologues then you can get the full script here or check out the Youtube performances. I recommend headphones and a solitaire game in the background to alt+tab to.

 I asked men if their penis had a favourite musician, who would it be? Favourite movie? Favourite colour? Other favourites? I was hoping people would take these as questions in a mature manner and their answers would provide some insights but all I got was innuendo. Sometimes I hate men myself. Each one thinks he’s a wise guy.

(mouths a rude word)

The Who, Kiss, Prince, James Brown…
The Big Lebowski, Million Dollar Baby, The Artist, Die Hard, Toy Story…
Yellow, red, green…
You Can’t Always Get What You Want, A Little Less Conversation, Knocking on Heaven’s Door, Wish You Were Here, Good Vibrations…

There was this homeless man whom I met during the 10 years I had the privilege of working with men who had no homes. In that time I interviewed hundreds and hundreds of homeless men. There was only one man who didn’t deserve the woman problems he had had in life and this man touched my heart. He chose Dr. Strangelove: How I Learnt To Stop Worrying About The Bomb And Start Loving It.

Whatever, I don’t remember the exact name.

Being homeless and gay is very hard sometimes. There you are on a hot, dark, summer night, hunched over the trash, rummaging through to land something useful, hoping you’re not going to encounter muggers and such. Suddenly you’re circled, your pants have been pulled down and before you can do anything about it… They think I don’t mind but they’re quite amiss.

Au contraire, it’s not as simple as that. Some of us are tops and some of us are bottoms. Self-explanatory, yes? Now if I were some kind of a hypersexual, polygamous bottom, I might by okay with it but there lay the great tragedy.

Yes, I used to teach language before the recession. I was also married to a lesbian friend from college and this fa├žade of a happily wedded couple allowed us our own separate private lives and acceptable public ones. But then the recession struck and I lost my job. One can ill-afford having professors of language on the payroll when one can’t even hang on to the others. Soon the money got tight and that avaricious woman got herself a divorce. She accused me of not satisfying her sexually and proved in court that she was bisexual. I had no idea they could do that. She took away most of whatever I had and soon enough I had to move into a shelter for the homeless. But that closed too and here I am. I now put up monologues from famous works on street corners and I quite like it except that it doesn’t pay too well.

Anyway, it wasn’t really all these events that incited my hatred of the organ though. It started even before I was married. It made me sick. I pitied anyone who had to go down there. It was probably some sort of vagina envy. In order to survive, I began to pretend there was something else looking over my legs. I imagined it to be a person. Richard seemed an appropriate name. If I were a Siamese twin, I would have convinced my brother to call it Johnson and Johnson. The thought of it always made me chuckle.

I refused to be friends with it though. We were colleagues, nothing more. Rise, Sir Richard, I would say to it telepathically when needed. I got so accustomed to this that I lost all memory of having a P. Whenever I had sex it was always a threesome. Whenever I went to a place that charged per head I would start paying for two heads. I even went to a metal concert once and head banging is easily the most painful thing I’ve ever done. I was also seeing this one guy called Richard. Haha! We’d been together a while when I told him about this. He said I was crazy and he dumped me .

Ah! The rethink… The rethink happened while I was still at the shelter. They used to close the doors at more or less ten pm and lock up the facilities. One night I absentmindedly drank a lot of water. I was stuck inside till they opened the doors again in the morning. I spent that night in misery and rushed out as soon as the doors were opened at six. There had been some plumbing work that week. Only two toilets were functional. I would have to use a toilet that was being used five to six times more than usual and hadn’t been cleaned in a day or two. The dread rose inside me like a cake in an oven.

My fear was completely justified. I went across and walked up a floor to check out if the other one was any better. The signs were all there too, the stains, the smells, the wet floor, the tip tap of the dripping faucets. I closed my eyes, held my breath, relieved myself as fast as I could and walked out. I flushed, of course. I headed back to my room trying to get the smell out of my nose.

As I lay down the bed again something dawned upon me. I realised that if I were a woman I would have had to sit in there. I would have to risk contracting some sort of an infection. And I would have to bear babies and suffer hormonal chaos once a month. Maybe being a man wasn’t all that bad, I realised. It seemed an easier life. That was when I decided to kill Richard. It would be me and P again. And we… were… gone!

Did you notice the usage of short sentences and limited vocabulary towards the end? Agatha Christie employed that technique when she wanted to build suspense.

Then there was another man I ran into during those days. This was on the metro. It was quite crowded and he was standing next to the door, resting against the side, next to the graphical warning recommending him not do so. He seemed annoyed and kept shooting glances around the coach, looking for a seat no doubt. A couple of stations later a seat next to me opened up and he swooped into it with a sigh of relief but continued shooting looks around the train. He seemed annoyed and restless. I couldn’t help talking to him.

Blue maybe. No, not the band, the colour. Uhm… I don’t know, Monsters Inc.? What’s this about anyway?

Okay. Well, there is still some time before I get off and I don’t have much to do so I might as well. If you don’t mind, I’ll skip the scrapbook and get to the meat straightaway. Actually, add to your notes that the song would be Eminem’s Will the Real Slim Shady Please Stand Up. And now I shall tell you about my problem with standing. Have you noticed how men spend so much of their time standing?

Never mind, I know you haven’t. For some reason no one does. And once I tell them they just accept it and move on as if nothing happened. One even blamed the population density. No one seems the least bit bothered. Bus stops, buffet parties, wedding pictures, elections, it’s everywhere! In fact, let’s look at this train we’re on. Notice the number of ladies sitting in this coach. How many of them are sitting on seats reserved for ladies?

And when the train gets out of the bend you can also see the occupancy in the ladies coach…
There. Now some lady will get on at the next stop and insist I get up because this is a ladies seat. She isn’t pregnant nor a senior citizen nor disabled and is perfectly capable of standing until her destination. And there is a whole coach reserved for her at the front. But she’s already stopped listening and is investing significant effort in raising her voice, pointing to the sign that reserves the seat for her and garnering support from all the other women within earshot which, by the way, is a really large area. The ones with toddlers occupying an entire seat will remain mute but they’re on her side too. By now even the gallant chivalrous gentleman inside me is prodding my conscience. It doesn’t matter because all this is happening in my head anyway. In reality I’ve already gotten up and offered her the seat the moment she stepped in front of me. “Inconvenience? Haha, why would standing be inconvenient? Please have the seat, by all means. Can you please keep your shopping bags under the seat? It’s quite crowded, you see.”

Think about the last time you saw a lady standing in a queue. When was it?
No, I’m not talking supermarket queues or post office queues here. I’m talking serious queues. When I had to get my driving license I had to go stand in the queue at eight in the morning and then come back the next day because I didn’t make it to the counter the first time around. That’s a solid fourteen hours of standing in a queue. Any woman who wanted a license during those two days strolled in casually and made her way to the counter with no respect for the hundreds waiting. As if standing in the queue wasn’t bad enough, you will later be standing behind her on the road while she tries to park or restart her stalled car or get her lipstick right or something. Maybe women are accorded platinum membership on account of forcing so many to leave their cars and return to public transport. Who knows?

You might have extrapolated and noticed how this holds even in the bedroom… Ah! My station is approaching. I shall keep this short then… Why does arousal work the way it does? Why can’t it be well behaved and contained? You will tell me that men don’t have to bear the burden of pregnancy but that’s only a consolation, it’s not really an answer. You will then bring up the monthly cycles. This is again a consolation and I would agree that that not menstruating is nice but I would then point out that in turn we have to… care to take a guess?

We have to stand the women that do.

You know when you go meet someone and you think they're in the same zone as you? Five minutes into the conversation you're like, oh, my god! That's what it was like with this man. You know, you try to be hip. Meanwhile your head's being blown off and you just hope your hair will conceal it. Too bad if you’re balding. If you were a woman you could have at least worn a scarf.

-End of Part 2-

This is part 2 of an ongoing series. You can read part 1 here.