My First Vagina

I was seven. Or however old you are when you’re in the second grade. My family lived in a rented house with a large, wooded backyard. Just on the other side of the trees was a four-story, brick apartment building. A lot of kids around my age lived in those apartments. One such kid was the cutest little girl ever. Her name was Joanie and I had this all-consuming little boy crush on her. And she seemed to like me as well.

Joanie and I would meet most evenings at dusk in the woods that separated my backyard from her apartment building. We would talk about all kinds of things. Things you might expect seven-year-olds who were in love to talk about. Things like the giant, hairy spider Joanie saw in her bedroom and how she wished I had been there to protect her, or how her older sister was always so mean to her.

I might tell her about how my dog threw up on my mom’s oriental rug in the living room, or how brave I was when I went down into our creepy, dark, damp, spiderwebby basement all by myself. I left out the part about being so scared that I peed in my pants. It didn’t seem germane.

We talked about fun stuff. Kid stuff. Kids in love stuff. And sometimes we would hold hands. It was thrilling.

One night Joanie came running into the woods at the appointed time. She seemed particularly excited and was carrying a flashlight. I asked her why she brought a flashlight with her. She smiled coyly, grabbed my hand, and said “If I show you mine, will you show me yours?”

“Show you my what?” I asked. I was a slow kid.

“You know,” she said, demurely looking down at me. She was a little taller than me.

“Oh, you mean….”

“Yes, that’s what I mean.”

Now remember as you read this that I was only seven. I wasn’t very conversant when it came to the female anatomy, so how was I supposed to know that girls and boys were anatomically different?

Sure, girls had long hair, wore dresses, and played with dolls. But it just never occurred to me that girls didn’t have penises. Why would that have occurred to me? I had one. As far as I knew, penises were standard equipment.

I couldn’t understand why Joanie was so eager to show me her penis or would want to see mine. But love is strange, so if that’s what Joanie wanted, I was down with that. “Sure, okay,” I said.

“Oh this is so exciting,” she was almost squealing. “I heard it looks like a lipstick tube.” I never thought my penis resembled a lipstick tube in any way, but I was not a lipstick tube aficionado. I also thought it was strange for someone who had one herself to think that my penis would look like a tube of lipstick. And who told her what my penis looked like?

“Okay, well, you’ll have to see for yourself,” I said. “So show me yours.”

She handed me the flashlight and told me to turn around and not to look until she said it was okay. She lifted up her dress and held it above her waist, and then, with her free hand, pulled down her white panties and let them fall to around her ankles. “Okay,” she said.

I turned around, clicked on the flashlight, and aimed the beam right between her legs. What I saw shocked me. Or maybe I should say what I didn’t see shocked me. “Where is it?”

“It’s right there, silly,” she said, pointing to the empty space where her penis should have been.

“Where’s your penis?”

“I don’t have a penis.”

“Omigod! What happened to it?”

“Nothing happened to it. I have a vagina, not a penis, silly. I’m a girl. Girls don’t have penises.”

“No penis?” I said incredulously. “How do you pee?” I was really a very slow kid.

“I pee from my vagina.” She was remarkably poised for a little girl holding her dress up above her waist, with her panties down by her ankles, and with a boy, eyes wide and jaw dropped, shining a flashlight on her vagina.

I, however, was totally freaked out. Instead of the expected penis, there was nothing. I bent down to examine this vagina thing more closely. Still nothing. It was like someone had made an incision and removed her penis, leaving just this little scar-like slit.

Joanie pulled up her panties, lowered her skirt and said, “Okay, now you show me yours.” She actually jumped up a few times while clapping her hands together.

I didn’t know what to do. She had shown me “hers” and there was nothing there. “So?” she said, growing impatient. “Show me yours.”

I looked back at her for a moment while contemplating my next move in this melodrama. Finally, I shoved the flashlight back at her and said, “No way. You showed me your nothing. I’m not going to show you my something,” I said defiantly. And I stormed away through the trees back to my house.

That was my first vagina. That was also my last rendezvous in the woods behind my house with Joanie, who never spoke to me again. She wouldn’t even look at me.

I was a little heartbroken yet a little relieved. Who wants to be in love with someone who is deformed? She didn’t have a penis, for crissake!

About ten years transpired before I saw my second vagina. But that time I was better prepared for it, although even at 17, I still wasn’t quite sure what to make of this strange, mysterious thing called a vagina.

This post is for today’s one-word prompt, “conversant.” But I admit that I didn’t write this post today for that word. I wrote it in January 2014 for my previous blog. It was, by a wide margin, my most popular post on that blog, which I abandoned three years ago. But when I saw today’s prompt, I figured I’d go ahead and post it again. I hope you enjoy it. And, by the way, this is a totally true story.

Movie Time

E369BC62-3B7C-41AE-B3DF-FD96F3C24BCBDonald Trump says that he is “hearing more and more people say the level of violence on video games is really shaping young people’s thoughts. And you go one further step and that’s the movies.”

Yes, with respect to movies and video games, Trump is proposing something truly innovative. “Maybe they have to put a ratings system for that,” he suggested.

And just as Trump said last year that “nobody knew that health care could be so complicated,” he now apparently believes that nobody before him thought that movies and video games should have age-based ratings.

Has Donald Trump ever gone to see a movie? Does he not realize that there has long been an age-ratings system for movies that depict violence? That system from the Motion Picture Association of America was implemented in the Sixties. It rates movies based upon violence, sexual content, and language, and it’s recognizable to almost everyone who lives in the country. Who doesn’t know the difference between a G-rated movie and an R-rated movie?

A similar ratings system devised by the Entertainment Software Rating Board has also been implemented and is widely adopted for video games, with T-rated and M-rated games restricted to people 13 or older and 17 or older, respectively.

But best of all, Trump’s movie and video game ratings system will take all the pressure off the NRA, since what’s really behind mass shootings is video game and movie violence, not guns.

The President of the United States is a fucking moron.

Sorry that this is my second politically oriented post of the day, but there’s so much crazy shit going on that it’s hard not to comment on it.

#writephoto — Perspective

3FB8307E-BA25-4FB4-8A8D-34805693822D“It’s beautiful, isn’t it?” Carolyn asked her friend, Ann, after handing her the photograph. “I’m going to have it mounted and framed and hang it in my living room.”

Ann stared at the picture for a moment and then handed it back to Carolyn. “It’s okay, I guess,” Ann said.

Carolyn was shocked and disappointed by her friend’s reaction. “Seriously?” she said. “It’s just okay?”

“Well, I guess it’s got some artistic qualities about it in an avant-garde sort of way,” Ann said. “But I’m not sure I see the same beauty in it that you do.”

“Oh my God,” Carolyn said indignantly. “How can you look at that photo and not see the beauty in it? It’s a goddam work of art.”

Ann grabbed the picture out of Carolyn’s hand and looked at it again. “Okay, sure, I can see the artistry,” she said. “But what made you take a picture of the setting sun being reflected on the surface of a slushy road?”

Carolyn took the picture back from Ann and looked at it again. “Oh for crissake, Ann,” Carolyn said. “You’re holding it upside down.”

975A6C51-D39A-477E-A545-1CC800B02EB5“Oh,” said Ann. “It’s a sunset over the lake. My bad.”

Written for today’s Thursday Photo Prompt from Sue Vincent. And, yes, Sue, it is a beautiful photograph when you look at it from the the right perspective. 😃

Republican Dicks

A72027CC-961A-41FE-82D0-BCA257DB7A2ADid you know that the internet is exposing children to pornography at an alarming rate? Apparently that’s what state legislators in Florida know. They believe that pornography on the internet leads to low self-esteem and deviant sexual behavior. It also contributes to mental and physical illness, difficulty with relationships, and unhealthy brain development.

And so on Tuesday, the Republican-controlled state legislature in Tallahassee, Florida approved a measure declaring pornography to be a public health risk.

The porn resolution was introduced just after the Florida House voted 71-36 against a motion to open debate on a military-style assault weapons ban.

And, of course, this refusal to even debate such a ban happened just five days after 17 people — students and teachers — were tragically gunned down at a Florida high school by a lone shooter with an AR-15 semiautomatic assault rifle.

But I guess this is par for the course in a state that is shaped like a penis by the state’s limp dick Republicans who are bought and owned by the big, hard guns of the NRA.

The Fire Sleuth

SleuthFranklin, the head of the fire investigation unit, and his two interns walked into what remained of the structure. “What’s the first step we should take to assay the situation and identity the source?” he asked the two men.

The men looked at one another and then back at Franklin. “Sir, I’m sorry, but did you mean to say ‘assess the situation’?” one of them asked.

“Assess, appraise, evaluate, check out, size up, investigate,” Franklin said. “When you assay a situation, you look at all the elements that created the problem in order to come up with a solution. You conduct an examination, evaluate what you see, and make a determination.”

The other intern looked at his buddy and then back at Franklin. “Of course, sir,” he said. “I’d just never heard that word ‘assay’ before.”

“Assay is a word that is most commonly used for the testing of a metal or ore to determine its ingredients and quality,” Franklin explained. “As fire investigators, our job is to identify and collect evidence relating to fires and make determinations as to their causes, and especially to assess whether or not they were deliberately set. So that includes carefully examining chemical, electrical, and structural clues.”

Franklin looked at his two interns, shook his head, and said, “So let’s start assaying, gentlemen.”

I have to admit that when I saw today’s one-word prompt, “assay,” I didn’t know what it meant. I Googled it to learn that it’s often associated with metallurgy and pharmacology to test a substance to find out what chemicals it contains. And that’s when the idea of using a fire investigator as a way to write a flash fiction story built around the word “ assay.”