They call me a poor man’s Juelz Santana.
I’m from the land where the block is hot with collar poppers
Starbucks chai hot and old money long dollars
Heavy hitter Hilfiger makin’ big figures
Laughin’ at the tools of fools they call “real” niggas
Both sides be the product of their circumstance
Mouth with silver spoons or a mouth that needs food stamps
I’m in the middle, yea I’m somethin’ like a moderate
No crystal stair but I never made a Reuger spit
I spit that stupid shit, try to influence shit
Lux et Veritas and all the Boola Boola shit,
Yea I’m an Eli for life, other niggas get life
So I put it down for them and Miss Mary’s strife
For all the Cheryls and the Berns and the Annye Rayes
Who went from worse days to watchin’ my papyrus wave
Used to have my mind crazy with the struggle, the hustle, the bustle
And the Lex with the eyes bubbled
Them were the days when I had the cart before the horse
The four door Accord sometimes gotta come before the Porsche
Ain’t no amount of toys that’ll help you avoid the void
Like young Lloyd this is how I feel not paranoid
You gotta dive in the dark you wanna find yourself
Just leave a candle for your people case you need the help
But you should be your help, you should see yourself
‘Fore too long this’ll be a matter of your health
Sins of the father find a way into the son’s blood
You gotta stay strong, take your vitamins of Iron Love
‘Cause when the dirt don’t fit, you know you must acquit
You show me that and I’ll show a man who never quit
So this summer, maybe because I’m getting soggier about the middle or maybe because time spent as a semi-recluse evokes delusions of grandeur, I thought my penis grew. After being informed by a fairly reliable source that this was indeed not the case, it got me to thinking about the interesting relationship between me and my main squeeze.
As a little kid, he wasn’t bringing a whole hell of a lot to the table. “Peedie”–that’s what he was known as back then–would sort of take care of the whole bladder situation and just chill until he was called in to do his thing. Although used in a limited capacity, there was a lot of confusion, particularly in the school bathrooms (no Larry Craig). For the life of me, I could not understand why I was the only kid who had to hold on while going. Other dudes could stand back from the urinal, double-fisting Juicy Juices, and I’d be sitting there like I was a damn volunteer firefighter. Bare in mind I was basically the only Black face I’d see until I got off the school bus, so seeing this hands-free peeing put into my mind early that there was something different going on with me.
Fast forward a few years in a world that never neglects to mention that all Black dudes ever are genetically predisposed to keeping baby arms in their trousers and suddenly, peeing–which I was able to chalk up to a technicality–was the least of my worries. Although I grew up in a wholesome town at a time when the idea of getting your dick touched by someone other than yourself in middle school was patently absurd, I, like every other guy, still had to address the question that was suddenly relevant: Howbig is your dick?
This wasn’t exactly a topic of discussion; indeed, this was about the time when certain rules began to formulate with regard to openly speaking about male genitalia. It was understood that:
You didn’t discuss the specifics of your man.
You didn’t discuss or even admit you’d gotten more than a blurry glance at another dude’s junk, no matter the circumstance.
You never referenced your man unless it was directly involved in a story e.g. “The ball bounced up and hit me in the tip.” or, down further down the line, “Son, I put it back in her mouth!!”
(Sidebar 1: Some of you might be saying, “Hey Jon, what about the locker room?” In this middle school epoch, being assed out in the locker room was completely unacceptable. Yeah you had a towel to wipe yourself off, but to think it was for actual showering purposes was absurd. After gym, you wiped down (spare me), threw on some deodorant and put your school clothes back on. If, for whatever reason, you had to change your drawers, you made sure your ass was facing your locker and you bent at the waist to create that dark safety nook for your crotch until it was covered back up.)
Dicks were not a between classes discussion. On one hand, I think it’s due to the fact that talking about penis, at any age, takes a certain kind of clarity on life. On the other, I think it’s an engrossing subject for the individual. Everybody knows everybody else is thinking about it, but nobody wants to be the person that brings their dick concerns out in the open because that would have said you were either gay or packing light or both.
Still the question hovered. How big is your dick? The question spoke to your ability to be a man. Again, since I grew up in North Kingstown, RI, the question was more preparatory than practical. Indeed, the question “Will you know what to do with it when you need to use it? wasn’t terribly pertinent seeing as none of the girls we knew were knowledgeable enough to let us know one way or the other because they weren’t giving us that time of day one way or the other. As you might recall, these were also the days when getting onto the internet required signing on and going to do something while your dial-up got going, so doing your own homework was out of the question. Remember, this is your dick, it’s not a shirt you’re trying on that your boys can chime in on. There are a lot of questions going through your mind, not the least of which being what will the girls think of it when it’s time to get loose (and not the most of which being what the hell does it matter)?
And unless you’re a Child Being Left Behind, you have to ascend to the high school ranks where, depending on your set, genitals–both male and female–start to seem of increasing consequence. Drinkin’, Druggin’, Fuckin’. Those were my set’s pressure points and unless you were an absolutely stand-up character, you were gonna feel a pinch from one of the three. Since I didn’t like to be out of control of my person and since I was one of the few Black people in my town, the double Ds were out. So that left sex–and by sex I mean to include pretty much everything including handjobs, which were acceptable at the time–to be the boulder on my shoulders.
Now, you would think that after the summer before tenth grade, when my man made his debut on third base, you would think that would be more relaxing. No more angst; somebody, at least one person in the universe, had seen what I had to offer and didn’t go cackling toward the hills, and that’s a good thing, right? Wrong. True; no one sent peals of laughter through the woods behind a friend’s house–in those days you had to get creative about your ejaculatory pursuits–but the experience taught me something: I liked having my penis touched by someone other than myself and that left me open to more internal conflict.
Remember that part earlier where I fast forwarded? Well, once sexual activity became something to do, all those years of bombardment got replayed. Slowly. Being a young man figuring his sexual shit out is bad enough, but doing so as a tall Black dude was, and in someways continues to be, difficult. In jokes and lore and otherwise, Black dudes, all of us, are supposed to be Mandingo warriors that club women over the head with their schlongs and then…I don’t know, stand around being big-dicked.
It may sound funny, but it was a very tough time. By my later teens, I was fairly sure my penis itself wasn’t going to win the first prize rodeo buckle–I feel you just know those sorts of things–but I also knew from my limited encounters that I wasn’t utterly disgraceful. So I was left in some sort of middle, I had no frame of reference; all I had to go on was what the rest of the world was saying, though I had no idea exactly what that meant. As I’ve said earlier in this very journal, I would get so nervous because, on top of the fact that I had long ago figured out why I peed different, I had the added pressure of wondering what a young lady was thinking, wondering how I was measuring up (assuming of course I wasn’t too nervous to get it up in the first place, which, on my grower side of the spectrum, only acts to further my neuroses by misrepresenting me). I certainly didn’t want to be the guy bringing the average down.
In college the game is very similar, the only difference being that dicks are suddenly a fair topic of conversation. Dick’s big? Somebody’s talked about it. Dick’s small? Sorry, but somebody talked about it while shaking their head. And, in a weird twist, the discussion isn’t restricted to girls or homosexuals talking about the guys they’ve viewed. I’ve found that our friends on the whiter side of things, utterly heterosexual lads, will talk about their boy’s dick. I have been party to an extended conversation–really it was a soliloquy–about a friend’s dick (Dude, I was cornered at the fuckin’ bar and legitimately could not escape) and the monologuer’s amazement at seeing this third leg in the shower after practice.
And my angst hasn’t completely ebbed on the matter. In my career of going to the mattresses, I could have a perfectly nice rapport with a young lady and the talk of a dick that is possibly bigger than mine can get on the brain a fuck my flow up. Even if it’s not discussed, if I know a person that has been with the dame in question, the question of “Who’s winning this buckle?” crosses my mind. Sadly, it can sometimes be louder than the chants of “Fuck that buckle” (clap clap clapclapclap).
This isn’t some long explanation about my shortcoming–indeed, like an Apple, I think I’m very user friendly–but, rather than follow up with something ignorant like, “Ask about me,” I’ll leave you with a funny tale of quasi-triumph.
At the Skin party during senior week, yours truly went in a pair of white bike shorts a la Exotic Erotic ’06. After doing a bit of dancing, I went to the coat room downstairs to see if anyone had called me. In the room were some senior co-eds and as I was checking my phone, one such co-ed, ATL, turned to me, looked at my spandex and said, “Jon, do you have a big dick?” I just sort of had a pause knocked into me. Mind you, she was drunk, but this wasn’t asked in some floozy way; it was asked in a “How did I not know this?” sort of way, like when you know an answer but ask the question anyway because you’re so puzzled. Upon my saying nothing, she turns to a friend and says, “I think Jon has a big dick,” again in a tone like someone’s been lying to her all this time. Now I’m tickled and secretly thrilled, but the coup de grace has yet to come. As I sit and pretend to coyly deflect in the face of not really knowing what to say, the homie Bourbon Street walks in and ATL asks her the question point-blank. “Bourbon, does Jon have a big dick?” Same wonder, same befuddlement. Bourbon Street, without skipping a beat says, ” I mean Jon…he’s doing pretty good for himself.” Is she a pal or what? Peace to Book and Snake.
Penultimate Thought: A pair of Stan Smith’s are an order.
Final Thought: I’ve decided once and for all that I don’t like Ne-Yo.