Thursday, June 6, 2013


"It's not the size of the dog in the fight,
it's the size of the fight in the dog."
The spam was waiting for me when I woke up this morning, like it waits every morning. At the beginning of each day, thirty, sometimes forty, emails are quickly perused. The life insurance offers, the Russian women in search of husbands, the boner pill deals, are all plucked and purged from the list of important emails with a quick, almost involuntary, tap of the delete key. Standing over keyboard and mouse in my underwear, with my right index finger, I scroll, with my left, I delete. No food or water touches me, no fluid or solid leaves me until the morning email ritual is complete.

Today, between a debt consolidation offer and an Amazon Local deal for discounted flight lessons somewhere on Long Island, I saw an email that made me pull my finger back before it hit delete. What it was hawking was nothing new, but what struck me, what consumed me for the next few minutes was its sales pitch. The email from someone named Avery read: “I know that awful feeling when your penis remains indifferent to a woman.” Avery’s heartwrenching admission was followed by a link to something that would presumably cure an aloof schvantz.

I sat to ponder what I’d just read. Indifferent? I thought. Sometimes it was uncooperative, if I was tired or distracted, but indifferent? Never! My manhood is completely different, or whatever the opposite of indifferent is. Engaged! It’s always fully engaged and interested even if physical or mental fatigue make it seem otherwise. Perhaps Avery’s message wasn’t intended to be carnal in nature at all, I speculated. I instantly had a vision of a penis in a shirt and loosened tie, sitting in an office breakroom, impatiently checking its watch, while rolling its eyes, as it listened to a woman drone on about some bitchy coworker. But, of course, that’s absurd. Where would the watch go?

So why was this particular email still staring me in the face minutes after I’d read it? Suddenly, the words “penis” and “to a woman” disappeared, the “r” in “your” and the “s” in “remains” floated away, probably to the trash folder to join the rest of the information that Avery knew was of no use to me today. All I saw was: “I know that awful feeling when you remain indifferent.”

I remembered then that there were lessons to be learned everywhere, even from purveyors of cock enhancement capsules. Avery was right. Indifference to our own purpose in life and to the suffering of others ultimately leads to an awful feeling. I silently offered gratitude to him and deleted his email. The next one on the list was an e-vite to a relative’s birthday party. I again saw an image of someone looking impatiently at a watch, this time it was in a crowded, noisy restaurant, and the indifferent penis was me. I fished Avery’s email out of the trash, so I could again be reminded of the lesson he taught me.


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