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All’s Fair in Cocks and War 

Fiction

click to enlarge MAN-SIZED It’s time to re-write the gender code.

Kevia Tan

MAN-SIZED It’s time to re-write the gender code.

Lately, there has been growing awareness of how (often awfully) men write about women. There has been much less examination, however, of how men might write men — if they wrote about men like they write about women.. Still with us? Good. Enjoy this piece in which our writer tries her hand at how that might read...

He gazed as Alan stood motionless there on the patio, taking in all of him through the narrow slats in the dusty, bent blinds. He could never be sure what Alan was thinking, but did it even matter? His chest had long since lost its brawn; the nipples and their surrounding flesh were sad, like little, shriveled croissants.

His sack looked unusually like an avocado through the thin grain of his classic boxers.

All the men in these parts revered his tuber, but it was Ted most of all who burned with envy. Jack’s bulge was a magnificent one, needing no assistance from his frayed 501s worn in at just the right spot. His was a deity among dicks, a hummingbird feeder. And Sarah, having once experienced it, would never stop reminding Ted of his own inadequacy. For Ted, though decent-looking enough, with eyes and teeth, had but a Persian cucumber by comparison.

He was impossible to control, even from the crib. Yet through the years, those long nights of the mother’s wails, the slammed doors, the forced hours with the catechism, the father remained quiet. For he accepted, as a wise man does, what was true: his son was the town pump.

He tugged on his balls and sensed their annoyance. He, too, was annoyed.

Jim would never tell his best friend this, but it was his hips. They were birthing hips, far too wide for a man. And so Jim—blessed with a “V” that could rival any actor—had married into a better family. It was a shame, he thought, but wealthy women have a certain entitlement.

Poor, young, trembling Mario had been savaged by a pack of marauders at just 14; he had never told anyone, for he barely said any words at all in this, his own life. And then as Ernest held him tenderly in the bearskin on the forest floor a good distance from the campfire where the ignorant peasants of the village cooked their goat and the flames flickered, Ernest thought deep thoughts. And when they made love at last some days later in the shrubbery or the heather or whatever it was under the vast sky and there were colors swirling and it was glorious, it was a great unfolding, Mario was almost also there, just like a real person would be. Alas, Ernest knew he would die and he did.

As she explored the rising glans deftly, he cried out: “I hate you, you bear! You beast! You monster!” But of course, his body told her otherwise. It always did.

His sisters pleaded with him to take him to where their parents lived and try to marry him off. The scheme might work; though 28, his son was still firm, with a torso that could sluice porridge.

Gary heard what sounded like a scratching sound from the veranda. He rose quietly from his bed and crept along the hallway in the dark. There, at the bottom of the stairs, he could see the door was wide open. He felt the gentle caressing of the evening current on his testicles as he made his way down.

It’s so strange, she thought, the things men do in the bathroom. The noises! The shaving! The trimming and shearing. What a relief that she didn’t have to bother with understanding any of it.

What an ass, Robert thought, watching as the kid struggled to set up the monitor. They all were watching. Who could help it? Ever since the kid had been hired as the photography assistant, the place had been on fire. Was he enjoying this, this being watched? The kid was aware, all right; Robert was certain of it. He knew what he was doing when he trotted down the office corridor—the one with the windows—copies in hand for the boss, deploying his taut hams to move his feet toward his desired destination for all to see. Oh yeah. He definitely knew. The gabardine was the giveaway.

For man is a vase and nothing else. What a mistake, to take him for a mystery.

Listen to an interview with author Sara Ost and editor Daedalus Howell about this and its companion piece Of Tropes and Tatas.

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