Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Detachable

I feel like I should preface this with an excuse, except that I don't really have one. Apparently this is where my brain goes when I'm supposed to be thinking about how the Army Corps of Engineers has screwed up the environment. Also, it's been a really long time since I've written dialogue, so I've probably messed up the formatting. If you see something, say something!

Detachable


“It’s just that, well, I woke up and couldn’t find my penis,” Ben says and looks expectantly at Claire.

“Hmm.” She says and doesn’t bother looking up from the newspaper.

“No, really. I mean, it’s not, like, a huge deal. I’m sure it will turn up and all, but I can’t help missing the little guy.”

“I always find people anthropomorphizing portions of their bodies to be really creepy.” She flips to the funnies and says “mentally distancing yourself from your reproductive organs can’t be healthy. It’s like you’re giving up control of them, basically saying: this isn’t really part of my body and so in a way I’m not really responsible for what it makes me do. Creepy.”

“Yeah, well, I always find detachable body parts really creepy, but apparently I have one. So, there you go, sometimes you just have to deal.” Ben shifts from one foot to the other, then back again. “So you really haven’t, like, seen it or anything?”

Claire looks at where Ben is standing in the doorway, one large hand cupped protectively around his groin, eyes wide and worried. She looks back down at the paper, where Brenda Starr has managed to get thrown from a moving vehicle and come out of it with her manicure miraculously unharmed. She considers just ignoring Ben until he goes away because, honestly, it’s not like she has a vested interest in the whereabouts of his dick, and it is eight o’clock in the morning. Ben makes a little whining sound in the back of his throat, the same sound he made when Denny died on Gray’s, and Claire thinks shit before tossing down the paper.

“Jesus Christ. Ben, are you serious?”

Yes,” he hisses, “what? Don’t believe me? Want to see it?”

“Yes! No! What the Fuck!” She takes a moment to breathe, eyes closed, count of seven in, hold for three, count of seven out. When she opens her eyes Ben is still in the doorway, hand still at his crotch like he thinks something else is going to walk away. For a hysterical moment she considers asking him if he still has his balls or if the whole package is gone, but that probably wouldn’t help matters much. She takes a moment to eye his crotch, wonders how he came unstuck, wonders if she really wants to know, before she notices the tightness of the muscles in his arm and the way his eyes are still a little too wide. Her examining his naughty bits (or lack thereof) is probably more trauma than he needs right now.

“No. No I don’t want to see it,” she says and watches him relax again.

“So, you’re gonna, like, help me look for it, right?”

“And risk willingly catching a glimpse of your junk?”

“Or you could not, and deal with a perpetually sexually frustrated me.”

“I could move out.”

“I lost my penis.”

“We don’t know that.”

“What!?”

“Maybe it left you. Maybe you weren’t showing it enough love and so it went to find someone who would fulfill its needs. Maybe it decided to try its luck as a traveling dildo, spreading joy and orgasms and STDs the world over. Maybe you listened to Don Quixote one too many times and it became inspired and is even now wandering the big wide world in search of a damsel in distress to save.”

“What the fuck!” Ben flails expansively. “Maybe you are fucking insane and it just fell off and rolled under the bed or some shit like that. Also, did you just call me diseased?

Claire grins at him and he plants both fists on his hips and frowns.

“Yes, I do feel better. Now get off your ass and help me look.”

“Fine. You start in your room and I’ll start in the kitchen.”

“I seriously doubt that you’ll find it in the kitchen.”

“That’s kind of the point.”

She’s moved from hesitantly peering behind the good china to gingerly poking under the couch cushions when Ben yells from his room that he’s found it. There are another five minutes of panic while Ben flails around trying to put it back on, and then a further ten minutes of contemplative silence while he figures out how to take it off again. Claire wants to know why the fuck he wants to know that, when it's what caused the trouble to begin with. Ben thinks it would probably be a good trick for in the, you know, bedroom. Claire calls him a sick and twisted fuck.

Turns out Ben is right.


4 comments:

lisavilisa said...

Loved the story. One thing: I wasn't clear on how are Ben and Claire releted? Brother and sister, roommates, etc.

Barbara Lorraine said...

I have to say, first of all, since I am a dirty dirty person, that I agree with LisaVilisa, and would like clarification on B&C's relationship. Mainly because at the end my immediate thought was, I wonder if Claire ever borrowed Ben's piece in order to relieve her...tension?

Classic line, I was wondering myself: "For a hysterical moment she considers asking him if he still has his balls or if the whole package is gone..."

One might also think that Ben would freak out a little more, given the nature of what's happened; your writing is hilarious, and so I'd love to see you expand on a moment like that. Although the cold opening definitely packs a punch of its own.

Amelia, this was fabulous.

Amelia said...

I guess I hadn't really decided on a relationship for them. The best I can think of is good friends and roommates because I really don't think that they were siblings. I guess I didn't decide or make it clear because I thought that it wasn't really vital to the story - all I thought you needed to know was that they were comfortable with each other but not sexually involved or interested. Maybe I was wrong, though, because it obviously bothered you two. Thoughts? I actually angsted a little over the last line because I wasn't sure that I wanted to open it up to the possibility of Claire using Ben's piece, but in the end I decided that it gave the ending a useful little punch.

On the freaking out - I tried to show that they were both freaked by it, but part of what I was going for was that, wow, this really incredibly strange thing happened and it's so far outside the normal range of experience that you either completely lose your head or you deal as normally as possible. I also thought that it wouldn't be as funny if they both completely freaked and started screaming or something, so I tried to keep it subtle. Maybe I was too subtle?

Barbara Lorraine said...

I wasn't so much bothered by not knowing, but intrigued. Unless their total sexual disinterest is firmly established, we're gonna wonder about that possibility, especially in a piece about a detachable piece. (And even if she'd rather not do it with him specifically, I like the humor in a situation where she's willing to sleep with his penis, but not with Ben himself. Girl's got needs, it's kinda kinky, and it's a great way to avoid STDs and pregnancy while using The Real Thing, probably)

I agree about not having them freak out camp-style; that kind of Jim Carrey humor isn't necessary. I can see how you're playing up the shock factor, but maybe make it a little more apparent--at the moment (to me anyway) it reads more like the twentysomething I'll-deal-with-it mentality we tend to see on our favorite WB/CW shows, where we logicslly know they're freaked out but to them "it's like whatever," and they take it better than we would. Maybe an offscreen note where she mentions that he's taking it rather well, and he tries to downplay his initial reaction? Possibly.

Even so, this is still probably my favorite story so far, overall. I enjoy comedy. True story!