my penis at the point of full tumescence by stephen o’toole

On the screen a topless woman showers. The screen, glass, water, the woman, and in the background, some acid jazz. She soaps her chest and underpants, and shifts her weight from foot to foot like dancing, because she’s dancing, because of the acid jazz. Once her pants are see-through wet she pulls them off like magic and holds them up like mistletoe. Each of us ooh and kiss the screen; Peter, Hugh and me. Then we eat some snacks and take it in turns describing our erections.

Michael? Would you like to start?

Well I feel like I could walk through like a wall right now?

So you’re a ghost, you’re saying?

Are you saying that your penis is a ghost?

Hey! Hey, someone call an exordickst. An exordickst. Am I right. . .um, ‘my dudes’?

No I mean like—like it’s a—

Come on, bros. I said ‘exordickst.’

Not a battering ram but. . .no wait—yeah. I mean battering ram?

So you mean to say that your penis, the penis in question, is quite literally a medieval siege weapon? That your penis could, if it had sufficient run-in, if you charged that is, break down even the most heavily fortified wall, therefore allowing you thoroughgoing access to the, uh, area on the other side? Say an Eden, for example. Or, uh, any other special garden. Because I mean, now that is—well that is quite troubling.

No—no wait what? No I’m saying I wouldn’t have to charge, that I would just—

Hey! Hey guys! So you’re saying that it’s free, right? As in there’s no charge, right? Like uh, a credit card. I mean credit dick. I mean credick card. I mean—

Sarah, please—I mean, Peter, sorry, please, Michael, continue.

Well, like, first of all, okay, that sounds angry to me, it sounds painful, and my erection is just not motivated that way. I swear. By revenge, I mean. I mean, it’s not like we’re at war, are we? Sarah? Are we? Well, and um, and so, well second of all, I meant, like, I could knock down the wall without even trying. Or meaning to. I mean dreamily, from a distance, with just just the tip?

Oh for God’s sake. . .

Indeed, Sarah—I mean Peter. Indeed God. Because it does put me in mind too of the, uh, biblical Joshua, marching around outside Jericho with a ram’s horn in his hand for six days. And on the seventh day, God said, Joshua, blow your horn, and when he did, when Joshua blew, the walls of the under siege Jericho collapsed, and Joshua’s army could stroll straight in. It’s very, uh—it’s very, uh—


It’s Hugh, Peter. You know that. I’m Hugh, here, Peter, who are you?

I keep forgetting.

Good. Now yes, of course, you may me ask me your question.

Well you know, Doctor, I was just thinking. Couldn’t we describe Michael’s penis as like a slap stick? Like a Laurel and Hardy ladder, you know? This thing that he’s just swinging around without his knowing whose head he’s about to hit. Like an idiot. Like a clown. Because that’s all I get from it. From his description, I mean.

A slap stick? A slap stick! Is that what you just said? Do you hear this, Doctor? You know what she’s implying? That this—I mean she it’s making it too. . .

Too masturbatory?

Yes! Exactly! Masturbatory!

Well for God’s sake, guys, what is this—right? If isn’t the world’s driest circle jerk?

We are simply here today to discuss the reasons why you felt you had to talk to me.


That’s right.

To talk to you today.

Of course.

The reason why we’re here today is to talk about why we’re here today, the reasons why.

Doctor? I think that it would be, like, a lot better if we went back to doing the role play? Don’t you think? Because I think I was feeling, like, a lot better, you know, about things, back when we were doing the role play? Maybe? Doctor?


Fine. Whatever. Sure. So may I describe my erection now?

Of course you may, Sarah—I mean, Peter.

Thank you. Okay. Let’s see. . . So my penis at the point of full tumescence is. . .it’s a cathedral. A Gaudi. And I don’t mean that it’s just the steeple; no, too obvious. I mean that it’s the whole fucking structure—like a church of fucking, a church that is fucking. I mean the cornices are positively writhing. Its gargoyles are just constantly spouting. And there are stained glass windows going up and down the sides, and on each window there are bowls of fruit—like cock and balls fruit, like grapes, bananas, plums, whatever—and next to that, there are all these cups of snakes that are overflowing, and all these flaming swords and arrows and crucifixes and dicks, angelic dicks, you know, like perfect curvy Michaelangelo hoses, and inside nuns are kneeling, inside my penis nuns are kneeling, and the whole thing stinks of wine and incense and right in the front there’s an organ playing Phantom of the Opera music like doodle-de-doooo, dunna nana nah naaaahhh. I mean, that’s my dick for sure. That is my peen to a T.

Did you say cups of snakes?

Yes, but I’d like to clarify.

Of course.

I meant like a Lil Jon pimp goblet.

See this, this is exactly what I’m talking about: she’s so—so hostile!

Hostile? Because I wear a bra in bed?

Yes because of the bra in bed, Sarah, and I’ll tell you why. Listen, I mean, yeah sure, in the films or wherever, there are people who fuck—I mean, sorry, Doctor, who delete the expletive with bras on, but in real life love’s braless. Right? It has to be. That’s what love is.

You know that in Sweden, bra means great or good? Just think about it. Just think that if we were Swedish we wouldn’t even be having this stupid conversation. You could say to me, Bra bra bra and you’d mean, My friend, you are supported. I mean, Doctor, tell me, please: isn’t that all that anyone wants to hear?

She watches one episode of The Sopranos with the subtitles on and she thinks she’s a naïve speaker.

Oh I’m the one? I’m the one? Because I think you’ll find that you’re the one who watched one soft-core porno when he was fourteen years old and thinks that that makes him an expert on—

Acid jazz?

You said, uh—Michael, you said, a naïve speaker?

I did?

Yes, you said naïve.

Oh. So is that like a—a Freudian slip or?

Doctor, if I was to wear a Freudian slip in the bedroom, do you think that that would solve all our problems?

You know, uh, well, indeed, but, uh—I do think that it would be of benefit to you both if we all just took a moment to consider, uh, other kinds of support. I mean, if we were to think about it, there are as many bras as there are breasts. . .or actually probably half as many—semantics, you know? Uh, but, well, there are palms from human hands or trees; coconuts cleaved in two; shells, clams and so on; bats trained to lightly clasp and hover there forever—fruit bats, I should say, of course, naturally; hair (her own or otherwise, that is, uh, Sarah’s); bowlers (hats), baseball gloves and, uh, gas masks.

Oh we’ve tried bats.

Sarah, please.

We got them after our last Doctor said so. No wait—our last but one. We used this pair of blossom bats; about that big. Bought them off the internet and hung them on some pipes beside the boiler. It was warm in there, that’s what they’re used to, not quite as hot as Fiji, but whatever. They were like. . .seeing eye dogs, I guess. Focussed, totally dedicated, so dedicated that it made you think they cared. They never tried to break away or escape. . .blind, right, like other bats, but blossom bats don’t click or, uh, use echoes to move around—just their sense of smell. So I had to buy this special sort of floral, you know, perfume, that I’d spritz all over my—oh yeah, I should have said, they feed on pollen and nectar pretty much one hundred percent. . .blossom bats, they’re basically bees, but cuter. Well anyway, I loved them. I loved the way they fluttered under my shirt, the way that felt, the life of it or fuck it—it doesn’t matter. For everyone else, unless they looked, like, a pervert’s look, a long hard look, I swear they couldn’t see them, not at all—but I always knew they were there. He did too though. He liked to look, didn’t you? But he looked because he was jealous. Not because he enjoyed it—or if he did it was just the jealousy. He couldn’t stand the thought of the bats touching me, but he couldn’t do anything else but think about it. So he just. . .he just crushed my bottles of scent into a—into a bag, like, into a—fuck, like a sports bag or something, like a bag you take to the gym, and he uh, well, he got the, got the bats inside because they didn’t know better, because they were just, just fucking bats, and he zipped it up, zipped it right up and he—

Sarah. . .


Peter. . .?


I mean I think that, if I may, that perhaps I could, in summation say, that sometimes, when our, uh, bats are gone, however they have gone, there’s just no way to coax them, back, onto our uh—



Can I just ask—

Of course.

What’s your erection like?

Oh, well, money—I suppose. Rolls and rolls of notes, however many a billion is, assembled, one on top of the other, into a long, very long, uh, telescope shape, that’s sticking straight up as far as my face—so that I can look down and through it, you see? Down through the centre of my money-member and into my very, you know, very being.

What’s that?

That sound?

It’s uh—ah, it’s my father coming home.

I suppose we’d better turn off this porno then.

Thank you. How much do we owe you?

In erections, please, Doctor. The price in erections, please. But wait—wait, you can make change from an erection, right?
Stephen O’Toole lives in Glasgow, Scotland. He was born in 1985.