On Blowing A Zucchini
From these lips will come, or the other way around.
As a feminist, I’m one to try to understand the female condition, put myself in their shoes, or — since we’re inserting things — put an anthropomorphized phallic vegetable in my mouth and perform fellatio. I was curious about how it felt on the “giving” end, the sensation distributed along my tongue, the swollen wordless joy against the insides of my cheeks, the minor strain of my jaw down my neck, the thoughtful rhythm I employed slowly disappearing downward along my spine, the odd yet intuitive impulse to close one’s eyes. Oral sex’s recipient is nothing but ooh and aah, swamped by the boringness of vowels, head cocked back squinting into the fireworks between synapses. To venture into the world, the mind, of the subordinate “giver” is more interesting, maybe.
The idea of sexual orientation is — for a rather conventional straight dude — imperative. I am straight, and highly skeptical of the notion that everyone is somewhat bisexual. Girls can “accidentally” make out at a party, and not only is the universe is still in tact, it is made a little more awesome. A dude’s dingdong in my umber yahoo and the world as I know it, via my end, would end. I would never blow a dude, yet somehow to blow a zucchini seemed, and still seems, reasonable; like the latter doesn’t make me gay, simply curious and rather comprehensive in my approach. Perhaps some codependent part of me wants to understand how these women feel. Despite the feminist ringtone “empowerment,” the blowjob seems just a little humiliating, more so than cunnilingus, which is just earnestly trying to pick up a raw salmon filet without using your hands or teeth. Maybe I’m projecting. Maybe porn — the evil that men do, under the sheen of its aesthetic glory — has changed us.
Before you think me obsessed, I did not venture out and buy a zucchini for this. I was in my condo, in bed I believe, wishing someone would blow me. This train of thought eventually, somewhat inversely, led me to want to blow something myself. I mentally listed phallic objects in my condo whose girth and length seemed penis-like. A cucumber (semantically embedded with cum) seemed more fitting for a black dude, and due to our deeply institutionalized imperialism of the West, I imagined blowing a white male, still the leader of our world. “Holy crap, I think there’s a zucchini in my fridge,” I thought, half-way out the bed towards the kitchen. And there it was, lying there in the fridge’s light bulb’s cold glow, all nonchalant and studly. I picked it up, my heart racing a little bit.
Wash your vegetables, my mother always said, so I did, dutifully moving my hands over it like a handjob. “Slut,” I thought to myself. I brought it back to bed, laid on my stomach, and blew it. Going through the charade and light narrative was important. I didn’t just want to stand in the kitchen blowing the zucchini. Sex, like a painting or photograph, is never about the mere incident, but rather, the preceding and subsequent chronologies which host the emotional volition — however empty, grim, compulsive, or self-hating — of such an act. In bed, my big boy was sitting up, legs spread, as my head bobbed up and down coaxing our future children into my mouth. The zucchini was missing the mushroom-like head, and I wondered if I had any mushrooms in the fridge. This was getting complicated. I needed to go to Whole Foods.
It’s harder than you think. (I’m speaking to straight dudes here, you ladies and gays are doing just fine.) You quickly notice your jaw, and the taut contraction of neck muscles required to retract your mouth open. Teeth is another thing. The entire psychological logic of the blowjob as “naughty” surrogate vagina à la unconditional acceptance crumbles at the sensation of teeth, unless you’re a sick bro with some omnivore or cannibalism fetish. However “natural” the act supposedly is, you will come — please, that is far from a pun — to discover how absurd it is to place a relatively large object in one’s mouth, and to move back and forth for an extended amount to time, either denying or succumbing to the gag reflex, until genetic matter is promoted to an appetizer or dessert. God gave us penis and vagina, a holy trinity without some third wheel, and we gotta come along and put dicks in butts and mouths. Perhaps with each transgression, we are complicit in our own existential defeat. No matter what hole is filled, its conscious host still perceives an emptiness grander than its body.
Did I end up eating the zucchini is a reasonable question. And if so, did I castrate it into little pieces for a quick stir fry. But if I didn’t, out of some ambivalent emotional attachment, did I throw it away or compost it. Did I, had this little enterprise been real, spit or swallow. The answers are these: No, I did not eat it, as it was too “personal” by now; and no, I did not compost it, because a zucchini will have little trouble degrading in a landfill, despite what these eco-fascists think. And I would have swallowed, because my love, or rather my need to be loved, is bottomless, save the pit of my lonely hungry stomach.
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Even as I write this now I am debating whether or not to erase it all together.
When I say I’m in love with you, I mean I love the story I can tell to my next lover, about my ex-lover, about how beautiful things were, how intense, how storybook, what a couple we were, and how you gradually, inexplicably, painfully, bit by bit, disappeared.
“I used to be afraid of failing at something that really mattered to me, but now I’m more afraid of succeeding at things that don’t matter.”
I was 24 and, while not gay, ever since college I had been getting more attention from gay men than from heterosexual women.