Tales from my vasectomy, part four: The aftermath

The first day was fine, the novelty of benzos and a Tuesday off had me in a good mood. I spent the afternoon on the couch icing my groin, watching Iron Chef, and musing about how easy the surgery had been. That night I mixed up my anti-inflammatories, with my short burst concentration medicine, and slept quite poorly. A mistake I didn’t catch for a week. I blamed the euphoria of impending sterility for the strange dreams and powered through. I do not believe this impeded my recovery

  The days that followed were difficult. They’d given me a dick bra to keep my junk static, but it constantly rubbed up against the quarter sized disc of hardened glue. It felt like I had accidently affixed a pog to my nuts and decided to just roll with it out of shame. The cats were banned from the bedroom for being serial dick-steppers, so they meowed ceaselessly outside the door. I was barred from lifting more than 10lbs, minced about like a concubine, and dreaded sneezing my guts into my scrotum. I was infirm and petulant but it passed.    

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The reports of my resilience may have been exaggerated

    Even resilient things can lose their shape given sufficient time and pressure. I am built for the sort of crisis that involves barbarians at the gates, not being trapped at a bus station with an old man who repeats the same boring story for months on end. It’s not malicious, but my time is being wasted and my sanity is beginning to fray.

 There are things I could be doing. I could write more. Or some. I could study, something. I still work out and train, when the law allows. I had a client or two during brief periods of lighter lock down. I watch T.V. and play NY times words games with my wife. And that is whole of my life for the past nine months. It doesn’t sound terrible on paper, just insufficient. I don’t feel terrible, just insufficient. And old, less likely to rebound into the sort of dynamic accomplished person that I hoped I would stumble into being.

 For all of the tedium the time away has granted some clarity. Before the plague I was oblivious to opportunity and a lazy friend. The illusion that tomorrow I could start trying and it would be fine has been dispelled. In the absence of change I am who I have been, and I have been forced to study that static image with limited distraction.  There are some things on the horizon. School. Career change. The promise of honest to goodness social interaction. In the short term I am going to try and write more. No grand promises of quality or depth, just more. We’ll see how it goes.

Built For Crisis



I am badly wired, but built for crisis. There is a deficiency in several traits necessary for proper adulting. I have a poor sense of time, a muted threat response, and a formless life that defies structure.  I have learned to cope with this general liability, but there is an upside to existing comfortably within dysfunction. Things collapse frequently, so I am inured to disaster and an expert at rebuilding on the fly. You can rattle a beaver by razing the woods, but a Raccoon will always find an alley. Continue reading

A Gentleman Of Pandemic Leisure

I used to go to a place, touch people, and help them move around…but now those things are mostly crimes. I am a personal trainer in impersonal times. Or I was. I am out of a job, but it is more than that. I have a refined a skill set for a profession that will either move online, or be performed from social distance with due precaution. The idea of poking at my clients with a stick, while mouthing encouragement through the foggy window of a hazmat suit, is deeply unappealing. I may need to recalibrate. Continue reading

Terrible Monsters: Lange Wapper (Long Strider)




Over the course of this series I have reviewed the feckless and pitiable beast of Scotland, the twisted object lessons of Greek mythology, and the bloodthirsty child murdering perverts of Slavic and Germanic myth. Some were monsters worthy of the name, some cruel by circumstance, and others fearful only in appearance. The motivation of the Lange Wapper, the shape-shifting giant of Flemish legend, defies easy categorization. A little backstory:

The Lange Wapper was born in Wilrijk in the 16th century. And by born I mean a farmer found an enormous garden parsley and red cabbage in his bed, and when the farmer touched the abandoned produce it transformed into a baby. The farmer, a confirmed bachelor,  gave the mysterious infant to his neighbor. The fact that the Lange Wapper was born as two separate vegetables, that spontaneously changed into a single human baby, is never mentioned again, and has nothing to do with his trademark shape-shifting and size changing abilities. He acquired those as a reward for thwarting a local youth gang’s attempt to throw an old woman in the river.

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My summer as a Ninja

As I child I was bored, persuasive, and suggestible. The facts of my personhood were uninspiring so I was prone to self-invention, with little regard for plausibility or consistent back story.

I once told my friend Dan that I knew how to teleport. When he demanded proof, I asked him to leave the room, crawled under my bed, wedged myself into the box spring, and held myself there for a couple of minutes. If my arms and legs had been stronger I might have spawned a lasting urban myth, but gravity eventually won out and I was revealed as a liar. The bizarre part was that in the small window of time between Dan leaving and returning, I thought I might actually crack teleportation. I knew the initial claim was groundless, but I figured the pressure of the moment might spur some profound leap in human potential. Continue reading