Truth & Tall Tales about My Penis
By Peter J. Harris
PRELUDE: Autobiography is only catalyst for these vignettes, intellectual dozens, vows, and affirmations. Confessions veer off into wanna-be hindsight. Memories flower into archetypes swapping gossip. Serious up in here. Silly. One minute ranting. Next second, nodding my head with a knowing insight. Fearful that ain't nobody interested in my penis.
Confident enough, finally, that I risk taking my solo as a way of sorting through the cacophony aimed at our penis, our Thang, until emerges the voice of My Man, the cat familiar as a trusted big brother, slinging enough wisdom that we can hear a common sense that inspires us to hum along. My Man takes the stage, but his Johnson Chronicles can easily be spoken by a range of cats.
Red-bone to blue-black. A man with a small penis. A brother with a Johnson big enough for a double take. 20-something's always calling each other Dog! 30-something's fond of saying 'my nigger' this, 'my nigger' that. 40- and 50-year-old mid-level elders, who roll HNIC or African American off their tongues like the Baby Boomers they are. Men in their 60's and older, who straddling Afrikan, Brother, Negro, and Colored as they embody the evolution of society from Jim Crow through Back-to-Africa, Civil Rights, Black Power. Ambassadors from all generations who claim the Life Movements that turned some of us into vegetarians, Eco Witnesses, and radicals who vibed through ideology and back into digging individuals based on whether or not their actions were ethical or unethical. (While never forgetting that this system, founded on white favoritism, inevitably resists challenge to that fundamental affirmative action.)
Johnson Chronicles are for dudes who are homosexual. Straight cats. Men who go both ways. We are all My Man. We all must risk taking solos that convert or nurture the cacophony. The truth and tall tales resonate with more depth, raise more eyebrows, call out more amens, when they fly out the mouths of different cats who've embraced their distinction. We all got Johnsons. They've all demanded our focus as we have awakened from boyhood into the roles and actions, expectations and rites of passage -- sexual, emotional, interpersonal, administrative -- that define our manhood. We've all been born into an age when Johnson (not a cock, not a penis) shoulders the weight of history, myth, stereotype, and taboo. We all respond to that weight. Sometimes, it's with graceful commitment to a simple, unique humanity. Other times, we calculate based on peer pressure. We pantomime so predictably that we become the punch lines of Richard Pryor's progeny and the scenarios of so-called 'interracial' pornography.
And here is what's trippy:
Johnson Chronicles are full of grace, calculations, pantomime and laughter, because My Man lives with (and within) all that complexity and much much more. Our love affair with Johnson takes us to places where it gets downright epic, where we have to hold Johnson in our hands, we have to cradle him. Since he is so intimate, so fragile, yet so essential to pleasure and procreation, when we hold him, it feels like we got the whole world in our hands. Truth is, holding him, we cannot lie to ourselves. Autobiography demands we get right.
Aw yeah, but in the telling, Johnson get to stirring. Trickster that he is, he expands in our trembling hands, flooding us with power. He reminds us to sneak a twist into our telling. Braid in a trill. Leap from bravado to falsetto. Next thing you know, we got a tall tale on our hands. Seeded by just the facts ma'am! Watered by the rumble of folklore vibrating along the lines of our blossoming palms.
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Bold. Funny. Sensual. Historical. A conversational 'body memoir' in the spirit of The Vagina Monologues. Stories about size, sex, fatherhood, intimacy, vasectomy. The pleasure & pain of living with Johnson.
Truth & Tall Tales About My Penis