Confessions of a Cockroach Boy

Confessions of a Cockroach Boy

“When Gregor Samsa
woke up one morning
from unsettling dreams”
—Franz Kafka, The Metamorphosis

It was simply awful—much worse than being transformed into Gogol’s nose or Kafka’s cockroach or Roth’s breast. It was the worst Oedipal thing that could possibly happen to a young man. It wasn’t a matter of adolescent hormones or desire—it was a wretched curse. An epistemophilic impulse—that appropriated my body and soul.

If puberty is a boy’s entry into the symbolic order of Adults—then my situation was just the opposite. Suddenly I found myself not knowing what I was—at least until that first shocking ogling look into the smirking bedroom mirror.

There’d been a hideous metamorphosis, so to speak—a naked nightmare that could never find any closure. I looked at myself in the mirror—I’d become a huge male organ with a gimpy pair of legs, a couple of bulging bloodshot eyeballs and ugly veins and arteries oozing and wiggling up & down my phallic girth and grotesque length. It was just awful—it was ten time worse than being Gregor Samsa.

It was like an Oedipal House of Cards tumbling down—there went any kind of sexual pleasure or desire for lovemaking. Not that I was a Romeo or anything like that—I wasn’t a virgin but I wasn’t exactly God’s gift to women either. But then what eighteen-year-old chicken is? I was still naïve and in the middle of having nocturnal wet dreams. In fact, it was right after waking up from such rather embarrassing emission—that I discovered my maddening erotic metamorphosis.

Was there any connection between the two—the wet dream and my 5 foot 6 inches of tense engorgement into muy macho Maleness personified? There I was standing nude in front of my bedroom mirror—a totally obscene taboo erotic monstrosity. I wanted to grow up to be a man, of course—but this kind of undignified naked maleness was simply ridiculous. I was literally the embodiment of ultimate masculine subjectivity. I noticed with horror that my new phallic body even had a pair of erect quivering blushingly pink nipples!!! And they were pierced!!!

And to make matters even worse—I could feel the additional weight of blood coursing through my new body making it difficult to move. The more I looked at myself—the more erect I got. Where was all this burgeoning blood coming from—was there no end to my stiff-as-a-board hard-as-nails Erection? My legs grew weak—I started getting faint.

And then to make matters even worse—I had one of those terribly embarrassing uncontrollable Ejaculations!!! Ten times worse than my usual normal All-American Boy unconscious nocturnal emissions. I had no control over it—it was like a weird wet dream out of the blue!!! It was like an Act of God!!! A Killer Hurricane like Katrina—a devastating meteor explosion like the one in Siberia known as the Tunguska Climax, excuse me, Explosion that flattened everything for miles and miles around.

My shy thin teenage hips went Hiroshima-esque—I felt a megaton of goop squirt all over my bed and laptop. It was just awful—awfully nice. Kinda. But in the middle of such unexpected orgasmic overflow—my mother knocked on the door reminding me I should hurry up and get out of bed to go to school. Luckily I always locked the door—but I’m sure she heard what must have seemed like a bilge pump hard at work emptying the ferry Gobbledygook down at the docks before sailing for Bonebridge Island across Peter Pan Bay.

How could I possibly go to Schmuck High School looking like this?—I said to myself on the floor looking up at the splattered ceiling. I’d be the laughing stock of everybody in the gym class—all of them leering at me and calling me “you vain, self-loving, dandified prick!!!” [my emphasis added]. After all it wasn’t a case of exquisite male beauty—it wasn’t like being Rilke’s “Archaic Torso of Apollo.” Especially the last line—“You must / change your life.” The what-if had already rudely happened—nobody’s imagination could comprehend my prickly pusillanimous predicament!!!

Not only that—there was the gay gym teacher and the fag wrestling coach. They had phallic cravings that went beyond the beyond—one look at my mysteriously erotic masculine
“engorgement” would surely cause a riot down in the locker room where polymorphously obscene things went on all the time anyway—the exquisite doomed sense of lost innocence that precedes a perfect ejaculation.

Knowing that it would be fruitless to avoid the ceaseless appetites of the gay gym teacher and wrestling coach as well as all the nelly nascent fags and closet-case voyeurs in waiting—I felt helpless and frustrated knowing the insatiable size-queen desires I’d create down in the basement shower room and lockers. To say nothing of the fem-butch bipolar disorders I’d create with a mere twitch of my transformed body—or the nightmares I’d probably cause in the form of scandalous post-traumatic syndrome horrors after school was out.

I heard my parents drive off to work—and all I could think about was their shock and horror if they could only see me now. Surely they’d ship me off to some carnival full of freaks—where they’d show me off as the new Prince Radian the ugly stump with no arms or legs. Except with me it would be slightly different—at least I had a pair of spindly legs. And a pair of tits that could pass for a pair of nice pick nipples. Although the rest of me would surely get all the attention—sequestered in some secret tent hidden in some sideshow back-alley dive flopping around in the sawdust like Olga Baclanova the squawking cross-eyed Chicken Woman!!!

To think—the rest of my life fetishized in the leering eyes of lascivious slobbering rubes in the dismal shadowy dumps of some Topeka, Kansas fairground or Nebraska farmboy cornfield quickie? To be nothing more than the embodiment of lewd gendered male gangster gaucherie. To be a mere irrevocably kitschy masculine monstrosity?

Talk about No Exit—No Escape for the Wicked. To be the object of quack scientific studies, to be put on TV, Youtube and FOX-News, to become the parody prick of worship by the Oprah Show, fickle Freudians and Las Vegas Liberace striptease acts. To be constantly disrobed in front of strangers, to be propositioned for porno films, to be written about in the NYTimes and laughed at in the Blogosphere.

To even think about such things—filled me with the awful fear and self-loathing of my brutal claustrophobic predicament, worrying me to no end, thinking about the way the inevitable events of my Prickhood could pile up so quickly and unexpectedly to only one thing: a life with no purpose or meaning.

I could do nothing but lie there on the floor—dreaming in a kind of deluded daydream full of post-climactic depression and ennui. I drifted off into La La Land—daydreaming I wasn’t “real” and whatever happened to me this morning wasn’t real either. It must have been like tuning back into the power that had transformed me in the first place—creating this creature that I’d so rudely become.

I’d become a creature of my own perverted teenage imagination—somehow I’d got detoured along the way by some sort of nefarious nocturnal emission, some strangely coincidental synchronistic morphing of nightmare and reality. It had all happened to me like a ray of light—fixing on me this morning like a klieg light in the sky announcing the premier of some new creature-feature at the Roxy. And that I’d become just a minor character on a decadent Hollywood screen—waking up still playing the part of some sick playwright’s unnatural Caliban delight.

Time passed—it must have been an hour or two. But somehow it was time enough—to transcend the horrible condition that I’d fallen into. It must have been a dream all along—I said to myself looking around. There wasn’t anything “heroic” about being human again—for all I knew it could happen again any time without a hint of what was to come. For all I knew—it could be something even worse than what I’d been before. Worse than a cockroach—worse than a nose. Worse than a…

It was as if I’d been given—some kind of weird Joker’s anatomy lesson. The old signs of femininity and masculinity had changed—both heroic and absurd and comic and tragic. These were actually consolations to me now—after my sense of self had been breached so crudely and cavalierly. Whatever or whoever did it to me—must have had a sense of parody and perhaps satire. But I was only a kid back then—so I immediately pulled on a pair of pants etc and took off for school. That whole day—everything seemed different to me. I was glad just—to be me.

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