-As for the penis, don’t get your hopes up, it’s just a corpus cavernosum.
This phrase came out of the mouth of a man who was talking to his son, who was about twelve years old, at the table next to the table where I drank gin and tonic in the evenings. The mother was there too and added:
-Your dad wants to tell you that a penis is not that important, even if it gets bigger sometimes.
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, but I’ve never had an auditory hallucination before. Or yes, I don’t know, maybe I suffered without realizing it.
The young man looked at the other and then at his soda.
“Yes,” he added, encouraging her to say something. Then he took a potato chip from the plate placed in the center of the table, popped it into his mouth and chewed it with an almost mystical slowness.
I thought it was literally correct to call it the penis corpus cavernosum, but the term “cave” and its derivatives alludes to archaic, poorly detailed, and obscure questions. It didn’t seem like the best way to introduce a teenager to sex.
“Yes, what,” said the father, angered by the boy’s indifference.
-Well, I already know what a cave is. We went to see one on a school trip last year.
-And what did you think? said mother.
“It was dark and damp,” the boy replied.
-Well, that’s what sex is, son, dark and wet, keep that in mind when you go out with your friends. Also remember that the blood that causes an erection as you enter the caves comes from elsewhere, possibly from the unwatered head. In other words, erection and rational thinking are practically incompatible.
I paid the money and left without finishing the gin and tonic because they realized I was listening to them and they made disgusted faces. When I got home, I Googled “corpora cavernosa” and the biggest of them all was the penis, which indeed had plenty of scientific information about its cavernosis, but little if any literary.