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Easy-Bake Boy

1. Heat Radiator to 400º
2. Drop Pants
3. Scream

By Josh Bernstein

I guess I’ll start like this: I recently burnt my penis.

My roommates were out of town for the holidays, leaving Jewish-me alone for a week. And when my apartment is roommate-less, I take liberties with clothes. That is, I wear none. I despise my Play-Doh belly, pretzel-rod legs and hirsute shoulders, but walking around in the buff, well that's good shit. Spatial and personal freedoms are luxuries in this pressure-cooker city, so when such a combination is presented I snatch and strip it bare.

My nudity’s source is the bathroom. When I exit the shower—my various hairs matted—I eschew the towel in favor of air. My friend Emily once knew a girl who air-dried because she believed more moisture soaked into her skin. I believe that girl spews paranoia and my dad, gospel. “It's my house and I'll do what I want," he would say while parading past my friends, his furry belly cascading over his tightie-whities. My house equals my kingdom. What a nice equation.

Where was I? Oh, yes, my penis. It was Thursday morning and I was showering, scrub-a-dubbing like lightning because I was late for work. Again. Though I set my Night Jammer alarm 1 1/2 hours pre-work, I procrastinate. Five minutes before leaving I’ll make a feta and dill omelet or decide my floors must be mopped. Right now. By hand. Maybe it’s OCD, but my mother would much rather hear procrastination.

Rinsing the minty Dr. Bronner’s from my eyes, I exited the shower—who needs a towel?—and dashed to my bedroom. I selected rumpled corporate casuals. I placed them on my bed. Then I walked toward the mirror. This is where things become a crispy.

My mirror is adjacent to my window, above the silver radiator. My apartment's radiators operate in two modes—Amazon Basin and Arctic wasteland. That day, the radiator operated in the equatorial region. And I wanted to pop a pimple.

I bent toward the mirror, bending my upper torso over the hissing radiator. Warm. I examined my laugh-creased and stubble-wrapped mug, sizing up the pimple situated in the cleft between chin and lower lip. Big. Steady pressure from two index fingers generated a creamy POP. Satisfying. I leaned closer to the silver heat beast to contemplate my nostrils. Warm. Hairy! But what about my unibrow? I leaned in further, wondering what God I angered to merit conjoined brows, when my lower body met 200 degrees.


I looked at my member; a lobster red ring encased the head. This was bad. Real bad. In a less sexually active period I’d stop masturbating for a few days. End of problem. But for the first time this millennium I had a girlfriend. Who liked to touch my penis. A lot! The thought of sex—all that friction and rub-a-dubbing--on a blistery penis made me woozy. My penis needed ice.

I bowlegged it to the kitchen and grabbed ice cubes from the freezer. Then I hobbled to my room and sat down on my bed. Carefully. I held the preternaturally crimson head between my thumb and forefinger and brought Arctic relief to the glans.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh. The cold quelled the red, numbed the pain. I rubbed the anodyne faster.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh. And faster.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh. That felt good. Real good. Too good. I looked down and saw my penis was betraying me once again with a 90-degree salute. These were the facts: I was going to be late to work because I burned my penis and was masturbating with ice cubes. I needed to go. Now.

Though the pain still throbbed, I dropped the ice onto a dirty undershirt. I gingerly dressed in khakis, a button-down, and loose boxers. I hobbled down my walk-up’s stairs and shambled seven blocks to the N-train. The train came quickly. Seats were open. I sat down, shut my eyes, and spread my legs wide.









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