It was Alan bet me I wouldn’t cut it out and nuke it. Drove the knife straight in the sack, and the blood when it hit was cold on the inside of my wrist. I heard a soppy flop and my left ball was sitting on the kitchen floor while my right was cowering inside me, though for a second I could have sworn it was swinging, like the swinging part of a grandfather clock. If Mom were there, she would have said I’m thinking too much and everything is ok. Actually, if Mom were there she would be in her high shriek asking what the hell have you done to yourself, and I would not have an answer. To see what would happen, I guess. I never did anything before, so how could I know?
I screamed. It took all the paper towels to soak up the blood, but I had a new slave to clean the microwave. Alan was supposed to just be slave for a year, but I upped the ante to life by betting it’d blow up like a marshmallow. First I made him reverse all the pictures on the fridge, so Gramma and Grampa would be facing frozen peas instead of my cooking nut.
It wasn’t the pain that made me cry, but the fact that there were Mickey Mouse ears on the handle of the knife. That, and once my parents told me my first word was microwave. So me saying that was probably years ago and now here’s the same microwave on high doing just what it does to my bacon Sunday mornings. But it smells like the opposite of bacon. They say it’s better for you, bacon in the microwave, but you still have to be careful or else it’ll dry up and go to burnt-black shit. Mom likes her food burnt black and shitty. If my ball was a food Mom wouldn’t like it because it just blew up like a piece of beef stew. I can’t tell if that makes me happy or sad.
I didn’t cry for that long, though. I didn’t have time. That’s what men say and that’s what I am now so I did. My parents were gonna be home soon so we used bleach, which I thought smelt like a Christmas tree compared to my ball. Alan thought it smelt worse, I think because it could kill you if you drink it. He wouldn’t try any, even though I bet him, and that kind of ticked me off, considering.
I told my parents I snagged and lost it hopping a fence. Said I squanked it like when Dad breaks his glasses. One time we were leaving the eyeglass shop where he just bought a new pair. He was holding my hand because I can’t really walk a straight line. Mom says I drag my feet but I don’t see how that makes sense. Either way, I kind of tripped my dad and he stumbled and the brand new wire frame glasses that made him look so smart fell on the ground and his next tripped-up step landed right on them. He didn’t cry but I wanted to. He rubbed my head and said it was fine even though I could tell he really did want to cry. I would not have cried if he yelled at me then or slapped me or threw me in the middle of the street, which is just where I wanted to be at that point in time.
So I didn’t cry in the ambulance because not only am I a man but also I did it to myself. I did hold onto my crotch the whole ride, even when the ambulance doctors asked to see it and said it’d be fine if I let go. I was not losing the other one. A kid at school said you only need one, and if you have both it means you’re gay. I didn’t want to take any chances. My parents in the ambulance didn’t even yell. Just stood over staring and not saying much, which I thought was surprising. As we pulled up to the hospital I saw my dad was crying. I told him to stop and that I’m sorry for lying but I did it because I needed to know. And he said know what and I said what happens when you do things. They started to roll me away and I shouted to my dad that also, now, I have a slave for life.