Adam Wilson

Twelve and you've got it made. They can hold a ruler up to it, or a girl's forearm. When I say twelve I mean eleven. The camera adds an inch, and we measure from the base, bottom-side.

I'm an eight and a half, but my stat sheet says I'm a ten. No one's ever called me on it, but it's pretty obvious when we're doing DP and the other guy's making me look like a stack of dimes.
"Guys like you," Frank says, and I know what he means. Guys like me used to carry this business. It was about the girls, sure -- they're the stars -- but they needed guys like me. Skills were marketable: maintain, sustain, bust on cue.
The blue pills changed everything. Now any half-wit in the 10-12 range can stay solid for a six hour shoot. I'm one of the few naturals left. I trained, read tantra, did the PC muscle exercises they teach when you first start out. 2000 squeezes a day, until I could control it like the Hoover damn.
"Guys like you," Frank says again. His gaze hovers over my shoulder, fixed on the poster for Taint Misbehavin' 3. He has the nose of an ex-prizefighter, and a jaw like a ventriloquist dummy. They say it takes 800 muscles to smile, but Frank never smiles. He's old school, and he likes me, but he's got a piece of paper in front of him with numbers on it; he's got a nineteen year-old from Idaho -- can't even grow a beard yet, just a faint blonde moustache, like dawn through a bend in the window-shade -- and they say he's a true fourteen, measures from topside, still growing.
"You're one of the few who still cares about acting," he says. "But I'm just..."
"Just say it Frank."
"I'm not sure this is the right project for you."
Frank blinks, inhales deeply through his nose.
"Have you thought about doing gonzo?" he says.
"We both know there's no money in gonzo," I say.
"Have you thought about," Frank says. "Have you thought about what we talked about?"
"Not much," I say.
"Well maybe you should," Frank says. "Maybe it's time."

I take a piss before leaving. I search for new bumps. Flaccid, I'm more like a six than an eight and a half -- not good for publicity shots. Sometimes I try to stretch it with my hand until it's about to rip. I don't think this helps, but I've got to try something.

The freeway's bumper to bumper. I turn on the traffic report. "The freeway's bumper to bumper," the guy says. I close my eyes and pretend I'm on a boat in the Caribbean. Mermaids rub ice cubes on my balls, sing Nina Simone. In the distance there's a faint smell of barbeque. The cars around me start honking.

At home, there's an email from my mother. "Your father's back is out again," she writes. My parents know what I do. They don't approve, but they put up with it. In this, they are not unlike most people's parents. They send me twenty-five dollars on my birthday.

Sometimes I wonder if my mother watches my movies. I wonder if she's seen my eight and a half, and knows with her motherly instinct, that I don't have a chance.

Last time I was home was for my mother's sixtieth. My father asked me to slip him a few blue pills. I told him I'm all natural, I don't use that stuff, he should ask his doctor. He said the pills were bad for his heart, might make him stroke out mid-hump. Go out with a bang, he said, laughed. I want to feel like a young man, he told me. Just once I'd like to feel like a young man.

I wonder if he has civilian one, or an 8-10 range like me. I must have got it from someone. Maybe an uncle on my mother's side. Maybe generations back -- like, during caveman times -- my ancestor let a horse fuck her. In Idaho they were fucking bigger horses.