“LOST CASE – Penis Transplant”
Twice a week or so, loaded with bodies boxed in pine, a New York City morgue truck passes through a tall chain-link gate and onto a ferry that has no paying passengers. Its destination is Hart Island, an uninhabited strip of land off the coast of the Bronx in Long Island Sound, where overgrown 19th-century ruins give way to mass graves gouged out by bulldozers and the only pallbearers are jail inmates paid 50 cents an hour.
A man whose penis was removed because of cancer has received the first penis transplant in the United States, at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.
Tim Water Mug, 78, a beer consumer from Birkenau, Texas, underwent the 36-hour transplant operation on May 8 and 9. The organ came from a deceased donor.
“I want to go back to being who I was,” Mr. Mug said in an interview in his hospital room. Sitting up in a chair.
When penises are transplanted, divergent life stories come to the same anonymous end.
“No tombstones named “The Dead Penises” are anywhere to be found – that I know of”, I shouted. Essig and Zufall looked on in silence.
– “Hey, People !!! Everyone !!!!”….. – my head was spinning at 100 miles an hour. “Hey, People !!! Everyone !!!!”….. Did you know that… In September of 1935 the Nuremberg Laws were enacted ? And…did you know that these laws prohibited marriages between Jews and people of Germanic extraction and extramarital relations between Jews and Germans, and the employment of German women under the age of 45 as domestic servants in Jewish households?
I guess that people just weren’t paying attention to me. After all, who am I and what am I telling them about Birkenau if their concern is really the New York City morgue and the ferry that has no paying passengers.
But I insisted. “Hey, People !!! Everyone !!!!”…..The Nazi ideology brought together elements of anti semitism, hygene and eugenics and combined them with …
This is when my heart suddenly stopped.
I mean, my heart completely stopped.
Tim Water Mug himself, the man….he himself, walked into the room, I mean, the precinct.
Pre-Cinct presupposes something. What is a ‘cinct”? And what does it matter now that I’m all locked up in here?
I waved at Tim Water Mug, knowing about his new penis. I didn’t know what else to do. “Hey Tim, congrats on your new penis !!!”, almost at the top of my lungs.
Everyone around was dead silent.
He gave me the Rock Hudson look.
Tim waked steadily towards the central booking desk as if to make a complaint but, instead this is what I heard:
“ Officers, you won’t believe what just happened a few hours ago, literally a few hours ago….. just as I was trying to get some sleep….you know…I had just come back from the hospital and…. There was this loud BOOM this loud BANG outside my window and….”
Where do you live, Sir?
“By the East River, it’s….called…Waterside Plaza”
–Boy. I nearly fainted. What did he say?
“This body – that’s what I think it was, a body – comes crashing down and, oh man! Before I could even realize what it was…. There was blood and guts and body parts… Oh, it was so disgusting….”
You’re the man who had your penis transplanted, right? You know all about body parts…
“Yes, but NOT LIKE THAT, I MEAN, NOT LIKE THAT !!! I was at a hospital”
–“SIRS, SIRS, OFFICERS”, I cried as loud as I could. “SIRS!!!” “I REMEMBER HIM. I REMEMBER HIM THERE”
Zufall and Essig in unison:
“YOU WHAT ???”
“He’s… he is….(Christ! I was stuttering!) he… he… was…. He.. this man…. HE! He was right there when…”
I woke up in the infirmary of the precinct. An oxygen mask firmed to my mouth and nearly strangling me…
…could not utter a word. My hands were tied to the metal bed by handcuffs – no officer in sight. I was, once again, sedated.
Is this, perhaps, the meaning of a “pre-cinct” ?
Was I “pre-cincted” to be there and so…. Was Tim Water Mug “pre-cincted” too ?
All I could do was think, cinct, and nothing else.
I was lost. As always, I was lost.
I couldn’t afford to get sidetracked. That wasn’t an option. I needed to be practical and…and come up with a solution.
Suddenly my mind was filled with my father’s name, it’s resonating sound “Dagoberto Müller.. Dagoberto Müller.. Dagoberto Müller.. Dagoberto Müller..”, as if a hammer hitting on a nail and that image of that burning piece of paper with those faint quaint words disappearing while my mother OH, my mother OUCH and my mother leaning heavily against the door screaming “BUT I TOLD YOU NOT TO… BUT I TOLD YOU NOT TO… BUT I TOLD YOU NOT TO… Dagoberto Müller… Dagoberto Müller… BUT I TOLD YOU NOT TO.. BUT I TOLD YOU NOT TO…” and this symphony all meant that I needed to prove my innocence and nothing else.
My innocence and nothing else.
I had been guilty since I was born.
My God! I had been feeling guilty since the day I was born and…. only now…
So…. What the hell ! Nothing else matters ! It’s really all about Zeena’s fall and those lost pages and and me. Who am I really ?
Is it perhaps that all these people parading in front of me from the very beginning are, perhaps, a kind of clue, a puzzle, made for me, only for me, so as to show me and only me who I really am, who I was, where I come from?
The land of no tomorrow?
So, if that’s the case, is the lost brief case a blessing or a curse? Did it – perhaps – contain the enigma, the true papers of my biological origins, the ancestries, the tracing back of all that I am, was, will be?
Could Zeena really be all that she portrayed herself to be?
No, this is a court, surely. Isn’t it?
“Rehearsals will resume in 10 minutes”, said a voice over the PA system. “10 minutes everyone”
“Mr Beck…. 3 minutes, please…” Mr Julian Beck…. 3 minutes please….”
The land of no tomorrow….but…what? the land of yesterday? Am I back where I started? Is he calling out for Julian’s name?
Am I at La MaMa?
“Mr Beck…. 1 minute, please…” Mr Julian Beck…. minute please….”
Precinct ? A jail? A Prison?
WHERE AM I ?
Julian? Julian? Are you here?
Can you hear me?
I get it. I get it.
In “Theater 2”, by Beckett, two men carry brief cases on to the stage while the third one is blocked to stay still, stiff almost like a statue, just as a marble column, his back to the audience, staring out of a dark window, lit only dimly by the moon.
These brief cases contain documents…
AM I THIS lost character staring out of the window throughout Theater 2 ?
“Mr Beck, take your position, please…” Mr Julian Beck take your position please….”
FUCKING CHRIST!!!! Those brief cases….tucked away in a storage space in Manhattan or somewhere…containing …if that’s the case, are they… the lost brief cases? If so… is that a blessing or a curse? Would they – perhaps – contain the enigma, the true papers of my biological origins, the ancestries, the tracing back of all that I am, was, will be?
Or …merely, the originals or a Samuel Beckett play?
(Almost the end of The Lost Case of a Brief Case” – Copyright Gerald Thomas – London – New York 2016)