This One Will Knock You On Your Ass  

I think the moment in which things began to look up for me is when I had a separate desk built for my penis. I was strictly middle-management until then, another in the endless sequence of gray suits and expensive, uncentered haircuts. My path to the elevator or water cooler was often impeded by my lessers, a sense of fragile disrespect hanging six inches below the drop ceilings. I needed a change and I needed one fast. Six more months of that and I would be stuck in my bracket forever, left to degenerate into my father and his father, except with cable and a better car.

So I had a carpenter that Jolie knew from when she had her apartment redone, a Cuban guy, and gave him sort of a rough sketch of what I wanted. It's not really a "desk" so much as a wooden ottoman, although I did have drawers put on for looks, and I put a blotter on the top. The blotter is cute, it's like something you'd expect to find on a desk set some insane stock market-obsessed father would buy and lay out on his infant son's Playmobil table before unfurling a Wall Street Journal in front of the bemused toddler and ruining his life forever.

In the drawers of the little desk I was thinking about putting stuff that you'd expect a well-manicured executive penis to have, like lambskin condoms, little tweezers or hair clippers and some kind of soothing liniment, but I thought that would just be taking the whole thing a little far so they're basically empty right now. They're not big, if I wanted to fill them with regular office supplies I certainly could.

The carpenter built it at his workshop, I didn't want to have a bunch of sawing and hammering under my desk when I was on the phone and it seemed unreasonable to make him be quiet during those times. So I went up to the Bronx where he trundled out this mahogany beauty from a sawdust-filled room and a tear came to my eye. I had a taxi waiting for me and the Pakistani behind the wheel cringed with jealousy as I loaded the minidesk into the trunk.

The next day at work was like seeing a girl for the first time; my heart was fluttering as I brought the desk into the office, wheeling it on a handtruck past the secretarial pool. Some of the more daring ones peered over their cubicle walls as the trundle and squeak of the cart brought happiness to my life. I wheeled it into my office and closed the door.

My phone rang when I had my regular desk away from the wall; I had been moving it in slow jerks across the floor, leaving marks in the low-pile carpet that looked like the tracks of those beach snakes. I answered it, and it was Jerry on 12, asking me for a marketing report because he had to make a presentation on the effectiveness of our latest print campaign. I told him that I didn't have it, but I probably did.

I aligned the penis-desk with the empty spot on the floor where it would reside, and slid the old desk back over it, the two kneeholes aligning like the kiss of two gentle teenagers. I rolled my chair back into position, but before I sat down, I arranged the pens, staplers, and papers on my desk, idly shuffling them to prolong the pre-excitement as long as I possibly could.

Eventually, I couldn't take it any longer, and I sat down. Unzipping my pants, I slid my penis through the small flap in the front of my Calvin Klein briefs, letting the air out of my lungs and feeling my whole body deflate, as the entire office around me seemed to melt into a vast blur of slowly-moving, hazily-defined objects.

I sat like that, immobile, the ringing of my phone and knocking at my door stopping cold in the air before ever reaching me ears, until the sun had gone down. The gentle rattle of the janitor's key in the door jogged me from my reverie, and I scrambled to tuck myself back in before she opened the door. As she made her rounds around my office, emptying the wastepaper baskets, I slipped out.

The only thing keeping me going is the knowledge that I will eventually be used as a harsh indictment of something. Society, probably.