Alzheimer’s and Big Dicks
When my mom was around 65 years old, she started showing signs of dementia. She had always been demented, but in a funny, twisted, hilarious sort of way ― especially when I was a kid ― buying pot from one of my drug-dealer classmates when I was in high school, spontaneously bursting into song and dance during trips to the grocery store, wearing Birkenstock hippie sandals all year round, even in the snow ― demented like that, but still possessing all of her faculties. But this was the real deal, full-on clinical dementia.
After she retired, she became even more of a hermit than she was before. She had been living alone since I left for college twenty-seven years earlier, and although she was never a social person, at least she had had her place of work at Charles Schwab to be around other humans. Not having anywhere to go after retirement started taking its toll on her and she rapidly began to spiral downward ― stopped paying her bills, stopped getting her mail, stopped bathing because she would think that she had taken a bath but really hadn’t, so weeks would go by without so much as a drop of soap or water on her entire body. Apparently, she was the only one who couldn’t smell her stink, probably due to her chain-smoking cigarettes which had caused her to lose her sense of smell, and when she ran out of cigarettes, she would rummage through the ashtray in the foyer of her condo complex picking out old butts that had a drag or two left on them. Every time I saw her, she looked like a homeless person, wearing a filthy, threadbare T-shirt and just as filthy pajama bottoms. Her neighbors told me they would see her walking the halls of her retirement building wearing only a ratty shirt and no pants, not even underwear, baring her saggy white ass for all the tenants to behold. I suspected something wasn’t right with my mom at the time but I merely attributed it to her being super lazy and to all the acid she dropped in college.
But when she received a $67,000 tax lien on her condo because she hadn’t paid taxes for who knows how long, I definitely knew something was amiss. So, after insisting that she put on some pants, which she was loath to do, I took her to the doctor to find out what the hell was causing one of the smartest people I ever knew to essentially give up on life.
Her diagnosis was, “Dementia most likely due to Alzheimer's.” “Most likely” because unbeknownst to many people, Alzheimer's cannot be diagnosed until after death and the presence of amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles are found in the brain during an autopsy, and the only reason I know this is because I looked it up after her doctor told me the news ― that her erratic behavior was indeed not attributed to myriad LSD trips, but most likely because of these plaques and tangles.
I had to move her into an assisted living facility shortly after her diagnosis for fear that she would burn her entire building down from cigarette butts she would leave, still smoldering, on her bed, and for the science experiment in her fridge involving food that had been left for over a year or more which surely had poisonous spores on it ready to explode.
I was abroad teaching English when I had her put her into the home, a task I had to undertake from over 8000 miles away in Thailand. She knew I was abroad but never remembered where. When we spoke on the phone she usually asked, “So how’s Africa?”
“No, Mom. I’m in Thailand.”
“Well, close enough,” she would say. Sometimes she would ask me how Taiwan was so at least she got the first letter and hemisphere correct on those occasions.
I didn’t see her in her new place of residence until I returned from Thailand/Africa and moved back to Colorado, closer to where her assisted living facility was located, she insisted she moved into the home on her own accord because she was “tired of her old place.” She had no idea why she was really there, and even when I told her it was because she had dementia, she would forget within a few minutes anyway. That’s the beauty of dementia ― you don’t know you have it.
During this time I would go visit my mom every week to see how she was doing and tell her the latest about my life. When the weather was nice, we would sit on the patio of her facility and I would talk while she smoked her Kool Super Longs cigarettes, and occasionally, I would clip her toenails and shave her face which had begun to grow unsightly long grey wiry hairs that sprouted out of her chin and cheeks.
Since the most exciting thing that happened to my mom at that time was making wagers for cigarettes with her caregiver on whether her adult diaper was wet (it always was), I was the one who did most of the talking during our visits and I usually had some good stories for her, which she loved, even though she would forget what I had told her by my next visit.
Upon my return from Thailand, I had found most of my pals from the old hood had either moved or were married with children rendering them unable to hang out with me. I had recently received a Facebook friend request from a former acquaintance from high school who I hadn’t seen in over a decade. His name was Ethan and during our high school days together, he was one of the most popular guys in the entire school. He was one year ahead of me and all the girls in his class and my class and even the classes below us had crushes on him and his best friend, Jeremy. Those two used to walk the halls together like celebrities strutting down the red carpet at a premiere, but this was every day for them. I had more of a crush on Jeremy, however, I most definitely would not have said "no" had Ethan asked me to “go” with him, which would have been impossible because he had a girlfriend (mostly cheerleaders) all four years of high school ― he was that cool.
I normally didn’t accept friend requests from people who weren’t actually my friends, but upon my return to Colorado, I found myself without a home and knew that I wanted to move to a small mountain town outside of Denver, called Evergreen, where Ethan was living. I figured he could help me find a room to rent and perhaps help me find a job. Maybe he was just as popular in Evergreen as he had been in high school.
We made plans to meet up at a local restaurant in town. As I waited at the table for Ethan to arrive, I wondered what he looked like now, still handsome but with sexy, distinguished wrinkles and hints of grey sprinkled throughout his once very blond hair? He had few pictures on his Facebook page and the ones he had were face shots or with sunglasses and a hat on surrounded by friends taken from afar.
After a few minutes of waiting, I heard “Bushong!” and glanced towards the calling of my name. I figured it was Ethan, but I didn’t see him, or rather, I didn’t recognize him. What I beheld was someone who resembled the once-hot high school lady’s man, but packing at least an extra 100 pounds. He was FAT. The dude was fucking fat. His face was still handsome but was being encroached upon by his thick neck which was becoming one with the bottom part of his jaw. He used to have chiseled features but now, because of the extra fat, his head and neck had become an amalgam of tissue and skin. The rest of his body had blown out to huge proportions. He reminded me of Violet in the original Willy Wonka movie who eats the forbidden blueberry gum and then inflates into a perfectly round blue ball with a small head perched upon it, and no neck. Ethan waddled towards me, arms slightly in back, belly jutting out and body swaying from side to side with each step. Not only this, but he was wearing a flesh-colored shiny polyester golf shirt that was at least one size too small, which accentuated his sagging man breasts. Wow. This is just sad. One of the most popular guys in high school, who all my friends lusted after, who dated cheerleaders, was now waddling towards me like a pregnant woman in her third trimester.
I somewhat expected him to say something like, “Hey Aimee. I know. I know. I have gained a lot of weight.” But do people ever really do that, admit to their expanding and morphing bodies? The first thing he said was, “Wow, you look great!” This was not news to me. I knew I looked great. I had taken care of myself over the years. I could only respond with, “Thanks.” I know it’s the usual protocol to say, “So do you,” but nothing about him looked good. I guess I could have said, “Your hair looks exactly the same,” which it did, or “Your eyes are still blue,” which they were.
We chit-chatted and drank some cocktails and after a few drinks, the conversation eventually led to the topic of sex, which it usually did with me. The sex talk started because he asked me what was new in my life. I had recently gotten a book deal for my first memoir. He asked what my book was about and so in my drunkenness, I told him the premise of my book, which was about my former occupation as an exotic dancer that I embarked upon during spring semester of my senior year in high school. I told him all about my stripping days, from bachelor parties to the private dance rooms at the clubs where I worked, and then topped off the tale with a very detailed explanation of the tip-gathering trick I used to perform with my genitalia called Feed the Kitty. Ethan's eyes were getting wider and wider every time I said, “pussy,” which was a lot. I could almost sense the growth happening under his extra-large khaki golf shorts that were too snug on his hefty body. I assumed Ethan hadn’t gotten laid in a very long time, not only because of his weight gain and insecure disposition but because of what he proceeded to tell me about his life since high school which consisted of his mother dying, his brother dying, his sister becoming a drug addict and a 7-year relationship with a fiancée who had dumped him the year before. So much loss in his life, yet, regarding his expanding waistline, there was one thing he had yet to lose.
Recounting stories of remorse is never a good way to start a friendship or otherwise, but I knew no one in Evergreen and Ethan was entertaining and sweet enough to hang out with for a spell. We reminisced about high school and our respective status on the popularity totem pole during those years. “You and Jeremy were so popular,” I said. “Every girl loved you guys.”
“You had a crush on me, right, Bushong?”, he said. I didn’t, but at this point, I felt bad for Ethan, the sad, fat former athlete now riddled with problems whose glory days were 27 years before in high school. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that while I thought he was cute back then, I had had a crush on his best friend Jeremy. “I don’t remember, but all of my friends did,” I said.
As the evening progressed, I got drunker and drunker and therefore flirtier and flirtier. I knew I couldn’t drive back down to Denver where I was temporarily crashing at one of my last local friend’s houses, so I asked if I could spend the night at Ethan’s to which he replied with an overly enthusiastic “yes!” When we got back to his dingy little cabin in the woods, we sat down on his couch and feigned watching TV. It was awkward. I didn’t know what to do nor what to say and even though his body was reminiscent of those inflatable sumo wrestling costumes you can rent at carnivals, his face really hadn’t changed much, save for some wrinkles. He was still very handsome despite his head being overtaken by the fat band enveloping his neck. He had maintained all of his blond hair and his eyes were a beautiful aqua blue.
Historically, during awkward situations like this, I had had a tendency to use sex as a way to break the tension and now was no different. My beer goggles were strong enough to blur out his portliness, so I scooted over to his side of the couch and attempted to straddle his lap, however, I could not get my legs on the sides of his hips and so I awkwardly perched myself on his lap with one leg on the side of one of his hips and the other, uncomfortably resting between his soft belly and hip bone, like a drunk cowboy on an ill-fitting saddle. He seemed surprised yet delighted at my aggressive move. I started kissing him. I had had no sort of action for over a year while in Thailand so just to kiss and have someone’s hands on my body felt nice. He took my clothes off and then he took his clothes off. I had never been with an overweight guy before. All of my boyfriends, conquests, and one-night stands were hotties with bodies, all athletic, all whose asses you could bounce a quarter off.
It was rather dark in his cramped cabin. The only light was from the TV and the space heater displaying a fake fire, but I could see well enough that his body, now unclothed, was very soft, very white, and very fat ― “smushy,” was the word that came to mind as I grabbed handfuls of soft flesh on his backside. I tried not to look directly at his body; like it was an eclipse, which would have turned me off completely, and I wanted to keep making out. I tried to just focus on the sensation of his tongue in my mouth. The guy could kiss. I’ll give him that. I let him explore my body as I drunkenly relaxed on the sofa. It was pleasurable enough despite me being desensitized from all the booze, and when I had had enough, I felt like I should at least return the favor in some way. I had no desire to sleep with him nor had I brought along any condoms, and from what he had told me of his life, and by the looks of his sparsely furnished bachelor pad, I was almost positive he also had no prophylactic devices of any sort. I figured a hand job would be a good enough show of appreciation for his efforts, so I reached out to grab him, but was abruptly blocked by his hand as he said, “No, we’re not gonna do that.” What? I had never had a man tell me he didn’t want his penis touched. If anything, I had had too many men request I touch them during my stripping days. But then I realized why. He wasn’t hard, like, not at all ― his flaccid penis resembling a frightened caterpillar trying to take shelter in the girth of his underbelly.
I hadn’t noticed but not even while we were making out and I was quasi-straddled on his lap did I feel any sort of bulge. Was it possible that he hadn’t gotten hard but at all? Since there was nothing I could do to pleasure him, and I was tired and drunk anyway, I told him I needed to go to sleep and we both passed out on his bed. The next day I drove back down to Denver feeling somewhat queasy about hooking up with a limp-dick fatty, which I began calling him behind his back ― Fatty.
I eventually found a room to rent in Evergreen, with no help from Fatty. Turned out, he indeed was not as popular in town as he had been at our alma mater. He hardly knew anyone. Despite this, I continued hanging out with him as friends, but mostly as a drunken make-out partner. He was the only person I knew in town and despite his girth and rather negative outlook on life, he was a nice guy and it felt good to have my ego stroked by him, telling me I was beautiful and still just as hot as I was in high school.
For about a month, all we did was go out to the local bars and drink, as he was now privy to how I behaved and what I would do while drunk, and at night’s end, we would end up making out in his truck while parked in my driveway, and every time I straddled his lap or reached between his legs, nothing. After the fifth or sixth time, I finally asked him in a drunken, bemused tone, “Dude, what’s going on with your dick?” I knew it was mean, but I didn’t care about him enough to filter myself and have a gentle, sensitive talk about his erectile dysfunction. He said that as men get older, when they drink, it gets harder and harder to, well, get hard. I had heard about this, “whiskey dick” guys called it, but I had been with plenty of middle-aged men in the preceding decade, and not one of them, even after many drinks, had had this problem so many times in a row. I assumed after all he had told me that had happened to him over the last few years, that the emotional turmoil he had suffered at the behest of his ex-fiancée was directly affecting his ability to get a boner.
Finally, we went out one night, and he decided not to drink at all, probably hoping to get the hand job he had been unable to receive by me so many times before. At the end of the evening, like clockwork, we ended up parked in my driveway, making out like horny teenagers. I didn’t even bother exploring him below his belt this time, as I didn’t want to be disappointed, again. But then something different happened. Ethan took my hand and guided it towards his crotch. “Please let him be big. Please, please, please,” I prayed. He placed my hand under his boxer briefs and to my surprise, it was everything I had hoped it would be. Huge. This, this one part of Fatty, made him one hundred percent more attractive to me. Women (and men) can say all they want that size doesn’t matter, the old adages, “It isn’t the size of the boat that matters, but the motion of the ocean,” or “It isn’t the size of the snake, it’s how you wiggle the worm,” but I am here to say that size most certainly does matter, and had I reached underneath his overly snug Calvins and felt a small or even small-ish penis, I would not have gone where I did with this guy. No fucking way.
We didn’t have sex that night but a few days later, after thinking about his massive size, coupled with the last year of celibacy I had endured in a land where the stereotype is for men to have tiny dongs, I invited him over hoping to break my dry spell. The sex wasn’t great but men can be trained and I could only imagine what he could do after some diligent training sessions. It is a rare treat to sleep with a guy with a perfect penis. I had only had that pleasure a few times in all the men I had had sex with, and Fatty’s would have won the blue ribbon in a best-in-show penis competition. That is for sure. “Third, second, first! Winner!”
A perfect penis, for me, must adhere to certain specifications, and only while in its excited state. If it does not meet these attributes, then it is merely a hairy tangle of genitalia resembling a newly born bird, limp in its nest. But even while hard, a penis can be very off-putting ― crooked, too veiny, mushroom-headed, multi-colored. It would be difficult to cobble together something less aesthetically pleasing yet it is fascinating how such an objectively ugly and funny-looking body part can have such a powerful draw, and Fatty’s drew me in. While excited, his stood straight up, was a beautiful cream color throughout, velvety soft, and for me, had the perfect dimensions, both length-wise, and girth-wise. Also, Fatty had hardly any body hair, and the sprinkling of hair that he had was blonde, like the hair on his head, which made his nether region much less threatening. The usual multi-colored, veiny and crooked entity emerging from a bush of wiry black pubic hair isn’t the most welcoming sight for me and, I assume, many women.
Fatty and I slept together a handful of times over about a month and a half. I tried to train him. I really did, but alas, he was untrainable ― too insecure about his body, and unwilling or embarrassed to totally let loose in bed. The last time we hung out, he got so drunk before our date that even the wait staff at the restaurant was asking me if I needed some help with him. He was wasted to the point of having lost most of his motor skills and the ability to form complete sentences. All he kept saying, quite loudly, was, “Your ass is so hot. Your ass is so hot.” True as this may have been, I didn’t want to hear it between bites of my New York strip steak.
I had sensed he had a drinking problem after he got busted for his third DUI the month before I moved to Evergreen, but his perfect penis blinded me from how incredibly screwed up this guy was. Even a dick of his caliber wasn’t worth the humiliation he bestowed upon me this particular night, at the fanciest restaurant in Evergreen. I was so embarrassed that I left the restaurant midway through our entrées and never talked to him again.
But this tale about Fatty is neither here nor there. This story is really about my mom.
My mom and I had always had a very close relationship. I had been telling her almost everything about my sex life since I started having one after losing my virginity when I was eighteen, and it was the same now, even though she was in an assisted living home, suffering from early-onset Alzheimer's. She still knew who I was and had retained most of her long-term memory. It was her short-term memory that had suffered the most. I told her the whole story about Fatty, emphasizing the part about his endowment, and concluded my tale with, “What a waste of a perfect cock,” an unusual exchange between most mothers and daughters I admit, but as I said, my mom had always been a little demented. I then looked at her and it seemed she was in a state of deep thought, gazing out into nothing but her own imagination. I figured maybe she was having a mini-stroke. After a few beats, still staring out into the distance at the faded and stained flower wallpaper adorning her room, she said to me in a dreamy tone, “Yeah, what a waste,” she sighed. And then followed it up with, “God, I love big dicks.”
This wasn’t all that strange nor especially humorous to me. My mom had been saying things like this to me my entire adult life. The funny part was that every subsequent time I went to see my mom at her assisted living facility, without fail, the very first question she would ask me after I checked to see if she had pissed her pants was, “So, how is… what’s his name, Mister Big Dick?”, followed by, “I sure do love big dicks.”
I suppose an outsider looking in would find this hilarious if not disturbing. After all, we’re talking about a 71-year-old woman with dementia, wearing an adult diaper, telling me about her affinity for large penises. Ok, that’s funny. But what baffled and humored me the most wasn’t what she said about loving well-endowed men, but that she asked me about Mister Big Dick (a much nicer nickname than Fatty) every single time I visited her. My mom couldn’t remember what day it was, what year it was, if she had taken a shower, or what she had just eaten for lunch. Hell, she couldn’t so much as remember my birthday. The only consistent memory she had even over a year and a half after I stopped sleeping with Fatty, was the story about the size of his penis.
It got a little old, having to remind my mom every time I saw her that I hadn’t been with Fatty for over a year and that I had, in fact, slept with other large-sized men since then. But by the next time I visited her, she had forgotten this and would ask me once again how Mister Big Dick was. I endured her unfailing question. I felt sorry for her and her progressing Alzheimer’s and so I figured, in her demented and deteriorating mind, with the inability to remember the month, the year, or the name of the current president, coupled with shitting her pants on the regular, if the only pleasant steadfast memory she had was a story about big dicks, well, life wasn’t so bad for her after all.