“He’s a good-for-nothing, dickless coward.”
Yasmine and Dita stood in the ship’s small galley, lunch trays in hand. A penis lay on the table with a tiny bowtie around the shaft.
“I don’t know, Yasmine. Maybe he just forgot it,” said Dita.
Yasmine set her tray next to the penis and picked it up. “Really? Who just walks off and forgets their dick? Nobody, that’s who. You don’t leave your penis just lying around unless you’ve got something to say and you don’t have the balls to say it.” Yasmine extended the penis towards Dita and flopped it a few times for emphasis.
“First, don’t shake that at me. Second, I don’t think balls are what he’s missing.”
Yasmine glared at Dita.
“Are you sure it’s his?”
Yasmine rotated the penis and pointed out the mole on one side. “I’d recognize this penis anywhere.”
Of course she would. Yasmine and Jed had been an item for years. “Fine. It’s his. Can you put it away?”
Yasmine’s face fell. She put the penis in her pocket.
Dita motioned to the table. “Let’s just sit, okay? Lunch is getting cold.” The re-hydrated simul-beef and vitamin casserole tasted bad enough when it was still warm. No need to make it worse.
They sat. Yasmine picked at her food.
“Aren’t you going to wash your hands?” asked Dita.
Yasmine ignored her.
After a few bites, Dita gave up on trying to eat. “Do you want to talk about it?”
“You don’t want to hear about our — “
Dita touched Yasmine’s forearm, carefully avoiding the hand she’d used to wave Jed’s dick around. “You can tell me. What are friends for after all?”
That was all it took.
“Anybody on the whole ship could have walked in and found it. Who knows what they would have done with it. Where they’d have put it, or even left it. We’ve been monogamous for years. And this is how I find out he wants to go back to an open relationship?”
The advent of detachable, self-sustaining organs and appendages had incredible implications on human physiology. That technology had quickly been applied to sex, as all technologies were. Detachable genitalia threw quite a few wrinkles into human sexuality. Being cooped up on an interstellar spaceship for years wrinkled those wrinkles.
Dita didn’t love the practice of junk-dropping, as the kids called it, but it had a time and a place. Not that a penis out of context, or in any context, appealed to her. Vaginas were another story.
“Maybe you should ask him?” asked Dita. “I’m not one to leave my vagina on a table, but I’ve certainly hidden it discreetly for a certain person.”
Yasmine took the penis back out and lifted it like she was going to smack it on the table.
She frowned and then set it back down. “Who am I kidding. I couldn’t. Even though I should. This” — Yasmine swept her arm around the galley — “is not discreet. You know how many crew members come through here every day? The bastard.”
She had a point. You didn’t leave your junk out somewhere this public unless you were single and ready to let your genitals mingle.
“Maybe he meant for you to find it. He knows your schedule.”
“He’s on duty. On the other side of the ship. Someone else would have had to bring it all the way over here. Pardon me, but could you do me a favor and carry my dick over to the galley? I’d like to leave it out for my girlfriend” — Yasmine shook her head — “that sure as hell isn’t how somebody in a relationship behaves. And why the hell did he put a bowtie on it? That’s just weird.” Yasmine flicked the penis with her middle finger.
Dita winced, imagining the pain Jed had just felt. “Not that you shouldn’t be mad, but be gentle. That probably hurt.”
“He just decided this was how it would be? Things have been a little rocky, and we might not be great communicators, but I wouldn’t have judged him.”
“We could have talked through it, and at least started experimenting with other people at the same time.”
Yasmine was open to other people? Dita had hoped, but to hear it confirmed? Her heart beat faster. “So you’re op — ”
Jed stomped into the galley and snatched his penis off the table. “What the fuck is wrong with you? That really hurt.” Jed opened his zipper and re-attached his penis. He pointed out in the hallway. “I’ve been laying out there trying not to cry.”
Yasmine crossed her arms. “I see you’ve taken to leaving a certain one-eyed man behind.”
“Babe, it’s our anniversary, remember?”
“And we’re eating in the formal dining room tonight?”
“The bowtie didn’t ring any bells? We always get dressed up and go to the formal dining room?” He looked at Dita. “You could have reminded her before she attacked my dick.”
“Sorry,” said Dita. She wasn’t, though. “You wanted to surprise her.”
Guilt came over Yasmine’s face. “It’s our anniversary?”
“Look it up. June 3rd. The first time I dropped my dick in your backpack.”
Yasmine didn’t look like she remembered, but Dita could tell Jed’s confidence was convincing her. “Shit, I’m sorry, Jed. I owe you an apology” — she shook her head and looked at Dita — “you did try to tell me, didn’t you?”
Dita shrugged. She hadn’t tried that hard.
“Happy anniversary,” said Jed, not seeming very enthused. “I am going to go put my dick on ice.”
Yasmine stood. “I’ll go with you. I’ll get the ice.” To Dita, she said, “We’ll catch up later?”
“Sure,” said Dita. She watched them leave, wondering if she left through the other door if she could retrieve her vagina from Yasmine’s quarters before she got back there.
Brad Preslar writes from Nashville, Tennessee, where he lives with his wife Ellie and their dog Stella (named for his wife’s favorite cider with a nod to Mr. Williams.) He owns boots but not a cowboy hat. His fiction has appeared in AE and is forthcoming in On Spec and Ares Magazine. Find him on Twitter @bradpreslar and on the web.