part 6. the art of sameness.
The thought occurred to me that I’ve got this all wrong. My dream, I mean. I still had nipples like Linda Hamilton’s hair in Terminator. But what if, in the dream, I wasn’t a hot dog monster at all? What if I was a hot dog god? Maybe the people weren’t chasing me with malice, but reverence, as though I was a kind of footlong sacred cow. Divinity put a different slant on things.
Yes, perhaps the absence of nipples could accord me godlike status: the sacrosanct cylindrical meat sausage. The more I thought about it the more it didn’t seem that far-fetched; the theistic tradition of toothsome totems is well chronicled (see: pastafarianism). But to simply discard my ruinous nipples and be greeted with adoration, supernatural powers, and, if I was lucky, deathlessness – that seemed too easy. Sure my miserable mammilla were a burden no mortal should bear, but wouldn’t there have to be trials, double-digit labors, a sacrifice, something? Actually, maybe the act of casting off these calamities was heroic enough in itself – the thought of eyeballing them again turned my stomach more than this beverage (see 2:30). I had, in fact, taken to wearing eye-patches over my angular nipples to guard against such an episode.
Nevertheless, the appeal of levitation and shooting laser beams from my eyes was inadmissible and took root. And a good night’s sleep. And all for the good. I wanted to help old ladies properly apply condiments. Or cross the street. I wanted to build a better hot dog. Adopt a pet. Start a neighborhood watch. Learn how to sew a button. I wanted to annihilate hunger. I wanted to protect Japan from giant monsters. Perhaps my omnipotence would warrant a shrine. I wanted my own Dia de los Perritos Calientes, an extravaganza of sombreros and candy hot dogs.
I wanted hot dog water libations poured out in my honor. I wanted to gaze upon the wicked and turn them into pillars of all-beef kosherness. I wanted terrifying meat-medley monoliths erected to frighten the weak into worship. I wanted provincial towns to appease me Shirley Jackson Lottery-style to ensure a good harvest.
But where was this headed? What was the ultimate difference between gods and monsters? Point of view. I already believed my Gorgon nipples would turn those who beheld them into stone. And I was ready to throw this power away to transform people into hot dogs? Maybe Nipple Street wasn’t a highway to hell after all. Or maybe nipplelessness was just a shortcut to the same, sad fate. Granted, there is significantly more glamour in hot dogs than nipples, but I would not travel such roads as these.
I needed a third way. I needed a niche in this world where, with or without my nipples, I could live with dignity. I knew it was out there. I just needed to find it.