I’ve heard it said that we always regret the risks we don’t take. Those words flashed across my mind like lightning as I stood in Schroeder Hall, transfixed and cemented, unable to move. People went by all around me, their voices mingling together, but I didn’t acknowledge them. My eyes were glued to a table in front of me. It was an ordinary table in many ways, but it held something, something I’d been searching for.
“You can do it,” I told myself. “People expect you to do it….”
My hands began to sweat and, like a baby horse just learning to walk, I shyly took my first halting steps towards the table. The theme from The Little Engine That Could resounded somewhere deep inside me as I marched forward. There were two girls sitting at the table, perfectly ordinary looking in every way, busily shuffling things around. I approached stealthily, quietly. Something greater than myself was pulling me towards them. Suddenly one of the girl’s heads jerked upright at a frightening rate of speed and her eyes met mine. I think I shrieked a little. With all the suave debonair grace I could muster, I quickly turned on my heel and sped way. Panting, I stood against the wall, watching the table, angry with myself for retreating.
“Do it,” I said aloud. “Fucking do it!”
Balling my hands into fists and curling my lip into a defiant sneer, I began my march again, this time with purpose, and once again found myself standing in front of the table, looking down at the girls who were manning it. The girls looked up at me, sunny expressions on their faces. For a moment, neither of us spoke. The silence was deafening. I wondered why I came.
“What can we do for you?” one of the girls asked pleasantly.
“I, uh……” I stammered unintelligibly. It may as well have been in fucking Chinese.
“What was that?” the girl asked.
She knew damn well what I was here for; she was fucking around with me. Don’t make me say it….for the love of God, don’t make me say it……
“Would you like to purchase a Chocolate Vagina?” one of the girls asked, stifling a giggle.
Suddenly I could speak again. My previously cloudy mind cleared to a mirror shine. I remembered what I was here for. I knew what my purpose was. My confidence came back. I was ready.
“Why, yes I am!” I exclaimed. “What kinds do you have?”
“Well, we have white chocolate, dark chocolate, and milk chocolate,” one of the girls said, showing me an array of vagina shaped candy bars mounted on sticks. The amusing combination was not lost on me.
“We also have……The Big Mama,” the other girl said, pulling out a giant vagina shaped chocolate bar in a plastic bag. My eyes grew wide. It was enormous. The craftsmanship was really astounding, I found myself wondering about what kind of mold it took to create something like that. I didn’t know whether to eat it or hang it up on my wall like an oil painting. I had to have it.
“I want The Big Mama!” I practically screamed at the vagina peddlers at the table. “How much?”
“The Big Mama is $4,” one of the girls told me.
Quickly I shoved my hand into my back pocket and whipped out my wallet, took out the money, and dropped it on the table. One of the girls handed me “The Big Mama” and the transaction was complete.
“Thank you for supporting us!” the girls said in creepy unison. “Enjoy!”
I assured them both that I would, I tipped my cap, and sauntered away. The accomplished feeling was unmistakable. Other people have goals of running marathons, of getting straight A’s, of falling in love. My goal was no less noble. I also felt a little dirty, like I had just bought crack or a hooker or something.
As I sat in class later that afternoon, passing around the “Big Mama” for some of my friends and classmates to see, I felt like a kid on Christmas morning whose presents have all been opened. The race had been won, and it was over. The feeling of triumph was still there, but there was sadness too. I had to remind myself that life is full of races. There will be new ones, other chocolate vaginas to come, if we only have the courage to seek them out.