Part 7 of a serial, "Sex Love Enlightenment." Click here to read past installments. Enter the contest and win a free book.
I knew there was a bio of me on Wikipedia, but I'd only seen it once. Last week, though, a friend said he checked his regularly to make sure it was accurate. I went to the site, typed in my name and read: "Davidson's first job was with the Boston Globe, where she became a national penis finder."
I blinked. I read it again. Was I seeing what I thought I was seeing? Yes, there it was in the familiar blue type of the free online encyclopedia, the source people trust, the source that gets 30 million visitors each day and is said to be more accurate than the info in a professionally produced encyclopedia. "National penis finder."
How the hell had this happened? I tried contacting Wikipedia, which is like trying to contact a human at Microsoft. Anyone can edit anything on the site, anonymously. It's monitored by volunteers who can't possibly keep tabs on edits to 13 million articles. How do they prevent this from happening all the time?
I clicked the edit button on my bio, deleted the two words and restored what had been there before, "national correspondent." I saw a box that asked you to "describe your edit." I typed in bold: I am Sara Davidson and I removed "penis finder" as my job description."
I clicked "save" and the insulting phrase was gone. How long, I wondered, had it been up there for everyone to see? Had damage been done? I imagined my obituary stating, "Davidson once attained recognition as a national penis finder."
At least it was national, not local. The perpetrator gave me that. But what a strange choice of words! He (I'm sure it was a guy, but maybe not?) could have said, "national penis lover," or "national penis killer." What did he mean by penis finder? That I'm a dowser, a human divining road who can locate hidden stores of penises underground? Maybe this could be a career move.
Or was it like the children's book, "Where's Waldo?" A tiny image of Waldo wearing a red and white striped shirt is secreted in a dense pictorial page, and kids must search to find him. If there was a penis secreted, was I the go-to person to find it?
What had motivated someone to slime me like this? My friend, Tina, an artist and writer who always tries to put a positive spin on things, said, "It's probably an acknowledgment of your curiosity and sensuality."
"Tina, would you want this in your bio? I asked.
"Definitely not!" she said. "The perp doesn't wish you well."
We collapsed in helpless laughter, the kind where you can't stop, you gasp for breath and tears run down your cheeks. When it does subside, you feel so good.
I was sort of sorry, now, that I'd removed "penis finder." Without it, the bio seemed dull. And would people believe that the words were there to begin with? Would they think my eyes had been playing tricks, as they have in the past? This time they were not, and I printed the page as proof.
Maybe the words were some kind of message? Carlos Castaneda would have called it an omen. This wasn't the first time I'd read something strange and out of place that seemed an omen.
Ten years ago, I was suffering for many months from heel pain that might have been a bone fracture or plantar fasciitis. No matter how it was diagnosed or treated, the pain would not go away. I winced with every step, and finally, in desperation, I made my way to the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina to see a friend and spiritual teacher, Nina Zimbelman, hoping she could help me cure the pain. She couldn't, (or so I thought) and as I drove down the dirt roads of Appalachia on my way back to the Atlanta airport, I passed barns that had "Jesus is Lord" and "Jesus Saves" painted on them. When I reached a two-lane blacktop, I saw, in the distance, a billboard that said, "You Work for Jesus."
When I drew closer to the sign, though, it said, "Your Bank Has Loans." What?! I hadn't merely thought I saw, "You Work for Jesus," I had seen the words clearly. I took it as a message from my subconscious or the universe -- You Work for God. And I was cool with that. Mission accepted.
I limped home and the next morning, I had made tea and read the paper before I realized: the pain in my heel was gone. I tested it -- walked all over -- and the pain never returned.
Could this penile haiku, this anonymous jab on Wikipedia also be a message I need to hear? If so, what is it?
I invite you to participate. Pretend this is the cartoon caption contest in The New Yorker. Whoever submits the most enlightening (or amusing) interpretation of "national penis finder" gets a free autographed copy of one of my books -- your choice. Thanks, and Good luck.
TO BE CONTINUED...
To Automatically Receive Future Installments, Click here.
Please leave a comment, or your interpretation of "national penis finder."
Follow Sara Davidson on Twitter: www.twitter.com/thesaradavidson