I Have a Fear of You Seeing Me In MY Underwear
March 10, 2008
There’s something bad in me where if you tell me I can’t do something I’m driven to do it. Some call that being a prick, I’ve always called it being “a natural enemy”…to everyone. It’s the pressure I feel not to make racist jokes, to shop at Whole Foods, to text message. I resent this pressure but what I hate the most is that it has no author. There is no person I can smack in the face for trying to get me to shop at Whole Foods and re-use my shopping bags. It’s just a general everyone-ness to the pressure so it makes me generally resent my entire culture.
That character defect is a cousin to my other hang-up, a desire to not be seen in my underwear. Perhaps it’s a fear of vulnerability, perhaps it’s self awareness that a 6’8”, 186 pound, 42-year-old who hasn’t seen the sun in four years and is covered in moles, freckles and scars from about 30 skin cancer operations shouldn’t be seen by ANYONE. But this isn’t the character defect…the real hang-up is that I feel fake for covering up anything. I think I have some form of Tourette’s Syndrome where if I think a lady is acting like a bitch that I have to call her a bitch.
A combination of these character-defects can quickly escalate into illegal behavior when I have a fear of being seen in my underwear but feel like I’m telling a lie by wearing a suit outside and sense that the culture authorities are pressuring me to remain dressed. I could be streaking in no time, and in my corner of Glendale there appears to be a law against being a shirtless man in public who is not covered in thick, black, back-hair.
When I make new friends, one of the first things I have to tell the guy is that I have a jacked up sense of personal space. The little light in their eyes always dims in that moment as they realize this could very well be a friendship with one of those guys who runs through the neighborhood in his underwear. I’m a dangerous friend. One of my pals reminded me the other day about how scared he was to move his family to New York a few years ago…I guess he brought it up to me back then and I was his only friend who said, “New York? It’s a dump.”
He remembered that comment I made in passing and I could tell when he brought it up that my opinion of New York really stuck in his mind. I guess if I had one of those cultural filters I would have curtailed my opinion of New York and said something less offensive like, “They stack people up like diseased rats.” I’m trying to work on my tact, so maybe I’ll get there some day. But New York. What a dump.
Back to my fears. I have this dream where I’m sleeping in my briefs and these men in suits pull me out of bed, drag me downstairs, take me outside and hand-cuff me to a tree in my front yard. The tree is thin enough to where I can’t hide behind it and all of the cars and pedestrians passing my house can see me in my underwear. I don’t think it’s entirely abnormal to not want to be seen in public in one’s underwear. We’re average in that sense.
I know some women who wear thong underwear and want all of us to know they’re wearing thong underwear by the jeans they choose to wrap around that thong underwear. But they’re still wearing jeans over the thong. They too, fear being seen in their underwear, they just don’t fear exposure of the sequined turquoise strap. They’re brave cowards. Screw you, poser, try being 6’8″ and going to a public swimming pool. My family went to a water park in Iowa and with the stares I got you’d think I was the Alien Queen going down a water-slide.