Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Things I Would Change

The Way I Chew Gum – For whatever reason, it is impossible for me to appear casual while chewing gum. My face transforms into a disconcerting mix of concentration and wonder as if it is the first time I am encountering this strange substance. I appear so uncomfortable that one gets the impression my mental faculties are being unduly taxed by the very effort. Even if I consciously attempt to mimic the nonchalance of say, Al Pacino, it normally just results in the gum falling out of my mouth.

My Posture – When seated, I tend to look like a Weekend at Bernie’s outtake. My lower torso slides forward as my spinal cord transforms into a parenthesis giving the impression of disinterest when people are speaking to me. Any effort to compensate for this invariably involves me earnestly leaning forward which just makes me look like an undernourished gargoyle. Standing is even worse because when I deliberately straighten my back as I walk, my movements become rigid as if I had recently soiled myself do not wish move unnecessarily in order to contain the blast radius.

My Inability to Remember Names – There is a guy that lives in my neighborhood and so help me God you could introduce him to entire graduating class of MIT and he would have no trouble greeting them each by name two years later. Anytime he calls out a greeting I have to purposefully reduce the volume of my voice once I get to his name (which starts with a “T”).  Meanwhile, I am forced to drop ambiguous nicknames on people I have known since birth. Someone will specifically inquire as to the welfare of each blood relative in my lineage and the best I can produce is, “Hey Chief, it was great talking to you and say hi to everyone for me!”   

The Shape of My Head – I have always admired people whose spherical cranium lends itself to a short hairstyle. Unfortunately, my head is not symmetrical and tapers off into a knotted point in the back so severe it could be mistaken for a fossilized crow’s beak. Even the topographically-pleasing areas are festooned by moles and other epidermal anomalies that require the constant care of a dermatologist. If my hairline begins to recede my only option will be a caricature hair piece a la Phil Spector.

Discerning the Appropriate Time to Deploy a Hug – This is particularly troublesome with unrelated members of the opposite sex. I wish to demonstrate genuine affection for people that I care about while not becoming the creepy guy who everyone suspects just wants to feel random girls’ boobs pressed against him while he smells their hair. There is also the danger that my gum will fall into her hair as a result of my poor posture and aforementioned chewing indifference.

My Feet – In addition to being garishly disproportionate to my praying-mantis legs, it appears that my big toe is locked in an epic battle for domination with its second-in-command. As if this wasn’t enough, each and every toenail seems to grow at a different pace. By the time my big toe needs a trim, the pinkie toenail is half an inch long, has calcified, and could easily slice through a gold-toe sock.

The Phantom Hair – I have a translucent hair that randomly sprouts from my right shoulder. One day my shoulder looks perfectly normal and the next day I have an albino arm accessory in very real danger of escaping from a short-sleeved t-shirt. There is no discernible pattern to phantom hair’s emergence but I am currently exploring the assumption that it correlates to the lunar cycle.

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