I can feel their stares, heavy and obvious. And more dramatic than the previous sentence. They get this chin-disappearing, Judgmental Judy look of disgust on their face like I just parked my Hummer in a handicapped spot. Seems like I've been fighting this my entire life, too. It's not arrogance, I'm just shy, and awkward and better than you.
Of course I keed, and that reminds me, I hate being misunderstood. Hence the need to constantly explain myself or defend my actions. Is it a paradox to have plenty of self-esteem, piggy-backed by a shit-ton of self-loathing? I have to deal with me, pretty much on a daily basis, and I just get sick of myself sometimes. Perhaps people pick up on this and react likewise. Hmmm.
Here's a dumb example; I rarely smile with my teeth and people see that as unfriendly. Those people can suck it. I just hate my stupid smile. With the little fangs. All those years of braces and head-gears and foul-smelling retainers and the results stay hidden behind my lips in photos. Sorry, mom.
While I'm at it, I hate how every pair of jeans make my ass look all invisible-like. Wow...it just goes straight down! How does he shit? Maybe it's like tapping a maple tree. I could always switch to Wranglers, I reckon. But then I'd have to get the boots, the buckle, the GED, the sticker of Calvin peeing on a Volvo logo. It's too much of a commitment.
Additionally, though I managed to avoid the hairy Italian gene, what little patches I do have makes me wonder how women (and gay dudes) find any men attractive. Who wants to lick a vanilla ice cream cone and come up with a tongue full of leg hair? For some reason, however, my ankles are totally bare. Like I stood in a kiddie pool filled with Nair. People have actually asked me if I shave my ankles. Do you swim? Is that why you do it? Yes, Mensa, I'm training to be an Olympic wader. Idiots.
So until I find the time (and courage) to wax from the waist down; or the discipline to squat thrust until I herniate, I've been making a conscious effort to smile--teef and all--and it's a challenge. It's the equivalent of Fonzie admitting he's wr-wr-wro-...admitting he's wr-wr-wro-...can I stop now? Do we catch the reference? Side note: was the Fonz really cool? Mid-thirties; garage apartment; hung out with high school kids. What has two thumbs and smells like leather and failure? Correctamundo.
Anyhoo, here's the forehead-slapping, "sonofabitch!" epiphany: it fucking works. Especially on stage. Smiling spreads like syphilis, only you're glad you caught it. On top of that, I look goofy when I smile, which makes my darker chunks of material seem semi-sweet. As a friend put it, I'm able to sell the inappropriate because my delivery is all cupcake. I like that contrast. Eloquent filth. Like belching the phrase, "Pardon me."
So. To anyone who either knows me, or thinks they know me, or has an inexplicable urge to get to know me, please know this: I'm not a condescending prick. Just uncomfortable in my own skin.
p.s. y'all do you know what condescending means, right?