If I were ever to undertake the composition of my autobiography – to set pen to paper for the story of me – I do not believe it possible that I could organize things in a manner more logical, personal, or appropriate than by The Times I Have Been Caught Masturbating.
What for anybody else would be a once-in-a-lifetime embarrassment has for me become almost an Art form unto itself. If you are listening to this blog post being read out loud somewhere, that’s Art with a big red capital “A.”
The cast of characters busting me over the years reads like a who’s who of the people that have passed through my life, some just long enough to throw me off the bus or out of the library where the lewd conduct in question was occurring.
Yes, my chronicle of finger bang busts would feature family (nuclear and extended), teachers (junior high through graduate level), roommates, co-workers, assorted waiters, a spouse, and at least one parking lot attendant. It would include major incidents from every phase of my life going as far back as I can remember and probably even further.
It would reveal – beyond all shadow of a doubt! – how many of the people I’ve known are unusually witty and quick with a one-liner:
Boss: “I think it’s about time we give Katy a promotion.”
Office Manager: “Really? Is she doing that well here?”
Boss: “No, but we’ve really gotta get her out of that cubicle and into an office where she has a door that locks.”
Some of the incidents – let’s say (hypothetically) a slumber party or that one time at the museum – were just exercises in poor judgment. Things where, you know, in retrospect I’d have to say, “How in the hell did I think I was going to get away with that?” Don’t get me wrong: It’s fine and dandy to spend a little time with yourself, but you need to be able to do some sort of quick cost-benefit analysis when it comes to the right here/right now aspects.
For most, I believe this to be the kind of wisdom that comes with age and with experience.
For me, well, I believe I am incapable of the level of embarrassment that would otherwise be a critical motivator in changing a pathological behavior. It might even be the case that I am incapable of any level of embarrassment whatsoever.
This is why, in my as-yet-unwritten autobiography, we’d end up with “Chapter Four: The Incident on the School Bus and its Unfortunate Aftermath.”
It’s why we’d move on, in time, to “Chapter Seven: Why My Good Friend, Bogart, Still Can’t Look Me in the Eyes.”
And it’s why the bonus material in the paperback version of my autobiography would include a section titled “Grandma Couldn’t Figure Out How to Work That Weird Curling Iron in My Bathroom.”
But it’s not all my fault. I mean it. Bad judgment and overactive fingers do not explain everything. Bad judgment and overactive fingers do not explain why, every time I look at online porn, the gods put thought balloons into people’s heads and the thought balloons say, “Hey! I haven’t talked to Katy in months! I think I’ll go over to her place and burst in on her suddenly right now…”
Bad judgment and overactive fingers do not explain why, enjoying myself while clinging to the back of a Harley on an abandoned highway in the middle of the night, the only constable in a three-county radius saw the two of us roll by that night.
Every Prospective Employer for the Rest of Time: “I notice on your background check that you had a relatively recent public lewdness charge. Could you tell me more about that?”
It’s not my job to live in a manner that makes you feel comfortable. A way that puts you at ease or that leaves the squeamish un-squeamed.
It’s not your job to tell me, when I mention that I’m sorta-kinda dating again, that, “Katy, you can’t love somebody else until you learn to love yourself.”
Because, I mean, don’t you already have sufficient firsthand proof (no pun intended) that I dolove myself, anytime and anywhere? That I might even be said to truly lo-o-o-o-ove myself?
These things and so much more will be made crystal clear to everyone, if ever and whenever I finally decide to write that autobiography. I’d probably have written it by now – written it a long time ago, in fact – if it wasn’t for one of my current hobbies always keeping me so damn busy.
For Bogart’s sake, though… Please remember to knock before walking into my room!