Adjective

Underwary: (adj.)

The unease experienced while undressing in front of another person.

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It’s easy to be alluring when you’re wearing clothes.

You can be stylish, funny, urbane… anything you want, really.

But once you charm your way into someone’s bedroom, you’ve got to shed, layer by layer, the fiction been telling.

Everyone experiences it, regardless of what side of the mattress you’re on. That sudden, hideous panic.. the remembrance that our bodies often horrify us. How they have more folds and furrows than we’d like. A patch of hair… a nasty little mole or skin tag. Our bodies are a landscape of uglies… uglies we forget about while wooing. But all of which our partners are certain to discover the first time we drop trow.

Soon enough you’ll both be flopping atop one another… each of you making stupid noises and hopefully twisting your faces into grotesque displays of delight.

Sex is nothing if not ludicrous.

But in the moments that fall between the before and after, in the molting of one’s manicured persona into the doughy realities of our nakedness, one must silently confront this terrible moment of anxiety when we decide to just swallow our pride, give in to our yearning, and let ourselves be ugly.

Or… to put it another way:

It’s easier to look sexy while looking at your watch, than it is to tell a joke when you’re naked.

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Noun

Archipillowgo: (n.)

The cluster of throw pillows scattered across one’s bedroom floor.

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Here’s something I don’t get: Throw pillows.

Their purpose is as bewildering as their name, because when you really think about it (as I have) each betrays its own intention…

How can something that’s designed to stay in place and impart a sense of staged and timeless perfection be given a name that essentially insists you hurl it at the nearest person’s face?

This is a linguistic fallacy. Alert the gutter press! Slate! Get started on another of your penetrating think pieces! Pillows: You’re Doing It Wrong!

NB: I, of course, mean “makes one jab a pencil into their eyes, as violent auto-enucleation is preferable to reading yet another goddamn Slate article” when I use the term “penetrating.”

Anyway.

Pillows.

Think about it. Won’t you?

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Adjective

Blandsome (adj.)

  1. The quality of being generically, inoffensively, broadly, boringly attractive.
  2. When one looks good enough.

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Turning 30 meant a lot of things for me. It marked the end of my long (too-long) youth. The first shaky step on my path toward middle age. A growing waistline; a wasting hairline.

The crack of a starter’s pistol, marking the beginning of a long, tiresome race I’m absolutely certain to lose.

It’s grim shit. But there’s an upside. A remarkable upside.

Now, when I wake up and look at my face, one day pudgier… one or two more lines hiding around my eyes… I realize that this is the best I’m going to look.

I’m as handsome as I’m gonna get – every single day.

When you think about it that way… it’s kinda great.

So up yours, 30s.

I look alright.

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Noun

MAGAlomaniac: (n.)

One who would destroy everything to demonstrate their own superiority.

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55 years ago, we very nearly entered into nuclear war with Russia. And we avoided such calamity because the smart people in both our government and theirs outmaneuvered the crazy, stupid, and wretched ones.

And because we were lucky.

Mostly because we were lucky.

This last week, Donald Trump brought us closer to the brink of nuclear exchange than we’ve been in decades. And for no discernible reason beyond the sleazy garbage heap of his own derangement, stupidity, and ego.

It boggles my mind that anyone would need further reason to lift him from his highchair behind the resolute desk and banish him from office. The last half-year of brainless blunder and hateful pig vulgarity should have been enough. To say nothing of Russia, his administration’s collusion, and the fact that he’s lied more times than he’s had a hot bath.

But now his removal from office is becoming an existential necessity.

 

 

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Noun

Eturnity: (n.)

The endless turns one takes while searching for a parking spot in the city.

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I spent nearly an hour trying to park my car the other night.

We’d returned from dinner with my Dad. I dropped L. off at home, chimed a sweet “love you!” and set myself to parking.

Left at the light. Nothing on this block.

Left at the next. All booked up.

Left at the light.

Maybe a right.

It went like this.

Left. Left. Right. Left. With every turn I felt more of myself slide away… my sanity fraying like a windblown flag. Left. Left. Left. On and on until the last scraps had eroded finally away.

Hope. Was there ever such a thing? Certainly not.

For the world is barren. A dead place. Bereft. A corridor of parked and empty cars. No life. Nothing stirring. Young couples loved, once. They walked their dogs and jaunted happily through the streets in well-tailored, seasonally-appropriate jackets. But that time had passed. Now dawns the age of rubber and glass.

I was born to die in that car… lost forever… left behind. Left. Left.

Left.

And then…

Abruptly, without any reason or purpose… I found a spot.

And everything was alright again.

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Noun

Oddler: (n.)

A creepy, ghoulish, or otherwise disturbing looking child.

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Look, I don’t hate kids.

Far from it, actually. I’m happy to report that I’ve become a man who rather likes them. They’re wonderful, and strange; they’re hungry little ids who run around all hopped up on fudge, asking uncomfortable questions and occasionally pooping themselves. How can you honestly not appreciate that?

These behaviors are the proud marks of a free creature, flaring gloriously through the black misery of the Cosmos. Kids are great. They should be celebrated. Hooray for kids.

That said…

There’s a time in every child’s life… somewhere around three, I think, when they take a turn.

They get spooky looking.

Eerie.

Their parts start growing at varied paces, making them physically syncopated and rangy. Suddenly afire with curiosity and wonder, mind overrides mien… so, when unoccupied by iPads or juice-boxes or coloring books, they often appear vacant and expressionless… leering about and gawping… their mouths faintly reddened by juice, their smiles a mushy handful of baby teeth.

I like kids. I do! But zoiks can they look damn scary sometimes.

NB: I feel it’s very important to point out that me at 8 was a SPECTACULAR example of this word.
Woof.

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Noun

Vaguean: (n.)

A person who hasn’t yet decided what they’re morally opposed to eating.

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Two young women sit debating the dwindling ethics of sustenance.

Chicken’s out. They’re kept in those awful cages.

Beef! Ooh, but methane is a greenhouse gas. Worse than cars, I’ve heard.

Pork? But pigs are super smart; they’re basically people without any clothes on.

Soy. Wait, doesn’t that cause breast cancer or something?

Fish? … Eh. Fish.

Any act of consumption short of actually sitting outside and photosynthesizing lunch ends in an ethical cul de sac.

I over hear them while I wait for my own order. They trace their refusals back to girlhood, when they’d eaten the food their parents had insensitively plopped before them (perhaps lovingly prepared after a long day of working in a miserable job).

“Ugh,” the one says to her partner, “so gross.”

When the waiter approaches.

“Ladies? Any thoughts?”

Oh… many, Waiter. So many thoughts.

They look up from their menus and shrug.

“We’re gonna need another minute.”

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