YOU GIVE YOUR HEART AWAY TOO EASILY
I can feel it wiggling around just inside my right ear. Last night I could hear it, inside my brain, somewhere in the center—is there a center of the brain? Is it like the center of the Universe, only dumber and more self-absorbed? Anyway, I have it on good authority that the wiggling inside my ear today, started there, in the center, yesterday. It’s a worm.
The worm got itself hired at the factory that produces my thoughts—on the velvet conveyor belt, thoughts luxuriate in the form of lace squares that head into the kiln, where they will be lovingly warmed before being available for the buffet that is my stream of consciousness.
The worm, standing on its worm tail, stands over the conveyor belt—hair net bobby-pinned tightly, safety goggles secured—and, as if moving to the beat of a metronome, licks its right index finger, leans over the belt, and gently traces the edges of every third lace square. The lace squares charge forward, into the kiln, where the worm spit bakes into my lace square thoughts. Then—voila!—I’m thinking worm-spit ideas.
Worm-spit ideas—we’ve studied this extensively at the Power Love Thought and World Domination Center. Worm-spit ideas are those ideas that fill up your brain so completely, you have no doubt that they’re true. And then you say them out loud, or to a friend, and you realize how a.) stupid; b.) self-absorbed; c.) paranoid; d.) desperate for therapy you really are. Worm-spit ideas are a cry for help that’s been suffocated in a locked chest and buried six feet under. For one hundred million years.
For example, say someone sits next to you on the el. They look at you, sniff, make a face that says, “Bathing in the landfill again?” and then they move to another seat. Now, you know you haven’t been bathing in the landfill. In fact, you question this person’s use of “again,” as it implies repetition and you know for a fact that you’ve never bathed in a landfill once, much less repeatedly.
Still, you struggle to recall when you last used deodorant and you think maybe your shower is building up dust due to lack of use. Also, you’ve worn these socks twice this week and you’re genetically predisposed to smellyfeetitis. You remind yourself that you are Very Busy—those PBS travel shows aren’t going to watch themselves—and Laundering and Showering is more like a band name and at the merch table, you could sell miniature shower heads as key rings. You could also sell miniature water guns whose barrels would provide a perfect fit for the miniature shower heads and you could charge a fucking fortune for that shit. Especially at Pitchfork or Lollagapaloopa, where the humans bake their brains on all manner of stuff and then spend a million dollars on Spam.
Anyway, your feet smell because you haven’t showered in days and you really shouldn’t be wearing those socks; even still, those are no reasons for a sniff-induced seat change. Right?
See that, Alert Power Love Reader? See that teetering between knowledge and doubt? That’s the worm-spit effect. It’s the thing that seeps in and disintegrates your critical thinking skills without your detection. It’s brilliant in its deception.
So what is the solution? The solution is: The Worm-Spit Idea Catalyst Detonator.
The Worm-Spit Idea Catalyst Detonator is the premier detector and destroyer of bad mojobeans. It can literally sniff out, like a wolf, even the wispiest aromas of worm-spit ideas, and then, through a complex system of algorithms, apple pie, and 18th-century weaving techniques, kill and destroy. It’s brilliant in its honesty.
So let’s say you’re sitting on the el, and you have the aforementioned experience with Mr. Smelly Sensitive Man. All you need to do is whip out your custom-made Worm-Spit Idea Catalyst Detonator, point it at the offender, and simply read the screen. At first, the screen will look like the computer code from The Matrix. And then you’ll see a warning from the Feds about how poorly your mother raised you and how The Matrix’s computer code image is totally copyrighted and you’re gonna end up in jail if you keep using it and INTERPOL hates you. We’re still working out the bugs on this, as you may have guessed. Except, INTERPOL really does hate you. Eventually, you’ll get to a screen that will delineate exactly what is up with Mr. Smelly Sensitive Man.
You will see that Mr. Smelly Sensitive Man has his own issues. That he’s upset because he’s hollow inside and deeply in love with his own self-pity, which takes the form of blueberry Eggo waffles, the smell of which follows him around all day, even into the bathroom, where he’s resigned himself to using stalls, not the urinals, so now all the dudes at work think he’s a sissy-pants who shits all day, when really, the aroma of blueberry Eggo waffles is so strong, especially when excreting waste material, that he literally and automatically makes a face that looks like someone just threw a pie of snot in his face, and that’s not a face he wants to show to the world, or to urinal users, or to you, either, raw-nerved el rider with the much-worn socks.
Well, now you know. And you have a choice to be understanding and patient, or you could follow him over to that other seat, lean in, and say, “Are those blueberry Eggo waffles you’re wearing, or did you just piss on yourself?” And then you could point to the stain on his pants.
Or you could return to listening to the worm in your brain. Or you could move on to thoughts that don’t include other people’s pity pits. You see, now you have so many choices in front of you, and all because of your custom-made Worm-Spit Idea Catalyst Detonator.
Of course, you don’t want to get too cocky. At some point, you’re gonna realize there’s a pattern emerging: Why are you always whipping out your Worm-Spit Idea Catalyst Detonator? Why aren’t people just sitting next to you and, like, just sitting next to you? For crissakes, you don’t smell that bad. It is, after all, designer perfume.
What you will realize, when you pull the worm out of your earlobe and dangle it in front of yourself between the Irving Park and Montrose Brown Line stops, is that you are spending far too much time thinking about all this and that’s not how one becomes a world premier trapeze artist. Since being a world premier trapeze artist is your lifelong goal, you should spend your looking-out-the-window time to plan the development of your world premier circus, in which there will be people who will sit next to you any time of the day and say things like, “I like your socks.” You won’t have to use your Worm-Spit Idea Catalyst Detonator on them because the people in your world premier circus will just tell you what they’re thinking. You’ll have to learn how to get used to that, though.