A Stream-of-Consciousness

New Jeans, or the Continuing War Against the Self

What’s YOUR problem?

Yeah, you.

I saw you looking at me and trying to look like you’re not. Don’t even pretend you’re looking at your goddamned shoes. You already know what your shoes look like.

Oh, right. “What a fucking interesting shoe. I think I’ll look at that for a while.” Real smooth.

What were you looking at anyway? Am I some kind of harelipped, bulbous-faced, elephant-mannish freak festival? Should I set up a ticket booth here or what? “Come, one! Come, all! See the Ugly Ballsack-Face Man!”

Oh, give me a fucking break with that. Yeah, right. You’re looking at your iPhone now. (Nice iPhone Four, by the way. And you should be giving the creep-eye to me? You’re the one walking around talking into the monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey. Is it full of stars, you gameless shoe-watcher?)

It’s the jeans, isn’t it? Goddamn it. These fucking new slim fit jeans! I knew I shouldn’t have ever bought them. Even the checkout lady at the store looked at me like, “You? In these? Whatever. It’s your coin, flamingo.” These jeans make my legs look like, I don’t know, circus stilts — or metal flagpoles. You wanna tap ’em and listen for the clang.

I mean, they kinda look good from the front…

No. Not good, exactly. They look OKAY from the front. Except when I bend my knee like this. If I bend my knee like this, then they get these wide tsunami wrinkles below the knee.

Would you fucking look at that? I mean — why do I even exist? I look like a coat rack someone threw a blue tarp over. Look at all this bunching over here. That’s a hell of a lot of bunching for a slim fit jean. It’s so much bunching, it’s Gisele Bunchin’.

But if I keep my leg down — like this — then — I mean, it doesn’t look great. I have to admit that. Even keeping my legs straight — like kneeless robot legs — they only look all right.

My thighs look all right at least. By which I mean they almost look like normal man-thighs. “Hi. I’m a man, and these happen to be my normal man-thighs.” If I said that to you, you’d maybe go, “Oh. Right. Those are normal man — ”

Oh, you shoe-watching dickface! I see you’re at it again. Oh, yeah. Get a real eyeful over here, dickface. Maybe I could do a little fan-dance for you. Would you like that? A few cancan kicks? Whatever. You’re the one with who’s got a face like Chunky Campbell’s Soup. And you have the gall to look at me?

What exactly is my ass doing in these jeans? That’s what I want to know. I wish I could send — like, a telegram to my ass and ask, “What the fuck are you doing back there, ass? Stop. Please look better ASAP. Stop.”

You know… you try to twist yourself halfway around in the bathroom mirror so you can actually see your own ass, but all of the twisting does weird things to the pants. It’s like a funhouse mirror ass. You can’t trust a twisted ass to look like the real thing.

All that goddamn bunching!

But if I stand straight — and I don’t ever bend my knee — I’m good. Well, not good, but good enough.

Oh, that’s a great fucking plan. I’ll just stand up very straight and never move or bend and keep stiffly turning myself around so nobody comes at me from the side. Oh, that’s a really great plan. Very practical. I’ll be like one of the animatronic U.S. Presidents at DisneyWorld. “Four score and seven years ago… an ugly freak bought a new pair of jeans. And they sucked.”

Right. Now this dickface again. I can’t even believe the gall — he’s looking at me sideways now and then he looks down at his phone all of a sudden — like he’s got a really hot game of Angry Birds going.

Look, I know all about that “pretending not to look” game. I invented that game, chump. You wouldn’t even be able to play that game today if pioneers of passive-aggression like me hadn’t trailblazed for you years ago.

Oh, hell. Now what? He’s getting up — and coming over here? Oh, shit. What in the fuckety fuckin’ fuck? Is he, like, gonna shoot me or something? I don’t even… Should I walk? Should I start walking? Or is that like some basic primal thing that communicates fear?

I should just stand my ground. What am I doing to him anyway? It’s a free country. I have a right to be a doofy-looking guy and wear stupid jeans in America the last I heard. There should be, like, an amendment to the constitution or something. Yes. I have goony, dowel-like legs, and I have the right to drape them in bunchy denim.

He’s still walking up to me. I don’t know if I should start walking. Should I flee? Is that what I should do? Is this a fight-or-flight situation?

I just know I’m going to be on the news. I’ll be a corpse — a bloody, broken corpse, there on the pavement — and they’ll be taking pictures and filming — and I’ll be in THESE jeans. Of all days, I wear these jeans on the day I’m going to be murdered by a crazy person.

Oh my god. Oh my god. Oh my god.

Okay. False alarm.

He wasn’t walking to me, he was walking past me.

In retrospect, I’m glad I didn’t run. That would have been a mistake. A clear mistake. And in these jeans! Can you imagine what I’d look like running in these jeans? I’m picturing it right now — and it’s like a gazelle in M.C. Hammer pants. Not a good look.

So what that guy — the shoe-watcher — was really doing was watching for his ride. His was looking up toward the road behind me. Which doesn’t imply that he wasn’t also looking at me in these jeans and thinking, “What an ugly-ass bunchy-jeans-wearing Ballsack-Face.” But the main thing was that he was watching for his ride…

And the ride-watching just happened to give him a great cover for spectating at the ol’ goony leg freak show.

I really can’t wait to get home, by the way.

First thing, I’m going to burn these jeans.

I’m not going to just burn them, I’m going to pagan-ritual burn them. There will be whooping and jungle dancing, and the smoke from the jean-fire will defy physics and somehow descend to the bowels of hell.

You know, that jean-fire is actually the first thought I’ve had today that’s made me happy. I think I’m gonna take that thought in my arms like a cute, clean diaper-commercial baby and let it suckle at my teat until the jean-fire in my mind finally dies out…