It’s been a long time since I wrote one of these “Flaws & All” essays, unless you’re reading the future collected edition in which case I have a statement and a question. First, the statement, thank you for buying this short work of nonfiction and supporting me as a creator. My question is simple, are there flying cars yet? I was promised flying cars and damnit I am determined to live and see them as a reality. I’ll never ride in one of the probably Korean made (everything cool comes from Korea these days from phones to dictators), death traps but knowing they are real will make me happy.
So right about now there are two very different camps of readers staring at these words. The first group of you loveable maniacs has been keeping up with my insanity from the beginning, or at the very least since 2012, and you’re used to the schizophrenic nature of my nonfiction writing. The second groups of you are half a heartbeat from putting this down and never reading a thing I write again. I get the desire to walk away and if I may, allow me to give you permission to do just that. I write these essays more for myself. They started out as a type of self-therapy and at their core that’s what they’ll remain.
So now that we’ve cleared that up let’s get to the topic—I’m a lazy son of a bitch.
Let me stop you before you ask the obvious and painfully common question.
“If you already know you’re lazy, why don’t you just try not being lazy you fat piece of shit?”
Yes, I realize I’m lazy. I am also painfully aware of my rotund shell and frankly all of you bringing it up is starting to make me want a double Whopper with no cheese (Burger King has the worst cheese). But that does nothing to help me deal with the reality of my flaw in the day to day world. Yes, I will make grandiose plans to “Do something” about my laziness and then do absolutely nothing on what seems like an almost weekly basis.
Have you ever seen the old episode of The Simpsons where Homer decides he doesn’t need to go to church anymore? While a perfectly valid decision on the religion front in my mind, what he does next is too damn similar to how I live my life.
He eats everything he wants without cleaning up after himself.
He lounges in bed for an obscene amount of time.
He never gets dressed choosing instead to remain in his robe and bed clothes all day.
He ignores the pets and their needs.
He burns the house down.
Okay, to be fair I’ve never burned down a building of any kind… by accident. Also, I see nothing wrong with not participating in ANY organized religion. But the rest, I mean damn that’s how I live my life, and it goes FAR beyond that single episode even if was the first one that resonated with me. Over the years, Homer has shown himself to be the archetype of the lazy American and what started out as parody has become too close to the uncomfortable truth for me.
What have I done that has led me to believe I am a lazy joke of a man? I could talk about the subject for a fortnight and still not be finished. Of course, I wouldn’t because I’m lazy, so instead I’m going to give you what I consider the single most egregious example of my of laziness. Something so bad just the idea of admitting it in public regardless of its therapeutic value makes me want to puke the McMuffin I had for breakfast all over my keyboard.
Before I start on the list, I want to say there will be some mention of flaws I’ve yet to address in this series namely Depression and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) both of which I suffer from to one degree or another.
Lazy Writers Note: I am not saying there is anything wrong with people who suffer from Depression or OCD. What I am saying is I consider it a personal flaw, or obstacle if you prefer, that I’ve struggled to overcome or at least come to terms with in my nearly 40 years on this mudball. If you’re offended that I am planning on including them in this series of essays well then… I think you know what you can do.
Starting is hard—that’s been my mantra for more years than I can remember. When I say starting is hard I don’t mean a reluctance to take on a difficult or annoying task, that’s a common trait for most people, and I doubt many would consider it much of a flaw. What I mean is that on a regular basis the simplest of tasks feel like the modern equivalent of a herculean labor. Do you need examples, do you want me to share my shame? You sicken me with your perverse desire to see me uncomfortable. Also, your mamma dresses you funny. Okay, I’m sorry, that was uncalled for. Except for the dressed funny part because damn hire a stylist and stop letting the internet tell you how to dress.
I’m going to share this, but it’s one of my greatest shames, and I’ve kept it hidden for a long time.
I stink because I neglect proper grooming. I neglect proper grooming because the idea of starting the simple rituals of cleanliness American’s take as a given leaves me in a panicky quagmire of fear and desperation. It’s the very thought of making the effort needed to walk up the stairs and spend literally fifteen minutes on me that reduce me to a smelly mass of shame and regret. Showering, shaving, brushing my teeth, and fuck me for admitting it but sometimes even the idea of changing my underwear, much less doing it, leaves me wanting to sleep for a week.
In the same smelly underwear of course.
Right now you’re probably rolling your eyes and thinking some very unkind thoughts directed at yours truly. All I can say is bring it—there’s nothing you can feel about what I just disclosed that can hold a match to the thermonuclear cloud of feelings I deal with on sometimes an hourly basis.
Now does this mean I am a cloud of flies and stench moving from my day to day activities? Am I a man whose wife forces him to sleep in another room because the odor gags her in her sleep? Do small children and animals run from me in fear that I’m some hybrid skunkman, the monster offspring of Pepe Lepew and a poor desperate woman in the 1970s?
Of course not, what the hell’s wrong with you?
I wash, I shower, I brush my teeth, I shave, and I change my gods-damned underwear. I’ll go one step further when I’m engaged in these activities I enjoy them, and afterward, I feel fantastic but starting, the very thought of lifting that first foot, hurts me at a deep primal level.
I can’t explain this. I’ve never been able to understand why I feel this way despite decades of analysis. Is it a mental illness? I have no idea. I would like to believe so because that would mean it’s not my fault. But if you pin me down and make me look at it and give my honest opinion I think I’m just lazy and because I’m lazy, I’m ashamed.