Where did this old man ass come from, and why is it following me around?
I remember when I used to fill these pants out like freakin’ Barishnikov … well, not these pants, since these are the pants I bought when it was made abundantly clear that big bottom bells were no longer de rigueur.
I knew that because I couldn’t find them in a real store anymore, and the only place they had ‘em was the Salvation Army thrift store … where they got sent after 15-year-old slackers realized they were no longer cool.
Either that, or I had to special-order them from K-mart, having them transferred from another store in another town where good taste and grunge hadn’t yet reached. Which I thought was very cool, having my pants special-ordered, almost as cool as having them professionally tailored, until I realized that the pimply-faced cranky night manager was pointing at me from behind the special-order kiosk, whispering to the crew that they should all show up next Tuesday on the off chance that I’d actually try them on before I left.
I suspect that somewhere, now, on the internet, is a 20 year old security tape of me looking at my ass in the mirror and wondering if the pants are long enough to get suitably shredded beneath the heels of my loggers boots, on a website called can_you_believe_this_loser_hasn’t_discovered_depeche-mode.com.
So now I wear these husky dungarees, these roomy-fit dungarees, the pants with the zippered front because button-fly is just entirely too time consuming, and unsettlingly untrustworthy, and I look at my ass in the mirror before I leave the house and I realize that the waistline is riding just a little too high and if I backed up against the wall there’d really be no space to slide a pencil behind the small of my back. My ass is now basically just the non-descript area between my hips and the backs of my thighs, a fly-over state with little to offer but an unobstructed view of the horizon and a salt-flat you could play billiards on. Some unfortunate women have cankles, where their calves just run right on through to where their ankles are supposed to be and into their feet. I have a Paul Reiser ass. An ass that makes it look like my pelvis is tilted backwards and someone is leading my around by my penis.
The point of all this is that I have no idea where this old man ass came from.
But I have my suspicions. I’m pretty sure it belongs to the old man that been hitching a ride behind me from the beginning, waiting patiently behind the idealistic, sexy, naïve, ballsy and adventurous imposter that we like to spend our best years pretending knows jack … quietly whispering to himself that the imposter’s days are numbered, that time will be unkind, that gravity will take its toll, that patience will wear thin and the knocks will come harder until the imposter finally flees in a whiny escape, arms flailing and batting at the unflinching unfairness of it all like a swarm of relentless bees, and the old man can step in and take his rightful place, just and right and true, even if he can’t fill out the pants.
The promise of the old man ass is that it signifies experience, and a theoretical amount of wisdom. The old man ass has been patiently observing, cataloging the mistakes and the arrogance and the poor judgment, and making a laundry list of ‘crap only a moron would do’ to share with the new young imposters in the form of stone tablets etched with the diamond-edged accuracy that only insight into the truth of the universe can afford.
The drawback of the old man ass is that it is stunningly unattractive. The old man ass is the result of time, and mileage, male pattern baldness, drunken debauchery, disappointment and failure, car insurance payments and the loss of love. The old man ass has given in to gravity, no longer tries to fill out the big bells, and given its lack of volume and its afterthought position, is often too little too late. It’s like having an elderly Siamese twin that only wants to watch home movies and slide shows of the family trip to Ohio when you want to watch MTV’s Spring Break in Tahiti, and it’s holding the remote control. It remains in your shadow; you forget that it’s there, and you blissfully carry on as though you still filled your tights like Barishnikov, and you only catch sight of it when you peek in the mirror, look for that Barishnikov ass, and there’s that Paul Reiser, high-waisted, no-man’s land where your ass used to be. And the dirty little secret is that your not being led around by your penis, you’re being pushed around by your old man ass.
Thank God I read the tablets, and saw the inscription “thou shalt not commit heinous acts of fashion and arrogance”. I’m glad I’m not in those big bottom super bells any more.
The old man ass is right about a lot of things. But it’s not right about everything. Why does it need to be an old man ass? Why doesn’t experience and mileage and wisdom come with more attractive options? Why can’t it be the old man set of rock hard pecs? Or the old man luxurious head of hair? Or the old man prostate the size of a pea? Or the old man patience of Job?
The trick is to find a way to get the old man ass to fill out your comfort-cut JC Penney’s wanna-be Levi’s – to lose the shirt with the snaps and the paisley yoke, the mood ring, the shag haircut and the puka shell necklace, and hang onto the idealistic, sexy, ballsy and adventurous Barishnikov ass that still looks good in a fashionable pair of tights.
If I figure it out, I’ll be sure to share it with you. Etched on a pair of stone tablets. I’ll be the guy with the ass.
That’s it. That’s all I got.