Tuesday, August 04, 2015

The Enterprise - 51

After work one night Sean told me a story.

“Hands down, the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to me happened to me today.”

“Really?” I asked, a little worried.

“Hands down!”


“This new girl in the office, hot girl. She came over to my desk because I was supposed to show her something, a fucking presentation I was working on for Artie. So she was looking at my computer and I was looking for the thing and I clicked on my browser by mistake and there was that shit play site I told you about. Front and center.”

“The shit play site,” I repeated numbly.

“I died of embarrassment, man. I died. I said, ‘You probably weren’t supposed to see that.’” Sean cringed as though it were happening all over again. “Probably?!” he yelped.

“What was specifically on the site? On your screen?”

Sean composed himself and said: “It was a picture of a woman taking a shit into a dude’s mouth.”

I nodded solemnly, trying to get a full grasp of the situation.

“How did she react?”

“It was weird. She didn’t really do anything. She just stood there. Over my shoulder”

“Pretended it wasn’t happening?”

“I guess.”

“Good fucking Christ.”

“The worst thing was, now I had to show her the fucking PowerPoint I was supposed to be showing her. I had to act like I was OK. My heart was pounding. My hands were literally shaking.”

“And there she is, standing there,” I remarked. “After seeing a photograph of a man eat shit.”

“Right out of a woman’s ass. Squatting. Squatting over his face.”

I felt a shiver, a faint echo of the mortification he must have felt. The difference between looking over a ledge and being plunged into the void.

“That’s horrible,” I declared, shaking my head. “I’m sorry, man, that’s just…”

He looked at me and gave a little guffaw. He actually seemed OK. How odd that one could experience—cause, in fact—such an extreme breach of decorum and then continue with one’s life: to chew gum, read the paper. Order pork fried rice. Whatever life consists of. But how could life ever be the same? Still, I supposed it could have been worse.

“At least you didn’t have your cock in your hand,” I pointed out.

“To the shit play? I wouldn’t. I do not find it sexually stimulating.”

“Right, right.”

“I find it completely fascinating. But not erotic.”

It was funny he said he wouldn’t take out his cock and jerk it because it didn’t turn him on. Instead of: because he was at work. Still, I understood.

“It’s less embarrassing that way, right? It’d be worse if it was just some normal porn and she thought you might be jerking yourself off under your fucking desk.”

“Yes,” Sean agreed. “Exactly. At least this way it was revolting and bizarre. That’s better than sexy.”

“Revolting, bizarre, horrifying, unconscionable. This is all fine compared to like, a pair of titties.”

He nodded. “If you have boner in the office,” he declared with a wave of his hand, “you’re sunk.”

I sat back and reflected on all this. I was happy I wasn’t him. Sure. Then again, I took certain precautions to not be him. I did not view pornography nor extreme grotesquerie on my workstation. Then I wondered: Do I take too many precautions? Am I too afraid? Sometimes I’m embarrassed when I walk out the elevator door. Sometimes I can’t look a coworker in the eye when we’re discussing where to go to lunch. The thought of his experience made me dizzy. Would I die, would I have a heart attack and collapse? If an attractive coworker scrutinized a shit-eating scene on my desktop?

I suspected that I would not. Maybe that’s what I needed. I always tried so hard to say the right thing, seem the right way. To sit at the conference table in a posture of relaxed alertness. Of course the more I thought about it the harder it was to pull off. Did I seem to others like some crazy automaton? I could only be a freak, really. Sean’s experience was the expression of a truth I felt about myself somehow. It was almost heroic, making something like that happen, enduring the consequences, and telling the story.

Right: Telling the story.

Might it not be liberating to do something perfectly humiliating, and to survive? Because you do survive. There’s always another breath to take.