Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Since hitting puberty, the common sock—tube or dress—has been my preferred article of choice for cleaning up the aftermath of the act of masturbation. It’s generally the last garment one takes off before sliding beneath the covers, usually piled into a heap on the floor, next to the bed in easy reaching distance, which later one can easily toss back to the same general area from whence it came in blissed-out, though solitary, afterglow when aim tends not to be at its best.
It is not a perfect system, as just this morning the cat came lumbering onto the bed and up my body with a cotton, men’s crew-length seemingly glued to its butt. It was not a problem for long, as fortunately cats are just so flingable. She bounced off the edge of a dresser but the sock stayed put. I was forced to grab an end and peel it away with a gooey, tearing noise, a tuft of cat hair remaining in place as though the sock had chosen to grow a mustache. I did not eat breakfast.
At thirteen, I discovered the concept of necessary camouflage. If you squirt your spew into a white tube sock and toss it under the bed, in a matter of days the invisible white-on-white color scheme will transform into a viscous and crusty dried yellow, giving the game away. If you blow your nose into the same sock, though, the dried snot will blend with the other body fluid and you can explain yourself to the person in the family who does the laundry by saying you were too tired to get out of bed and find a Kleenex. Trouble is, the dried spunk can have a sharp edge and inflict upon your nose the equivalent of a very nasty paper cut. Handy tip: it is much easier to tell your mother that in the act of blowing your nose your fingernail accidentally scratched your flesh than to admit the truth that your own crusted semen has done damage and also recently intermingled with your bloodstream.
Pounding the pud is no longer the wondrous phenomena it was at puberty and is now an involuntary, yet necessary, activity like respiration or sweating. So I tend to forget when and where I’ve done it. Given what happened last week, I should probably start making some kind of chart with gold stars and smiley faces.
I’d hit the snooze alarm way past the point of timely arrival to work. I’d blown off the concept of shaving, rationalizing that my scruffy look would be taken as the apex of cool rather than a wino stumbling into a pressboard cubicle. I had no clean laundry, so I simply pulled items out of a pile, squirted them down with Febreeze and threw them in the dryer to fluff out the wrinkles. No time for a shower, so I rubbed an anti-perspirant stick over every square inch of my body. It was from the Axe line of products and I hadn’t bathed; I figured my scent would be too peculiar to be identifiable, like what would happen if someone burned a stick of Nag Champa incense in a pile of parmesan cheese.
Not thinking, racing to exit my apartment in time to make it to work, I suddenly discovered there was not a clean sock in the house. It was winter; it was cold; so I figured I could re-wear yesterday’s hosiery as it hadn’t been hot enough for my feet to perspire and send out their usual scent, which in summer tends to be along the line of Viet Nam Mustard Gas. I pulled on the recycled socks, forgetting entirely about their former use as a Splooge squeegee, and ran out of the house, hoping to get to work without a write-up.
Half a block down the street I noticed that my feet felt, well, slimy.
Suddenly it hit me just what that tapioca-pudding-like sensation actually was, smearing against the balls of my feet. I could have turned around. I could have gone back into the house and hand washed some socks in the sink using a combination of shampoo, dishwashing liquid and foaming face masque; drying them later by wrapping them onto the nozzle end of a hair dryer and letting them inflate with hot air like a Rugrats balloon at Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, but no. If I kept on walking, I could make it to work just in the nick of time.
So I did just that. Squish, squish, squish. Five minutes later, Jon, in the next cubicle, pulled me over and whispered in my ear.
“So I guess someone got lucky last night.”
“What?” I asked.
“Dude. You absolutely reek of sex.”
“You live the life I dream of,” he said, clapping me on the back.
My semen-infused socks, through the open rivets in my Converse high-tops, were venting the scents of my own jiz dump into the open atmosphere.
“Something smells yummy,” said Pat. “I can’t put my finger on it but I’ve tasted it before…”
The embarrassment was causing my every gland in my body to secrete, particularly the ones in my feet, and the heat blasting from my vented sneakers might as well have been issuing from a ceramic fan heater.
“I know,” said Keckler, several rows over. “It’s sort of a mixture of buttermilk and Clorox.”
“I smell cum,” said Chris, getting to the point.
I stood up and put on my coat, as if going outside for a smoke. Instead I ran to the bathroom, kicked off my shoes, peeled off my pungent socks and threw them into the sink where I squirted them down with a sizeable quantity of liquid hand soap. I ran hot water over them, doing my best to wash away the remnants of my joy juice. I figured walking around the rest of the day in wet socks, which perhaps might smell of wet dog, would be better than throwing off an aroma of a popular male body fluid. What, unfortunately, I hadn’t taken into consideration was the simple act of locking the door.
My boss, Steve, walked in on me. Now, Steve is great because he is so low-key and unlike every other supervisor I’ve ever had he’s not up your ass every minute of the day. But the man has his limits, and walking in to see me barefoot and hosing the DNA off my socks in the employee restroom may have crossed one of these or two.
“Dan, what are you doing?”
“Washing my socks.”
“Oh. Ok,” he said, beating a hasty retreat. The less known, the better. This is why Steve is the best boss ever.
I squished my way back into Cubicle City, fragrant water flowing out the rivets in my sneakers and leaving moist footprints.
“I smelled it and then it was gone,” said Chris. “It was like a poltergeist was masturbating and suddenly the house was clean.”
Jon leaned over and sniffed me. “Oh, you went and had one of those whore baths in the sink. You don’t smell like Fuck Town quite so much.”
“Shut up, Jon,” I hissed.
And I got away with it. The phantom, spew-drenched aroma was not associated with me or my vile shoes.
But the sock thing is still causing problems. A motherfucking bat flew into my window last summer, pounced onto my footwear and flew away with a dark stretch-sock pasted to its chest. It flapped around my room, bouncing off the walls, until it banged against the ceiling against the rafters just above my open, girly, screaming mouth, where the sock dislodged and fell straight down into my open cavity. The dried semen flaking into my mouth wasn’t the problem. It was just that, out of habit, I’d also blown my nose in it.

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