Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Don't Drag Me Down

We all have embarrassing little things we enjoy doing in private. Embarrassing little things that would mortify us if we were caught doing them in public. I know it and you know it, and if you think otherwise you are either a blatant liar, or have the self-awareness of a clam. My main quirk is a fairly common one I think, perhaps not even a quirk at all but more of a secret hobby: I play violent air-guitar and lip-sync, preferably in front of mirrors, but really any reflective surface will do, storefront windows, the polished side of a van, anything that allows me to see my exaggerated game of make-believe, so long as no one else is around to see it. Since I’ve come to the conclusion that we all do these sorts of things, I have often tried to convince myself that, if caught, it is a far better thing to just keep trucking. Yes, I’m playing air-guitar in the bathroom because this solo is bad-ass and I was pretty sure the bathroom was empty. Just pretend like you haven’t done it before. And so I stood in front of the bathroom mirrors, throwing my hand down to strike the strings of my non-existent Stratocaster. “Gonna go to the white house, and paint it blaaaaaack,” I mouth, with the sort of exaggeration one might use when talking to a deaf person. My hands fly up and down the neck of my invisible guitar, with a ferocity possessed almost solely by people who aren’t actually playing an instrument. My fingers twitch in a mock seizure as I poorly imitate the feverish guitar solo, pinch-harmonics and all. And despite my fervent belief that this isn’t weird, per se, that this is something worthy of only mild embarrassment, I jump when I see movement out of the corner of my eye. For a split second, I consider moving on, finishing up the measure at least, but no matter how confident I am that I am right, I just can’t. And so, defeated, I quickly stick my hands in my pockets, turn to leave and try my hardest to avoid making eye contact with the amused janitor who stands in the doorway.