Thursday, January 06, 2005

Tap. Tap.

*sound of throat clearing*

"Ummm, My name is Joey and I'm a, uh, a closet, ummmm. I mean I'm a, uh, uh....."

"It's okay Joey, you are among friends"

"Thanks." *sound of throat clearing* "I'm a...germophobe"

"Hi, Joey!"

"Thanks, ummm. Well. I've known for a long time that I've had some, uh, issues with germs. Not my germs per se, but, other people's germs.

I really don't know how it started actually, but I just know that I have always been, well, different from all the other boys. I thought atfirst that maybe I was just a product of my environment.I mean, my parents did keep a clean house, but thinkingback they were never that obsessive about it. My uncle was never,well, "that way" either.

I just remember, about the time I was thirteen, and I had to, you know, take gym and shower in public. It was an eye-opening experience. There I was, in the shower, with all of the other boys, and that water and soap sliding all over their bodies. I couldn't help but stare. All of that dirty water and soap from their bodies just mingling with each other. And soon, that white frothy stuff was everywhere in the shower. And I had this strange sensation going on in my body. Just thinking about all of those germs. I thought I was going to throw up.

As time progressed it got to a point where it never seemed to bother me. By high school I loved gym, and that shower. A lot. I couldn't wait to get in there after a hot sweaty practice. But all of this time, I have never, ever, ever once used a public restroom without washing my hands. And I have never. In my life. Had to sit on a public toilet seat. The thought of that just makes me cringe. But today, I just had to, well. You know. Dookie. There was no choice.

So I grabbed my lysol spray, and headed to the restroom.

But I couldn't do it. I just couldn't do it.

So I had to go home from work in the middle of the day, and then come back. Meanwhile everyone is looking at me in that way. The knowing glances. The staring eyes. The tsk under their breath. They all just know. I can tell. Theyknow that I am a germaphobe."