Thursday, November 11, 2010

Pick, Sniff, Discard.

I have an 'innie'. My belly button is an 'innie'. God knows, with every passing year it is striving to morph into an 'outie' but at this point, it's still concave. I have never quite understood why some people have protruding lumps at the navel. Yeah, I know there is a medical reason for it and I'm down with that, ya dig?

It's just that the belly button, navel for the purist, is more than a reminder of where the baby mama nourished us while we were sequestered within the womb. I know this due to a revelation .. an epiphany that was thrust upon me as I was showering. Some people sing in the shower .. others dawdle and pick at moles. A few pee and there are those who meticulously manicure the landscape, if ya know what I'm sayin'...

I usually find time for all aforementioned activities but on this particular morning, as my disfingured right hand traversed the forest of belly hair, it fell pointer finger-first into the pit of nourishment, the belly button. Let me say that the ol' finger regularly pokes at the belly hole. Hell, I'm a man. What man doesn't prod the belly button for treasure during a football game or while stalling before washing dishes after dinner?

But, this time, it was different. It was this time, under the puslating showerhead that my digit entered the abyss and found, a sweater. I'd done nothing since my last shower but sleep the night before and trust me, there was no torso covering. I'm a birthday suit sleeper ... but here it was, enough material to fabricate at least one pastie, maybe a tiny thong patch.

I will not regale you with specifics of my find. Just be thankful that the dingleberry crops are dormant for the winter. No, but I will tell you the similarities between belly button lint and life.

"Oh, this oughtta be interesting," you say.

Uh, in a warped sort of way, it might make sense ... bear with me.

When my deformed digit entered my navel and discovered that remnants of something had nested in a place so overlooked at a time when I was unaware, even unconscious, I thought of the many acts and words that came from my mind at a time of distress. I have to be honest .. there was one instance in which I was forceably thrown from a bar by two bouncers onto the sidewalk. After the expulsion, I threw a great right cross that didn't faze the brick column that received the punch but the broken finger, police intervention and anger that follwed my butt-to-concrete experience stick with me to this day.

What doesn't register at all is the reason that I was removed from the establishment. The memory of the expulsion is my belly button lint. How the lint got there is yet a mystery. It's called a 'manic blackout'. I've had many of them. It's as if I was sleepwalking with a bootknife and a deathwish.

I tell you this because belly button lint can also manifest itself in words. I'm in no way going to concede my newfound individuality that I've regained as a result of blessedly altered brain chemistry. I will continue to express myself either through my mouth, my eyes or my ass. I'm adept at expression in any form ..

However, I will bow my head, roll the newfound lint between my thumb and forefinger and admit that there are words both spoken and written that have added to my own pain by alienating two of those that I want to draw closer, my kids. Can I expect them to understand? Nah. Not now ... maybe one day. Maybe one day when they pick their own lint and wonder where it came from. Maybe one day that they understand that everyone has Oompa Loompas that plague the crevices and crannies of the body and mind with imperfections that sooner or later need to be picked clean, sniffed, respected for their mystery and then discarded.

I watched the remnants of something I don't remember spiral into the drain but learned to appreciate the significance of the mystery of those remnants. I will most likely always struggle with my not knowing how those remnants found their way into such a visible, accepted orifice (yeah, it's a hole so it's an orifice), but I can assure you that that 'innie' is clean from now on and that each time that pungent lint is extracted I'm going to consider my words and actions and make amends, if necessary.

I'll save my thoughts on toe-jam, eye boogers and dingleberries for another day. I'm not really up for a religious discussion.

Hey, my children ... if you're reading, I love you both. My belly button is clean and my mind is semi-clear but my heart is always open to you. Shower on ...


  1. this is so ewwwwww that i'm speechless. LMAO!

  2. Hmmm... nutty. Like pistachios. I often have green lips but my mind is a shell that will destroy a french manicure.