1. Uncircumcised (ongoing)
The mechanics are somewhat complicated, but the foreskin is not really a unique piece of skin, more like “extra” skin that sort of folds into a layer over the penis when it retracts back towards the body in a flaccid state. This (for those on the side of our savior) was God’s intention, and I personally have no problem with it; in fact, this “built in” sheath is more comfortable/convincing than a sock or hollowed out squash, or whatever unfortunate excised men use as surrogate vaginas during self rapture. However, the uncircumcised penis, if one were to anthropomorphize it, portrays the countenance of a “frown,” given the wrinkles formed by bunched up skin. If you — and please, this second person is abstract — don’t mind the blind stare of a frowning dour weasel who wakes up excitedly, barfs, and falls back to sleep in less than fifteen minutes, then we might have a chance.
2. Scar from Pyloric Stenosis (12 days old)
Put simply, pyloric stenosis is when the pyloric valve between the esophagus and stomach doesn’t open properly, leading to malnutrition and possible death. The scar from the surgery which saved my life grew from 1-centimeter to 4-inches over the course of 34 years, articulating a seam between two unfortunate layers of belly fat, the result of too many beers and not enough miles on the tread mill. My mother, who gave me life, also saved it 12 days later, as neither my father or the doctors believed her tale of a dying infant. She cried her way to the emergency room, and here I am still. The scar is an em dash on my belly — always reminding me of who I love in this world the most. To read a line on one’s palm is to know the future. To read a line on one’s body is to know the past.
3. Scar from Hernia (2 years old)
I have a scar on my lower right abdomen from a herniated protrusion, which is when your guts “pop out” of their abdominal lining, often dropping into the testes. No 2-year-old should have guts for balls, no matter how manly it may sound. I obviously don’t remember the incident which instigated popping/dropping, but my mother regales family members with vivid details of such “cute” protrusion. It seems I was “wound” back up a little too tightly by the surgeons, as my right testicle is now permanently higher than its partner, perhaps with a more pensive view of the world. Those with easily induced vertigo should not stare at my balls, for their tiered dichotomy embody all that is dizzying in this somewhat unbalanced and unfair world.
4. Bald (onset, age 25)
They say that men who bald from the front are great thinkers; men who bald from the back are great lovers; and men who bald from both front and back think they are great lovers. Well, I think this is all bullshit, and the myth that women are subconsciously attracted to bald men because such condition is indicative of high levels of testosterone. That’s like saying you want a fat chick because her left ass is a batch of estrogen. I’ve been using the same electric shaver ($14.99) for the past 7 years and a bottle of Dove shampoo (for delicate hair, $4.05) will last me 1.5 years; for those of you weary of math, my hair budget is $4.22 dollars a year. I shave my head about every 3 weeks in the bathroom, going over my scalp with my other hand to check for missed patches of hair. I am likely to arrange the shavings on the counter into a female muff, perhaps the sister I never had, because that’s how I roll.
5. Severely near-sighted (onset, age 15)
I clearly remember being a sophomore in high school and squinting at the chalk board; and no, I was not impersonating an Asian. I simply could not see whatever geometric proof I was suppose to see. Nothing added to 180°, save the internal oven of my heart’s growing resent. Six months later (my upbringing was rather “casual”), I officially belonged to the allegiance of nerds whose plastic frames awkwardly clasped their heads, magnifying their vision into a still blurry world. Perhaps it was too much The Legend of Zelda, or simply genes. Today, the cool literary kids fashion kitschy spectacles which aim to retroactively propel them as solemnly bookish, which I would buy if they acted a little more solemn. I thought about Lasik surgery, but I don’t see the point of a laser flaying open my cornea. I simply don’t see.
6. Tight scrotum (first perceived in c. 1987)
This is probably related to No. 3, or maybe I spiritually live in perpetually cold weather, but my scrotum — at least compared to the porn I watch — is on the “tight” side, like it doesn’t swing the way I see a nice pair of healthy balls swing. Imagine putting a tangerine inside a sock, that is what I mean by swinging. Now imagine this same tangerine duct-taped to a wall; these are my balls, or at least one of them. A tangerine duct-tapped to a wall, 1/4th of a room in which no woman shall reside due to this unfortunate lack of “freedom swinging.” I understand one should not compare one’s sexual anatomy to the swollen auspices of porn — and maybe there are legions of men with tight balls walking around with bowed heads and ulcers — but I like to aim high with my porn, which I why sometimes I hit the ceiling.
7. Respiratory tics
I’ve been diagnosed with mild-OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, okay? Did you get that? Or do I need to repeat myself?), a psychological condition which also manifests in nail biting, catastrophic thinking, various dependencies, and counting regiments (in triplets) before I leave my condo. But the main and most noticeable thing are the various sniffs and hacks derived from my nasal cavity and throat, respectively, as if trying to breathe in-and-out the ghost of one’s calmer self. Short of recording an .mp3 let me just say these respiratory tics are intricately composed and performed like Steve Reich on Ativan. Sniff-hack-hack-cough-sigh, sniff-hack-hack-cough-sigh, sniff-hack-hack-cough-sigh, etc. The less patient of my friends have all asked “what the fuck is [my] problem,” to which I answer sniff-hack-hack-cough-sigh “What?” Did I mention I also suffer from hay fever? I’m a Claritin® junky come Spring, ripping open boxes like a zombie.
8. Sixth toe
Bear with me. I don’t have a 6th toe as we speak, but I will have one in around 200,000 years, if you believe in evolution. Let me explain. I currently have a coarse “nub” at the end of each pinky toenail, an evolutionary precursor to a 6th toe. My mom told me this when I first noticed it at age 12 or so. She gets her science from Korean soap operas. From a single cell organism, to a tadpole, to a lizard, to a monkey, to the current form of human, you will notice that we have acquired more digits. Following this logic, one can calmly assert that the Chinese male (by the way, many Chinese males have this toenail nub) is the most evolved human being on earth, and thank God because there are a lot of us. The 6th toe will help “Human II” (aka Wang) balance better, run faster, and maybe foot cello. Or, we will simply have one more digit to text our eventual victory with. We all know China is the next global Empire, and my boarding pass is already printed out, tucked safely inside a folded P.F. Chang’s menu. Like the sixth sense, the sixth toe is not easily perceived. I’d be happy to show you, though I must warn you, it’s only beautiful from a distance.