Tale #68: The Drunken Sailor

There was a sailor who, while drunk, went out to sea, where he lost control of his boat, and he lost control of his bowels.

But the truth of his story was that claiming drunkenness was merely an attempt to lessen his shame.

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Notes:

1. Written on June 26th, 2018

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On sweat

I sweat

I sweat and I sweat and I sweat and I sweat and I sweat and I sweat and I sweat and I sweat and I sweat and I sweat and I sweat and I sweat and I sweat and I sweat and I

***

I sweat when I’m hot. I sweat when I’m cold. I sweat when I’m nervous. I sweat when I’m relaxed. I sweat when I’m eating. I sweat when I’m hungry. I sweat when I’m ill. I sweat when I’m concentrating. I sweat when I wash. I sweat when I shave. I sweat when I shit. I sweat when I’m alone. I sweat when I’m around other people. I sweat when I’m anxious. I sweat when I wear a shirt. I sweat when I drink. I sweat when I drive.

I sweat when I desperately don’t want to sweat.

I sweat at the thought of sweating.

***

Sweat is not allowed. Perhaps it is in others, the fit, the healthy, the confident, the liked, but in me, no, never. Clothes are chosen in colours to hide the stains as best they can, t-shirts covered by a jumper when that doesn’t work, even in summer, even in the sun. A jacket finally, in this ridiculous futile charade, this self imposed feedback loop of increased sweat production, as I hope to hide what I cannot stop, hope to hide what can’t, ever, be hidden.

***

I sweat so much.

I sweat so much it runs down my face in waves, drips from my eyebrows, runs in waterfalls down my glasses, drips from my chin, percolates through my beard.

I sweat so much the arms of my t-shirts get soaked down to the elbows, halfway down to the waist, so much that the two circles centred round my armpits almost reach each other in the middle, a venn diagram of shame.

I sweat so much my jeans stick thickly to my legs, making my knees ache when I walk. I sweat so much the material of my boxers clings wetly to the tops of my thighs, chafing against the skin there until its as bald as if its been waxed.

I sweat so much some days I can barely use my phone, the screen unresponsive under the wetness of my thumb, necessitating a frantic rubbing of the screen against the left thigh of my jeans, the drying of my hand against the right.

I sweat so much it drips onto the page as I write this, the ink running beneath the drips, spreading like fungus to the edges of each dropletted circle on the page.

I sweat so much my whole skull aches. I sweat so much I feel like I’m dreaming, a strange sense of unreality, a feverless delirium, that comes in waves and only slowly subsides.

***

When I wake in the morning, there’s a perfect outline of my body drawn in salt upon the sheets. At least if I die at night, the police won’t need to waste their chalk.

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Notes:

1. Written on July 27th, 2019

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