You probably won’t get what I’m about to say. Not because you’re stupid, I mean you may be stupid, but–listen, nevermind. Suffice it to say, I’m not very good at first impression. My mother hated me from the second trimester on, I kicked so hard that she could barely get up and walk, apparently. I was born backwards. Most babies that happens too don’t ever live long, but there I was, and the first thing the whole world saw was my blood and uterus-covered ass blazing into this world. The doctors were shocked–after all the blood, shit, and episiotomies, the sight that finally got to them was a baby going ass first into this bright cold life. I just stared dead back at them, waiting calmly until they cleaned me up, and then I pissed all over my Dad and his only work shirt.
Hello, or wassup? My hand is wet–lets not shake–I’m Josh. In first grade, the teacher got me confused with another student, Greg. I just let everyone call me that, and my kindergarten class had two kids named Greg until my folks came to watch the school play. In middle school, I walked around half the day with my fly unzipped and the other half with a snot rocket down my shirt. In high school, I thought I’d get tan and fell asleep on one side of my face. Everyone called me two-face, and by the time it faded, no one quite remembered my named and called me Jake. I didn’t correct them until sophomore year. The night before the first day of classes in college, I drank too much. This actually went ok, but during the first class, I vomited in the trash can before we even got bast the “H” names during introductions.
I’ve dated a few girls, ones who either didn’t notice the first impresion, or were kind enough to ignore it, either way, I always had it in the back of my mind, like at some point in our relationship god was going to hit rewind and not only would I have given a shitty first impression, but I’d be seen trying to take back an equally terrible last impression.
Getting drunk doesn’t work, because I’m offensive. Saying nothing doesn’t work, because then I’m stuck being too shy. Trying to be funny–well, good lord, I might as well just walk around chewing garlic and drooling on people. I can never think of anything but race jokes when I try to be funy. Those can be funny if you know a person well enough to know that one isn’t offensive, but I never quite get to the point. Meeting people online doesn’t work, because really it just means that there are two first impressions to screw up–virtual and, inevitanly physical.
There once was a God of Charm whose job was to mete out all the charm in equal portions to each person. This ensured that everone was equally pleasant. One man, an ancestor of mine, decided he wanted more than his fair share, and went up and stole some from the back of the Charm God’s pile while he was sleeping. He’d gotten away with it, but his charm was too magnetic, and soon he was the most powerful man in the village, and soon in the region, and then the state. Simply seeing his smile for the first time was enough to make any woman love him, and his handshake made men eager to obey him. The Charm God realized what had happened, and came down to my ancestor’s castle, reached in his mouth, and pulled his tongue so far out of his mouth that it was always stretched out and all he could say as a greeting was “Wassaaaaaaap?” in a raspy, unpleasant voice. The God furthermore cursed all of his children to never again be charming.
I though about killing myself during one lonely stretch in college, but if there was a god, suicide seemed to be a surefire way to make a bad first impression, like I was ungrateful for a gift, or something. Instead, I’ve got to keep trying until I die, going kicking and screaming about all the things I haven’t done and the opportunities I want a second chance at into the great infinity of finitude, which come to think of it, isn’t really much of a first–or last–impression either.