Puberty Sucks But Second Puberty Is Just The God-Awful Worst
As you somehow keep holding on when the rodeo horse of life tries to buck you off so it can face its ultimate foe (the rodeo clown of life), you'll eventually reach a kind of second puberty. The first time, you transformed butterfly-like from child to slightly grosser child. Once all your body's jagged edges and weird lumps settle into place, you enjoy a prime that'll last about eight minutes, and you'll be too drunk or high to remember it.
Second puberty will hit between 28 and 33. The physical changes you'll undergo -- the ones I'm experiencing now -- aren't too dramatic, but are different enough to be unsettling. It's a harbinger of horrors to come. It's like Batman getting that vision of the Earth reduced to a dusty wasteland controlled by Darkseid in Batman v. Superman. I want to be Batman in that scenario, but it's become increasingly apparent that I am the wasteland. As evidence of my physical dilapidation, I present the following.
After 9 I Can -- And Will -- Fall Asleep Anywhere
I've been afflicted with a punctual form of narcolepsy. No matter how caffeinated I am, I will fall asleep instantly if certain easily met conditions are present:
1) I have recently eaten dinner after having made dinner, which I do every night.
2) Most of my weight is heaped onto something comfortable. The definition of what can be comfortable is wide enough to include leaning on a wall coated with satin paint (the most comfortable of paints).
3) It is at least 9 p.m.
When those three elements combine, I involuntarily enter, exit, and then reenter a deep state of unconsciousness that I will deny having entered if caught in the act. Vehement denial, punctuated with wild fits of slurred vulgarity, is another symptom of this recently acquired disorder.
When one of my molecules touches one couch fiber after a late dinner.
If left untreated, the debilitating sleepiness can lead to waking up in a frightened daze at 3:30 a.m., not fully remembering how I got onto this comfy thing from wherever I ate dinner, be it the dining table in my apartment or the Five Guys a mile away.
Falling asleep early sounds great, but not when I have a wife whom I'd like to remain conscious enough to hang out with after work, because like an idiot I married someone I love and want to be around. Boy, I'm really paying for that dumb mistake.
I'm Suddenly Allergic To Life
To my recent unpleasant surprise, allergies aren't something you're stuck with your entire life. They are for some people, and my heart goes out to them. I don't know why we don't have annual telethons raising money to help lifelong seasonal allergy sufferers pay their Claritin and tissue bills. My mom's side of the family is where this new nemesis of mine comes from. They didn't feel the torment of allergies until well into their 20s. I followed a similar path.
Twenty-eight is when things started to go awry. Scratching one small eye itch could trigger an itch that could go on for days and stop just before I took a back-scratcher to my corneas. Things have ramped up since. One sneeze within 10 minutes of waking up is my body's way of telling me I should sprinkle some blueberries and Benadryl on my morning oatmeal and call it a day. I don't know what it's like to breathe through my nose without fear that if I inhale too vigorously I'll set off a chain reaction of sneezes lasting hours that very well could blow my brain out the back of my skull.
Why does this frighteningly appropriate stock photo even exist?
There's such a wide variety of allergy pills and nasal sprays that finding the one that works best for me is nearly impossible. Once swallowed, some pills will take one look at your genetic makeup and go full diva as they refuse to work with that clown show of body. Have you ever torrented a band's entire discography, only to realize you don't have the time to listen to 73 albums, so you delete everything but the greatest hits? That's shopping for allergy pills. One of the brands I'm not immediately familiar with might be a gamechanger, but I can't risk blowing my life savings on an absurdly priced pack of pills with a brand name I didn't see advertised during an award show or an NBA game. I'll stick with the hits everybody can sing along to -- Claritin, Zyrtec, Benadryl.
They ran out of nonsense letter combos for pills halfway, so they restarted from the beginning of the alphabet.
Sorry, Xyzal, but I don't know you, and I get the inkling that saying your name out loud summons a long-dormant demon. I just can't take that risk.
I Can Drastically Change Pants Size In The Blink Of An Eye
Technically I've worn the same pants size since middle school, but that's a little disingenuous. I'm a first-wave millennial; we were some of the last kids to think tripping over our very baggy pants was the first step to cultivating an air of supreme dopeness. If I go about my normal diet, everything will be fine. But one Taco Bell pig-out session, or more than one slice of pizza, or more than one beer, and soon I'll reach the full potential of my middle-school-era JNCOs.
Not a picture of me in middle school, but basically a picture of me in middle school.
It's so drastic that I want to take this show on the road. I'll wow skeptical crowds by swallowing a slice of chocolate cake, and with a magician's dramatic wave of my hands make any discernible separation between jawline and neck disappear before their eyes. They'll be looking around for the wires or prosthesis, but they won't find any. Some will call me a simple trickster; others a heretic. But the truth is that my metabolism is shit and I have to eat like a bird so I don't look like a boar.
To make sure it wasn't just me, I asked around. John Cheese told me that once he turned 40, his weight started fluctuating 30 pounds in both directions. He seriously has to keep two wardrobes: one for the fall when he shoots up to 235 pounds, and one for the spring when he drops back down to 200. If you're thinking that weight change happens over the course of six months, think again. He gains and loses 30 pounds in a matter of weeks, changing absolutely nothing about his diet or exercise routine -- the one he has aptly named "I Don't Exercise, Ever."
Please, if you're in your early 20s, listen to me: Enjoy eating however much of whatever you want while you can, because within a handful of years, every ounce of junk food you eat will be converted into a pound of fat in the exact spot that determines your clothing size. Have fun jogging the width of Texas to burn off one bite of donut. When you're young, your body is a furnace that instantly incinerates whatever you put in it. Eventually it will be a landfill where things slowly decompose over centuries, poisoning the groundwater.
My Shit Literally Never Stank Before I Hit My 30s
I don't want to brag or nothing, but for a long time, I could've taken a hearty dump during a crowded house party and no one would've been the wiser. I left no odor behind. My body converted the stink into pure energy. I believe there was a point in my life when close study of my body's internal workings could have led to the design of a more efficient internal combustion engine, thus slowing climate change, thus making my ass the savior of the human race.
And then I got older and my dookie stench roared in with the fury of a long-dormant demon named Xyzal awakening for the first time in centuries. I just wish I'd been able to appreciate what I had before it was gone. Hypothetically, if you and I were in the same room, and I were shitting in that room, you wouldn't have known it until you heard the plop plop of the water, because I could never figure out how to muffle those. But by scent alone? Nah. Too ninja for you. You'd never know it.
Also if you looked directly at me.
I'm just happy my stink powers activated in the same era as the advent of Poo-Pourri. I don't want to turn this column into an ad for a bottle of essential oils you spray in a toilet to conceal your turd funk, but that stuff is amazing. If I made the smells I do now 10 years ago without Poo-Pourri, I wouldn't have friends and I wouldn't be married. I'd be living in an adobe in the desert, where there's nothing alive to offend.
My Teeth Are Sensitive Little Snowflakes
Every new transformation in second puberty comes with a small shame. Parts of your body are losing function and you can't do anything to stop it. You can iron the wrinkles out of your balls to make them look 20 years younger, but you're just filling pot holes in a road as it's being carpet-bombed. All I can do is accept it. I've only just begun accepting every unfortunate transformation I've already mentioned. But my sensitive teeth and I will be locked in a mythical eternal battle between good and evil so grand it will one day inspire the creation of a religion. Wars will be fought in its name.
Millions will die.
When my teeth suddenly became sensitive to cold temperatures, I felt I had fundamentally failed at being alive. I can't belt out an "Aw fuck!" when I lick an ice cream cone without ceding some confidence. I can't feel like I'm in the prime of my life when I double over in a blinding-white flash of pain because I made the fatal mistake of eating cold salami slices straight from the fridge.
It's stupid to say I like eating, because if I didn't like it, I'd be too dead of starvation to say it. But I'm certain I like eating a lot more than you do. Anywhere between 50-65 percent of my day consists of grunting orgasmically as I chew. So you have understand how crushing it is to have something that makes me so happy cause me so much physical pain. It got so bad that at one point my teeth would leave me screaming in pain if a cool breeze wafted across them when I smiled. My teeth were training me to fear happiness. That's the psychical damage you lay on the person you're keeping the pit you've dug in your basement.
Who says you're not handy?
There are toothpastes that help. But brushing too enthusiastically is one of the things that caused the sensitivity to begin with. I'm trying to mend a gunshot wound by shooting it. And that's a good summation of the state second puberty has left me in. I'm just fucked forever, so I guess I should try to look at the bright side: I'll get to watch my body spontaneously do weird things for the rest of my life, like I'm a living video game glitch.
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