Friday, October 14, 2016
It is Difficult to Talk About...Buttholes.
By this title, I do not mean to suggest that I personally have any difficulty in speaking of the Butthole. Oh, no.
It is just that I notice how many people fidget and squirm away from both this word, and this topic. They try to use such replacement phrases as "pucker" [Téodor, who curiously "oralizes" the concept] and "knuckle-sucker" [Ray, who lightens things with humor you are forced to visualize] as they look for any way at all to avoid saying Butthole. It is as though the Butthole were an unstable dictator in their lives, and they did not dare address it by name, so as not to awaken its ire.
As you have noticed, and to make things more comfortable for you, I capitalize it. As though it were just, "our friend Dave." I want you to know that I will be using this word a lot tonight. This, Butthole word.
We may train our faces to lie for us. We may master their reflexes. We may control our breathing, and heart rate, so that we can defeat the polygraph tests which seek to wrest us from our path. But there is one feature of the body which is no liar. There is a part of us which, if we were to seek its counsel, and place it hard against the mirror, would always show us our true self.
I was first drawn to consider the fantastic power of the Butthole by an airplane mechanic named Jurgen. He was an old gray German man who lived in an RV on a dusty mechanic's lot on down by Harvicchio Way, which ran past the local airstrip. He slept in his dirty bibs and took his liquor upon rising, as a fresh baby screams for aid. I would collect hood ornaments for him, and he would give me a nickel apiece, and it wasn't long before I was something of a fixture around his yard. It was nice to know the sensation of appreciation for skilled work given on faith.
Jurgen described to me, one time, an incident in which high winds over a shoreline nearly caused the light aircraft which he was piloting to crash to the ground. He said, in his sharp German accent, ...
[...and forgive me, as I try to recreate his accent in words, here. I have a, "tin ear" for accents... —Ed.]
...He said, "Ven I felt the plane drop ten feet, I felt my asshole clench!"
I had never considered this involuntary "tell" before—this idea that the Butthole was of the same honest stuff as our heart. My mind latched onto it like a chigger on a mud-drowned dog. After that, whenever I could, as a part of my learning about others, I made it my job to picture not how someone's face behaved, but how their Butthole might be behaving. To this day, thanks to experience, I can sense the inverse relationship between forced laughter and a clenched Butthole. And I can make many decisions based upon that.
But first we must abolish the stigma of talking about this amazing, "oracle," if you will. Here are some suggestions of how we might change the way we talk in order to create that future.
- Folks could do a world of good for themselves if they would say—to use a construct from daylight television programs—"talk to the Butthole because the face is a scaffold of lies." [In this scenario, I imagine the speaker turning from their combatant, bending at the waist, and presenting them with the full wide view of their derriere.]
- If folks were comfortable asking a friend, "What does your Butthole say about these new drapes, Marvin?"
- On a complex subject, one could say, "I am of two Buttholes about Jared's latest necktie." (I picture this said, over brandy, in deep leather club chairs, by men whose thick, beautifully-dressed hair is uniformly but gently drawn back, with good and healthy spacing, like the feathers of an eagle.)
Peter H. Cropes