masturbation

My dinner party with 5 famous people: #2 Louie C.K.

As I wrote in my last post, I’ve decided to take a cue from the classic college application question: If you could have dinner with five famous people (alive or dead) who would they be and why? It’s a good question because it shows what you value in a person, and what you hope to gain from the interaction. So without further ado, here’s the second person I would invite: Louie CK.

Louie and and me at a diner

Louie and and me at a diner

I was pretty late to discovering the comic genius that is Louie CK. I kept hearing his name mentioned, and sometimes when someone would say “you know, like on Louie,” I would smile and nod, having no idea what they were talking about. Netflix had been suggesting his show for months, and finally one day I plugged my computer into the t.v. and sat down to watch the show. By the next day (embarrassing to admit) I was done with season one and ready for more.

The magic of Louie CK is that although he can be disgusting, he’s so earnest and full of heart. He puts all of his insecurities, fears, and desires on the screen and you can’t help but relate. Sometimes he just looks like a lost puppy and I want to wrap him up and take him home with me, but then he’ll talk about how much he masturbates and I change my mind. I like a man who keeps me on my toes 🙂

I would serve Louie CK pizza, french fries, a fried appetizer sampler, some milkshakes and some beer. I don’t think I could sit him next to Oprah, so you’ll just have to wait for the future posts to see who he will sit next to! I’ll leave you with my favorite clip from the show:

 

Masturbation on the subway

A satyr masturbating. Detail of side B of a Gr...

A satyr masturbating. Detail of side B of a Greek column krater showing two satyrs and a maenad in a Dionysiac scene. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last night I ran into Masturbating Joe on the subway. That’s my nickname for him because I’ve seen this homeless guy masturbating on the subway three times now. He’s always on a crowded subway, and everyone seems to just let him do his business, as if it would be rude to interrupt him.

I can’t help but think back to my days of student teaching whenever I see Masturbating Joe.

On my very first day, in my very first class I had a student that I will call little Joe. I asked him a question and he proceeded to slide off his stool and began to rub against it. I walked over to him and repeated the question. He kept rubbing against the stool and wouldn’t look at me. “Joe, you need to look at me, I’m asking you a question.”

That’s when my mentor teacher pulled me aside. She explained that Joe had been sexually molested from the time he was a baby until he was five years old. When he gets scared he starts to masturbate because he was so sexually over-sensitized from an early age it’s the only thing that comforts him. After this abuse was discovered he was put into intense counseling, but after 4 years he still wasn’t getting any better.

During the rest of my time student teaching, I really grew to love Joe. He was sweet and sensitive, and eager for my attention. While he never stopped masturbating in class, it was much easier to ignore it.

I think about him often. He would be 14 now. It’s one thing for a nine year old to rub himself against a stool, but another thing for a 14 year old. I wonder if he was ever able to stop the habit. If not, I wonder if he’ll ever be able to have a normal life. Who would employ him? Who would date him? Will he become Masturbating Joe on the subway?

What happened to little Joe was so unfair. He was robbed of a normal life. Once I knew about his history, it was easy to look past his unusual behavior, but I wouldn’t do that for the grown man on the subway.

When does that switch happen? When does someone’s disorder go from being understandable to unacceptable? It’s not like the circumstances that caused the disorder change as someone gets older.

I’m not saying that we should all take a seat next to Masturbating Joe and hold his hand. But I do think that we need to have a little more sympathy for people who do things that disturb us. You never know what caused them to be that way.