i write because i'm happier when i write. not because i'm a good writer.

-shanita john-

To the owner of the toned and tanned midsection.

Two days ago I shamed my gender and myself. Now, I am determined to set right the wrong.

While driving around running errands, with my gaze I accidentally assaulted a perfectly tanned, shirtless young man as he strolled down the sidewalk. Normally, I try to control these sorts of urges but this time, caught off guard, I was overcome. I stared. Hard. And I knew he saw me but I could not turn my damn head. Then, to make matters worse, about ten minutes later while dropping off some criminally overdue books at the public library, I saw (from my car) the same extremely tanned mid section a little later in his journey and I did it again. This time with jaw dropped, I stared. God, help me, I stared.

Normally, I try to control these urges but this time, caught off guard, I was overcome.

Now, I have taken it upon myself as my solemn duty to apologize to this young man. Since I do not know his name, and remembering his face would be like trying to identify a headless horseman in a police lineup of headless horsemen, I have turned to Myspace [2017 update: eye roll supplied] as the appropriate vehicle to share my regret. So, here goes. My apology to the Owner of the Painfully Toned and Perfectly Tanned Middle Section.

Dear Tanned Mid Section,

Two days ago while you were talking down Minnetonka blvd, minding your own business carrying a gallon bottle of water, your unbuttoned, white cotton shirt draped over your broad shoulders, I brazenly sexually harassed you with my prolonged, disbelieving stares. For this I am very sorry. If this is working correctly, you should be receiving the subliminal message I am sending you, learned from the book, How to Send Subliminal Messages in Text. Meet me by the tennis courts. I'll bring the satchel of raw Chamomile, you bring the pitcher of scalding water and the Geoffrey Chaucer. 

Furthermore, I would like to state that I am a totally opposed to the objectification of men, in general, and believe that it is your right to be able to walk down a suburban boulevard in whatever state of undress you please without the piercing eyes of ill-mannered strangers.

I have placed myself on a strict diet of nuts and berries until I have curbed my carnal cravings.

Secondly, while I too think it was strange (and by strange I mean destiny) that we ran into each other again so quickly, I must state firmly that I was not following you. Although in the brief moments when our paths first crossed I did consider swerving off the road and crashing into a nearby light pole in hopes that you would come to my rescue, to follow you would have been absolutely reckless and irresponsible and I want you to be confident that at no point did I consider it.

Lastly, as a punishment for treating your firm, bronzed torso as a packaged piece of dark meat based to perfection, I have placed myself on a strict diet of nuts and berries until I have curbed my carnal cravings.

Please forgive me. It is my earnest hope that your day wasn't ruined by thoughts of stalking and unwanted sexual advances.

With deepest humiliation,

The girl driving the green Dodge Intrepid with the missing hubcaps on the right side.

I changed my status.

Just something mushy about friendship.