Antonio's PitSo, I was watching Jay Leno last Wednesday, and...Well, sort of watching. I was doing my usual "observation of objects" thing (O.O.O.), my sleepy yet too-irritated-to-sleep, sort-of-watching-but-not-really thing I tend to do when the weight of the world is pushing down on the top of my head, which causes my sleep-deprived brain to scrunch down into my nasal passages and my eyeballs bulge into twin balloon-like radar devices, which in turn causes me to focus on parts of a sum, not the whole.
In other words, my eyes are drawn to certain details, automatically hone in on them, such as Leno's chin, or the ever-present coffee mug setting on his desk. Though I may be taking in every word that tumbles from Leno's curiously boyish mouth, I am not watching the man, really -- I am watching his chin, engrossed in its curvature, mesmerized by the subtle bobbing with each syllable, lost in wonderment as to the possibility it may in fact be stuffed with fiberglass and uncooked pinto beans instead of cartilage.
O.O.O. mode is not something I am able to control at will, unfortunately, and oftentimes occurs during the day as well, especially if I'm tired. I attempt to hide my ostensibly disturbing radar-gaze from others by forcibly shifting my attention from whatever object has set off the blip, be it their mouth, their nostrils, or the fabulous way the wind is dancing in their hair, and try to focus on the whole. I nod my head a lot while appearing earnest, and look at the spot between their eyebrows so that I seem to be making eye contact.
Sometimes I fail, however, and that can be embarrassing for me, as well as uncomfortable for the one who is witnessing my O.O.O. Example: The other day, as I was visiting with my neighbor, having a beer, enjoying the late afternoon sun, my radar honed in on a button on my shirt. I couldn't stop staring at the damn button. Couldn't break my gaze, no matter how hard I fought the overwhelming urge to get lost in its lovely roundness, the warm glint of sun lighting its circumference, and I was, alas, found out.
My neighbor: Staring at your cleavage, are you?
Me: Um? Huh?
My Neighbor: You keep looking at your cleavage.
Me: Oh! Heh. I, um...No. My button. Just...Looking at my...Heh. Hey, wanna another beer?
Anyway, the reason I digressed so abruptly from my original statement, the reason I'm going on and on about my odd observational behavior, is because I'm hoping that you will understand why it is that I, while watching Antonio Banderas on Leno last Wednesday, became fixated on his armpit.
There Antonio was, being all Spanish and things, and I, at first, was enthralled by his glorious Spanishocity (and really, who isn't?), but as is usual, my attention quickly wandered, and my radar loudly beeped as it honed in on the large perspiration stain under his left armpit. Mr. Banderas had been sitting in a relaxed, conversational position, his left arm draped over the back of the chair while leaning toward Leno, his legs crossed, and I initially was pondering over the reasons why he might not have used Degree antiperspirant that day. Do Spanish people not use Degree? Did he forget to apply some? Did Melanie use the last of it, and he was in too much of a hurry to get to the studio to go buy more? I didn't know.
But that stain fascinated me more than words can convey. I lost track of the interview, completely missed the last half, as I pondered and wondered and eventually grew to despise Antonio Banderas as his pit squished along the back of the chair.
Didn't he know his pit is dripping all over Leno's furniture? If so, why doesn't he care? Shouldn't someone off camera give him a clue? A little sign, perhaps a quick point to their own underarm to alert Antonio to the problem?
And is Leno thinking what I'm thinking? What about the next guest, who I imagined was watching the whole deal from the Green Room -- are they thinking "Ew! I am so not sitting in that chair!"
I know I would be thinking that. I know that were I the next guest, I would insist on another chair, or, if one was not available, a large, fluffy towel, folded into neat quarters and placed directly on top of the pit-pond, preferably duct-taped into place.
The interview finally ended, and do you know what Leno did? He reached over and patted Antonio's left shoulder! Yes, he did. He put his bare hand right there, right near the Loch Banderas, and his thumb actually made contact with the pit!
After a couple of dry heaves, I calmed myself by thinking of minty Altoids, and anticipated the reaction of the next guest to sit in that seat, looked forward to any subtle body language that would suggest disgust or annoyance. I wondered if the chair smelled of chicken noodle soup.
Unfortunately, I fell asleep during the commercial break.