By Justin Jones
So there you are, sitting in front of your computer with your jeans around your ankles, your underwear at your thighs, one hand on a mouse pad, and the other on your 21st digit. The laptop’s bluish glow is the only source of light in your bedroom: it illuminates the soaking wet end of the t-shirt bunched up in your mouth (you had to keep it out of the way of your hand, after all).
You don’t want anyone else in your apartment building to hear the animalistic sounds that emanate from the porn that’s playing on your computer (although you DO want to make sure that YOU hear every graphic detail), so you’re wearing headphones.
And how ironic the whole scene is. The measures you’ve taken to hide your self-pleasure—right down to making sure the blinds in your bedroom are closed in just the right direction, so the neighbors can’t peer in—are the very measures that have given you away.
You don’t know, for instance, that the glow cast by your monitor creates a vivid silhouette on your blinds for the benefit of the curious outside. Nor did you anticipate your headphones disguising the sounds of laughter right outside your window. No, as careful as you were, those details went unnoticed.
Thankfully, you have a roommate who cares. After hearing laughter outside your building, he investigates. He finds the scene troubling—possibly even embarrassing—to you. After seeing the frenzied shadow-show projected onto your blinds, he nobly attempts to inform you that you’re being watched (and mocked). He tries knocking at your bedroom door—which, of course, you can’t hear. So he knocks louder.
When you realize someone is at your door, you play it cool. You throw the bed comforter over your legs, and minimize the pornographic window on your computer screen. You have previously opened Facebook in another window tab, in case such an incident was to occur. “Come in,” you say politely, trying to breathe as slowly as possible.
“Um, dude,” your roommate says, “people outside can see what you’re doing.” You feel the empathy in his voice and, though your heart drops, you unabashedly oppose admitting to anything.
“See me doing what? Talking to people on Facebook?” you respond, still out of breath, and still visibly rather—impassioned. Your roommate shakes his head, and while you know there’s no way out of this, you stick to your guns—because, for some reason, this is somehow embarrassing.
“Dude,” you say, “Look, I was on FACEBOOK.” And you turn your laptop around to show your roommate the “truth.” Yes, there is Facebook maximized on your screen, but then those pesky headphones get in the way—they unplug themselves just when you think you’ve proven your “innocence” to your roommate. With the headphones out, your computer routes the sound to its speakers, and the sounds coming from your computer aren’t from iTunes—they’re from XTube. Obnoxious, disgustingly sexual, and embarrassingly loud.
Your eyes lock with your roommates’. Your erection has perished upon the altar of the Gods of Embarrassment. You feel the urge to jump up and run away, and you would—except you’d fall, because your pants are still around your ankles.
So you laugh, and your roommate laughs with you.
Justin Jones, 25, is a writer based in Minneapolis. In addition to his column lovejones, Justin pens Through These Eyes, a bi-weekly column for Lavender Magazine. He writes about things like being alive, being in love, and drinking too much. Facebook.com/JustinJonesWriter.