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Edited Words: 152,263
Articles: 180
Poems: 52
Videos: 25
Images: 10

August 23, 2006

First Birthday

For a while I've been buying Lynx Africa roll-on underarm deodorant; it comes in a phallic container and rolls on wet. The only reason I was purchasing it, stooping so low as to use a product that's advertised to middle-class, middle-management types on television, is that it's the only deodorant for men which is available at my local Tesco Express, the mini-supermarket at the gas station. Being currently short of a man-servant, or women-servant for that matter, I am obliged to create for myself a simple, elegant lifestyle in which I can smell of exotic spices consistently, independent of whether I have had time for a full weekly shop.

But I was finding that this particular deodorant was leaving permanent white stains in the under-arm regions of my darker colored shirts. There has to be a publicly available solution for this monstrous problem, I thought; so I took a trip to Boots, the dispensing chemist, and examined various bottles of chemicals in hope of finding the Holy Grail.

"So powerful, you could probably skip a day!" Was the slogan on the back of one can; scary stuff indeed; what's in it, I wondered: superglue? The marketing blurb fails to indicate if you could skip a day of washing and deodorizing, or just the deodorizing step. Assuming that it's talking about just the deodorizing then it must be that this particular concoction will not wash off, even with soap. Soon, perhaps, they will be selling deodorant-remover alongside the nail-polish-remover.

I only found one product that mentioned "white marks": Sure Crystal. "Unbeatable against white marks." The can stated proudly but ambiguously. Is this a product for removing the white marks, I wondered. I sprayed some on my finger and checked that it smelled okay; it seemed sort-of-soapy and although there was no message on the can that read "FOR MEN" I decided to wing it.

I sprayed some on one of my armpits this morning and experienced the liquid nitrogen feeling of an aerosol can, CFC-free mind, being released only one inch from the skin. I was instantly thrown back into my teenage years: carefree days of contributing to a hole in the ozone layer, and of odorless, though freeze-dried, chill-blaned underarms.

I left the house followed by an aromatic cloud faintly recalling the false flower odor of a toilet air-freshener. I smelled like a downstairs washroom in which a guest has deposited a good amount of yesterdays fare and then proceeded to mask the pungent aftermath with an even more olfactorily heinous assault of overtly-plasticized floral-beatitude. Is that a feminine smell, I wondered, or is it asexual?

According to the French, toilets are feminine, and perhaps this is the reason that they are typically deodorized using scents from a similar location on the fragrance-gamut as cheap women's perfume; I mean the perfume that's cheap. The French really are a sexist lot you know, toilets are feminine and libraries are masculine; how fucking, excuse my French, politically incorrect is that?

So let us raise our glasses and coffee mugs, with confidence, to THIS IS DUNCAN. For today is its first official birthday; it may not be exactly a year, but let's call it a year anyway: to the twenty-third of August.

This all started with a lonely trip to India accompanied only by the news that I was entering the divorce process. Now look at all the wondrous things that have come from it: over 120,000 words spread over 154 inspiring articles, 37 world-class poems, and 17 entertaining videos.

I have gone through massive changes and growth and learned many new things; I have learned that I can rhyme words, and that I've got rhythm; I've experimented with styles and I've been funny and deep. It's all here folks, and it only gets better.

But most importantly, over the last year I have come to know myself and to love myself so much more deeply than ever before. This has been a process of self-discovery; I am doing what I would have ideally done in my twenties: finding out who and what I am, or more importantly, what I choose to be.

I am so very grateful for the support of all of you; your careful reading, encouraging comments, and your general appreciation.

A friend mentioned that she hadn't been aware of all the comments which followed the articles; she felt that it would be great to share them. I agree with her. I love and appreciate all of you, and in honor of you I have gathered together all of your testimonials and feedback from the past year:


"Wow, how many comments?! I do hope it makes you feel good to have all those people appreciate your fantastic writing! Keep it up!" — Mikaela


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