[Originally published June 13, 2013.]

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I just got these new shades. They’re aviators, apparently just like the guys in Top Gun wear (I’ve never seen it). I find they’re a great substitute for the personality I don’t have.

When I wear these sunglasses, people assume things about me and that comes in pretty handy. Like, if I wear them inside, people think I’m a nonconformist, or that I was out late last night. If I wear them on the street, girls might think I’m checking them out since they can’t see my eyes.

The truth of the matter is there’s really nothing special happening behind my sunglasses. Most of the time I’m just counting. Once I got up to 7,000. I don’t have any opinions or life experience, and girls confuse me so I don’t actually pay them any attention. I’ve introduced myself to people in the neighborhood at least five times, but they always forget they’ve met me. Now, they know I’m the sunglasses guy and they say hello. They don’t remember my name though. It’s Wayne.

Last week I went to the dentist. I checked in with the receptionist and sat down (aviators on). I don’t read magazines, so I started counting. The woman next to me said, “You’d think it would be easier to go to the dentist as an adult but I still hate it, don’t you?” I was on a roll with the counting, and had no idea what to say, so I kept counting. She said, "Yeah, I thought you looked nervous too.” Then she talked for another 20 minutes. She thought I was a good listener, so she gave me her phone number. I guess we’re going to dinner next week. I hope she likes bland food.

I’ve tried out a lot of props over the years to fill in for my lack of personality. I had a hacky sack for a while in college, but the guys in the quad I played with forgot it was mine and kept it. Then I wore Hawaiian shirts all the time, but people expect you to be really outgoing when you do that. I also caught a lot of colds. I carried a guitar around, but people kept asking me to play something and of course I didn’t know how to play it, and I’d never heard of the songs they asked for. I tried walking around with a limp, but when you do that everyone wants to know what happened and I never had anything to say. I think most people thought I was mentally challenged then, which I guess is better than nothing, but the limp started to damage my hip.

Finally I got a hookah, because there were a lot of hookah bars in town and there’s a whole cultural thing that goes along with that. I had some people from work over for a hookah party, but they forgot whose apartment it was and ended up moving in for a while. I slept in a closet for six months until they moved out, but they paid the rent on time.

I think I’ve hit the mark with these aviators though. When people can’t see your eyes, they don’t expect you to be outgoing. They assume you’re mysterious and lost in thought. Really I’m just naming all the animals I can think of. If worst comes to worst, people will think I’m blind, but that’s not bad at all. Blind people are super interesting. They’ve overcome difficulties, and they have enhanced senses. They’re usually wise too. Maybe I should just get a cane now.