It’s taken me a long while to face a sober truth about myself, but now that I have, I fell as if I have crossed a threshold. No longer do I need to live a lie. No longer do I need to hold onto a secret that threatens to tear me apart from the inside.
I must confess this secret, and once I do, I shall be released. In fact, as I type these words on the screen, I feel, finally, freed of my shame, one that I have been carrying around for far too long. I know some may be ashamed of me for the weakness I am about to reveal, but I am confident that my true friends will read about this weakness, this deficit in character that I reveal, and accept me in spite of the glaring faults that it reveals about me.
With that said, after carrying this weight far too long, I at long last confess: I am addicted to Chap Stik.
If I don’t have a tube of Chap Stik in my pocket, I immediately panic. It is only a matter of time, I know, before my lips will shrivel and look like crumpled tissue paper. When such things happen, I look for a drug store, a convenience store, a gas station, a trembling junkie with increasingly chapped lips.
Then, when I once again have my precious Chap Stik, my body relaxes, for salvation is at hand.
Apparently, Chap Stik addiction is very real. What happens, it would seem, is that overuse of Chap Stik actually causes the lips to have difficulty keeping themselves moist. This means that the only way to keep lips from getting chapped, now that the monkey is firmly on my back, is with more Chap Stik.
I’d like to say, in my defense, that I have been plagued with chapped lips for as long as I can remember, and that as a child, the only alternative to Chap Stik was to lick my lips. This led to an unsightly red ring of irritation around my mouth, which was raw and painful. And so, from an early age, I slipped into this dark and ugly habit.
I have countless tubes of Chap Stik in my apartment, because I’m always misplacing them. I’ve found that six or seven is the perfect number, because it seems to be the amount that allows me to achieve that saturation point at which misplacing one of them leads to my immediately discovering another one that I misplaced before. Thus there is a sort of round robin thing going on in which I misplace a tube, immediately find another, misplace that, and immediately find another, on and on until I eventually find the first again after misplacing the seventh.
I don’t want to even get into the number of times that I have accidentally left my Chap Stik in my pocket when wash my clothes. Even more than that, I don’t want to get into the number of times that I have failed to check the pockets before putting the clothing in the dryer. Leaving Chap Stik in the pocket of freshly washed clothes isn’t too bad, because the Chap Stik remains intact; leaving it in the dryer, however, means that the whole thing melts, saturating assorted articles of clothing with almost impossible to get out stains.
I have ruined more tee shirts this way than I care to admit.
The trouble with this addiction is that there doesn’t seem to be a way out of it. Without the Chap Stik, my lips will wither and fall off. It’s too late for me, is what I’m saying; I will always be at the mercy of my lip balm.
There. I’ve gotten that out of me. I know that some friends will no longer speak to me, so ashamed are they to know a Chap Stik addict. Still, I cannot live my life in silence; I am, after all, simply human, and now that I have confessed to this deep flaw in my character, I feel cleansed.