Toward a Philosophy of Tight Pants

Photo by Jose Padua
On one of my first mornings
at our new hundred year old
house in a small town
with my wife at work in the city
and me at home getting our four-year old
daughter ready for school
I walk our daughter
to her dresser to pick out
a pair of pants. After she
puts on a pair of jeans
she pauses, looks up
at me and says “too tight”
then pauses again and says—
her eyebrows raised
and slightly satisfied—
“but it looks good!”
Pausing yet again and taking
the time to consider
a day at her new school wearing
skin tight pants,
she decides on her own
to wear something else.
Fast forward a few years
later my wife and I
have our now two-year old son
and while my wife’s
at work again in the city
and our daughter’s at school
I play Iggy and the Stooges
doing a song
called “Tight Pants” which is
an early version of the
song that will eventually
become “Shake Appeal”
on the Raw Power
album and as soon as the song starts
my son starts yelping
bouncing on his hips
and waving his arms in the air
as I imagine Iggy Pop
himself may have done
when he was a toddler.
And though I’ve looked at
women wearing tight pants
and enjoyed seeing
Iggy Pop dance around the stage
like a wild-eyed hyperactive
salesman of tight slacks,
I’m glad that my daughter
opted for looser pants
and that my son
eventually calmed down and stopped dancing
not because I’m older now,
though I am older,
and not because I’m
more reserved now,
though I’m certainly
no longer the crazed person
I was in my youth,
but because I sometimes
feel besieged by the speed of life,
by how the trees behind our house
grow taller and taller
creating more shade, more shadow,
by the way a lemon stings my fingers
when I squeeze its juice
into my morning cup of tea.

-Jose Padua

Photo by Jose Padua

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