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
I walk our four-year old 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 begins 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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