I often find myself perpetually pondering the nuances of English words, and today it is "exposure" that has me glassy eyed and daydreaming my grammatically-correct-if-morally-questionable thoughts.
What does it mean to expose?
To be exposed?
To seek exposure?
Like so many things, the gravity of the term depends on the usage--and, if you're adept at usage--the inclusion of dual usage or entendre.
Those readers challenged by Dr. Seuss classics have now moved on to other, less challenging posts. For those of you inclined to bear with me, let's probe:
Like whores we seek exposure.
To the sun. To new experiences. To the beautiful. To the strange. We'll pay a fortune for a celebrity photo or a nickel for the freak show. We wanna know. Curiosity. It killed the cat. But what does that mean to a bunch of pussies like us?
Pussies who run from exposure.
Who don't want our dirty little secrets aired for all to see. Who brush the dirt under the rug and hide the skeletons in the closet and hope against hope and pray against prayer that our dinner party guests don't peek behind the jackets.
But why not hide those bodies in the attic? Those places no one ever goes? Because no one ever goes there. And what a thrill--to be exposed!
What a dichotomy are we! To dance the dance of exposure: "Look at me! Look at me!" all the while hiding our backs from the camera. We must, as we have our shame locked, white-knuckled, in our hands.
To expose onesself to the elements--or one's life to the tabloids--makes one a star. But to expose onesself in a movie theatre makes one a Pee Wee Herman pervert.
To expose corruption makes one a hero. But to expose one's soul makes one a vulnerable target.
But all press is good press no matter how pressing. One must impress. It brings stress. Stress to expose.
Not too much or they'll surely get bored.
Not too little or they'll surely ask questions.
No, just enough exposure so they know your name and seek your face.
Because they are the reason to rise every morning. They are the reason to pray every night. They are the reason to shower, to shave, to make the appearance.
Because we all want to be seen. But no one wants to be exposed.