MELBOURNE, FL—Palm Bay High School freshman Keith Ness said the overwhelming sexual tension he experiences daily between himself and roughly 3.65 billion other people on earth has become "almost more than [he] can handle."
"At first, I didn't even take much notice of the world around me," said the 15-year-old of the charged but nebulous relationship he has enduredwith a majority of the human population. "But then, I found myself staring at the sexy way everyone walked down the hall, jogged in the park, or sat down at the bus stop. Something about that blond, brown, or red hair tied back, pinned up, or dreadlocked, really gets me going."
"It's driving me crazy having to sit here while the world tempts me in those formfitting, playfully conservative, or woolen, shapeless outfits—I can't take much more of this," Ness added.
Though Ness said he would like to think the world is at least in some way aware of how he feels, he at times despairs that it is oblivious to his desires.
"It's so hard to concentrate on my social studies homework sometimes, when all I can do is wonder if the librarian with the noisy high heels even knows I exist," Ness said. "Same goes for the silhouette of that girl dancing in the iPod commercial, and whoever it is who keeps clearing her throat in one of the back pews at church. But then again, you don't just go around smelling like lilacs, moisturizer, Chanel No. 5, or the slightest hint of perspiration masked by baby powder for no reason."
Ness further speculated that the aloof cashier, the seemingly indifferent parking attendant, and the cruel senior volleyball-team captain were probably just having a bad day.
Still, Ness maintained that he is always on the lookout for signs of interest, and claimed he was determined make his feelings public.
"I have no idea where to start, but there's so much about the rest of the world I'd like to get to know better," Ness said. "I think about it every time I see the world's blue gym shorts with white piping, the belly-dancing aerobic exercise videos, the curvy shape of the lower back on the diagram of the human body in my biology textbook, or contemplate the concept of 'fishnet.'"
"God, there's just so much," he added.
According to Ness, the situation has been further confused by the feelings he has for much of the inanimate world, including the family lawn mower, which he associates with watching his neighbor Tina sunbathe on a large yellow beach chair while he cut the grass last August; an old dryer outside a neighbor's home, which reminds him of a story he heard at camp about people making out in a laundry room; and posters of the cast of the television program Lost, which he associates with the cast of Lost.
"How am I supposed to live in the same house as the Sunday newspaper considering my undying but unexpressed love for the underwear ads?" Ness said.
The teenager has also expressed concern that his intentions toward his mother's friends, the mail carrier, schoolmate Brian Graney's cousin who visited from Iowa last spring, Natalie Portman, Florida congresswoman Katherine Harris, R&B singer Kelis, and several fictional comic-book heroines, will somehow be misinterpreted.
"I'd hate for the world to think I'm some kind of creep," he said. "I just happen to be very, very interested."
Ness explained that he has recently been frustrated by the way the world casts sultry glances at him, coyly does not look at him at all, and walks toward or away from him seductively.
"What more can I do?" he said. "It doesn't matter to me if the world is a little overweight or much, much older, or taller, or a different race, or simply lives thousands of miles away.We just need to admit that there's something between us, and that we'd all regret it if we let it pass us by."
Frustrated by the situation, Ness said he was gearing up to broach the subject of his desires in algebra class, at an upcoming walk for hunger, in the produce aisle, ordering Chinese food, or on a message board for home-schooled Christian teens, by writing a heartfelt poem, buying tickets to a romantic movie, sending flowers, playfully tossing crumpled-up balls of paper, telling a mutual friend how he feels, or quietly willing it to happen, either later today, tomorrow, Wednesday afternoon, Saturday morning, next Friday, right after Thanksgiving dinner, early next month, certainly before the new year, or whenever he feels ready.