14 December 2005

You wanna be in pictures

*stares hard at user pic on right*

God damn, but that's an awful picture. Let me tell you something -- I took me some pictures. Click click clickety click. I shall put my picture on my blog, I said, so click click clickety click. Smile. Look debonaire. Looked relaxed and cool. Look like Henry Miller just whispered some rude joke to you as you tried to talk to an archbishop. Be the Suave.

I gave you the best one I took. Honest. See, there's this thing with me and cameras. We go waaaay back, me and cameras. I suppose that I'm every bit as capable as the next person at having normal, human expressions on my face. But point a camera at my face, and I'm Calvin. I don't even try anymore. It just sort of happens.

I tried to look normal, I really did. I tried to look suave. I came out looking like I had just licked the wrong end of a walrus (and no, don't ask me. I don't know which is the right end, either).

I have before me early proof of the affliction I suffer from, poloroidus buttheadicus. It's one of the few photos I have from those bygone years when people still listened to Culture Club and hadn't caught on to the fact that Phil Collins is a prat. I try to forget those years. This photo encapsulates why. It's a Thanksgiving photo, apparently taken by my mother -- or so my keen sense of logic deduces from the fact that she is the one family member missing from the heartwarming scene. There's the usual assortment of Thanksgiving foods on the table. But the people, oh the people. My father is glaring off at something, the pure picture of nasty anger and brooding pissiness. My sister, 80s preppie outfit and hairdo and all, is staring at the camera with a different kind of pissed expression, like she can already see the several thousand miles between this place and her when she finally gets to college. And me? Young, ungainly, dorky looking me? I'm making a face. A stupid half-grin...thing.

What always strikes me when I look at this photo is that we three are each alone. We are as alone and solitary as the sad little glasses of V8 sitting on each of the empty plates (A family where V8 was for special occasions. Don't ask). But that's not the point of all this, except to point out the Situation that was our lives. Hurt silences, anger, resentment. And then there was Him. That angry looking guy. Who liked cameras, and fancied himself a photographer. He took a billion. Of us at holidays. Of water and leaves and flowers. Oh dear, the flowers. On hikes, it seemed at every damn flower that existed, and spend so long with it that he might as well have painted the fucking thing, and what's the point, they all look the same and he never could get the background in focus anyway.

It pissed 10 year old me off something fierce, let me tell you.

But this photo, as things fell apart and the anger grew and the hurt grew and the pretenses harder -- I think I staged a small rebellion in photos. I'd show him. I'd make faces, look dorky, never be what he wanted for the photo. And now, it's deep inside me. I go into this mode when a camera points at me. Be natural? Hah! Good luck with that, camera dink.

Maybe sometime I'll try some real photos. Get someone to help me, do something fun. Gregory as Henry Miller, maybe. Hey, I'm bald, I can pull it off. Just get me the hat, and a hottie to be Anais Nin, and, for the love of sweet baby Jesus, don't let me see the camera.

Edit: changed my mind on something. Damn it!

I don't have a scanner, so right now I can't share the photo. If I can get it scanned, maybe I will.

[Listening to: The Fourth Footstep - Black Tape for a Blue Girl - Halo Star (7:07)]


Blogger rie said...

i like the walt cf. in your bio thingy by the pic.

and god help me, i know EXACTLY which pic you're referring to of us at t'day -- or xmas. whatever. i had on that knitted sweater vest thing, and some wool plaid skirt. why did i dress up? hell knows.

i think it had to be me at 16, given the haircut.

and yep, i was pissed. i was a lot then.

and the v8 thing? goodness -- let's be honest here. for all teh dad's middle class pretensions, we were white trash. (-; i still do the catsup and turkey noodle soup thing when i'm sick, and two of our fav dinners as kids were the broccoli/chicken/cheese/white rice casserole and the white bread roll/pizza quick sauce/AMERICAN CHEESE (shudder)/pepperoni pizza thingies. good fucking god.

no wonder we're brain-damaged.

12/14/2005 5:53 PM  

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