Secret Pop

Aug 15, 2003

"Under the spreading chestnut tree, the village smithy stands."

I have a little calendar on my desk . It promotes the character Sof'Boy™ and has little calendar pages that you tear away each month. A few of the other months' pages are strewn willy-nilly across my desk. There's June. A glimpse of May. Remember April? What a mystery, the passage of time. I almost wish we would not mark it as we do. Sometimes the fact of it is nearly overwhelming.

Someone has watched me grow up over the years. Someone else has watched me remain the same. It depends on the casting of the chance encounter. "I can't believe you're all grown up!" Or it might be, "You haven't changed a bit!" Or, "Wow. You turned into a WOMAN." I suppose as we get older, maybe we are comforted when someone says we haven't changed. I, for one, can't stand it. I'm not asking anyone to take a set of calipers to my crows' feet, but I think I've changed a great deal, thanks very much. Physically, spiritually, every which way. And one can't deny the accelerated aging I've been subjected to at the cacophonous hand of my upstairs neighbor. That's hardly my fault. You should hear him right now. If I could sneak up behind him and chop off his head, I would.

I do see pictures of myself from time to time and marvel at how old I look. Or how young. I realize so much of it is the product of the flash. Photography can be your enemy and your friend. Just try and keep your head in a position that discourages the appearance of a double chin or puffy eyes. That's what the movie stars do. And for god's sake, suck it in.

Sometimes, I can see dewy skin and girlish freckles. Sometimes I see a sallow complexion with visible sun damage. Don't take any cues from me, America. My self-image is all flake. I hope your confidence is rooted in something less mercurial.

I can't recite much poetry. And much of what I can I learned from the cinema.

The smith, a mighty man is he, with large and sinewy hands.

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