I'm horribly late.
I went to the doctor, and after informing me that it's natural for this to happen to women my age, I felt better. And then I remarked, while heading home on the train, that I always thought the first class carriage had beige seats. Red doesn't seem to suit the Imaginary Express.
Seriously, though, I am late. The NHL Playoffs have already started. And I should have posted this about a day before Colorado (go Avs!) faced Minnesota.
But then, "this" started off with the title "Pictures", and then "New Post 1", "Editor's Note", and finally "New Post 2".
It's common that I'll write three or four pieces throughout the month before settling on an impromptu mash-up. Good enough as they may be, if they don't feel right and spill the beans I'm trying elbow over the counter, they're not leaving that folder in the other folder in My 'Puter.
That does kinda suck, because some of them really do kick ass.
Writing this is like doing a cave painting with nothing but my poo compared to the plain honesty of New Post 1 or the return-to-form joyousness of New Post 2 or the minor grin the insults in Pictures garners.
The original Editor's Note was just awful, though. That didn't even survive the little red square up there with the "X" on it.
The problem with the three good ones is that if I were to publish them right now, I'd be totally disappointed. Maybe you'll enjoy the honesty and grit of New Post 1, maybe New Post 2 will inspire you and leave you remarking (while sitting on that there red seat) how amazing a writer I is. Maybe you'll realise that Pictures' insults are directed at you and you'll never come back to this empty corner of the universe again.
But you won't see who am and how I feel right now.
Not right now, actually. Then.
The problem now is that I should have posted this then. Because I can't really, honestly say I feel the same now as I did then. Things are just the slightliest bit different now... my face isn't so naked any more.
My brother and I have a little tradition during the Playoffs, we stop shaving. But before we cast our whiskey, cigarette, manly bar of soap, and single razor blade aside, we commemorate the moment by having a proper, clean shave.
Now, anyone who's known me for a while will know that I'm quite attached to the little patch of hair under my chin and faint stretch above the lip. Even fewer may know that the last time I had a clean shave, I started whining and complaining because I looked like a hairless cat.
And I felt like one. Although I still shaved the 'stache every now and then, I spent a good six months or something leaving the goatee alone. I got used to it.
I got used to feeling something every time I stroked my chin... it was just like digging your hand into your boxers in the morning and feeling the lone snake still there.
So, the first time I woke up and realised my chin was nothing but chin, it's quite logical to think I then slid my hand down (in that slow, oily, sexual way it can only be done) to make sure my penis hadn't turned into whatever your imagination can conjure up.
Back to feeling like the hairless cat.
I felt naked. You've got to understand something here, I tend to be driven by my wants and feelings... if I feel like doing something, I'll consider if it's possible to get away with it, and then do it. (And yes, I have gotten into a few sticky situations... although sticky isn't really the word, more awkward; dirty; painful; bloody; regretful; uh... embarrassing)
On that particular occasion, a little while before the Playoffs started, I set out to explain how I felt in the simplest way possible: photography.
I got out my old camera (Jack Torrance actually broke my shiny new one), relinquished nervous control of the towel around my waist, and let the camera work its magic.
Magic, like sticky, isn't really the word I should be using. Magic isn't what was supposed come out of my grand disrobing.
It was supposed to show me at my most vulnerable and least flattering.
They aren't perverted by my weasel-defecated words; in these frames, I'm left exposed and unable to make myself appear more dignified or favourable to your eyes. These are pictures (hence the earlier title), snapshots of exactly how I felt at that exact point in time.
I should just go and put them up here for you to see and say "ooh" and "ahh" and "cold day, was it?" And then I won't have to do all this writing.
But if and when I show them to the world, I won't be giving any description or fancy title (thank you for understanding my brand of satire, by the way). Like a teenage boner, they will just show up without warning.
Well, with only this warning. I think I just need to hide an explanation of their existence within the bowels of that cow you see up on that cave wall.
You need to understand that it's not just some guy's knees or bellybutton or abdomen or wrist or whatever. It's not pornography, it's not erotica, it's not what the pretentious idiots in Artland have exploited to sell tickets, it's not even art.
If you're reading this and survive my constant eye socket pummelling, you'll possibly get me and how I felt when I took away something seemingly worthless and how I feel when I post it.
If not, I'll just give a title like: "Just when you thought he couldn't go any lower..."
And the world will never know the truth. How I truly feel.
But then, will it ever?
Did the world understand Alan Turing when it injected oestrogen into his veins? Did the world understand Giordano Bruno when it burned him at the stake? Did the world understand Socrates when it forced him to drink hemlock? Did the world understand the other guy when it asked him to bend over and get fucked in the ass before shitting out his next masterpiece?
And I'm all of them, aren't I?
My sort of love will probably drive me to "accidental" death. My staunch refusal to conform to popularity will get the modern-day, not necessarily religious, Torquemada all wet and sweaty and aroused in that sadistic way he can only be. My particular brand of truth probably won't please the Man wearing the imitation shark leather. And, well, I'm still that guy in the room next to H. Writer's.
Or not. Maybe I'm actually Hack. I don't know. Maybe I'm none of them at all, maybe I'm just me. Plain, naked me. Maybe. I don't know. I'm an artist, we're supposed look all screwed up. It's what we do. I think. I hope so, because I don't actually like wearing a beret. It makes my head itchy. And I'm tired of falling down the stairs because of my dark sunglasses. I don't know. I'm really tired. Where'd I put my fake beard?