Saturday, July 19, 2008

A Lifetime Ago....Literally?

This series (and the other five sheets like it) - I stumbled upon these today - they were to be a topic of a previous post - but, like everything else in my life, got shuffled away in a stack of things that I wanted to discuss, and inevitably, turned up when, like some sort of frantic rat packing away stolen bits of garbage for the fourtieth litter of baby rats this month, I was cleaning up the place. Rats is a fair descriptor - if you could have only seen the destruction I walked into last night - excited about being home a day early, ready to play with the kids, sleep in my bed, shower with my favorite loofah, use my clean fresh bath robe - you know the drill - get to some of the common things that you work so hard to have - and spend most of your time away from. I have a magical bathrobe - I believe my brother-in-law was given it as a gift while in France when he was sixteen - but the fact that it is six different bright colors, and has a bunny rabbit with a heart on it, I don't think he fancied being seen in it by his college roomies at Duke - so I gladly accepted it (I pulled it off of the donation pile for the VFW collections) - and have had it for about 17 years now. It is just now getting perfect. It is soft, not quite threadbare, warm, and the colors are still bright. It was definitely a good find - none the less, it was part of the sixteen loads of laundry that I am still in the middle of - at least the rest of the house is cleaned, the kids are asleep, and I can be not so pissed off anymore; however, it was a fucking nightmare of a mess - and I am glad that it is over with. Not the way I envisioned my welcome home, but if I were accutely able to predict the things that make me happy, well hell, I probably would not be a blogger...
Anyway - head shots - these were taken shortly after my 18th birthday - I did a stint with community theatre, several plays actually, maybe three or four - I loved them - and then I actually tried out for a few bit parts in Hollywood movies that were being made close to Florida - obviously most of the genre was B level Country Farmer meets Country Woman who has Alcoholic Husband who kills County Farmer, and the dog saves the woman by leaping over a shopping cart to receive a shotgun blast to the know the sort of thing - now a days, "Straight to DVD" - I remember my first call back, wow, that was exciting - an eighteen day gig potentially, at union scale, to dress up like a thirties carnie hawking something - but then they explained to me, you have to be here for eighteen days - you only get paid for the time you are in front of the cameras - and then they enlightened me even more by saying, that could be five minutes - or could be five days - they were just extras casting, and the director would choose who and what and how the folks would be used in the scenes. Well, I would show them - needless to say, that was my brief, somewhat stupid and reactionary run in with the biz - now I regret not sitting around for eighteen days - for god sakes I was eighteen years old - what the hell did I have to do that was so important at the time?
I don't see much of that kid anymore - I don't even weakly feel any resemblance to the boy that was in that series of pictures. It is a strange, almost extraterrestrial feeling now that so many things that I only dreamed of back then have been set aside, pushed away, come true, been proven false, and delayed for further review. What a young man I was, dreams, strong, handsome, tender, awake, hopeful, and most of all, pure. I still have many of those things - and I guess we all are tempered by the fire of the years - I am still a young man - actually slightly more aggressive, still pure but educated, still hopeful but terribly realistic, and I still dream - not quite as much as that group of pictures represents - but I still have the same dreams that I had then - I think I blogged on that place - amazing to have them over and over and over again for eighteen years...
Every so often, that kid comes back - and I welcome him, it feels good to sense that awkward insecurity and blind optimism of an eighteen year old with more sperm than sense, but it is also good to feel those young feelings of love and loss and life - the three "L" words that pretty much define everything - I have seen more of him in the past eight months than I have in the past eighteen years, and it really has been a lifetime since we sat down and talked with each other about where we are and where we want to be, and where we thought we would be - I don't think he blames me for ending up the way I did, and I certainly thank him for helping me end up where I am now - I welcome him back anytime, I would not trade where I am for just about anything in the world - not even a second chance to say yes to those casting folks.
Until next time -
The Older George

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