Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Child/Curmudgeon Within

Shameless Words dropped a challenge recently for bloggers to do a post that included one of their baby pictures and had something to do with "The Child Within." There have not been nearly enough takers.

All records of me as an infant have been destroyed (don't ask), so I pointed Shameless to September's "I Am Neither Athletic Nor Particularly Lucky," which features a young me and a corresponding anecdote. He says this qualifies.

Still, I dragged out my photo album today, and found a couple of images I'm willing to share to be more fully compliant with Shameless's idea.

The first is this one of me being all macho in my father's sheriff uniform from 1979, when I was five. We were living in a trailer in a tiny town in southern Illinois. This picture is funny in a lot of not very funny ways that I don't really want to get into, but it's also kind of cute. If you look in the background, you can see a sword for some reason. I think I let the photographer off with a warning.

The second pic is of me receiving my first record player at Xmas in 1981. If my mom knew the kind of effect this thing was gonna have on me, she might have thought twice about picking this up. Unless, of course, this came from Santa. I can't recall. I also got two singles to play on it: "No Reply," by Genesis and "Don't Stop Believin'," by Journey. My tastes have changed somewhat since then.

I thought it might be fun to also do the opposite: my inner crotchety old man. Equal time for both sides and all that. The guy inside me who sometimes gets angry at the neighborhood children for playing too loud, or at the whole world for changing dramatically all the time. The guy who starts sentences with phrases like "It used to be that people would..." or "I remember a time when..." before lodging some sort of complaint against modern society. I think to most of us the appearance of this aspect of ourselves is as much of a mystery as the disappearance of the little kid.

But where could I find a picture grumpy-looking enough? I pondered this question as I was doing a post earlier, and when I checked that the post had gone up successfully on my blog, the answer came to me in a flash. I could use the picture that had no doubt been used to inspire the cartoon of me which resides in my banner. This scowling bastard would be perfect!

I used it last year for my Xmas card, sending it to friends and family in an otherwise festive card that was also a little cardboard picture frame.

I should point out that this image was taken by my mother on a Thanksgiving Day a couple of years back. And I don't think I was in a bad mood. Some people just photograph mean sometimes.

So that's my little exploration of the young and the old within for today.


S. Kearney said...

Hey Moon/Maht,
That's a wonderful post ... and you now more than qualify! I'm intrigued about the uniform and your story ... that must be the journo in me. I'll read your book when it comes out, and likewise you can read mine! I like your music as well; there's a kind of Sparkle Horse feel to it - kind of. I look forward to discovering more on your blog.

The Moon Topples said...

Thank you shameless. It's gonna be a long, long while before I have a book out. Hopefully you'll be able to beat me to the punch on that one.

Never heard Sparkle Horse, I don't think. Although the name is familiar. I'll try to check them out.

Thanks for coming by. I'll be waiting for your next challenge.