Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Local Man Studies Local Man

I forgot to mention it, but a few months ago I was at a relative's house, and she had one of those three way mirrors, standing up. And if you stand in it and get the mirrors just right you can see several of yourself, from the back, from the side, then multiples that seem to go on through all of space and time. I didn't study it that much, but enough to be able to tell certain things about myself. One of which was that I have a curious love/hate relationship with myself. Looking on directly, I think OK, because that's always the normal image I've had of myself. But looking from weird angles, angles I'm not used to, I don't care for what I see.

It's worth studying, though, because that is who you are, and no amount of wishing you looked different is going to make it happen. So the key philosophy is just to be happy -- extremely happy, or happy as you can be -- with who you are. I remember a teacher somewhere, one of my many graduate seminars, perhaps, or it might have been in kindergarten -- it's all melted together at this point -- who had some philosophical things to say about being who you are, about it being absurd to wish your life away, yourself as self away, because who was doing the wishing? Meaning, you have the ideal in your mind, in you already, so to denigrate yourself is contradictory to the obviously present ideal. It's absurd.

So, let me repeat, it's worth studying. I was looking at myself on a video, exercising, but I was self conscious about how old I'm starting to look. Some real wrinkles and weird skin psychedelic stuff going on. Like finger prints except on the face. That's the thing about wrinkles. But you may as well keep looking because there's no other you.

Any look, any smell (except obviously the most disgusting ones), any sound out of your mouth, any ephemeral thing you write or say, staring into your eyes ... at least in private, it's all good. Don't judge yourself.

I was laughing last night at something, the whole "local man" schtick that this blog is justifiably famous for and proud of. It struck me as suddenly funny again, that my biggest hope in life would be the Daily News doing a feature story about me writing this blog. I love the headline, the whole fantasy of complete fame for a single afternoon, for being one of the few people in the world to write his own blog. With the brilliant headline -- let's fantasize big and say it's between 54-60 point type (italics) -- "Local Man Writes Own Blog."

They would have to explain for all the Grandma Slump types out there what a blog is. It is short, you know, for "web log," web being another word for what we used to call the "information superhighway" and log being a word for logging things, like lists of facts, or, in this case, opinions on things that are extant on said information superhighway. That tidbit out of the way, they would need to write about how you get a blog -- many are free. Then they might say who has one of these blogs, people of all ages, you'd be surprised. There are all different kinds. From political to entertainment to religious to general interest to newsy.

My own is family oriented, tied in with the experiences I have as a man and his grandmother. So that's it. That's what I see when I look in the mirror. That's what I see when my fantasies are unleashed.

I seriously love today's post. I love it. I clacked it out. I'm going to look back on this in a year and laugh, laugh, laugh. This is one of the funniest things I've ever written. This is one of the funniest articles on the world wide web.

Note to Self in 2010: I felt tired when I was writing this. As you read this again in 2010, remember the feeling you had while writing this. It seemed very special, almost like a buzz was happening. Is it funny? It is!

Note to Self in 2011: You're getting older all the time. Re-read the part above about the mirrors and video, then maybe take a video and compare it. Check out the mirror. Look into your eyes. Are they bloodshot? You need more sleep. You're two years older than the night you wrote this. That's putting me "up there" in years. But you have more to go, unless you have died in the meantime... This is a funny article!

Note to Self in 2012: This might be the last time you will read this article. It's always a great idea, I believe, to write myself notes for the future. Then I can read them and know that in the past I was thinking about my future self. I hope you're still there, and that you still "got it." I've got it tonight. Isn't the "local man" a funny concept? Do you still think it is in 2012? I hope so.

Note to Self in 2013: It's been like four years since this night. By now you surely will have quit writing this blog. Right? What if you're still doing it? Won't that be wild? Local man writes own blog for four or five years, I'm losing track. This is getting long, but I'm so interested in my future feelings. I need a blog dedicated to my future self. That's a great idea. Then I can have something to read non-stop in my old age, the old posts to myself for the days when I can no longer write.

Note to Self in 2014: I hope I'm still alive to read this. You never know what might happen. I was driving, back in 2008, next to a busy railroad track and thinking that if the train veered off the track right that second that I'd be killed. It could happen at any time. And no one will know about this blog, except perhaps my relatives who will find my passwords when they're looking for hidden cash. Just know this, 2014 self, that things were going pretty well back in 2009. The economy wasn't good, but personally you were fairly happy.

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