Thursday, June 19, 2008
PLASTIC TWEETY: THE REAL ME
I've been working on a few short stories about my bizarre early childhood in Hawaii. This means I've been sorting through family photos to jog my memory. Most of them are ripped, like the one above. Why? Because my parents split up and my dad pursued a new life of haunting Honolulu discos with a bleach blonde Pan Am stewardess. In a coked up state, this disco queen decided it would be an excellent idea to rip up the majority of our family photos.
Not sure where my father was when she was doing this. In my more cynical moments, I imagine he joined in.
The weird part is--sure we had some negatives, but for some reason, we never developed them.
My mother felt our family history was more authentic this way--ripped, yellowing, scotch taped together.
When I came across this photo, I smiled because although this one was taken on Halloween, I used to wear this costume all year round. I don't know why but I loved that plastic smell and the idea that I was wearing a costume when everyone else was stuck wearing boring clothes.
And then it struck me:
This is EXACTLY the image I have in my head when people say: "How do you see yourself?"
Whenever I try to look sexy on the dance floor...
Whenever I try to be sophisticated in a restaurant...
Whenever I try to be professional at a business meeting...
It is ALWAYS this image that comes to mind:
My chubby belly pressing up against this stupid Tweety Bird costume in the middle of June.
I am always ridiculous, juvenile and slightly absurd.
I often wonder if any political despots, sex symbols, and Wall Street titans have similar images in their heads.