Sunday, November 15, 2009

Reflection: Sometimes You Picture Me...

Verse 2 of "Time After Time" begins "Sometimes you picture me..." I imagine a lot of people do picture me sitting in more or less the pose captured in that old photograph. People remarked upon the posture often during the days of co-op (group) living; I think it was just once that someone actually snapped a Polaroid and gave it to me. Body language... it's gotten better in the years since childhood. I watched a little girl in a video, trying to make the gesture, long distance, of embracing someone. That child folded and unfolded her arms several times because she genuinely couldn't figure out which way the arms were supposed to fit together. How well I remember. I remember, too, at twelve or thirteen, puzzling over something. I knew that people generally turned toward a person to smile at them, but I sometimes turned away. I couldn't figure out why I would pivot in the wrong direction. I knew the difference between turning toward a stimulus and turning away -- but that didn't mean my body could differentiate, in a split second, between the two. There were years of my life people were certain I'd been molested. Sure, I came from a family where there was little physical contact, but I was also a child whose body couldn't distinguish 'toward' from 'away', much less how and when to fold itself. There were things that didn't help: the constant apologies that well-meaning others would make for frightening me (when I wasn't even frightened) or the way, when I turned away, the world seemed to, as well.
I'm studying this post much as the man in the photo is studying the picture before him. Will I upload this to the internet? I reckon so. The internet is handy for the likes of me. See, no one can upload their whole body to the internet, and when it comes to those media that can actually be uploaded, I think I express myself.
PS The picture was created by scanning that old Polaroid and uploading it into a frame on the 'Image Chef' site. You gotta kind of hand it to 'em on that one.