A friend who read the entry below wrote me an email. I wish she had left a comment, but she didn’t: She is wondering whether it isn’t all about encroaching middle age and the loss of youth, rather than the alignment of “self” and “persona”, as I put it.
Here’s the thing: I had a bit of a nasty shock a few years ago when I was made to listen to a tape recording of myself at the age of 20 or so. As much a friend today as then, Neshet Ruacan, secretly tape recorded a lengthy conversation between myself, his sister (and my beloved friend) Nukhet and a close girl friend of ours, Silva. Apparently the inanity of our chatter got on his poor nerves to such an extent that he decided to record it and play it back to us at some later date. The tape got lost only to resurface almost 30 years later, which is when we finally heard it. The vapidity of what it was that I actually said, coupled with the obnoxiously opinionated, self-important and humorless delivery had me really gobsmacked. And then of course, there was that “world weary”, nasal tone very much in evidence as well? – hhhh. I was taped candidly in more recent years also, and I am thankful to be able to say that these days the way I sound seems to be more or less acceptable.
So, I can say in all honesty that I am actually quite thankful to have outgrown youth and have become middle aged. The young me had a lot of pretensions (intellectual, political and what have you). I was a very wild girl but always with a mission behind my wildness. I always had to make a point somehow. In short, looking back, I must have been hair raisingly boring. (And incidentally, the middle aged me is in grave danger of becoming hair raisingly boring too, unless she stops all of this self-indulgent “me-me-me” crap ASAP!!!!)
But… but… but… I most certainly do not want to look middle aged in the sense that I did a year ago. The defeatism of saggy jowls. The tired step of a heavy body. But conversely, I would love to have crows feet!!!! Crows feet add laughter to your face. Alas, I do not have them. What I have instead is a marked potential for droopy mouth corners, which make me look negative, pessimistic, ill humored, tired, un-enthusiastic – just totally obnoxious really. So, I get them filled out every once in a while. Yup! So kill me. I will do it anyway – hhhh.