Posting another random draft for you all. At some point I’m going to have to think about my Obligatory Valentines’ Post (have you noticed? I always seem to write a Valentine’s Day post around about this time, usually because I’m moping and sloping about and relish the chance to bitch about being poor and single. This year I’m still poor and single but I don’t particularly mind, so I don’t know if or what I’ll say about this momentous day, except that it’s silly). So in the meantime, here’s a whole blog entry about my face. You know you love it.
The thing is, you see, my face. And for that matter the rest of me. I think we’ve got to the point now, me and my body, where the only things that are going to change are going to be my haircut, my glasses, and, gradually, an increase in freckles and wrinkles and (let’s face it) body fat.
Photos from a year or more back look somehow younger. The face-shape is different, the skin looks more translucent, somehow. I just look young. And photos of me now, well, they look almost unfamiliar, because the person I see there is not quite how I imagine myself. The person I see there frightens me, because she is my whole future. I can’t see how I look different now to how I will look in five, ten, twenty years, except, as I say, freckles and lines.
Time, confronting me like this in this layered way – I recognise her, I see the child she was, but that is not who looks out at me now, what looks out at me is me both today and in ten or twenty years – it frightens me, simply because, suddenly, it seems so much shorter, more truncated, broader, and more immediate than it used to.
And photos in which I am tired, or the light is poor and I am slightly more tanned than usual – in those photos I look lined and jowly already. Shop in the odd grey hair and, there we have it, fifty.
No wonder I look at photos of my mother at university and still can’t quite imagine her actually being twenty-one, like me – I can’t help thinking that she looks like a middle-aged woman dressing up as a student from a different decade, even though I know that’s not the case at all. If I’m already seeing those layers of time over my own face, and those are future layers, they haven’t yet happened, then what chance do I have of erasing time that I already know has elapsed, and ceasing to see in those photos my own mother, essentially as I see her now, but in a long denim skirt and ankle socks, or sitting in the bath fully dressed? Not a hope.
Which is going to be bloody weird for my children, when they find those photos of me from Towersey 2009 wearing a miniscule lacy negligee and clearly somewhat the worse for wear…