Tuesday, May 27, 2008

At his birthday party on Sunday, my friend Buster made a video asking some of the party guests what their first memory is, and having this picture taken is mine. (My big muppet head and rad giant sunglasses from Venice show up at about four and a half minutes in.)

For a long time I thought that it was just a vividly remembered dream--the feel of the wicker on my back and through my dress, the weight of the parasol, the instructions on how to turn and where to look. It's not unusual for me to remember dreams for years after they happen, but one day years ago I came across this photo in a box full of pictures and realized that it wasn't just a recalled dream. It was my first memory. And what I've always remembered most completely about it is the anxiety, the concern that I wasn't posing in the way they wanted me to--that I was going to screw it up and disappoint everyone. Feeling irrationally guilty and terrified of disappointing people is something that I struggle with still today, so it was with a mixture of amusement and total frustration that I pulled this photo out of the box and realized that I've been at it my whole life.

For as long, quite literally, as I can remember.

No comments: