Night of the Celluloid Dead

Due to an impending reunion on the Architect’s side of the family, I’ve been given an ultimatum to come up with a photograph of us to be plastered on a giant poster board for all to see. Avoiding the more obvious reason that both the Architect and I will be there in person (thus rendering photographic evidence of our existence pointless), my bigger objection to this request is having to find a picture that represents us as we are at this point in our life together; it’s proving to be quite the bitch.

With eleven years behind us, it’s safe to say I have a multitude of photos of us together, although they usually fit the same format: me holding out the camera to capture both of us while the Architect makes ridiculous–yet hilarious–faces. Among the remaining few that don’t fit the previous category, I’m having a tough time choosing one that isn’t either patently offensive to the potential reunion attendees (both of us in club gear throwing up the forks probably won’t cut it with a bunch of easy-going, protestant rural folk), or one that isn’t a horrifically bland representation of one of us–usually me.

I think my problem here might be in perception, particularly that of the self. I find most of the photos of the Architect–stupid faces or not, chillin’ in tee shirt and beanie or rocking the suit and tie–endearingly charming. With him, even with the most vanilla of photos, that wicked little eye-twinkle of his is never absent. On the other hand, I find most of the photos of me to be some sort of waxy mannequin version of some girl who looks vaguely familiar. They all seem dated and odd; frozen–but not truly captured–bits of a rapidly shifting existence.

I think I have some sort of inner photograph I cart around in my mind labelled, “This is Me.” The probelm is, I’m looking through these pictures and realizing that image is purely fictional. At least as far as the camera is concerned. It might be some delusion of age or attractiveness; I don’t really know. But, I suspect it might be something deeper, something to do with the soul–or, in this case, the lack thereof. Where some cultures don’t allow photos because they might take a piece of it, I think I loathe them because they can’t grab enough.

A camera can never really capture who I am–who any of us are. All attempts are thin. Hollow. Two-dimensional. And that might just be why I can never find one I really like. It’s’ either that or because when I smile I show too much gum. Again, it’s a crap shoot. Regardless, I have to come up with a decent likeness of us before nine p.m., or my ancient, awful wedding photo will be the decision that is made for me.


On the bright side, I came back with a new avatar photo from the search.

About Avery

I am a roller derbying, dark fantasy author. This blog chronicles my adventures in life, writing and skating. View all posts by Avery

7 responses to “Night of the Celluloid Dead

  • Avery DeBow

    Oh, and Sidney, I’ll try and get my list of unremarkable things about me together. The problem will be narrowing it down; I have so many of them. 😉

  • Avery DeBow

    Well, we settled on a photo and the Architect is indeed making a face. He did a tiny bit of Photoshop work (right on, Charles), and it’s acceptable.Steve — A caricature would have been a great way to go. It’s been a long time since the Architect did any portraits (the one he tried of me a few years ago creepily came out looking like my mother when she was young), and I can only do stick people. We just have that connection, man. ;)Sidney — I’ve got that weird wave, too, right at the left side of my bangs. Annoys the crap out of me.Sqt — I guess that’s why so many of them duck out of premieres before the movies start. I love your blue lady. Makes me want to be blue.Charles — Not time enough;I had General MacArthur breathing down my neck, waiting for the ‘transmission’ and threatening me with the wedding photo if I didn’t procure something quick. But, the digital re-touching did occur. It’s hard to stop, though. I kept making the Architect brush up this little spot, then that one… It’s dangerous.

  • Charles Gramlich

    You have time. If you have a digital camera, take more, more more, enhance and alter, until you find the soulful one.

  • SQT

    I haaaaaate taking pictures. I can’t stand the way I look. It in no way reflects how I think I look. How do actors do it? Seeing themselves on film? I’d go batty. Like your avatar pic though. I’ll stick with my blue lady.

  • Sidney

    I’ve given up on looking like the perfect version of me that’s in my head. There’s this wave in my hair I just can’t get rid of.Hey, if you have time I tagged you for the Six Unremarkable Things meme. The rules are on my blog.

  • Steve Malley

    Ooh, freaky, we were commenting on our blogs at the same time….

  • Steve Malley

    Hard one. I carry this cartoon of myself in my head. As long as I catch the big smile and dreads, it’s close enough for me. Of course, too often candid shots show me looking like a total doofus (*really* good at closing my eyes!) or some kind of soulless serial killer. Fantastic.Add in the expectations of family, their own sugar-coated ideas of us, etc. and you got trouble…I think if I had to do somehting simliar for Clan Dynamo, I’d draw a quick caricature. Let us know how you get on. Oh, and great new pic btw! Liked the old one too, though…

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