many moons ago, i was in a dive bar engaged in an intellectual debate about narcissism with a biker. he didn’t believe that i even knew the definition of the word, which i had chosen in response to one of those ‘one word that describes you’ questions.
defining things is not my strong suit, since that’s a rather academic exercise, & my brain doesn’t work that way, my understanding of things is almost always gleaned from a variety of contexts & more conceptual than concrete. i tend to use examples, in this case i believe i said, ‘well, i think the best decoration in any room is mirrors, and i think bathing is an art that can take up to three hours & requires dozens of carefully selected products. also, i get dressed up to have sex with myself.’
that shut him up.
and so i was sitting here now remembering me then, and yes i was quite narcissistic, and this was not a bad thing. i wasn’t arrogant, well, not very arrogant. alright, but i wasn’t very arrogant all of the time. ok, maybe i was. whatever. it happened around the age of 36; prior to that my self-loathing knew few if any boundaries. i think it was one of the bravest things i ever did in self-defense, loving and caring for myself, especially considering the circumstances, which were … grim. what is it with me & grim anyway? ah well.
i’m trying to get back a little of that arrogance, a little of that self-assuredness, and as much of the self-indulgence as i can manage. i suppose there will always be a great deal of ambivalence involved in any self-involvement i’m involved in, hopefully not so much this time. however it holds true, the part about portrays, poses, & plays her part gamely – it always feels like an act, it probably always will.
what brought this up? i’ve taken to taking self-portraits lately, this is something entirely new and extremely unusual for me. i’m thinking that it’s maybe kind of a weird thing to do, and that’s probably the only way i let myself get away with it.
i should shut up and just take the damn picture.