Why a British Soldier?
Well, I think they’re British. The photograph is of an Allied soldier on the front lines sometime during the winter of 1917 or 1918. Of course, this would have been taken during the Great War. For those of you who read my history posts, you know that I am very into history, and I particularly enjoy learning and lecturing about the Great War. The lad in the photograph is seen happily smiling for the camera while he brings some sort of food item on a spoon to his mouth. It reminds me that, even in the coldest, most miserable, most malcontent of situations, one can still appreciate something, even if it is as small as a spoonfull of a hot lump of whatever that soldier is eating.
My profile picture. It's been this for years, I'm sure.
Why did I choose it in the first place?
Well, because I'm smiling,
my hair is done up into one of my favorite styles,
and I'm wearing those cute beaded cross earrings that I made.
I'm also at the riverfront in my wonderful city of Detroit.
So, now you know.
Well this is awkward. I created the challenge, and I have nothing. I’m surrounded by writers who have inspiring stories behind who they are, and why. And I have no story. I searched the internet looking for something that I just thought “Looked good.” What would they say? When all I had to search up to find my profile picture, was literally just typing in the words “Universe Man”
Comic Book Flowers
The only professional-level photos I actually own are from our wedding. In order to afford that one professional on our shoestring budget everything we had was homemade, including the flowers which were all handcrafted out of hot glue and old comic books.
I found the flowers colorful and interesting, and a good symbol for my geeky lovesick self.
A girl of indeterminite age. Curling dark hair and a smiling face. Wide blue eyes that have had compliments thrown at them her whole life. This is the me I see in the mirror. The face other people see. But I don't know who this person is. I look into my own eyes, at my own smile, I shake my own dark hair and watch it bounce back into place. But there is no recognition. Just the person other people see. The girl the mirror shows me.
I don't know how to find me .
Behind the eyes that just can't see.
So I perpetuate the fallacy.
I post the picture that shows the version of me that is both most and least open to interpretation.
You can't know who I am just by looking, and neither can I.
I have just changed my profile picture from Flannery O'Connor to Harry Crews. Both authors were from Georgia and both wrote about freaks and mis-fits and outcasts and rejects, and with a strange and absurd, disturbed and some might even say disgusting style. In short, they are my aunt and my uncle.
It was time to move on from Flannery O'Connor. In her personal life, she was an incredibly devout Catholic, although on the surface of her writing, a strict concern for religion can just barely even be discerned. She was confident in God.
Harry Crews was not. His debut novel was very personal, called The Gospel Singer, and it follows a man who sings church hymns in the deep south like Elvis, and has as much sex as Elvis too, in the church, during service with married women and seventeen year olds alike. When Crews published it, he called his mother and told her the news and she said, "One of them fiction books you say? I never will understand why people pay good money for something they know to be a lie." Needless to say he didn't have a superior amount of support surrounding him. His father, I believe, left the family when Harry was one or two years old.
He went on, for about a decade after The Gospel Singer, to publish a book a year. He wrote about meth-heads, cockfighters and dogfighters, sex addicts and liquor store robbers, midgets and circus 'freak-shows' and people with the voice of God only to be cursed by God. He drank and quit drinking and drank again. He had a tattoo on his arm, a quote from an E.E. Cummings poem about Buffalo Bill which read on his bicep, "How do you like your blue-eyed boy, Mister Death?" I could go on and on--maybe another post.
Finally, he was one of Madonna's favorite authors, who became borderline obsessed with him for a brief period, and this reason alone is enough to go read him, and reason enough for why he is my profile picture.
I’m not photogenic, but I am fickle.
I could use an image of R2D2 or a pair of red eyes shining out of the darkness, a cute elf stolen from Google images or an inviting cup of tea (I’m English, say no more) but I would eventually come to regret the decision.
So instead, I opt out.
Or is it a representation of the blank canvas that is all our futures?