Monday, May 01, 2006

Impressions

People make first impressions. That's not really true. I create the first impression from a medley of subconscious detail- how others react to them, how they carry themselves, what they glance at and what they watch, what they say and how they say it, their general health. Most important, probably, is what they try to subtly influence me, as a stranger, to see.

The impressions can be detailed, even complicated, but they aren't labels. Like most of my thinking they aren't word-things. Perhaps they are like maps: symbolic, never perfectly accurate but usually good enough to plot a course.

Met a near-legend recently. There's a depth to him, but a veneer too, and places where the veneer is wearing thin... and he's laughing at that, because the veneer isn't him. It's the legend people have created around him and he looks forward to the illusion shattering and the freedom it will bring. He would be fun to sit and listen to and laugh over people's needs for mystery in their miracles.

One of my co-workers is like a slow river. His appearance- bald and goofy with ostentatious hearing aids- hides a depth of compassion, intelligence, raw strength of spirit and amazing skills of observation. His laughter is like a child's, honest... or like a river bubbling over rock.

An old man today, an old criminal, had a stroke. "Fuck the world, live or die, all the same! Don't care what happens, I'm going to live hard!" The shadow in his eyes when he thought not of dying in some romantic outlaw fantasy but living, paralyzed and drooling, was a depth of fear like a paniced animal's, only to be fought with more bravado. He was like a sand castle, constantly building himself.

No time to write more.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have imperfect, nay, inadequate control over the opinion people form of me--it all happens inside their head, the evaluation and judgment, the choosing of what things they make important about me and what they dismiss (even if to me such characteristics are core) as unimportant deviations from the fantasy they are creating that they think is me.

So for the most part, what other people will think of me is something I don't consider. It's certainly not going to influence any important decisions.

Kai Jones

drew said...

I carefully mold the impression others have of me... with violence.