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From there to here

Forgive me. I've suffered a moment of introspection (I nearly typed "I have" rather than the less demagogic "I've", for some reason). It doesn't happen overly often, as a general rule of thumb I'm a firm believer in the whole pioneer school of thought, y'know, get your head down, get over it, keep going. That whole irritating Boy Scout thing (not that I was ever a fan of Scouts, the moment I discovered that we didn't get to bake and the Guides did I was out of there). I just tend to have found that it doesn't do to dwell.

Put it down to getting married, maybe. It's a seismic change in one's personal condition, the certain knowledge that well, this is it. You stand or fall on your own merits from here on out, fucko, you've made a promise. And it is a promise, not to be lightly fucked about with. But it was a wedding present which caused the moment.

You see, my dad was a professional photographer (my brother still is). Now here is not the place to go on about why these chaps are as good as they are, suffice it to say that some people are photographers and others aren't. My Dad and my brother are as eloquent with a photograph as you or I might be with a song, a story, a recipe, whatever, it's their sphere of ability. Part of Dad's present was a composite photo he'd skilfully made (and the touching part is that I know that this was digging out negatives and proper darkroom stuff, he regards digital photography in much the same way that any baker worth his salt regards self-raising flour) of me in various stages of childhood.

Now, I was a cute baby, there're no two ways about it, apparently. A toothy-grinned blond muppet, generally to be found in an obliging pose. As the years wore on,the poses became less obliging; there is possibly a tedious growth metaphor to be derived here. The baby photos are nice, and lead to many jokes of the "so what went wrong?" variety. The portion of the photo I found interesting was the thirteen year old me. At an age where the fully formed adult is supposed to be emerging it looks absolutely nothing like me. A widely smiling, slightly geeky (and how I wish I had fully embraced the now clearly incipient geekdom rather than running from it, I may have ended up dating Willow. Do Not Watch Television, is the lesson here, I think) and entirely unsurly (in fact, entirely devoid of surl, whatever that is) teenager looks out. I looked at the photo properly for the first time tonight, and in it's glass fronted reflection caught an image of the way I am today, altogether different. Don't get me wrong, I'm a happy man, I love my wife, I'm happy with myself, but it was a shock to see so abruptly how the years wear themselves on a face, the roundness of youth worn off, the edges showing, cheekbones, jaw. I had an overriding urge to go back and tell the boy with the guileless smile that I know you wouldn't believe it to look at me now but hey, it all works out for the best. I thought about all that had happened between him and me and wanted to go back and fight for him, stand by him though those times where I know he would feel like nobody was(even though they were), wanted to war him off the mistakes, point out what good old hindsight knew best.

But of course, that would be idiotic. Poor old him, good job he had a happy endng, eh?


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