Sunday, December 13, 2009

River Crossings

I edited my facebook page so that it has my actual name now. For some reason that makes me feel exposed. But I keep getting these link requests, whatever they're called, presumably from people who used to know me, and it's a bit rude to be in cognito. As I've said, I set the thing up for some ad hoc purpose, and then ignored it, and then someone I know somehow linked to it, and it went on from there. So that now actual people associate me with it, and I've never been one to play dressup games. I'll hide, but I won't lie.

I have to add that if you google my name and facebook, you'll come to a Jack H who has a line drawing of a naked man on his knees being pulled via a leash to his penis by a dominatrix. This is not me.

Do people just see random names on their friends' pages and shoot off a request? Because I have no idea who most of these people are. I know I may have known them, because we went to the same school at the same time. Now one who went to my elementary school. I don't even know how to spell it. And of course I do go creeping through their pages, looking at the photos mostly, seeing if I can remember them. Mostly it's just the names.

It's really shocking, and that is the word, how old some of them look. I have my little jokes about health and beauty. And we can't help the hair loss and the grey. But I don't think it's unfair to think we can make accurate guesses about lifestyle choices, from appearance. I knew them in the 70s, the hair decade. All that time spent primping and preening, as teenagers will, and what did it amount too? Mating rituals I suppose, abandoned once a mate is secured. I didn't primp at all. And haven't since. Maybe that's a fault. Sure it is. A sort of social deficit, missing a way of fitting in. But I always took care of myself, in terms of lifestyle.

Then there's the disconnect of remembering them only as teens. And here they are, grandparents perhaps. It's what reunions are for of course, as with all such ceremonies. We marry publicly for social rather than personal reasons. Societal, rather. It's the fundamental unit of a culture. But we do these things for personal reasons too. Rootedness and belonging. Traditions that aren't about generations, but individuals. It's not hard to understand.

And there I was, on facebook with my last name as an initial. Sometimes I despair of myself. But I'm not going to learn, or change. I make a few adaptations as the need becomes apparent, but you know how scorpions are, and virgins. Regardless of circumstances, subject to their natures.


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