Annals of Jon
My new passport photo: 30% less likely to be diagnosed as mongoloid, 80% more likely to be mistaken for a terrorist. The previous passport photo, judging from my haphazard mushroom cut, weepy eyes and rodentious cheeks, was taken sometime between the beginning of middle school and the end of my awkward anime/sci-fi phase. Those were troubled times…
On the topic of the past, today I watched a video of myself at age three. I had never seen the video, so the experience was akin to looting a forgotten vault, buried for 19-odd years in some moldy corner of my memory. It’s strange to see myself play familiarly with people I don’t recognize. Neighbors I haven’t seen in years, playmates whom nowadays none of us could pick out of a lineup, distant relatives that have since died or whose memories of that time are as hazy as mine. There’s something colorfully eerie about viewing a past that is mine, but which I have no memory of; years of my life that I may as well have skipped, developmental stages of which I have only vague sense-memories: the taste of a table leg, the texture of my mother’s belly underfoot, the itch of my father’s hair in my nose when he carried me on his shoulders.
My grandmother was always a meticulous archiver; videos, photos and craft projects are all filed away in various squirrels’ nests of mothballs and contact paper. Over time, I’ve gone through little phases of photographic proclivity, but mostly I never take pictures. I’ve tried keeping a journal, but never picked up enough steam to stick with it. Sometimes I get hit with an intense anxiety about not recording things, taping them or putting them to paper, as if they’re already falling away into some bottomless well of forgotting. I wonder whether this is normal. Either way, thank god for the tireless photochroniclers of The Facebook.