I’ve seen some years but you’re still my Caesar

October 10, 2005

I was watching Law & Order earlier tonight, as was my wont. I joined an episode that was already in progress, and was both ashamed and mortified when I remembered the episode and its resolution (“Monster“; the hapless admitted pædophile they indict at first isn’t the real rapist/killer) within 30 seconds of starting to watch. Of course, I kept watching, tho’ I already knew the ending.

Soon they showed the real killer, a security guard played by Paul Calderon. As soon as I saw him on screen, my immediate reaction was, “Hey! He was the guilty mail carrier in a more recent episode!” (“Veteran’s Day“; his Vietnam-vet mail carrier murders an anti-war protester who disparages his son, slain in combat in Afghanistan) As soon as I looked this Calderon guy up on IMDb, though, I learned that he guest-starred in a third episode as well (“Sunday in the Park with Jorge“). In this one, which I believe I’ve managed to avoid watching due to some fluke, I can only assume he plays some sort of murderous dogcatcher or exterminator. Someone who wears a uniform, anyway.

In other news, I was equally mortified when something else I saw on teevee today also showed me myself in an unflattering light. I refer, of course, to the VHS tapes my mother filmed during our family trip to the ESSR back in the summer of ’87, which I watched a bit of as part of my master plan to start transferring our massive collection of VHS tapes to DVDs.

What I saw in my four-year-old self was a self-absorbed, high-pitched-voiced and clumsy little child with a bad haircut who feigned a complete lack of interest in the jumprope while all the other children were playing with it, only to run over and pathetically tangle himself up in it after everybody else abandoned it in favor of playing “Telephone” instead. The only thing different now is that (a) my voice has almost changed and (b) these days I’d probably manage to convince myself to forgo the jumprope entirely. No sense getting all worked up and excited over something so patently juvenile.

Oh, at age 4 (4 2/3 to be a bit more precise) I was also evidently always the last one out of bed in the morning, and I’d often pretend to be asleep despite it being clear that nobody (myself included) was buying into my ruse.

What about the other people in the videos, all the various and sundry relatives we visited? In my self-absorption, they serve only to remind me of further self-absorption. At times the screen felt like a checklist of people I didn’t visit over this past school year, when I was in Estonia and not attending classes anyway. Kind of pathetic that I saw more relatives in two hours of tape filmed over the course of two or three days than I did in the 45 weeks or so I was living there.

Of course, some of those people died in the meantime (and I visited a few of their graves), but the rest of them didn’t so that’s really no excuse. Especially considering the number of people I still haven’t called back.

Song of the Moment: «Outsiders» — Franz Ferdinandикони

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