Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Old what's his face...

(Nico the oldest silverback in captivity)

It only happens once in your life and today was that day. A wonderfully uninhibited fellow called me "old" today. I was riding my bike on the safe side of a temporary construction barricade on a busy street, when said agitated pedestrian started screaming at me, "This is a walkway not a bike path man!" Then the clincher (as I slowly glided by him with plenty of room to spare): "Shit, are all you old people crazy?" I laughed. I guess the gray hair is eclipsing the baby face. Or maybe the baby face has turned into a toddler face. With wrinkles. And bags under its eyes. And a faraway stare that says, "I've tasted the absolute chill of deep outer space motherfucker." Or maybe it was the flacon of Geritol on a tether of giraffe intestine.

On the subject of faces, I've got nothing to complain about. I am, however, still reeling from the piece on face transplants in this week's New Yorker. Sure the philosophical implications of wearing a stranger's face are mind boggling, but what really seared my neurons were the horrific tales leading up to the actual transplants... Assume that the reason you need a new face is because your old one is gone. Assume that because you can't live as an exposed skull for too long, that old exposed skull of yours will be essentially shrink wrapped in pig skin that your body will reject. Assume that most of the people who have undergone this thoroughly modern experience are remarkable individuals with lots of fascinating things to say about the experience. At least when they're being interviewed for a New Yorker piece. Wouldn't you be at your most fascinating then? So it's hard to say what these people are really like. But I like them.


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