Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Portraits of the Artful Dodger as an Aging Man

Sun-Ae and I went out on the late morning to mid-afternoon of Christmas Eve for a movie, a lunch, and a year's end talk about what we've resolved to do in the coming year. Sun-Ae wants to write more blog-post book reviews, and I want to finish the story I'm currently working on. The film we saw was About Time, a sweet little film about time travel in which the men in a certain family could travel back in time to the same moment over and over until they get it right, and though the film doesn't get into the science fiction complexities one might expect, it really made me think about its main point, namely, that we should each experience our life here in this universe as something truly extraordinary, regardless how ordinary our life may be. With that in mind, I have also traveled back to the same point in time, 2:30 p.m. yesterday, and attempted to crack a smile for the camera:

2:30 p.m.: Unprepared . . .

2:30 p.m.: "You want a smile?
Okay, I'm smiling now. See?"

2:30 p.m.: "Not good enough? Okay,
how's this? Eh? You don't see one?"

2:30 p.m.: "Let's try a different angle.
See? I can smile. What? You still can't
see it? Maybe you need new glasses!"

2:30 p.m.: "But I am smiling! No, I
don't wanna show my teeth -- that'd
be a sign of aggression amongst
our nearest cousins, the chimps."

2:30 p.m.: "No, and I'm no orangutan,
either! I said 'cousins,' dammit! But
there might be some chimps lurking
nearby, and I don't wanna get attacked!
Now, how many times I gotta smile
for this damn camera? Just once more?"

2:30 p.m.: "What? Still not good enough? And
you say you aren't a perfectionist?
All right, fine. I'll give you my best
frickin' smile ever in the next photo!"

2:30 p.m.: "Great. I finally offer a
beatific smile bright enough to illuminate
all of North Korea for a year, and
you get the damned lighting wrong!"

So much for getting the moment right. I gave up. Or maybe she did. We drank our coffees, enjoyed a slice of chocolate cake together, and picked up where our conversation had left off.

Oh, by the way, Merry Christmas! At least, I got that right . . .

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At 5:08 AM, Blogger Kevin Kim said...

Fröhliche Weihnachten und Gutes Neues Jahr!

At 5:17 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Joyeux Noël et Bonne Année!

You're up early enough to be Santa Claus!

Jeffery Hodges

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At 3:38 PM, Anonymous Malcolm Pollack said...

Merry Christmas, Jeffery!

At 3:42 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Thanks. You, too, Malcolm!

Jeffery Hodges

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At 12:02 AM, Blogger Carter Kaplan said...

Next photo session, perhaps Sun-Ae could tickle you--that might coax some mirthful teeth-flashing.

Still, I dunno. I think you want to maintain that coquettish understatement that's become your trademark. Of you people will say, "Hey! I think that guy is laughing inside... Yeah, he's definitely amused over something... [building mirth resulting in loud guffaws] Ha! I don't know what it is, but it's catching!!!"

At 2:23 AM, Blogger TheBigHenry said...

С Рождеством Христовым, Джеффри!

At 2:46 AM, Blogger TheBigHenry said...

Here is me smiling, 65 years ago.

At 4:33 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Carter, getting me to laugh is too easy, so I probably smile then in building toward that guffaw.

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 4:40 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Hmmm . . . "С Рождеством Христовым, Джеффри!" I believe that's Ukrainian for "See pocket bomb, expect to open extra!" Unless, of course, it's Russian and means "Merry Christmas, Jeffrey!"

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 4:42 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

TBH, you don't need to smile if you're good-looking -- and you were a good-looking kid!

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 5:00 AM, Blogger TheBigHenry said...


It's the Russian.

In Serbian, however, it means:

"But amused I over some you want to main loud guy."

At 5:04 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

In Serbian, it means, "But amused I over some you want to main loud guy," which is how Serbs greet good friends after long years of absence!

Little wonder pan-Slavism didn't work out . . .

Jeffery Hodges

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At 11:43 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Merry Christmas, Jeffery! By the way, your photo session did bring a smile out of me, so I guess you can see it as being successful ;-)

At 12:13 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Your smile is undoubtedly better than mine.

Jeffery Hodges

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