...a new false face... (or: An exercise in parentheticals, photographicals and confessionals)
He is making his way back. After a long Hiatus. (and here I am, speaking of myself in the third person, as I said I would not, and capriciously capitalizing words for emphasis, as I never said I would not and yet always felt that I never would or should).
He has lost two businesses. (No, I don’t in point of fact know where they’ve run off to, where they might be hiding, or just how I lost them…well, actually I do have an idea or two— a few certain things that I in fact do know contributed to said losing but I was speaking more about the insubstantiality of what we mean when we say “business” as well as the fact that they [“businesses”] are in fact non-corporeal [though often somehow "corporate"] “things” whose true “existence” can always be questioned. [They are not “things,” really, are they? They cannot be truly touched or felt, except perhaps in the heart and sometimes the pocket-book])
He has lost all his hair. (No, not like early onset [Rather funny, that--calling it “early onset” as if I was not in fact closer to fifty than I am to forty!] male pattern baldness but like [no, no—not “like” but actually "as", actually "in the form of", actually "a real-life case of"] alopecia universalis, as in complete, 100%, top-to-bottom, front-to-back, all-over [and under, for that matter--not that you asked] bodily hair loss.) He has lost ALL his hair.
(There I go, capitalizing for emphasis again.) He now looks in the mirror and sees a “freak” (It’s o.k.. I am quite comfortable with the label and the idea and do not think of “freak” as a bad word at all, and really—no eyebrows? no eyelashes? I really do look pretty freaky[at least with my glasses off]) and embraces it.
But also (and really, more importantly) he sees a man who did not in fact have a heart attack or an aneurism or a stroke or any number of other possible stress- induced maladies or illnesses. He only lost all his hair and this is a thing that can, in fact, be felt or perhaps a thing which can be felt not to not be there—its ab- sence is a thing that is felt.
He has been told that he wears it well. (The baldness, that is. And I would tend to believe this was patronizing feel-good head-patting if it did not come so often from veritable strangers who seem to have no vested interest in how I look or my feelings there-from.)
No, he looks in the mirror and is thankful. Grateful, even. (Even though I cannot say to whom or to what it is I should direct said gratitude, said thankfulness.) He looks like someone who has had chemo-therapy but he has not and so every look in the mirror is a reminder—a re- minder of just how lucky he is. How lucky he is to still have his family, his wife and daughter. How lucky he is to still have any thing at all. How lucky he is in fact to be capable of still having—of being a po- ssessor; one who may be said to possess things. How lucky he is to be capable of considering whether or not he even believes in such things as luck or chance. He finds himself lucky to be given this chance to be reminded of how lucky he is every time he looks in the mirror, to be reminded with this loss of how much he still has, of how much he has not lost, to be re- minded (to be minded— again!) of the value of being able to find value.
Not that he in any way feels that he possesses either wife or daughter or any one or any thing but more that he is now in a position to possess the knowledge of what it truly means to possess and what it means to possess the knowledge of how little we can be said to truly possess anything. Or what it means to lose. (Or, I think, perhaps the only things that we can truly be said to possess are intangible things.) Businesses, hair, sleep. He has lost all of these things. (But now--you see--now I am losing the losing of them as well.) He now finds himself in the valuable position of being possessed of the right kind of knowledge to be able to contemplate the concept of possession, right here, right now, on this page.