Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Author photos

I love author photos that make it feel like you're the one that's causing the inconvenience, you there opening up the back flap of the book to stare at the sour look of the man who's angry at you for making him write 538 pages of intermittently incomprehensible verbosity, just so you have something to make you feel a little literary each night before you turn out the light, that frown that seems to say he's not doing this for his health, that on the whole, he'd rather be digging trenches or greasing machinery or counting the unknowable days until black lung seizes him from within, oh, please, don't do him any favors, pausing to stare at his squinting eyes for any extra second or two, you're not going to get what he meant by it all anyway, or get that he didn't mean anything by any of it at all, that or your friend is going to smile pleasantly for a few moments, then shelve the unwanted gift for a few years out of guilt before it ends up, still dusty, in a wine box destined for some ignoble thrift shop, you needn't trouble yourself, really, he's angry enough as it is, can't you see, for suffering the imposition of sitting for the inept shutterbug they sent over, who wouldn't be able to capture true grit and gravitas if it fell on him from the heavens, or spewed upward from the other place, which is likely where this particular scenario was thought up, to pose and make him feel even more put upon than he'd thought imaginable to this point, when you walked in to the store and demanded to see the twisted and unspeaking lips of the man whose voice you'd like in your head for the next 47 nonconsecutive evenings devoted to the great task of reading, which isn't even what you're doing now, you're looking at a picture that's crying out, dear mercy, close this book and get on with your life.

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