This picture was dragged out over and over again during my late teenage years, when I let my hair grow long, as an example of how good-looking I was with short hair. I saw it cradled lovingly in so many palms, in so many relatives' households, as a visual aid to get me back to the straight and short. There was one Summer in particular when everytime I visited my grandparents', at some point after dinner my grandfather, railing against hippies from his easy chair, arms flailing, would rise and walk over to the mantle, squinting at the array of absurd knick-knacks he kept there, looking for this picture, finding it, turning towards me, as I continued sitting on the sofa, trying to ignore him, his right index finger thwacking against this portrait, bending it, ordering me to get my hair cut, which I never did. In time, I grew to dislike the picture, and didn't look at it for decades, because it reminded me too much of those evenings. Now I like looking at it, because it does remind me of those evenings, when they were still alive.
Copyright © 2002 by Ralph Robert Moore. All Rights Reserved.
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