Remember as a kid when you would check yourself out in the mirror and you thought that one side of your face looked slightly different from the other? The left had a more rugged aspect and the right more preppy, and you liked having the best of both worlds and couldn’t pick a favorite side. I mean, it was obvious they both belonged to the same owner but one was West Coast and the other East.
No? That was just me? You’re lying.
Then one day, maybe at 11 or 12, you saw a photograph of yourself and thought “No, that can’t be right. That’s not what I look like. My face is more pleasant than that–it certainly isn’t that skinny–and I know those aren’t my pecs. Why, this boy has no pecs at all, he’s just a scrawny little fellow. Must be a bad camera.”
Then the years bring hundreds more pictures carrying the same message and you’re compelled to accept that maybe this is what you truly look like. Maybe the mirrors of Earth are full of twisted reflections and broken promises and cameras are the honest ones after all. And on top of that, maybe the tape recorder hears your voice with higher fidelity than your ears and it really does sound a little Kermit the Frog-ish. But you hold on to hope and your faith in mirrors because every once in a while you come across a photo that looks like you, the real you. The you that a hand-crafted, million dollar German-made mirror would show.
“Finally, after 134 pictures we got one where the lighting and angle and facial expression and fit of the clothes were such that it produced an accurate reflection of how I really look in REAL life. I mean, pictures don’t lie, you know; well this picture doesn’t lie at least, because it’s exactly what the mirrors have been showing me all these years and I wouldn’t be able to project this image I have in my head onto two totally different mediums.”
Then one night when you’re 25, you’re sitting around with your family enjoying one another’s company. Someone asks the group “Ok, if they were to make a movie of your life, which actor would play you?” People start to name actors who resemble each of us. Ben Afflec would play Ryan. Reese Witherspoon makes a great Macy, etc, etc.
Reese and Ben
Then Ryan says that so and so could play Kook. It was a name we didn’t recognize.
“You know, the guy from Big Fish.”
The picture clicked with a lot of us and we agreed, and not wanting to look like a five year old, I fought down the kind of sloppy grin that commandeers all your facial muscles when you feel flattered. Macy took a couple seconds longer to file through her memories of the movie, then said sincerely:
“Ohhh, ya, I can see it. It’s not a perfect match but that’s really good.”
Ryan was talking about Billy Crudup.
Macy was talking about Matthew McGrory.