Tuesday, February 12, 2008

shrines to youth

"believe it or not, i was young too," said the old woman while i set the dining room for dinner. she has alzheimer's disease. and her younger self is seen in the top photograph. these displays of inmates' former selves (yes, inmates: they are locked in) are poignant, particularly this woman's. she embodied such an ideal-typical image of fifties domestic beauty. see too the upraised eyes in the portrait, imitation of hollywood stars. but even such perfectly middle class people descend into ruin, their bodies running on long after their social selves have abandoned them, like empty cars sitting at stop lights. even so, their sons and daughters set up little shrines outside their rooms, just in case there is a flicker of recognition. or maybe to reassure themselves.

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