Tuesday, July 29, 2014

early memory from infancy

I can remember one of the first times I was ever photographed. I was only three months old, according to the notes written on the backs of the photos. The moment stood out because my parents went to some great efforts to get me to smile. They moved away from me so I was alone on a big red blanket, and they made silly, funny noises that were supposed to sound like a baby’s sounds.

If I had had an ego at the time, I might have thought that this was very patronizing of them to imitate the way I sounded as if mocking my infant sounds would entertain me. But I did not have an ego at the time, so their pseudo-baby sounds worked. I started to laugh at how silly they sounded.

As I was starting to laugh, I saw that they got behind a cumbersome machine, which looked very big to me. It blocked one of their faces as one of them held it up. They also spread a shiny chrome-plated parabolic mirror—almost as big as a face—that was attached to this machine. I had no idea what was about to happen. 

Then it struck me—F L A S H ! ! !  

I was not only blinded, but it felt as though the painfully bright light had penetrated to the very back of my little head. It really HURT my head! I also realized in that moment that my parents had TRICKED me! I had been SET UP to be exposed to this painful explosion!

In an instant, I started to crumble up inside.

Meanwhile, they were thrilled at their success. 

Before I could protest (meaning, cry like an H-bomb), they did it again.

F L A S H ! ! !

I cried like an H-bomb!

They thought that that was really funny, and they had a really big laugh at me before they picked me up to make me feel better.