One of my book signings, no doubt. (No … doubt!)
This year – 2018 – will be The Year of Perry Block.
That’s because this year my first book Perry Block – Nouveau Old, Formerly Cute hits the literary world, and soon I’ll be sitting around in cafes wearing turtlenecks, drinking latte, and discussing Sartre.
That is provided the literary world doesn’t hit back.
But first it’s necessary for me to promote the book, and I have been advised by publisher Donna Cavanagh that proper promotion will necessitate utilization of a recent high quality photograph of myself.
Now I haven’t been much for taking pictures since they began presenting more wrinkles to the beholder than the plot of an Agatha Christie novel. So I sought the services of a professional photographer, locating a nearby practitioner of the photographic arts named Marv Clickson.
I told Marv that I was apprehensive about having pictures of myself taken at this age.
“Perry, with the airbrushing tools I have today,” he said, “we can truly improve on reality.”
“Are you sure for me we don’t need sandblasting?”
“Not at all. Just leave everything to me.”
We set to work. First we shot a series of pictures of me in various shirts and sweaters. We learned that – whatever may have been true in the past – blue, brown, black, green, red, orange, puce, and alabaster are no longer my colors.
In fact no color is any longer my color.
I managed to select one photo that I believed would cause no one to lose their lunch.
“Okay, Perry,” asked Marv, “would you like me to give you more hair?”
Now with all due respect to Mr. Clickson, posing that question to almost any male Baby Boomer in 2018 may be as stupid as question as anyone could ever possibly ask.
“No, I cannot make you look like Kenny Loggins on the cover of the 1972 album Loggins and Messina.”
“Oh. Then, can you give me a couple more strands of hair in the front?”
Next we looked at my forehead, which thanks to a medical condition called vitiligo has lost its natural pigment and is now as white as network television in the 1950’s.
“Can we make my forehead sort of George Hamilton-colored but only as of the start of the tanning season, not as of late August?”
“Now, Perry,” observed Marv, “your eyes possess dark circles deep enough for an archaeological dig. But I can take care of that.”
We traveled south to my nose.
I told him what I would like have done with it.
“Perry,” he said sympathetically, “I can do many things but photographic technology just hasn’t advanced far enough to tackle your nose. I can remove your nose hairs.”
My new profile photo emerged, and I must admit that it – and I – looked pretty good. Aside from a sort of airbrushed/sandblasted quality that makes it appear as if you are looking at me through cheesecloth.
One more airbrush, though, and I’d be a Playboy Playmate.
If only Marv Clickson could manipulate my picture throughout the book promotion instead of me there’s no telling how soon I’d be sitting around in cafes wearing turtlenecks, drinking latte, and discussing Sartre. Or my picture would.
After all this year – 2018 – will be The Year of Airbrushed/Sandblasted Perry Block.