I’m currently reading We Learn Nothing by Tim Krieder. I found it while fritzing around in the new book section of the library, and it was a good find indeed. It’s funny, which I expected from the cover, but it’s also quite heartbreaking in spots. I recommend it.
In the middle of an especially wonderful chapter, a profile of Kreider’s friend Skelly, there is a bit that I have been contemplating since reading it yesterday. It seems so dead on, so painfully true. I wonder if you agree as well?
Years ago a friend of mine and I used to frequent a market in Baltimore where we would eat oysters and drink Very Large Beers from 32-ounce styrofoam cups. One of the regulars there had the worst toupee in the world, a comical little wig taped in place on the top of his head. Looking at this man and drinking our VLBs, we developed the concept of the Soul Toupee. Each of us has a Soul Toupee. The Soul Toupee is that thing about ourselves we are most deeply embarrassed by and like to think we have cunningly concealed from the world, but which is, in fact, pitifully obvious to everybody who knows us. Contemplating one’s own Soul Toupee is not an exercise for the fainthearted. Most of the time other people don’t even get why our Soul Toupee is any big deal or a cause of such evident deep shame to us but they can tell that it is because of our inept, transparent efforts to cover it up, which only call more attention to it and to our self-consciousness about it, and so they gently pretend not to notice it. Meanwhile we’re standing there with our little rigid spongelike square of hair pasted on our heads thinking: Heh – got ’em all fooled!
I’m pretty sure I know what my Soul Toupee is. Obviously, I’d rather not discuss it.