Bizarre Game

7:45 AM

Images from my earliest memories depict a filthy little girl, scratching around in the dirt, hiding in small spaces…bushes with hollowed out cavities in the center…alley passages that open up to other people’s yards where I can play unseen…attic and basement forts, secret places and crawl spaces where I hide, partaking in rituals within my own world. 
And here's the irony; wherever I am, I'm in a fishbowl, exposed.
I relive this moment, again and again, from my hollowed out fort in the sculpted bushes of my front yard at the corner of Sunset and Beverly where I watch the tour buses cruise by, slowly, like hunters, and I imagine myself in control of the game.
At some point, I emerge and walk out into the light of day, parading in front of the bus to see the people scrambling for their cameras. This odd reenactment in my mind’s eye paints the scene as sort of zoo-like, as the tourists ooh and ahh at the monkey behind the glass, and the monkey does something funny so as to be amused by the reaction of the watchers.
It’s a bizarre game for a 6 or 7 year old.
(Excerpt from Snow Globe Reconstruction, a work in progress)
As a child of Hollywood who was, by necessity, left to simmer for a couple of decades inside the fishbowl of public scrutiny, I have always craved a reliable definition of self, so the acquisition (or creation) of personal identity fascinates me. “Bizarre Game” is just a snapshot, a time-capsule-representation, that reminds me of the temptation to presume that my image as it is reflected off of the faces of others is the same thing as true identity.
When I was young, this quest for a concise definition of self felt like playing a match game in which I turn over an image on the game board while trying to locate a point of connection to some duplicate image within myself. I suppose I thought, perhaps, if I find a match, maybe I’m not alone in the universe. 
Even though I was clearly trying to define myself through the reactions of others, this exercise never offered what I was looking for, giving me more examples of who I'm not than examples of who I am. It has also teased me into imitation and comparison, quicksand on the road to self-discovery.
Turns out, it’s more reliable to reflect inwardly. 
Equally bizarre, but exponentially more productive.
                                            Copyright © 2018 Laury Boone Browning

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  1. Very well written post! and Picture of you is pretty😊

    Love you…

  2. Thanks Ayumi,
    My cousin Ken, my father's nephew, tells me there's a picture of me in Nashville as a child, totally impersonating a chimpanzee. I wish I had that photo!

  3. Thanks for the reply!
    I want to see that someday too😊


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