I’ve been putting this off, but now I have the time and the experience. First off I have to do some work on the lighting. It’s either too bright or too dark. Too bright I look either like I’m stoned or else an alcoholic, whether or not it’s true. My skin tones are too pink, blotchy. Too dark I look like a salamander lurking under some ferns. I have a lot of house plants. On camera I trust they make me appear approachable. Figuratively. Nobody’s approachable if we’re talking literally. Mostly I’m not wearing a mask. I’m indoors, in my own living room, for heaven’s sake. Some people are fanatic about wearing a mask at all times and if they’re on the zoom, too bad, I’m not wearing a mask indoors. Sometimes I wear a baseball or stocking cap. I know that looks a little weird but my house is cold, even in summer.
Once I get my appearance squared away, which may take a few more weeks, I have to get the background thing thought through. I know a lot of people have books in the background which I think is cool. When they sit there with nothing to say you get to try to pick out some titles. Cate Blanchett had all the volumes of the OED behind her. I am thinking about putting up bookshelves in my living room. Right now all my books are on the floor, their spines in process of being broken. Not a look I want to broadcast so I turn my laptop to face the paintings which some people might interpret as representative of my personality although they were on the walls when I moved into this house and to which I am totally indifferent. If they knew that I am indifferent to these paintings and paintings in general they would know something about me. I suppose I could inform them of that during the zoom but it would have to be in context. Everyone is in the zoom for fitness enhancement. Nobody is there to socialize,. People don’t talk about other people’s living environments, and I strive to keep mine from being distracting. I sometimes stack the books. I dust whether I need to or not. l did put some pottery on a shelf in full view figuring nobody has anything against pottery.
Even not wearing a mask my glasses often fog up, and I don’t know why that is. Maybe because of general humidity, or else it’s pre-sweat. I’m pretty nervous with the camera on me. I look at other people’s faces and I wonder how they can do this without dying of embarrassment,. It’s not for nothing a movie costs tens of millions of dollars, much of it going I’m sure to the make-up department.
Sometimes I feel more than embarrassment, close to paranoia. I have a strong sense that something in the background is saying something completely misleading and unflattering about me. It might be the rusty wall heater, or the swag in the drapes or the doily my mother made which I keep for sentimental reasons, not because I’m into doilies. So many treacheries. If I had a clean white ironed sheet I would drape it behind me so that our intentions as zoom participants remain uncompromised.
So much to fix, and I keep putting it off. I try not to be self-critical. I congratulate me for showing up. It’s a me I’m just getting to know.