I once saw an interview with Terry Gilliam talking about the Monty Python days. He said he loved the idea of looking at a great piece of art and then drilling his focus down onto a single seemingly innocuous section of it, like a subject's feet. He'd then take that innocuous section and animate it, creating scenes like a pair of beautifully drawn snapped off feet stomping off screen all to the sound of muddled harrumphs. Great stuff.
Recently I read a Salon interview with a writer deciding to make a knife. In it I came across my own seemingly innocuous section.
My mother, before she lost her mind to a tangled swirl, would have been instantly dismissive of such silliness. 'Little things please little minds' (1) was one of her parental oft-chants.
Which is somewhat ironic given her condition.
(1) 'Great things come in small packages' was another. She'd say that to me because she was worried I was worried about being short. In truth being short has never been that much of an issue for me. I've never been bitter about it, though I do find it a hilarious that my brothers and my father are nearly a foot taller than me (one doctor said I was a cro-mag throwback). I was short. That's all there was to it. Couldn't change it, I just accepted it (1a). It was unfortunate, however, that I got the weight retention gene combined with a fucked-up body. Speaking of weight, I read this excellent (sourced via Longform.org) article about a one-time world's heaviest man and the fact that the man behind that weight was a sweet, smart guy who used his affliction to earn money as a sideshow attraction. The article also had some kewl factoids laced throughout. I loved this one: College students rate fat people last as potential marriage partners, behind embezzlers, cocaine users, shoplifters, and blind people. I wonder though if you combined afflictions what combos it would take for us meek hefty types start lookin' good. I suspect I'd win over a blind shoplifter but that I'd lose to a cocaine-using embezzler.
(1a) Actually my parents did consider trying to change it. A doctor had told them I'd likely top out at five feet (I'm actually midway between five and six) so they got worried about my future quality of life. They nearly enrolled me in an experimental program in the '80s that used growth hormones. They only didn't because I defied the shorty short prognosis and was on track to end up normal short. Lucky they didn't enrol me. Those hormones came from cadavers and apparently years later they found out one of the corpses harvested had CJD. Mikey dodges a bullet!