Monday, December 20, 2010

A Seasonal Greeting for All Denominations (this means you)

Send Pointless Greeting Cards Day!
© John Yohalem, Yule 2010

As you will no doubt recall, Send Pointless Greeting Cards Day, a moveable but semi-constant Feast of the Consumerist faith, commemorates the time when H.M. King Whicheversoever Ist sought the hand of Queen Comesedice in marriage. From afar – her throne in a neighboring kingdom – she had spurned earlier offers of matrimony and his various showy and expensive gifts, and he was at his wits’ end.

“What words could pierce the hard heart of this obdurate female!” he cried out (in apostrophe, hence no question mark required). And at that instant it came to him that if he sent her an elegant and distinctive seasonal card (by the public mails instead of in an all-too-traceable embassy communiqué), it might (if sufficiently eloquent and attractive) do the trick and win the lady.

Accordingly, equipped with calligraphic pens, colored pencils, a dab of glue, a few pots of espresso (with alcoholic addenda inmixed) and hardly any kibitzing by the Royal Ghostwriter, who merely held the king’s wavery hand over the card stock and whispered encouraging “Hmm’s” and “Err’s” and the odd “Meh,” by the following morning, H.M. had achieved the ideal seasonal card, expressing wishes of Joy, Health, Prosperity, Fine Weather and other January unlikeliness, plus his shy request for an intimate interview at the lady’s earliest convenience, and after searching high and low about the palace in a caffeinated and sleep-deprived dither for both (a) a passably clean envelope, and (b) the lady’s address (both having been misplaced by the housemaid repairing the all-night kaffee-klatch – or so the king alleged at the time), he then (to preserve face against any possibility of unsuccess) secretly and incognito departed the palace by a side door and hasted him to the Royal Post Office to mail the thing unbeknownst to any other parties.

At the said P.O., lines not being interminable due to the not-yet-existent nature of the Holiday Season that his actions were about (in fact) to inaugurate, H.M. soon found himself confronted at the window, by an appropriately cool public servant, a certain Madamigella Posta Restante by name (as our painstaking research has discovered).

“We, I mean, that is to say, I,” said the king, recollecting that he was supposedly incognito, “wish to send this missive, by the quickest possible method, return receipt requested.”

“Is it ‘We’ or is it ‘I’?” the postmistress enquired.

“Does it make the slightest difference?” asked the king, impatiently.

“We have a special rate for royals – note that by ‘We’ I mean the Post Office,” she remarked – without the least little jot of unbecoming deference. To the ideal public servant, the public are all equal. It is the rate card that adjusts matters.

“Well, I wouldn’t mind saving some change, so yes, I admit it, I’m royal – in fact, in this country, I’m the royal. So do I get a discount?” said the king.

“You have, I suppose, the proper identification papers about you?” Miss Restante countered. (This was when they still had counters at the Post Office, and she was at one, but it was before “Ms.” came into general use as a form of address.)

“Really, Miss – what’s the name? Restante? – my identity should be quite obvious,” said the king. “I am none other than King Whicheversoever,” and he gestured at his royal portrait, which naturally hung on the wall of every governmental office in the land. To his dismay and annoyance, he saw that this office displayed an old portrait, with a beard – in fact, it depicted his father, gone, lo, these seventeen years come April. “That’s not my portrait!” cried the king. “That’s Dad! King Whoseywhatsis IVth. He’s dead!”

“Looks a heckuva lot more regal than you do,” the postal clerk retorted. “We gave the new official portrait a gander and decided not to hang it. We’ll try again when you grow a beard. Now, if you have no personal identification about you, I’ll have to be asking you to shove off. There’s a whole raft of genuine customers behind you.”

“There is not any such thing!”

“But there might be customers at any time. I have to be ready for them – no pointless delays. This is the Post Office,” she said, a pleasant smile playing – well, nowhere near her lips, actually. It was as if it occurred to her to smile, but the expression had been discarded as unprofessional. Sensitive visitors might interpret it as a sneer, which would never do. So she never smiled. But her pencil tapped impatiently.

“Oh, look at a stamp!” cried the king. “My face is all over those! In uniform and several colors! It’s said to be an acceptable, not too flattering likeness!”

“It does resemble you, now that I study it,” she admitted at long last, having finally found a three-quarter profile (14 simoleons, carmine lake, watermarked) under a bunch of sports commemoratives and a set featuring colorful common leaf moulds.

“Then can I have the royal discount?” asked the king, already wondering if the few cents saved could possibly be worth the aggravation.

“Discount? What discount? For royalty, we charge more,” said the maddening – but disturbingly efficient – Miss Restante. “This dude,” she continued to an – entirely imaginary – confidante at her side, “wants a royal discount. Can you beat it?”

“All right, all right!” cried the king. “I’ll pay the extra freight, under protest! Just get it to Queen Comesedice in the neighboring kingdom before she marries somebody else, will you?”

“Temper! Temper!” said Miss Restante, levelly. “I can’t possibly guarantee Her Highness’s inclinations; we’re merely the Post Office. Now if you’ll fill out this Customs Form –”

“Customs Form! It’s just a Greeting Card!” cried the exasperated king, tearing his hair to the point where it nearly matched his nonexistent beard.

“Never heard of such a thing. If it crosses the border, we require a Customs Form,” said the postmistress, implacably. “Greeting cards” was a phrase with a nasty edge to it as far as the post office was concerned. And you can’t say she wasn’t prescient.

“Well, you’re going to hear of it! Because I am proclaiming the last month of the year – every year – from now to the end of Time As We Know It – Greeting Card season! And we will all send these pointless things to our loved ones on any conceivable excuse so that people will remember my hopeless passion for Queen Comesedice and sigh with resignation – as I do.”

“Hopeless? You mean you’re giving up all hopes of matrimony?” said the clerk. (“Not that I’m surprised,” she muttered under her breath.)

“With the queen, yes,” said the king. “I really need someone less – indecisive – someone efficient – someone able to handle the public, no matter what its complaints. In fact, I need a queen exactly like you, my dear. In fact, I am proposing to you. Give up your job and come to the palace and reign at my side, and we will mail ten thousand of these puppies to all and sundry on every blessed or unblessed occasion!” he cried, happy and decisive for almost the first time in his life.

“I’m terribly flattered,” said Posta Restante, though she did not sound anything of the sort. She sounded flat, not flattered. “I’m really very sorry,” she said, “but I have no intention of giving up my pension to marry a beardless fellow who can’t even look me in the eye, crown or no crown, in any color or value, and has a watermark on his reverse to boot.”

Whereupon she slammed the window in his face, as it was time for her break.

This is a True Story! By which I mean, I feel confident you’ll never look it up and find out I invented it whole cloth, just now, while thinking of you and searching for your address and a stamp.

Wishing you a Very Merry Occasion!
– and the postage wherewith to celebrate it.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Old is the new New! Salamanca

There are two stock figures from Salamanca in Spanish classic comedy: the Doctor (of law, usually, but of any academic study in practice) and the Student (ditto). The former is dry as dust, corrupt, greedy, lustful and pedantic to a fault. The latter is boisterous, poor, romantic and ready for anything except study.

The former may be comprehended in the chapel of St. Barbara in the cloister of the Old Cathedral where, for many centuries, candidates for this highest academic honor held their oral final exams in many languages but not the vernacular. After hours of grueling questioning, they were locked in for the night to meditate on the honors and duties awaiting them should they succeed - not unlike medieval knighthood. Meanwhile the doctors testing them were heartily feasted at the expense of the candidate’s family (before the verdict - clever, eh?). In the morning at dawn, they assembled in the chapel … to reexamine the answers of the previous day. And only after that did they vote. Losers were let out of the cathedral by a side door. Winners were presented at the highly ornamental front portal for the whole town to see them and rejoice. Three days of celebration followed, with banquets, plays, bullfights, every Spanish shenanigan you can think of. This continued to be the custom until sometime in the early nineteenth century - the time the French army attempted to suppress Spanishness, national consciousness was born in the peninsula, and everything changed, though not the way the French had wanted it to. Therefore, in olden times, to be a doctor from Salamanca was something wondrous, and everyone in Spain - except the sly playwrights - respected and admired it.

Also of course the students, who can be seen cavorting on the staircase in the University’s main building to this day, carved in stone, carousing, playing practical jokes, hunting a rhinoceros (it looks like), doing everything but study. Gaudeamus igiturminable. And at the top of the staircase is one of the most splendid “artesonado” ceilings in all of Salamanca (if not Spain), layers of coffering in dark wood, each coffer presenting a knotwork of stalactites in high Mudejar style, while the upstairs of the cloister is that curious arch formation (quite common in Salamanca, unknown elsewhere) like curtains rising to an overhanging bulge, highly theatrical and handsome if not obviously good for the structure. In the chambers about are ancient books, ancient frescoes, ancient desks, and portraits of some of Spain’s least worthy kings: Carlos II, Carlos IV, Fernando VII, hapless tubercular Alfonso XII. The university was founded by Alfonso IX and his grandson, Alfonso X el Sabio (the Wise) in the thirteenth century, a few years after Oxford and Cambridge.

Popular legend has it that the doctors of Salamanca assured Columbus the world was flat, and that he should stay home, but this is a myth invented by Washington Irving (who was consul in Spain for some years). In fact, what they told him (Columbus) was that the world was 25,000 miles in circumference (approx.) (Spain had not gone metric at the time) and that with the current technology, he’d never make it to Asia sailing West unless by fortuitous happenstance there was an island or two en route to feed his crew. Columbus retorted that the world was 12,000 miles around, Asia just two thousand miles away, and he would make land in Cipango (Japan) a month after leaving the Canaries. In fact they were both right, but the doctors had the figures on target. This shows just how worthwhile it is to be pedantic in a chancy world.

Salamanca has been renowned for its university for nearly 800 years, but the city was well known long before that. The Celtiberians had a fortress here beside the river, and the Romans captured it and built the bridge that still crosses just below the cathedrals. They made it a principal station on the Ruta de la Plata, the Silver Road, from the mines in the Asturias to the Lusitanian capital at Emerita Augusta (Merida) and so down to Gades (Cadiz), from whence it could be shipped to Rome. But the university set a seal on its identity.

As we all know, universities never quite die; they grow and burgeon and swallow ever more property, and spawn institutes and lesser colleges - but (happy Salamanca! and Oxford! and Cambridge! and New Haven!) in eras of good architecture, this amoebic spread is only good news for visitors.

The proud Salamancans, only recently certified subjects of the Castilian monarchy and no longer of the Moors in Cordoba, built themselves a grand gothic cathedral in the fourteenth century to celebrate, with a spectacular altarpiece (53 miniatures of the Lives of Jesus and Mary, crowned by a Last Judgment) by imported Italians and a handsome cloister to which the very rich could affix appropriate chapels. By Columbus’s time they were even richer, and demanded the right to tear down the old cathedral and build an even bigger one, to keep up with the new ones in Toledo, Sevilla and Segovia. The Catholic kings approved, but not everyone wanted to tear down the lovely old building. In the end, the northern wall was demolished and replaced (so that the nave seems a bit off-kilter) while a new cathedral of Spanish grandeur (and in Spain churches are first of all BIG) plunked down beside it. The two with their two towers looming over the Roman bridge make a harmonious bulk, but I can’t be alone in finding the new one much of a muchness. Even when all of Salamanca was devout, how could they ever fill it? The piers are thicker than sequoias, the fretwork of the choir is gilded, it is an inhuman church, where the old one is grand but not oppressively so. The best part of the new cathedral is the various doorways, all decorated and overdecorated in moody Salamanca sandstone, which weathers to a grim and handsome red-brown that probably inspired the makers of terracotta to think they could produce buildings just as handsome without the bother of stone carvers.

Other enormous churches with overripe facades around town include the Monastery of St. Stephen, whose looming overhang reminds me of the entrance to Peterborough Cathedral (appropriately enough the resting place of Catherine of Aragon, Fernando and Isabel’s daughter). Other churches suffer from what I call baroque fungus: a gallimaufry of plaster and gilding and paint and carving that falls like glop upon the wall beneath all over Counterreformation Europe in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and has been known to render me physically ill. The gilded retablo (altarpiece) of St. Esteban, which I saw when I sneaked in for a concert of a choir from Pampluna on Saturday night, is the largest in town, but the one in the Convent of St. Clare is the brightest and gaudiest. It shines down upon a church under an eighteenth-century barrel vault that was inserted here to replace the original, wooden Mudejar ceiling damaged in a fire. But -- bless the resourceful nuns -- they left the original ceiling, what was left of it, in place above the barrel vaulting, and climbing there one sees the gothic painting, the exquisite carpentry of the thirteenth century. Nearby is the convent of the Duenas, who like the Clares do not associate with men, but just as the Clares admit you to their museum (which includes a traditional pointed “tipi” as used by the shepherds in the hills of Extramadura in olden days), the Duenas let you see their eighteenth-century cloister, a rhomboid with capitals desperately carved to imitate the free-flowing fancy of earlier times. Mysterious are two portals of horseshoe-arches elaborately decorated with tilework in four colors (turquoise, black, white, gold) as if this was once a mosque or at least a Mudejar cloister before the Age of Reason came and sat on it.

You never know in Europe what foundations you will find if you dig. Old is the new New. Someone, many someones, was here before. An American lady on the train from Madrid said she didn’t want to go to Escorial because that’s where the Spanish Inquisition had started, but of course it didn’t, and it was inescapable - hers is not a tenable attitude. Let bygones be bygones. Up to a point. Franco’s face (as well as Juan Carlos’s and Sofia’s) stares at you from a circle overlooking the Plaza Mayor (said to be Spain’s handsomest and largest, certainly a riot of crazed carving after the sedate but similar model in Madrid).

Nonetheless I was nonplussed as I left the Clares (alas, the nearby Romanesque church of St. Thomas - said to be the first one built on the continent after his martyrdom at Canterbury - was closed; it looked dishy, and I wanted to tell Ronald about it) and passed by a superb neoclassical portico two stories high fronting some college or other (and stinking of piss), when I passed a young couple walking their brown pug dog, which grunted at me and sniffed at me in the dusk. With a start I realized it was not a dog. Now, I have no objection to pigs; I’ve always heard them described as highly intelligent animals and quite trainable, but to have a pet pig here, in Spain, where half the items on every menu are some variety of pork seems just a bit creepy.

In general I dine here on tapas, which are cheap and various and very strange. One morning I had potatoes cooked with egg all over them - not fried egg into a mass of solidified slime resembling old mortar, as in American omelets, but a hot yellow sauce imparting superb taste to all it touched. Genius. One day when my innards are in order (they are not) and I’m feeling very hungry indeed, I’m going to have perdiz, partridge, which I have only eaten once, in Toledo in 1993, the finest meal of that visit to Spain. But at the moment - my digestion has not recovered from an allergy to penicillin prescribed by my dentist back home. (Spanish pharmacists have been very sympathetic as I act out my ailments. Allo-purinol is over the counter here, and very cheap.)

To be continued.

Monday, October 25, 2010

On the refusal of an actor, Zach something, to Come Out

A Facebook (and other varieties of) friend recently posted an interview from the NYTimes with an actor named Zachary Quinto who is appearing in the Off-Broadway revival of Angels in America. I’d never heard of the guy, evidently well known for TV and film work that I have not seen because, well, I’ve given up TV (no longer have one operational) and I never go to new (post 1970) Hollywood movies. Perhaps I miss a lot. You’d have to work hard to convince me.

Anyway, my friend linked to the interview because he is outraged (I tell you!), outraged that the actor, who is appearing in a gay play with ecstatic comments from the gay playwright, and who strongly supports gay marriage and the repeal of DADT and other blameless causes, refuses to say a word about his own private life. I mean, it’s obvious, but he won’t say so. And my friend heaves a hissy fit on the grounds that kids are killing themselves and need a model of happy gay people (happy actors? There are happy actors?) to distract them.

And I respectfully disagree, but I didn’t want to say so on his Facebook page, which is not the place for lengthy and obstreperous debate, eh? And I didn’t want to shove my disagreement in his face, because … well, because. He may not want to read it. But I do want to have said it, to give him (and you) the option of reading it.

So I’m saying it here:

I’m glad you posted this because I’d never heard of him and he sounds interesting. I’ve always found the role of Leo (is that his name?) the most unconvincing part of the play - well, no, the angels are unconvincing too - because I knew a WHOLE LOT of couples where one guy had AIDS and IN NOT ONE CASE did the lover walk out, though they often said they "would have if they'd known" or "wished they could" or some such utterly human remark, and then they felt guilty for it. I tried to assure them they had NO reason to feel guilty for that feeling, since they hung on despite it. And sure enough NOT ONE OF THEM did walk out. So I think it's a myth, and Kushner is just playing with the idea of it to get us emotionally involved. Cheating.

I simply fail to see why Zach (another Zach! wherefore this monstrous regiment of Zachs? well, at least he's not a Justin or a Jason; I can forgive Zach though I’d prefer Zeke) owes us anything, e.g. coming out. He plays gay guys, which is a social indicator right there - before 1983 or so, actors were afeared to do so - and NO actors were Out, though now lots and lots are - was D. Daniels the first singer? now it's commonplace - so the times they are a-changin' and they do so at their own speed. Zach plays gay guys and he supports gay issues and is unafraid to be seen as a man of liberal conscience. What more does he owe us? He doesn't owe us that. He could keep quiet about all of it. It might be better for his career if he did, or it might not. The point is: It's his choice.

Recollection: Back in high school? I was a loner, but I wasn't bullied. Nobody even mentioned gay in my high school, and it wasn't on TV or in the big glossies either except for the occasional article by Stanley Kaufman or Midge Decter or somebody heartily deploring us. But the reason I wasn't bullied - loner though I was, anti-sports and anti-rock and unpopular and perceptibly a weakling - is that I refused to stand for it when anybody tried it. I fought back. I had the muhfuhs hauled to the principal’s office. And they respected me for that! They let me alone! They continued to bully others, but I didn’t report them for that – they were leaving me alone, that was all I wanted. We used to high-five. I want to scream at these suicidal kids: none of your self-indulgent cries for the world's pity! FIGHT back! Fight dirty. Make trouble for them. So they kick you out of school. (I couldn't have endured that, or so I thought at the time, but the question never came up.) I made so much trouble they let me alone and bullied others who wouldn't fight back. Whom I declined to help. Not my department.

I feel sorry for bullied kids, and yes I agree something ought to be done about it, but I don't glorify the suicides. They thrive on that glory. It suits their romantic fantasies and then they go and live them, die them. If it weren't romantic, maybe they'd fight back instead. Or find the other outcasts and hang out. The pagan community is filled with former high school outcasts; they found the other outcasts. They wore black and listened to ghastly music. They found friendly adults. It can be done. Even, I daresay, in Kansas.

I grew up in a family with no religion at all. I found my own religion, and it was one that traditionally was very pro-gay. Didn't matter. I didn't want to be gay, and I gave myself HELL over it, and flirted with suicide over it (yes; of course I did). But I knew the world had better stuff than that in it. I stuck it out and eventually came out. It wasn't easy. None of my straight friends turned against me over it. None of my family blinked an eye. The only problems I had were with gay guys who thought I wasn't doing it openly or quickly enough. I did it at my own pace, thank you. The only SERIOUS homophobe I ever had to deal with was myself, and I had to fight back against HIS bullying and beat him up a few times before he got it. Which I did. At my own pace. True, I had no public position.

Is this Quinto dude really famous famous? I mean, would it make a difference to anyone if he were Out? (I'd never heard of him before now.) If a kid is the kind who would hang himself because he's 14 and takes things like teasing much too seriously, I don't think just another actor in L.A. coming out would mean a damn thing. Plenty of them are already out. It's his own strength this kid has to find. I passionately support his finding it, and anyone reaching out to help him do so is blessed (in my book). But I don't support condemning an actor who does not choose to come out. I fail to see the relevance.

Homophobic politicians and ministers and generals, yes: out them out them out them with extreme prejudice! (and then don't screw them, even when they beg for it) But why nag the ones who are on our side but want to remain private?

So I can't say "I like" your rantlet.

I shouldn't send this to you, should I? I should put it on my blog. That's what a blog is FOR. Yes.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

What World Cup Futbol has taught me

For the first time in my (long) life: A televised stadium sport that entertains me! I find all the others crashing, except maybe Olympic gymnastics.

I've been going to restaurants and spending too much money to sit in air conditioning with other rowdy types and watch World Cup soccer, and it's been great fun, some very exciting matches of very well-matched teams. Sorry Ghana got gypped out of play. Glad the Germans lost, though they played damned well. I think I'm for Spain in the final, but not necessarily.

Things I've learned from this Cup:

What soccer is about is: Allowing Real Men to show pain. We all feel it, but in our macho society, men are not given (unspoken) permission to display it. In soccer, that rule is suspended, notably on the following occasions:

1) Lying on your back, knee to your chest, clutching your ankle and howling voicelessly. This appears to be the prime soccer tactical move, in which all players are trained except maybe goalkeepers, who are expected to take three times the punishment and display no emotion at all.

2) Expression of anguish on your face as the certain goal you just kicked is either deflected by an unnoticed opponent or else goes wide of the net or, most painful of all, is neatly caught by the goalkeeper and tossed three-quarters of the field away.

3) Expression of anguish (usually a roll of the eyes) as you realize the microphone in your face has picked up your voice, demonstrating to the entire world and ALL the folks back home that you cannot sing the national anthem on anything like proper pitch.

It all makes me very sad that no one played soccer when I was in junior high or high school. It was all American football or baseball, both of which I detested. The only sports I was ever remotely good at were kickball (in elementary school) and dodgeball -- I couldn't hit them, but no one could hit me, for the same reason -- atavistic terror -- that I could never catch a ball either. In soccer, these skills might have had some application.

Let men feel! Play more soccer! Lie on the ground clutching your ankle screaming! (I just know my technique would have been fab at that last.)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Gays playing straight on (gasp) Broadway?

Idly wondering if that guy, Seedy Ramin whosis, at Newsweek has any problems when Nathan Lane plays hetero leads in Guys and Dolls or The Producers or Forum, or when Ian McKellen or Derek Jacobi play Richard III, or when Tom Cruise and John Travolta (yes yes yes they're totally straight I know) play het leads in a film, or when David Daniels (or Mariusz Kwiecien) makes love to a woman in an opera (and women in the audience swoon, though they all know he's gay), and when everybody will grow up (not holding my breath).

In fact we've come a long way since straight actors didn't dare play gay, which was true until the late 70s IIRC. (I think Buck Henry was the first, in The Man Who Fell to Earth.)

And I saw that episode of Glee and didn't know Jonathan Groff was gay and never suspected it even once. And Nathan Lane is a lot prissier than Sean Hayes.

The point is, they're actors, either they can play the role or they can't.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

A Goddess Appears

To celebrate what would have been my mother's eighty-ninth birthday last night (had she not died on February 4), went to a play. She'd certainly have approved.

The best new play I’ve seen in years: Venus in Fur. (by David Ives, a witty man.) A playwright (Wes Bentley) has made a play out of Sacher-Masoch’s 1870 novel, the eponym of Sado-Masochism (which novel everyone knows about but no one seems to have read – anyway, I sure haven’t), and he’s annoyed with all the actresses who have auditioned, and at the last minute one more shows up (the divine Nina Arianda), apparently a typical ditzy New York/L.A. brainless blonde, screaming, “Fuck!” when things go wrong, wearing inappropriate (for the era) fetish clothes, not understanding his allusions.

She nonetheless insists he let her read for him, “You don’t have to tell me about sado-masochism; I work in the theater.” And she puts on a Victorian dress and suddenly, like a light-switch, she’s a self-possessed aristocratic Austro-Hungarian of the 1870s with an entirely different accent (more or less British) and entirely different manner and movements, and he falls under her spell, and then every now and then she snaps out of it, is a ditz again (with no pause, it’s hilarious just to hear her do it, the moment you hear her whiny American accent the illusion shatters and we’re back in the rehearsal room), and she leaves him utterly bewildered and gradually demolishes him, exploiting the sado-masochistic feelings he’s always denied - and turns out (possibly) to be the goddess Aphrodite come to punish him for his self-suppression and his male condescension to women - and by the end she has him eagerly playing a girl whom she, as a man, exploits and crushes - most amazing (and funniest) performance I’ve seen on any stage in years - and probably the best staging of the central confrontation of the Bacchae, though using hardly any lines from that play. A major pagan event. Absolutely riveting.

At the end, my date, Nika, said, “Did you notice?” (I hadn’t.) “While we were doubled over laughing, most of the people in the audience didn’t get it at all; they had no idea what it was about.”

One could spend a night, many nights, just watching emotions play on Arianda's by no means conventionally beautiful face. Wonderful, wonderful.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Exposing Myself

I want to expose myself but I don't want anyone to look.
No; I want everyone to look, but I don't want anyone to see.
Or perhaps peek through their fingers and then forget all about it.
Or not realize it was me, unless they think about it later. Much later.
Or I want to expose myself completely but veiled.
Or a photograph, but only the negative, so obviously not with a digital camera.
Or just from the side that doesn't look like me.
Or that people would only realize was me much later when it was too late and they weren't really sure and anyway I was gone.