We carry with us, always, these images of ourselves when we were younger, snapshots of all our past selves. I write this having just skimmed--for the first time in five or six years--my first attempt at a novel. I started it when I was 20 and abandoned it sometime the following year.
The title was Foolish Loves and it was painfully and embarrasingly autobiographical. I was so innocent, overly romantic, freely using words like dawn and dew, even falling at times into full-fledged poetry. All of it was inspired by my first experiences in London and this infatuation I had there with a woman who kissed me once, maybe twice.
Back when I was 19, and living the London life that would inspire the novel, I cut out of picture of Jean Seberg from a magazine. I ended up keeping this with me in my wallet for years afterwards, tucked away in my pocket, until it made a girlfriend jealous...
The above, though similar, is not the Jane Seberg picture I carried in my wallet. In the one I had, she was standing beside a Picasso's Madame Z. (Strangely, at no point during Godard's Breathless does such a scene occur.)
Around the time that I cut that picture out of a magazine, I attended the above concert. I am there in the audience, on my own because nobody would come with me. Towards the end of the show there was a mini-riot because the management demanded the show end. Rufus Wainwright got delightfully bitchy (as you can hear), then he played a song called Foolish Loves. And it was stunning. I remember drifting into the street afterwards, feeling that I'd just heard the soundtrack to everything I was experiencing with the aforementioned unrequited passion. The echoes of this last song, resonating through me.
We look in vain for these images of our former lives or we simply hold them close, trusting that they're always there, as constant as shadows.