August 17, 2014
I have consistently been emotionally drawn to men like Monty Woolley, who was a close associate of Cole Porter’s, but was also a well-known actor - but for me, the very vision of the man is strictly through a series of photographs. If I was going to grow a beard, it would be like Monty’s facial hair. The thing is one has to pass through a lot of time and trouble to keep the beard trimmed and neat. The one thing that I don’t like about my body is the hair. Too much hair on my legs, arms, torso and worst of all, the back. Also I have a thick beard. Technically I probably need to shave twice a day, but that’s too much work for me. I tend to shave every two or three days, but to be perfectly honest, I don’t like how I look with a three-day beard. In fact, I don’t like how I look period.
I’m approaching 60, which is old. People say 60 is the new 40, but that is a lie. The first thing I noticed is my neck. My neck looks old, but my face continues being youthful. Lately I have been using a lot of cream on my neck area, including my hairy shoulders, hoping to stop the aging that is taking place in that part of the body. As time marches on, I find myself losing my self in step, and it is hard for me to go back in line to march for a better world for me. On the other hand, Monty Woolley looks old, but I suspect that he was born looking old. I tried to find images of Woolley without a beard, and it was impossible. I assume that he was born with a full beard. Nevertheless, I do have at least three men that I look up to in a physical fashion sense, and besides Monty, there is the pop singer Kevin Rowland and the Jazz singer, writer, and Surrealist art collector, George Melly. I’m struck by them because they are not technically handsome (such as yours truly) but have a strong sense of style, that overcomes ugliness or any human defectively traits. So though I do have an aging neck as well as a hairy body (with the additional middle-aged fat as well) I figure I need to bring more personality to my appearance. The thing is all throughout my life, people always compared me to celebrities. In fact, I was often mistaken for certain public figures.
When I was 21, I went to see “Taxi Driver” at 20 times in a movie theater. I even adopted his look, not shaving my head mind you, but the checkered button-up shirt, Levis, and the beat-up jacket he wore through the film. It was my uniform that year, and I pretty much wore that on a regular basis. The thing is people began to mention that I look like Robert De Niro, which was complimentary at the time, but then people began to approach me like I was the actor. Not only that, but famous actors who actually worked or knew him. They would come towards me and say “HI Bobby.” They always had a weird look on their face when I told them that they are mistaken. Also I remember going to the Whiskey to see The Screamers, and someone behind me said “that’s Robert De Niro!” I looked around to see where De Niro was, and then realized that this guy was just talking about me. I had to leave the area because he was sort of creepy and his friends were about to approach me.
As I got older, I was compared on a regular daily basis to Martin Scorsese (I think due to the eyebrows) and the now late Robin Williams. Which I didn’t like to be compared to, due that he had a hairy body like mine. A lot of homeless and street people approached me on the public walkways, saying that I looked like those two guys. It was strange, because I couldn’t see the resemblance at all when I looked at myself in the mirror. Especially for Scorsese. However, on the other hand, so many people have commented on what they think is the resemblance between me and the great film director. It is like they are willing themselves into thinking I look like this figure.
Lately it is now Peter Sellers. Here I can actually see the resemblance, I think due to the glasses I wear, as well as the facial shape of our mouths and eyes. Time-to-time, I have been called upon to send a photo of me for maybe an article or a need for a bio of some sort. Since I don’t like any of my own photos or portraits I usually now send a photograph of Peter Sellers. The funny thing, is that very rarely do I get anyone turning down the photo - even those who know me quite well. I never felt I was losing my identity, probably because I have spent my whole life thinking about being someone else. For instance, Kevin Rowland, Melly, or Wooley. No one ever mentions that I look like those gentlemen. Which, at the end of the day, brings me a sense of sadness.