But as I get older it gets harder to keep up that façade of normality. My face is beat up from age and from the wear-and-tear of street-living. And I got glaucoma in one eye which gives me a cock-eyed and lop-sided countenance (Bukowski once opined that what most people consider “human beauty” is really nothing but “dull symmetry”).
I had this friend back in the “fanzine days.” A very nice person but a little odd looking. She one told me: “I always wanted to be famous. Because that way, when people are staring at me, I could say it’s because I’m famous and not because I’m weird looking.” I think most people become famous in the first place for variations of that basic reason.
And I think that’s the reason I hoped I could pull of the “artistic genius” routine. I always knew I was nuts. But maybe I could find some socially-redeeming form to my madness by being a mad genius or something. At least that way, when people were staring at me, there might be something positive about the deal.