Having thought up this title, I found myself musing on recognition for my services to blogging in the New Year’s Honours. If I were elevated to a baronetcy, I could (perhaps) chose to become Baron Gaga of Madingley (or similar). Were I then to produce via some method (or adopt?) a heavily X-chromosomed offspring, she could legitimately call herself Lada Gaga. Whilst several forms of infinite universe make these events basically certain, it seems like a lot of effort when the option of a Statutory Declaration is available.
I suspect I would make a very poor poker player: I am far too risk-averse and (as we will soon discover) may face is far from a vizard to my heart (to paraphrase Lady Macbeth). However, I have twice in the last 24 hours seen doors with an unparalleled ability to conceal their heightened emotional state without obvious effort. In each case the door bore the legend “This door is alarmed”, but in not the slightest way did either betray its agitation. They were the very models of Stoic wooden virtue.
Earlier yesterday, I had been at the Finborough Theatre to enjoy The Sweethearts by Sarah Page. A play both funny and shocking and graced by excellent performances and clever staging. Afterwards, I was enjoying a pint of session ale in the Finborough Arms and composing the post which preceded this one into the world, when the cast started filtering down the stairs dressed in their workaday mufti. I recognised most of them, though not always immediately (my ageing brain is easily foxed by a costume change), but one of them recognised me rather quickly. It would seem that my face and body language had done little to conceal my deep involvement in the play. Apparently, according to Jack Derges, I make for good audience and they need more of me (in this latter assertion he was, of course, wrong: one of me is more than enough for any universe). I am unrepentant: I refuse to sit stony-faced when up close and personal with the Arts – despite the (apparently) prevailing opinion that this is inappropriate for a man of my age and station.
Being recognised by the talent is becoming a rather too regular occurrence. Only the previous night, while buying a CD, the band had recognised me from the last time I had seen them play (several months before). The previous weekend, the talent actually briefly confused me for a musician before successfully placing me in an earlier audience.
I don’t think I’m that odd looking (or acting, at least while seated and delivering my rapt attention stage-wards), so why do I seem to be so memorable? I’m not sure whether this is a boon or a curse, but I can see that I can no longer rely on anonymity to shield me when in the public realm. Is it time to wear a mask to protect my secret identity? (Or should that be to create one?)