There's always music. This year I decided to get a handle on how the characters look. I found an Italian actor and messed with his face a little bit to turn him into Jack. Still working on some of the others. I figure Charlie looks just like Michael Imperioli, but his eyes are so much like mine it's unsettling, so I want to fix that.
Harder to get the women right, because I see them a certain way younger, but when I try to find older versions of that, they aren't the same person.
And here's a song Violet gave to Jack on a mixtape (yes, an actual audio cassette) that confirms his belief she's pretty much the coolest thing going. It's from 2005, at least, the recording I have.
I don't know why I can't get it to work inline. I haven't done anything different than in any other post. Here's a direct external link: it will autoplay, though.
Here's an excerpt; feel free to not read it. As prose, it isn't any good. But I do think it says what it's meant to say, and that's all right by me, for now.
Jack gripped the edge of his bathroom counter top and stared at himself hard in the mirror. Actually, he couldn't see all that clearly without his reading glasses, so he reluctantly put them on his still damp face. They fogged up slightly. He cursed under his breath. As they cleared, he tried again. We all do it, try to see ourselves as others see us, as though we're looking from the outside in. But he was too used to his face, and all he could really tell about it was that the skin around his eyes and below his ears seemed to have made a recent gravitational shift. Maybe it wasn't recent. These things aren't sudden, but they do seem to be suddenly noticeable, just when we're most optimistic that age hasn't yet taken control of our appearance.
The corners of his mouth still turned up. Women always seemed to like that about him. He didn't have too many lines on his forehead, but that furrow between his brows seemed deeper. He brushed his hand through the hair on his crown; maybe it was a little thinner, but it wasn't receding. The grey hairs were sprinkled evenly throughout, but finely, so that it all still looked black from a distance, or at least when he took the glasses off. Stretching his hand along the length of his jaw, there was a slight heaviness he hadn't noticed before. Well, he'd never ended up on TV as he'd imagined so many years before. No one in Seaview was going to urge him to cling to youth by undergoing a surgeon's knife.
Turning to the side to take a broader view of matters, Jack pinched the skin that pressed against and over the top of his towel. All men ended up with that, didn't they? There was even a name for it...but his stomach, though not actually flat, hadn't grown into what he'd exactly call a full belly.
Love handles! That's what it was. What a strange conceit. Anyway, over all, he wasn't fairing too badly for a man nearly 45 years old. No need to consider changes occuring beneath the towel. Violet could still have any man she wanted, if she bothered. If she wanted him, she'd take the whole package, as it stood, and he knew he could make it worth her while. His young girlfriends might find him hard to understand at times, but there was never any doubt he knew how to keep them around, wanting more, until he was bored with them and drove them off.
That was his secret. People assumed he couldn't keep a girlfriend for long because he chose badly; young women who were excited by attention from an older man who turned out to be odd and difficult to love. It was more accurate to say he fell in love at both the turn of a phrase and the turn of a shapely figure, but he fell out of love just as easily, and gently sent them on their way, making sure they believed it was all their decision.
If Violet knew that about him, she might think he was a selfish bastard, but he knew better. He knew she'd been doing the exact same thing every summer for years. And he'd always been attracted to her, same as everyone else, but it had been only over the past year or so, since last year's Labor Day picnic, that he'd thought of her with a sort of passion, deeper than he'd known he could go.