Thursday, June 01, 2006
When I was a kid, my favorite movie was "The Jungle Book". In fact, it was much more than a movie, it was a lifestyle. These were the days before video, when the best a kid could do was beg his parents for the soundtrack album and play it...over, and over, and over again. In hindsight, I think that wasn't half bad(although naturally I wonder what would have happened to my brain if I had been able to see it more than twice during the first 7 years of my life); I was forced to use my imagination: there was Baloo, there was Bagheera, there was King Louis, each in a corner of the living room(assuming no one else was home; my older brothers couldn't stand that kind of thing). We lived in Orinda, California, on a property that sat on a typical bushy hillside. There was a particularly lush area tucked away between the steep, curving driveway and the house, with a picture perfect, Indian-looking sort of banyan tree with a horizontally curving branch. I'd drag out an old velvet robe of my mom's, pin under the sleeves(paws!), tie the belt so that most of it trailed after me(tail!)--and pose myself on that branch, pretending to be Bagheera. But most of the time I'd be Mowgli--naturally. I had a pair of bright red underpants, and I once blithely sallied out into the backward, wearing nothing but the pants, and swung on the trees, etc. until the lady next door saw me and called to ask my mother what the hell I was doing. Shameless! Well, gee, I was only 4.