March 31, 2019:
They dressed him in suspenders. Strong-looking leather ankle boots, suspenders, shorts: a one-and-a-half-year-old officer in the British colonial army, just add pith helmet. She thought it was cute.
Fat and happy. Not tubby, just ordinary. Baby fat and grins, the joy of being alive. Very great joy which he remembers vividly.
Later the photos are skinny. Post-divorce, so, like his mother you could I suppose interpret the skin-and-bones as emotional response to separation. He doesn't. That lanky physique corresponds to rapid height gain, the bean-pole phase with its gnarly bone aches. It was perfectly ordinary and the adult hysteria surrounding it was let's just say definitely unhelpful. Anti-helpful. Destructive. Intensely negative body image, a circumlocution around the phrase "self-loathing", for twenty-five more years.