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before his time.

I loathed my headshot in the company’s Annual Report — page 5, the third from the left, next to Dr Wagner’s. I deplored it almost as much as I hate my portrait in the gold-plated frame on the mantelpiece beaming across the living room. For over a decade I wanted to get rid of that picture, but that would amount to blasphemy for some family members. It has to do with a proud father who passed away before his time. Another picture of me I detest with exceptional vigour is a snapshot my aunt Ingrid used to have hanging in her dining room. And every Christmas eve, after dinner, sipping a digestive, she told the story of the photo, to no one’s amusement. The fourth on the list of horrendous photos of me was one my wife had taken of me, on her iPhone, and had it printed in a shop. And always carried it in her purse. Knowing that it was there, exposed for short intervals every time she searched for a credit card, made me depressed. That picture I managed to get rid of, though. In a restaurant, when she excused herself to go to the bathroom, I reached into her purse, snatched the photo, tore it up and binned the pieces. That was after I had deleted the photo from her phone. The picture on my driver’s license has, over time, almost completely faded. First the colours were gone, and by now the contours are vague at best. You can see it’s been taken of a human, but there’s precious little detail left. It’s very comforting to know that no more photo of me exists.


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