This is Manuel Pampo. We go way back. I met him through Not Elvis's
guestbook, but it's a bit of a misnomer to say that you've met
Manuel - one day, he just appears in your life and, with a head
this big, there's no way to stop him from becoming a part of it.
Not Elvis had a great, great web site and a thriving guestbook. In a
guestbook, you can leave a text message for everyone to read or a link to
your own web site; unfortunately, many people just fill other peoples'
guestbooks with ads for their own sites (figuring that cheap advertising
is all that stands between their creepy angel-themed/hard-twink porn site
and greatness). Manuel, of course, is no such mundane creature. He took it
to the next level. He didn't leave much of a message, nor did he leave a
shiny ad for his own web site (although there was a link); instead,
striking a blow against the depersonalized nature of online
communications, he left this fucking huge picture of his head behind. In
all its glory, and in this actual size. (I haven't blown it up at
all.) For a moment, the world stood still as its web browsers staggered
under the weight of displaying this immense fucking head.
What made Manuel think that anyone wanted to see his head, especially in
such microscopic detail? No one knew. I mean, let's be honest. He's not a
devastatingly handsome man. My initial reaction was not to wonder about
the poetry that must lurk behind this smooth, hunky facade; actually, my
initial reaction was one of gratitude toward the wise people who impressed
upon me from an early age the notion that gnawing on power cords was not a
healthy lifestyle choice.
No matter how we tried to forget it, the question lingered, much like the
humongous head that inspired it: why did Manuel leave this picture in the
guestbook? I and several other people went to Manuel's own guestbook and
asked him, but our questions were always removed without explanation. We
knew so little about him. We knew that he was from Hawaii, we knew his ICQ
number, and we knew that he had what appeared to be a perverse obsession
with water sports; we knew nothing else.
I have my own way of dealing with Manuel. I like to think of him my own
personal Floating Jesus Head, that classic harbinger of spiritual madness
updated for the digital age. Without warning, there he is, suspended in
air, staring at you; there's no way to say what the hell it means, but
when it suddenly appears there in front of you, there's really no way to
ignore it. Just huddle closely to your nightlight and whisper "Heads
aren't that big in real life. Heads aren't that big..."
Manuel has never answered any of my questions about his fucking gigantic
head. Each year, though, I honestly still get Christmas emails from him. Say what you will
about the man, but he knows how to network.
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