one of those nights.
the angles and planes of my face are a subject of peculiar fascination, as if i’m not quite familiar with them yet—me, of all people, who ought to be able to sketch them blind—and it’s one all too easily indulged. a jiggle or two shuffles the settings of the camera app du jour and off i go, while Narcissus somersaults in his grave (or wherever he ended up). my wrist tilts; a new light is cast on my left cheekbone, my nose appears straight, almost, filters and washes settle gauze atop my various flaws. when my expression starts to glaze, as is its wont when i have no one to smile to, i flip my phone around and browse, taking first sips, then draughts of my own geography. the entire process is enacted with a sort of removal—speculative, almost searching.
how strange it is, to be given tools with which to present a version of oneself that approaches someone’s (mine? yours? the anonymous Their?) predetermined standards of idealism; as any artist aims to do, we now may set forth the image that best conveys how we want to be seen with photographs that might be better-defined as paintings, all of the processing taken into consideration. is it any wonder that, when we are observed and found wanting, we’re hardly surprised? haven’t we gone down that road already as we scrolled through various portrayals of ourselves, rejecting nine, nineteen, ninety-nine before settling on The One That Works? we set ourselves up to fail marvelously when we find ourselves immersed in the real world of wind, sunlight, cloudshadow, humidity, noise, and hormones, all factors most of us have little control over. however much ego-padding is enabled through the use of photomanipulation, the real world (and fallibility) has the final say.
back to the original subject, *my* face (because this is my blog, and therefore my party), i’m well aware that genetics gave me “strong” rather than “soft,” and “interesting” in favor of the conventional “pretty.” the expressions i make organically often exceed the confines of the aesthetically-pleasant. that’s okay with me, most days, and “interesting” has gotten me this far in life. it would be ever so impolite to condemn it now.