Thursday, October 22, 2009

Become a better you

It's that smiling face, those teeth, those little effin crow's feet, airbrushed just so. The promise of health and wealth, the promise of a way out of this monstrous human dilemma -- you know, the one where we peer into the future and see that we're all goners. You wanna describe that face with its calculated rictus, but the big, fat simile eludes you, poot. That toothy smile and those eyes -- those creamy blue eyes so full of twinkle. No flint there. The nicely-trimmed eyebrows full of twinkle too, and the rosy cheeks, and the handsome ear lobes. The twinkly chin resting on the hand. Take out a magnifying glass and you'll see that that face has no pores. For crying out loud.

That face staring right at me, all the while its owner is diddling in my pockets, trying to lift the last effin coin I got to my name. What a face. You notice how they never shoot him straight on? They give him that sweet quarter turn to the left. Shoot him on his good side. Turn him the other way and the smile looks a little crooked. Shoot him the wrong way and he's just another two bit preacher driving a used Caddy instead of a big shot with a stadium for a church. God it's an American face, with that big, fat stars-and-stripes smile. With that successful hair piled up and then slicked back. Not one speck of gray. Who cares if it's dyed? Not when each curl falls so perfectly into place. This guy's stylist is an effin genius. The color goes right down into the follicles.

That's what I'm thinking, standing in Boston's South Street Station looking at the cover of the latest Joel Osteen book on display at the Barbara's Book kiosk. Waiting for a train. Thinking to myself, this guy's stylist is an effin genius. Hey -- this is America. If you're gonna believe in something, it might as well be your stylist. It's a special kind of magic that's been worked into this face staring back at me. It looks respectable. What did they use, poot? Snake oil?

But what do I know? This face speaks to people. It promises a way out of the monstrous human dilemma. Stay forever young. As I'm standing here, waiting to see if its effin eyes are gonna start moving, a young woman in a white shawl, jeans, and heels goes and picks up a copy of the book. She studies it. Breathless seconds pass as she holds that face in her hands. Jesus, she's cradling it. And looking into those eyes. Dreamy. You know, that faraway look beloved by romance writers. I think she's in love.

With that face. And you know what else I'm thinking poot? I'm thinking, god I wish she would cradle my face like that. Just for a minute, before I have to board the train and head back to Jersey. But it isn't gonna happen -- she's too adoring of the image before her. So I turn and walk away. Sour grapes. She can have her face.

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