I have my serious face on and it hurts. I’ve been told my face remains serious at all times, aside from where there is opportunity for laughter, or better still, when someone has marked out the opportunity, painstakingly. When I am being effortlessly alive, and when I’m full of effort so it’s leaving me like steam from an engine, then my brow is smooth, my eyes are very hard and open, and my lips aren’t doing anything. Today I feel the vulcanised facial expression, the one that comes from a vulcanised heart– the one that comes from trying hard not to do something you shouldn’t be doing and are no longer doing. It’s a thing I’ve been doing for a long time, so when it ended, it had to be cut away, and all of it’s little veins that had become part of the overall network. I’ve survived the op, and so it’s just a matter of physiotherapy, and whether we might work to minimise the recovery time.
When you’ve been living with something for while, seizing the opportunity to break away is like killing a friend. I’d say also, that when it comes to vices, letting one go is like losing childcare– not because you can no longer afford it, but because the kids have grown up. You’re no longer blind, and it looks foolish, the seven year-old in the buggy, their feet prohibiting it from moving along smoothly. They need to strengthen, to walk without help, to go to school without mummy. Time has pulled them into the inevitable, they cannot be one of those who fight it. Anyway, when you first change your route, you know why nobody goes down that road. For starters, it’s the long way round; the one with the dips that lead to hills. You can hardly enjoy the views. Yet, you know that it’s taking you to where you need to go. The same can’t be said for the flat city-wide road with all the shops and the restaurants with the toilets; you never quite get there, should you even know where you’re going.
I’m sitting in a local park right now, bordered by benches of people on this quick path. It’s more obvious looking at some than it is others, that this path no longer feels all that fast. They no longer desire it, not like they did when they still remembered the other poorly-marketed option. Still, I have my serious face on, I know it because I can feel it. Serious faces mean business. Serious faces count the cost and know when it’s worth the spend. They read the contracts and the menus. And, they intimidate life, they bind it in its own nerves until it gives itself up. They walk away with the best you have to give. Everyone knows better than to give a serious face half the story. I used to be put off by my serious face, because other people were put off by it. Of course, I know now that It’s better to embrace what is hard to value. I have my serious face on, always have my serious face on because I’m living seriously. I can feel the sensation today of all days, but it doesn’t make any of it new.
Image cred: Theo Van Doesburg, 1915