I usually create the title first, topic second. I have an idea in my head, but I don’t know how it’ll pan out. Thus, I write the title last. Apologies if I ramble.
This evening, I looked at myself in the mirror, and studied my facial features. It might sound strange, but I find sometimes when I look hard enough I find aspects of my characters within my face. Spend enough time on Deviantart and you’ll see your fill of eyes. As close-up as you can possibly get, natural or manufactured or mystic to the point where you’re lost in the idea of being that close to another person.
The simple act of seeing such a picture awakens a sense of wonder in everyone. Everyone. Absolutely everyone. I won’t go into detail as to who, but it covers everyone. Even the sociopaths that are in love with their own. And to walk the halls of Deviantart, the stalls of amateur and experienced and professional alike, you find eyes. Thousands. It becomes its own genre of art. It becomes a kind of fantasy: people desperately trying to capture the thing that makes us emotionally complex beings: life, love, adoration, perfection, depth, whatever. Even if the eye is real, 100%, and placed upon a face so normal and ordinary you wouldn’t look twice on the street, it encompasses all humanity, all fiction and religion and philosophy. Nations are built and fall.
Deviantart is an interesting place. But I digress.
For my work, I sometimes study faces to see emotion. I don’t look at staged photo shoots of people acting like they want to have sex with me, or acting like they’re above me, or acting. I sometimes look at myself in the mirror to find what emotions I have painted across my face.
Tonight I looked at my eyes. Not in a narcissistic way. Well. In a completely narcissistic way, but not to try and perfect anything. To see me better as those who see me, and not hide the feelings I show.
It was a little sombering. Pain, frustration, fear. In the instant I looked at myself, really and truly looked at myself as if I were someone else, my heart leaped toward the person on the other side of the mirror. Sadness and resilience came next, like a slow dawn, especially when I reacted to seeing myself. Hope, then, slid across my face, inquisitiveness toward the simple window I managed to see in myself.
And a dialogue began. (Note: my brother recently gave me the first season of Game of Thrones, and I spent this evening watching the first four episodes while job hunting) This dialogue wasn’t the dialogue I usually have, of worldbuilding and staging people to talk to each other and share philosophies and whatnot. It was a pre-diabetes dialogue where characters wanted to move toward separate goals, thoughts, insights.
If my family were royals, what would we be most proud of? Who would we have become? What would we have done? Good and bad, if I were looking in the mirror of a nobleman, what darkness and brightness would I have?
And the dialogue continued down a path I haven’t walked in a long time: if I were important to others, what would they see? I’m important to people, truly. Inside my eyes, what do they see?
And I thought, simply, I have a pretty nice nose: slim and not too long, a little small for my face. I instantly recalled a memory where I installed internet services for a day-drinking recent divorcee with plenty of plastic surgery and a love for color. She said, after inviting her friend over to “watch the internet man work,” (yes, I feel I’m a glorified pool boy for the Real Housewives of St. Louis), one of the women remarked how perfect my nose was, how people would kill for such a perfect nose. At the time it struck me as oddly shallow (as it still does in ways), given all the body parts I have. My nose was perfect. But what about the rest? Surely something else was perfect.
And at the time, while installing for these somewhat offputting, flattering fiftysomething women I thought of a book I read–a Dean Koontz one, in fact–where a serial killer collected perfect body parts and stored them in his freezer until he could put together a perfect person. The thought somehow superimposed over the women a sense of story creation, there, where two divorcees looking for love decided to collect pool boys.
Then I pulled back to myself in the mirror, through narcissistic thoughts that suddenly became strangely psychopathic with a Lannister slant, then to myself, alone, looking at myself separate from myself to try and see me separate from me. Disassociatively.
All of which is great fodder for writing something fresh, new, until I sit and write a blog post instead of writing on a story. Or, moreso, instead of sleeping because I need to get up at 6:20 in the morning due to a new, hour drive (one way) work location that somehow terrifies me more than the idea of collecting corpses.
I guess reality trumps fantasy. Don’t get me started on politics.