Facewatching

Sometime when you have nothing better to do, watch people’s faces when they forget that anybody might be looking, when they forget that they want their faces to look a certain way– smooth, composed and pleasing, confident. There’s a woman at her knitting: her forehead also knits, into a tapestry of focus, a bangle of chewed lip and flared nostril pinned to her face as she funnels all available beauty and symmetry into her work, leaving none for personal use. The face of the young man at his post after hours of vigilant inactivity creases into an honest diagram of distaste and weariness. And occasionally a face simply drops open, an abstract painting of the mind behind it: the girl’s face pops into three circles, two white, one red, as a person walks past under the cloud of an uncommonly hideous wig. She cannot disguise her amazement at the ratty thing, and you can look straight into her brain and root around, like it’s a box of trinkets.

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