I sometimes try to explain to myself why I like certain books or art pieces so much. Somewhat indulgent, mostly introspective. Today I thought a lot about Francis Bacon, about why I like his studies of Lucian Freud more than his self portraits. I think the triangular boxes made all the difference. They are as unnerving as the black monolith standing stoically amidst the frenzied apes in 2001: A Space Odyssey. A kind of contained anguish. A hollowness that is as unrelenting as it is unimpressed by all our mortal fuss.
There’s that popular notion that the face we put to the world betrays who we are. What do we call those people? Ah, yes. Body language experts. Facial language experts. I am of the opinion that either they don’t know shit or we’re all one-dimensional maggots. It’s not good, either way.
But just for the sake of argument, if what they say is true, then I wish for my internal convulsion to be translated to the world in the form of a twisted face, imposing itself on the inadvertent and removed gaze of the public. Shall I frame this swarming flesh in a frail cage? Perhaps that would contain the threat it poses to your contrived innocence as a public onlooker. Shall I accept your courtesy against my will? Shall I shave my facial hair to better enable a pleasant visual experience for you? Shall I point out that the artifice of your lipstick is melting into the concrete beneath our feet? I shall refrain, because your smile is courteous and sincere, which renders my unravelling quite impolite by comparison.