I’ve long suspected that death visits us while we sleep and strokes our faces, pinching and pulling as he whispers Gollum-like, “Oh, my precious.” How else explain this stretched out skin that has lost its elasticity.
The only other explanation is wanderlust. My cheeks once interested only in the world that was in front of my face have grown curious and want to see what’s below my jaw. I believe the common term for this is jowls (which rhymes with howls, which happens when I accidently look in the mirror).
My eyes have the same desire to travel. A large bag sits ready below each eye, awaiting the call to leave. When I was younger, my eyes would sometimes pack these bags; however, after a good night’s sleep they would empty their bags and settle down, prepared to face the world. Now they are determined to bring as much as possible on the journey.
My ears, tired of being ignored and relegated to being a mere sideshow to my face, add cartilage every chance they get, racing to reach my shoulders before my jowls do. They’ve also started peeking out behind the curtain of hair that hangs over them. That curtain used to be thicker, but the bathroom floor is now a popular destination. It is widely believed by my hairs that the ones that reach the floor will get swept up in a kind of whirlwind once they get there. The rumors are true.
The result of my facial migration south is a face that only a bloodhound or possibly a Shar Pei could love. Thus, my eschewal* of selfies.
Each emotion I have felt has used my face for origami, folding and unfolding the skin to show joy, anger, disgust, delight, and a thousand other feelings. The creases are all permanent now and, outside of surgery, my former smoothery is possible only inside a wind tunnel.
*Use of the verb “eschew” calls for a piece ofchocolate. Use of the noun form “eschewal,” calls for two pieces. You're welcome.