I am becoming momentarily more and more aware of my longing for the simple pleasure of looking at the human face. Necessarily I am obliged to pay some attention to mine own features when shaving each morning, massaging and lathering the cheeks neck and mouth area with a well lathered badger hair brush to be followed by the close and precise passing of the razers edge, twice, always twice, much as my father instructed me far too many years ago. The male toilette may not be as pretty or as visually engaging as the feminine version, but still serves a purpose both aesthetic and cleansing , preparing both skin and id for the adventures and happenstances of another day.
During my last daily ritual it occurred to me that the reflection staring back at me was undoubtedly fading in other’s memory, much as theirs are slowly slipping away from mine own exact recollection. We are a species that puts much store in the visage, that frontal area between the ears that is capable of demonstrating innumerable emotion and expression that can so easily make of break the joy and general ambience of our daily existence. They do say that the eyes are the gateway to the soul, yet my own considerations in this matter have inclined to change dramatically in the last sixteen weeks of so, I do so miss the mouth, curling either upwards and downwards in pleasure or pain or perhaps simple staying straight in an angry sabre slash, the nose wrinkling in humor of feigned annoyance or as expressively flaring with passion, the chin jutting outward with pride or belligerence or even lowered and loose in defeat or embarrassment. I regret the changes that will have passed undetected, the slow steady stride of age and experience painted daily across that most perfect of canvases, and of course I will miss those faces I will never see again, precious moments stolen from us by this specter who understands neither mercy or regret.
I had stepped beyond the fear of death, accepted that out time upon this earth is finite and should simply be savored whilst possible without fear or favor, apology or regret. My existence had by natural necessity moved from the physical to the spiritual, from the tactile to the visual, I had in essence become old and somewhat decrepit. Such changes are not the slightest scary or unsettling, one simply learns to grasp with both arthritic hands each and every precious moment. Imagine then my surprise to suddenly in my seventh decade find myself angry and wholly dissatisfied with the unfairness and inconsideration of Father Time and whatever other gods or deities are responsible for muddying my almost drained jeroboam of life’s precious elixir. If you immortals had wished to steal from me two hundred days then do it in my childhood, when I was barely even aware that the clock moved the slightest forward, when a second was like a minute and a minute was like an hour. Even better make it in my adolescence, when I wasted all to many many moments in pointless pursuits, simply staring into space, feeling, emoting, nervously meandering in circles for seeming months on end. Purloin from me the months of indecision in my twenties, when I had too many chances to make far too many bad decisions, erase but one of those inane and inelegant alleyways and we would be square. Perhaps eradicate one of the unsavory affairs of my thirties and forties, wholly selfish episodes that did little but foster unhappiness in others and regret for myself.
Unfortunately there no real ‘rain checks’ in life, God in his infinite wisdom decided that their issuance was ill advisable no matter the nature of circumstance. The possibility of do-overs is however most certainly intriguing, the existence of a happenstance which in some way allows a reversal of result in devout contrition and then accomplishes the same advantage whilst appeasing all mutually affected parties seems wholly desirable to all and sundry, myself included.
The clever commercial inducement of the rain-check is common practice in some particular businesses, a temptress seducing otherwise disappointed customers to return and under the guise of free goods induce gullible souls to purchase bags of vaguely related but unnecessary items in a clever marketing ploy well sculpted for the American psyche. The promise of something for nothing is the ultimate selling point, an apparent opportunity to bluff that epitome of conniving greed, the resident professional poker shark. But of course, in all honesty, we all are well aware exactly how that scenario is invariably going to play out.
If wishes were thrushes, beggars would eat birds. (Unknown origin, C. 1605)