Note to Self
by Helen Beer
You test your toothy smile and decide against its use. The alternative
is an unintentionally wry smirk, framed by dimples. You go back to
parting your lips, but there they are: stains on your gums from years
of tea, coffee, and blueberry consumption. You’ll go with the smirk.
Why does your left eye look smaller than your right? Wait! It’s
slightly lower, too… or is that an optical illusion from the sags in
your eyelid creases? No, it’s smaller, lower, staring back at you,
imperfect. You squint, un-squint, squint, un-squint. No change.
Oh, shit! How is your left nostril slightly higher than your right?
How is that even possible when your left eye is lower than your
right? It’s like some vise is smushing the left side of your face.
You lower your head slightly, but a second chin appears. Now
that your chin has your attention, why is it pointy on the
left, but not the right? The smirk makes it worse. You can only
hope the dimples will serve as the focal point on the face you
present to the world, something to divert, distract. But ohmygod,
the crow’s feet, laugh lines, whatever the hell you call them…
they’re the true focal point; along with the dark circles under
your eyes, they shout, “Old woman!” Wait a minute… three
crow’s feet on the left, four on the right? “Oh… good morning!
How are you?” Saying “morning” makes you smile, which you
correct to the default smirk. You realize the other face—your
interviewer’s face—looks no older than twelve, although his
LinkedIn profile had revealed otherwise. Note to self: Do
not sign in ten minutes early for your next Zoom interview.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Helen’s poetry and prose have appeared in Literary Potpourri, FRiGG, Typishly, Flash Fiction Magazine, Persimmon Tree, The First Line, 101 Words, Sky Island Journal, STORGY Magazine, Haunted Waters Press, The Write Launch, Twisted Vine Literary Arts Journal, Prometheus Dreaming, Defenestration, Sisyphus, the Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, and Dreamers Creative Collective. She also had a non-fiction piece published in the Nervous Ghost Press anthology, “Writing for Life,” and has been known to dabble in screenwriting.
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