Sunday, February 12, 2006

English class writing, #1

I'm currently taking an English class at a local community college? Why? Because, UCSD told me that I needed another college-level english writing classes to be eligible for transfer, that's why. My first assignment was to write a self-portrait from the neck up. I post it here, not because I think it was particularly stellar or terribly relevant to this blog, but simply because it's something that I wrote:

What’s in a name? If William Shakespeare is to be believed, a name does not say much about its owner. A face, on the other hand, says quite a lot. A person’s face is the first feature to be seen and the last to be forgotten. It is the most enduring physical impression that you or I have to offer. I hope - and it will soon be clear if my optimism is justified - that mine puts me in a comfortable position somewhere between Quasimodo and Johnny Depp.

Lounging on my head is a mat of finely textured brown hair. The sides and back are shaved short, not short enough to garner me any military discounts, but close. The top, with the exception of an Alfalfa-like patch near the rear that refuses to bend to the forces of gravity or human will, is pushed down and forward, while the front is spiked up like a fortress wall guarding my scalp against the onslaught of an army of combs. Highlighted by a pale complexion and under close scrutiny, my forehead is a lined, scarred and pockmarked testament to historic battles instigated by the forces of chicken pox and acne against my poor, defenseless epidermis. In addition, three horizontal fold lines have formed across my temple, possibly indicating that I spend too much time alternating between astonished excitement and furrowed disapproval.

My eyebrows, which are of a similar hue to the hair on my scalp, are thick and may often aspire to and sometimes verge upon unruliness, but I have never found them to be unmanageable. A centimeter lower, two narrow dark blue rings circumscribe the outer edges of my irises. Inside these borders are two fascinating amalgamations of sapphire, jade and gold that, when gazed into for a long time, appears to dance and shimmer from the surface of my eyes all the way to the back of my head. These jewels are, I think, one of my better features. Conversely, my nose is unquestionably my least tolerable feature. Overly large and uneven, it seems that I may have opted for the super-size when I should have ordered a medium! To make matters worse, the skin on and surrounding my schnozzle consistently manages, in seemingly paradoxical fashion, to be both dry and oily.

My lips are full and evenly matched, save for when they are pursed and my upper lip seems to be swallowed by its bottom partner. Often in need of ChapStick, but rarely in possession of it, they tend to be parched and cracked. My jaw line is firm but rounded and is hidden by a scraggly, auburn-shaded beard. These glorified whiskers are constantly threatening to creep and crawl down my collar and are often encouraged in this endeavor by my inconsistent shaving habits. My neck is thin and unremarkable except for a single lonely mole that, like a rose in the desert, seems curiously, but not unpleasantly, out of place.

As the most noteworthy and identifiable of physical characteristics, our faces have interesting things to say about who we are. Not for nothing does the old maxim remind us to “Put our best faces forward.” My best face may not be perfect and there are certainly things that I would change about it if I could, but my mug is generally satisfactory and could, I like to believe, be loved by more than just my mother.

1 comment:

Catherine said...

Awesome, Dave. I laughed out loud. As someone quite familiar with your face, I must say this description was the spitting image. :)