The face across the dance floor

There is something about the face that is unbelievable. It is made of something different. It is not flesh. It seems impossible that it could ever bruise or bleed when hit. It seems impossible that anyone would ever dare to hit it. It is not a face that ends up in an emergency room. It is not a face that ends up in a morgue. It is not a face that ever yellows or reddens or blackens with disease.


It is hard to place and date. It is of no country, no patch of ground. It has nothing to do with soil or earthworms. It is young, yes, but not youthful. It is not innocent. It has received experience in it, an inheritance from its previous incarnations. It is grave, weighty. It causes grave and weighty things. It has caused these kinds of things before, extreme things, extremities of emotion. It is used to being praised, obsessed over, begged at, bribed. It is used to provoking pain, envy, alarm, self-hatred.


It is beautiful, of course. Being beautiful, it is both object and subject. It receives like an object. It performs the chief action like a subject. Its perspective, its judgment is all that matters. Others are subjective; it alone holds the objectivity.


It is sovereign. Where it turns, others turn. Where it nods, others nod. It opens doors and shuts them. It deems acceptable. It anathemizes and excommunicates. It arbitrates. Its manners are the fashion. It is a model, a mode, a mania.


It is Jupiter, around which a hundred satellite faces revolve. Sometimes, these satellites mimic it. Like Pluto, some come close. Like Pluto, all are judged wanting in the end.


It is alone. It is terrible. It is not to be looked at or touched.


 Chris Records is a grant writer and community organizer living in Los Angeles. He works in international education. His work has been published in Entropy Mag, Punch Drunk Press, Rabid Oak, and Salon.