Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Right Face

I was so unhappy yesterday. The club grossed me out, and I was sick of disgusting girls and grinding boys. I kept on looking for someone who had the "right face": that certain look that showed me that not only did they understand, but they were feeling the same way. There was no one. There was lots of people looking at me, watching openly or covertly, but only with lust, admiration, or jealousy on their faces.

Normally there is no one.

I always check.

Sometimes, of course, I do see one and then we share a secret half-smile, but it never goes farther than that. I check because it comforts me greatly, it is a joy and a relief to know that I am not the only one trapped in this hellish place by choice. Someone too who feels dirty and low when faking enthusiasm or dancing slink-ily with a forced smile, someone else who thinks that the smoke from the smoke machine smells like a boy's cologne, someone who notices things like the way the small port-hole windows had ice crstyals forming on the outside.

Someone who wishes they were somewhere else, but really couldn't say exactly where, and in the meantime realizes that it's better to be somewhere, even a dance club, than nowhere. That it's safer to have the floor firmly under your feet and a beat deafening your ears, but longs for the courage to overcome that safety net and jump out in the chance that something truly extraordinary could happen.

That's why I always search for the face, that face in the mob of thrashing sweaty limbs and intoxicated twirls that stands out and says:
I know too.
We understand it, even if they can't see it."
It's like being the only sane person in an asylum, or trapped in a nightmare where everyone is dying and you are the only person left alive. Maybe it's a spark of intelligence I'm looking for, or a touch of humanity. It's like a light: they stand out from the others.


  1. Too few of those faces around anymore.

    Saying "I know exactly what you mean" would be rather pretentious, because I'm sure your definition of "the right face" and mine are subtly disparate. But I can identify, as I usually am able to on this marvelous, connective, insightful blog, with the sentiment expressed.

    Thanks for posting, Jane. This is really a perceptive and luridly-written piece of work.

  2. Postman: I'm sure if I saw you I would say that you have one of those faces. I'm positive that it would stand out in the crowd because I feel like we understand each other, like you have the character of one who questions what society tells us is fun, and asks for something more/different/bigger. I would half-smile at you across the room, and we would roll our eyes and laugh.

  3. I think we would too. There's gotta be something better out there than feeling dirty and low when faking enthusiasm or dancing slink-ily with a forced smile. A spark of intelligence would be grand.