[Prose#6] Furrowed Brow

I glanced in the review mirror last Monday and realized it was never going to go away.

For some reason, this revelation was shocking to me. It was a normal Monday commute, summertime sunshine lighting up the Oregon sky, as clear as a summer in the Pacific Northwest can possibly be – such a contrast to the rain this region is known for. The sun is already up and at’em by the time I start my drive to work, iPod on shuffle, my favorite songs filling the interior of the car.

Warding against squinting through the sunlight bouncing off of street signs, I wore my favorite pair of sunglasses – Aviators, gold frame. I’m not one of those girls that spends a lot of money on clothes. But sunglasses – now that’s different. I usually get my sunglasses beyond cheap at thrifts stores, and I struggle getting rid of any of them. This fact explains the seven pairs of sunglasses I have roaming about my station wagon.

Sunglasses on, I glanced in my review mirror. I saw, just slightly above the nose piece of my sunglasses, a crease in my brow. I’ve always had that crease right between my eyes slightly left of center. But today, it popped out at me as being particularly indented. And permanent. This wasn’t any delightful and delicate brow furrowing. No, it was a deep furrow, deep enough to plant seeds in.

My face is a frowny face. It just wants to frown. I’ve been told I have a lovely smile, but timidity and thoughtfulness were always its biggest foes. This goes back to infancy. From the photos, I look to be deathly seriousI did so, but I didn’t carry a smile on my face to just throw out willy-nilly. Part of that could be due to being incredibly sick as a young child and living with great pain for the first two years of my life. But even today, my best friend told me that 1) my face at rest looks annoyed, and 2) that when I narrowed my eyes in thought, I was incredibly intimidating. My dry and sarcastic sense of humor don’t help the situation too much.

But for some reason, I didn’t realize how permanent the creases would be. For some reason, I figured I’d fall in love or something and smile so much that the brow creases would cease to exist. Instead, I’m sitting at a stoplight, trying to contort my face so that the line disappears. I smile. Nothing. I lift my eyebrows and smile. Oops, too high. I balance it out just right so that the crease is slightly less noticeable, but it’s still there. Plus, my face feels like it’s been glued on.

I started getting sad. Frowning, actually. It’s just going to get worse, and all of a sudden, I’ll find myself the scary old lady that looks mean. I don’t want to look mean! I want those wrinkles around my mouth that say I’ve smiled too much freely over my life and look at what it’s done to me! I want to have wrinkles in the right places. And hopefully they won’t show up until after my 25th birthday.

Once I put my eyes back on the road as traffic started to break up, I took my attention off of the mirror and more on the deeper situation. I realize that I wanted my face to reflect who I am – a loving friend, a kind daughter, a laughing spirit. And someone who frowns when she thinks or when she cracks a joke. I can’t do anything about the lines that are there already. They inform my character, who I am both around others and by myself. But, if I want the grandma wrinkles, born out of love and many free smiles, then I need to start earning them. There’s no better time than now, I thought, as I pulled into work and greeted a co-worker getting out of a minivan with a huge grin.

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One thought on “[Prose#6] Furrowed Brow

  1. Honest and . . . compassionate? Not sure how to phrase that so it makes sense. But I think we spend a lot of time in Western/American culture hating our bodies, and attempting to deny our physicality. Our own humanness. This piece explores that vulnerability (the lack of control we have over the flesh that houses us) in a way that is light, yet liberating. A way that seems to whisper, "and all shall be well." Not sure that made any sense, but it's an element that I like in your writing in general — the grounded connection to the physical.

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