Expression Suppression


This post has the potential to go in a million different directions. I will try to stay focused.

Often I am told that you can read exactly what I’m thinking by looking at my face. I do not have a poker face. In meetings, during conversations, at lunch with a friend…whatever I think, I show. I’ve been asked to work on this debilitating condition. I practice. I look into the mirror and try very hard to think about the dumbest idea possible and not show any expression.

Like when the doctor asked a friend at an appointment to which I accompanied her, “When was your last menstrual cycle?” after she responded to the previous question “I don’t have a uterus.” Sometimes you can’t hide that you think the speaker is an imbecile or at least that their words are idiotic.

This is a work in progress.

Last night, I met someone who perfected the art of suppression of expression. Actually we didn’t officially meet, but when I turned to see her quietly standing to my right in full ghost garb, we connected. “You scared the crap out of me.” I yelled at her (I confess, I may not have actually said crap). Nothing. She offered no smile, no laugh, no “gotcha”. Nothing. With racing heart and bumpy arms I waited seconds (that felt like hours) for the light to change permitting us to cross the street and move away from the image of death. Others commented on her ghastly ensemble and to them she also gave no hint of life.

I had never been out on Halloween and actually, had I realized it was being celebrated on Saturday, I would have never accepted my girlfriends invitation to meet. I am extremely scary. I jump at everything. My nerves are nearly nonexistent. Horror movies and I have a wonderful understanding. I don’t bother them and they don’t bother me. There were several other frights that night like the rugby player in the leopard print Kim and Kourtney one shoulder asymmetrical number, the inebriated member of 27 dresses who like a weeble-wobble went dow and bounced right back up, grown people in Sesame Street caricature throwing back shots and the joker who resembled too much for my liking, Heath Ledger in the Dark Knight (voice and all). None impacted me like the figure in mesh who appeared to glide and glow.

I enjoyed my experience but my shock-sensitive self will probably not allow me to attend such an event in the future. I’m much more comfortable with the miniature Superman(s) and Cinderella(s) who want your candy, not your soul.

And having expression is not such a scary thing.

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