Today I didn't have to put on my work face. It's still hanging up in my office, to be used tomorrow morning. Today I had a respite from being Mr. Bearded Bookstore Guy, because I worked last Saturday thus giving me today free. Mr. Bearded Bookstore Guy was home reading him own damn book for a change. So, today was a kick-back day. I had to move the car from the street to the back parking spot, to avoid getting towed or ticketed. Been there. Done that. Other than that brief drive, I laid low, reading a novel, smoking some fine Pacific Northwest herb, and taking a long afternoon nap. No gym visits, or double tall mocha. No hustle and bustle, through the busy city streets, as if every motion had a purpose.
I didn't have to put on my parent face today either, although it's always nearby. Parenting itself is a breeze compared to the parenting negotiations that go on with my ex-wife. Wasn't it the late Rodney King who said, "Why can't we all just be on the same page?" Okay...but what if that page is from an out-of-date textbook that should have been burnt to a cinder long ago? Oh, I endorse book burning, believe me. If it's a cold winter night, there's no better kindling than a stack of books from Fox "authors" and then throw in a few Bill Bennett pedantic tomes for the long burn.
No parenting face, although I did wear my hubby outfit for the day. It's the third edition of this particular model of husband. It tries hard, but always seems to be a step behind. No lawn mowing for model 3.0 of the Mark husband. He does his own laundry and is low maintenance when it comes to feeding. Just leave him a few weeks worth of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and he won't break down and become irritable (or get "kitchen dick.") He's orally inclined, but is not much of a handyman around the house. Beggars can't be choosers.
Now for the moment, I am home alone. I don't even hear Joe Pesci or Daniel Stern bumbling about outside. I'm listening to some Neil Young ("Change Your Mind" from the Sleeps With Angels album.) It's just me and my original face, my Buddha presence. That's when the words come out. That's when the truth unfolds and I have to consider all of my faces in an attempt to decode my soul. There are facts, truths and statements, and sometimes I can't tell one from the other. I always yearn to be truthful, most of all with myself, but I am biased. Everything goes through the Mark sensory filters, even the views of myself.
Sometimes when I look at the mirror, I see a grizzled, but vaguely handsome individual with a reputation for kindness, intelligence and an air of quiet calm, as if nothing phases him. I tell people that they are fooled. That I push all of my stress down inside, thus internalizing the woes of my world. Recently an old friend/customer replied, "Well, it's working." Sure, internalizing is working great. It's the externalizing that can be a bitch; getting my brilliant but sad ideas to the outside world, or at least onto this blog, which is the next worst thing.
It's not so often anymore that I look into the odd mirror and see my darkest demon peering back at me. The one that happily shoots angels out of the sky, just to watch them fall. That misanthropic hater is better left to the pages of past journals. He's certainly still there, lurking in the memories of old. The dark twin the relatives don't speak of. But without my dark half, I wouldn't be a whole entity, thrashing about in this crazy mixed up world of ours.
Now I'm going to take this tired old face of mine, that covers the skull containing my essence, my Wessonality -- "You're soaking in it!"-- and put it to bed. I'm going to rest this weathered face against my pillow with the fuzzy illustrations of wildlife. My dreams shall be inhabited by deer, bears, and the odd wombat, roaming through the aisles of Bed, Bath & Beyond. Just a few minutes to say goodnight to the ancient suns scattered across the night sky, and I'm done.