The Face

I looked across the desk at the man scribbling on a small pad of paper.

The paper was pink.

Is there a significance here?

He’d scribble, then stop; rolling the yellow pencil between his fingers or twirling it like a baton

Then, he’d stop that, make an “almost” imperceptible facial contortion and scribble some more.

This went on for some minutes, back and forth, repeat…..much to my increasing impatience, concern, raging paranoia and irritating chagrin.

….barely audible to the human ear but banging a gong to me…
The man looked up….spinning, twirling, stop, facial contortion, spin stop

“Yes?” asked the man

I pretended to be oblivious to him, as if though it was not me that had cleared my throat in the universal and time honored method of “Oh my God! What the hell are you writing about and why are you making faces and why am I here and what the hell is going on and why is the paper pink!?” methodology….

“Excuse me” I inquired

“You said something” said the man

“Oh, no….I’m sorry, I just cleared my throat”

I said this with a straight face; that particular face we have all made at one time or the other.

I presented it now, that kind of straight face that screams….Bullshit!

Don’t lie….you know the face I’m talking ’bout.


The man made the traditional, reciprocal face for such circumstances; the “I match your bullshit and raise your bullshit; lets say “I know what you did, you know what you did and you’re an idiot?” face….

I hate that face.

But, it’s required, and a necessary tradition for interviews of any type.

Especially the ones where you don’t exactly know why you’re here or think you’re having to go thru because you might, quite unwittingly of course, done something wrong that you can’t seem to recall under this kind of pressure or know there was a social norm against, in such a possibly heinous, but totally innocent act or incident, or comment or a wayward opinion that may or may not have been expressed in a certain manner leading to the possibility of being misunderstood, misconstrued or mayhap, shunned by a polite society.
Back to the pencil…

Spinning, twirl, stop, facial contortion, spin backwards, twirl backwards…stop.

The face…

Oh, shit….what have I done now?

The man glanced at his pink pad, made the “considering scribbling again” face; the “No, not now” face; then the “Lets see what the lying bastard has to say for himself” face.

Don’t lie….you know the face.

The man looked at me and asked “Do you understand why you’re here, Mr…..” he looked down at his pink pad again and made the “I really know his name but, lets make the bastard sweat even more because I know about every single time he’s ever picked his nose or pulled his pud since he was 6 years old” face.

….”Clarke; is that correct?”

Well, that’s the face he made. You may not know the exact face but you’ve seen a similar face.

Paranoia is a terrible thing.
But, so is guilt when you are sure you must’ve done something or else why am I here!!!??

I wonder if they have fingerprints or DNA….

“Mr. Clarke, I asked you to come here today because I wanted to discuss with you a few things that may be in OUR mutual interests.”

Our…? OUR?!!!


I knew it.

They have DNA or video evidence….they have to or why else….

“We need to get some things situated before we can clear something up” the man said….looking at his pink pad; spinning, twirling, stop, facial contortion, spin stop.

Stupid pencil hypnosis….

I tried to remember but, I don’t remember getting drunk….I haven’t been naked in public for…..days….

“No” I said with the traditional, reciprocal, straight, smiling “I have no freaking clue why I’m here and where is your evidence and witnesses tend to disappear in cases concerning me and you’ll never take me alive” face.
“Do you consider yourself a trustworthy person?” asked the man.

I tried to focus on his tie, with my “Hmmmm” face just long enough to not be noticed but definitely noticed, traditional, reciprocal, required eye blink time elapse for forms sake; “Why, of course I do”

Milk sop face…..
I hate that face too.
It’s one of my best, though.

What kind of question was that?

How can I answer that honestly, especially when the anticipated answer is “THE TRUTH”?!

I mean I think I’m a trustworthy person but 3 divorces scream “UNTRUSTWORTHY” to some people, plus if more than one person has called you an asshole over an extended period of years, now and again, does that have anything to do as far as trust issues go?

Consistency, yes…but trust?

Plus, the uncontrollable “guilt” face doesn’t help….

“They” all know the guilty face….

I think everyone on earth has the same faces…it’s the technique and applications that count.
Plus, it’s kinda like playing poker but,with real faces…saavy?

The man with the pink pad said “Hmmmm…”

What the hell!!?? He’s besmirching my honor!!??
I jump to my feet, ripping my light saber from thin air and lop off his…

“I’m sorry” he said with a slight grin “I didn’t mean that bad, rather I meant, in a charitable way”

I put his head back on….”Okay, I’ll let you live just this once, for I am a just and forgiving God….”

Sometimes I kill me….

I made the “No problem, but do not walk that treacherous path, my friend for it will end badly for thee…” face.

“No sweat” I said, starting to sweat “What do you mean, charitable?”

The man looked at me and with his version of his straight face….

I swear to God some people!

He actually said this to me”We’re asking some of the fathers of our students if they would like to volunteer to chaperone a trip to the observatory in Dallas”

I stared at him.

Don’t flinch, I thought to myself.
Every instinct that has been in the human genome since the beginning of time when God spit on the dust and created man in his image, raced to my face.

I couldn’t show any reaction…..

“Great!” exclaimed the man, putting down his damn pencil and putting the pink pad in his shirt pocket.

WHAT THE HELL, I DIDN’T MOVE, I DIDN’T FLINCH OR EVEN BLINK OR…..wait, had I felt my lips twitch and my right eye doing….something….?
Son of a bi….
“We can count on you to help us control the horde, eh?” he grinned, as he stood, extending his hand to me in the traditional, reciprocal, time honored tradition of “Here, tear off my arm and please, for the love of God, beat me to death with the bloody end so I don’t have to do this either” accepted fashion of the Father hand-shake.

My face….
……that deceiving, lying, “Oh, you can’t tell what I’m thinking, I’m too clever for you” son of a bitch!!!” face…

Y’all know that face….

Besides, I had seen what he had scribbled on his little Commie pinko pad when he had started to lift it from the interrogation table.

Smiley faces….

“Sounds like fun!” I said, pumping his hand enthusiastically….

He knew my face….
I knew his face….

You cannot hide….the face.

We tore each others arms off before we went home.

4 thoughts on “The Face”

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