As many of you already know, there are a whole lot of things wrong with my face.
Not just the obvious, cosmetic things like my burgeoning jowls and my crooked, cheese-colored teeth. And my big, crazy frog eyes. And the way I can wink at you with my nostrils.
All that’s obvious just from walking up to whatever bench I’m sleeping on at the bus station or the park, and kicking me. You’ll see it all, right when I wake up and blink at you and ask where I am.
But there’s also functionality. My nose works just fine when it comes to breathing, but odors are lost on me. I can’t smell a thing, and have never been able to smell anything in my whole life – read this, it will take you through the whole process of getting your mind around this concept.
Also I’ve been wearing glasses with the exact same prescription since the second or third grade. My eyes simply dropped to about 20/120 – or possibly started there – and never got any worse or better. And my glasses are crooked because I like to sleep and work out and wrestle puppy dogs while still wearing them, and they cost five hundred dollars or so. I don’t replace them until they crumble into pieces.
That’s not all, though. I’m a little bit color blind as well. Nothing crazy there, but you will notice if you see me walking around that often my clothes don’t match. I am frequently unaware that my clothes do not match, and there is a lot of debate in my house as to whether or not I am color blind or simply very lazy.
If you guessed “both” you’re in good company, but you should consider yourself very lucky. Before we had kids, I preferred to not wear clothing at all – I simply came home and removed it and that was that.
In addition, something in my sinuses is hooked up wrong – possibly related to my lack of a sense of smell, possibly not. But when I get a sinus cold, I look and sound like a creature that has crawled out of a sewer to steal and eat your cat. I am exactly that charming, too.
My one-quarter Hungarian eyebrows are thinking about joining forces – that’s not going to be pretty. I know people who shave in between their eyebrows to keep that from happening, but that’s not what I’m going to do. I’m going to rock that unibrow all over the place, develop a special scowl to go with it.
A chilling glimpse of things to come, you know?
Yes, going bald, too – don’t think I don’t know about it. And behind my face, in the dark and murky recesses of my brain, there lurks a stark, primal terror of hairdressers and barbers. If it were up to me, my hair would still be right down to my mid-thighs.
I started getting that long-haired middle-aged guy thing going last year, and while it’s not too big of a problem, I can tell you that certain people have a noticeably hard time with it. Some people would tell me, either with words or silence – I can’t work with you unless you get that cut. Bizarre, but a fact, and these girls eat like a basketball team, so okay.
Back to my Clintonville barber, who buzzes it down to an inch or so in about three minutes, and then I run like hell and I don’t come back for six months, when it reaches critical mass again. Lack of interest in any type of hairstyle at all – something else wrong with my face.
The vacuum hose is part of what bothers me about people who cut hair. What if they accidentally stick that thing in my ear and suck my brain out? Doesn’t seem like they’re being particularly careful back there.
Yes, and my face is connected to my brain, which has several dozen things wrong with it as well. I am practically tone-deaf, for instance – that counts as a hearing disorder.
One time Joe Oestreich tried to get me to sing while he played the guitar – everyone can sing, he told me, just try it.
He started playing the song from Cool Hand Luke, and I sang eight or nine words and he said, all right, stop, experiment over. This guy can’t sing, let’s go to a bar.
Being tone deaf was particularly troubling when I entered college – everyone had complicated views on music and which bands were cool and which ones were not. I spent an evening enraging Anne Courtney, for instance, by insisting that Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers was the greatest bass player to ever walk the earth.
Having no idea what I was talking about, just having a good old time sticking to my guns with stubborn glee, while Anne went from annoyed to enraged to having to be physically restrained. If you want to see her steam a little bit, just ask her about it. Sometimes she still wakes up screaming at me, calls me at three am so I can hear it.
Every single one of my senses has at least some kind of functional problem – my taste buds work just fine, but many of them have been seared off by my weird, simian habit of eating soup and pasta when it’s way too hot, and then screeching and hopping around, and then doing it again.
Even my sense of touch – I’m allergic to practically everything. If I pick up a bale of straw – seriously, that happens, quit smirking – then I get a little bump wherever each individual strand of straw has poked my skin.
A fascinating array of stuff that’s wrong with my face, and don’t you know – none of it comes with a disability check. Practically everything works, it’s just that nothing’s firing on all cylinders or whatever.
The only thing switched all the way off is my nose – and nobody cares about anosmia. Blind people get to take puppy dogs to restaurants and deaf people get their own special finger language. You think I get my own parking spot or anything?
Nope. Screw me.
And my superpowers – the attributes that are supposed to offset all this haywire nonsense? If I were picking attributes for my Attribute Baseball Team, these would be the last ones out there, looking at their feet, hating it.
Super Teeth. The Ability To Pick Things Up And Also Operate Most Basic Machinery With My Feet. Rubik’s Cube Powers. The Ability To Talk Talk Talk My Way Out Of Stuff. Bloggy Fingers. Unbelievably Regular Bowels. A Comically Blank Police Record. Bone-Chilling Paternal Barky-Bark Powers.
I don’t understand it. All of you out there with your faces working just fine need to each send me twenty bucks a month – this is ridiculous.
What kind of sick monsters are you guys, anyway?