Shallow Dance

by Matty Sullivan

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Life Without a Face

Oh well, what can I do? I am who I am, and I always have been.

More or less.

Let me ask you a question: would my life have been different if I had been named Mike? Or Richard? Or anything other than Matty? What would have been different? Anything? Nothing? Everything? Would I still be sitting here and typing out this nonsense if I had been named Tommy?

What if I only had one leg? Would I still be myself? Or what if I had brown eyes instead of blue? Are these types of differences equal in import, or would some changes be more drastic than others? I doubt it. Little changes, big differences—although I’m fairly sure the effects of having only one leg would be much more noticeable than those of having a pair of differently colored eyes.  In fact, most people don’t even notice the color of my eyes—or anybody else’s either. But if I only had one leg, they would notice. Of that, I’m sure.

Of course, I could always get a prosthetic. That would fool the bastards.

Maybe I’ll get some colored contacts. Turn my eyes brown. Or green or red or something else weird, see how people react. I’d be especially interested in the responses of people who already knew me and were used to seeing me with blue eyes. I wonder what they would do, what they would say. Especially if they asked me about it and I told them my eyes had always been brown. Or green, or whatever. Would they believe me? Probably not. They’d probably just act weird and start avoiding me.

That’s okay. I’m used to that kind of thing. And at least for once I understand why. I would know exactly what about me was making people uncomfortable—my strange eyeballs.

I could finally relax.

What if I got new shoes? Would that change my life? If so, how? For the better or the worse? Would I begin walking differently? And if so, how would my new way of walking affect the people around me? Would they like it? Would they hate it? Would I get laid? Would I get murdered? Would I fall down a flight of stairs and roll into the street and get run over by a truck?

Maybe I’ll shave my face. All of it, literally. Not just the beard and the moustache but my whole face. Just cut the fucking thing right off my skull and see how life goes without a face. Go grocery shopping. Stand in the checkout line and listen to people whisper about me.

Would it grow back? Jeez, I hope not. What’s the point of cutting off your face if the damned thing just comes back a week later?

I think I’ll do it. I’m gonna cut off my face. Why not? It’s not doing me any good, so who needs it? I probably won’t even miss it. In fact, I’m sure I’ll be perfectly fine.

Although, I will miss sneezing. I love sneezing! It’s one of my favorite things to do with my face. Would I still sneeze without it? God, I hope so.

When I was a kid, my little sister and I would spend hours and hours in the front yard sticking blades of grass up our nose, making ourselves sneeze. Man, what a blast! We would do it over and over, and it never got old. It was like getting high without having to come down. There was no pain, no shame, no disillusionment.  And when we finally stopped and went in to eat dinner, there were no withdrawal symptoms.

Now that I think about it, self-induced sneezing is the perfect drug. And it’s free!

Man, I wish I’d realized this sooner. I could have saved myself a lot of time and money. And heartache.

Take my advice and try it. Next chance you get, sneeze to your heart’s delight. Do it loudly and do it often! Live a little! Get fucked up!

Before long, it will be against the law.