A picture says a thousand words. I refuse to believe that horrid idiom. My picture says only one: ugly. Looks aren’t the problem here. I’m quite handsome for a man with thirty-two years behind him. Black hair, a full head by the way, brown eyes, dreamy some say, straight nose, strong jawline, firm mouth, makes the ladies sway.
But my picture. Now, that’s an embarrassing story. I was thirteen. Puberty made me do the strangest thing. Conscious of my morphing face, child to adolescent, I spent hours in front of the mirror, inspecting it from every angle. Didn’t care for the big ears, couldn’t stand the wide forehead, wished my cheeks weren’t inclined at such an odd angle.
To make it more bearable, I’d crease my eyes, push out my chin, and open my mouth, not too much. It was symmetry at its best. I had found the perfect look. And I pocketed this glorious discovery in a corner of my mind, whipping it out whenever someone said – photograph please.
My stiff face prevented me from smiling. Forget about saying cheese, it looked like I was dying. My mother never thought her boy could look like an orangutan. I tried to see the logic and listened to various opinions, but no matter what I did, my face always resembled a goddam mess.
Some said it was nerves, I was convinced it was a curse. How could handsome turn to ugly with a press of a button? I now shy away from the camera.
Photograph? No thank you, please. It’s against my religion. It makes me sneeze.
Apologies to my future wife. No photos at the wedding, no photos for life. She may or may not agree, but I refuse to be mistaken for a creature that lives on a tree.