My neutral face

I first became aware of my face when I was fourteen. I had a job in a local Catholic parish rectory recording the Sunday collection plate donations and answering the phone after hours. In truth, most of the time was spent watching TV.

One evening, all the priests were together at dinner and they invited me to eat with them because it was the housekeeper/cook’s day off. The menu was toast and omelettes.

I caught my reflection in the polished surface of the toaster that was sitting at the far end of the table. It didn’t look anything like how I was feeling inside.


“Why do you always look so mad,” she says to me often.

“I’m not mad. This is my neutral face.”

“You always look so angry and that makes me mad.”


I’m often giddy and awestruck by simple things. I’m amused and happy when I discover new stuff. I’m anxious and scared about others around me.

I often write long prose in my head.

But I am rarely angry. I wish my face would say that.