Monday, February 27, 2012

The Topography of My Face

Sometimes Josefina climbs on me and studies my face really, really close. She spends a minute scrutinizing all over my face, from the ears to the cheeks to the nose to mouth and the chin and the beard. She carries out her observations with a very serious little expression, and with clinical keenness. When she is finished, she will either make some declaration or ask a question.

So she might say after much pondering, "What's that?"--pointing, of course, to the pimple that happens to be on my face at the time. "It's a pimple; I've got a pimple," I grunt (why can't she say something like, "Daddy, you're so handsome!"?). And then comes the great question of the five year old, the question that indicates that the genius of philosophy has been born somewhere deep in her soul: "WHY?" Why? Why indeed? Dear Lord, I am approaching fifty years old. Most of the hair that I do have has changed its color to autumn silver. I long ago abandoned my dream of becoming a great baseball star. So, what's with the pimple? Why???

"People get pimples sometimes, honey; your body just makes these pimples." A look of alarm comes over her face, "Do I have any pimples?!" "No it happens when you get bigger." "Why?" "Hey, how about if I read you a book!"

One time she was studying me, and then suddenly she scrinched her face. She'd made a discovery.

Josefina: "You have hair in your nose!!"

Me: "Yes, grown-ups have hair in their nose. Grown-ups get hair in different places."


Me: "Not really. Nothing you can really see."

Her: "But you have hair in your nose!!!"

Me: "I'm a grown-up."

Her: "I don't want to be a grown-up. I'm not going to be a grown-up."