my brainless face

Monday, June 29, 2015


I took this selfie this morning while sitting on my turquoise couch in my music room. I'd spent the last 13 hours horizontal and, since I had a few minutes before I had to shower, I enjoyed the bright morning light that floods over my keyboard, my guitars, through my window sheers. I pulled out my phone to take photos of the light peeking through the avocado tree outside, and the thin line of fog pouring over the park across the street. The house across from us has a white cat who perches itself in the windowsill and meows at me several times a day. Beyond the cat's house is a church bell tower where seagulls land every morning. I can see the palm trees that line the streets a few blocks away and the pink glow along the coast. I glanced down at my bare legs, chipped purple nail polish on my toes, and the warm wood floors of this apartment. The blinds drew lines across my thighs and I could see my blonde leg stubble. 

I bumped the camera-flip option, and the screen showed my morning face.

The dichotomy of what I'd been taking in and what I saw on my face was stark. And there is just nothing interesting whatsoever about a selfie.

Boring, predictable, and narcissistic. I'm nearly 30 years old, yet I still look exactly the same in the morning as when I was a child. Nothing about the way I look is new or mentionable. "The entire world is in front of me, all around me, and all I can find to share is another picture of myself. So here's my face!" Selfies are unremarkable. Feeling pretty is nice, but goddamn — "beauty" is far from the most important thing about being a fully-actualized adult human person. They contain no real message other than "Hey guys, I'm by myself! Can you please somehow indicate that other humans are out there so that I do not collapse into my own loneliness?"

Admittedly I'm a bit of a curmudgeon when it comes to what people post on social media, but this kind of approach saddens me to no end. I hope that when my friends share pictures of things with me they're doing so because they saw something beautiful and want me to see it, too, not because they're expecting validation from me. And sure, why do we post anything? For feedback and attention. That's part of the process with any art form, and there's nothing inherently wrong with it. 

I just cannot with selfies. The constant selfies! "Hey, it's me again. In case you forgot what my face looks like. I have no brain, but I have a face. Here it is. Again. My brainless face."