Tuesday, September 13, 2005

scrap of something unwritten 2

"What does he look like? Well, my dear James, if you must know... Wholly unremarkable, I can tell you that much. Average height, perhaps a bit taller, but certainly not stately. His dull brown hair is always mussed, as if he simply ran his fingers through it in lieu of a brush. His forehead is wide, shiny, and scarred by a blemished adolescence. His eyebrows are faint, made fainter still by a scar on one side that shines white through the thin, brown hair. His eyes are set too deeply in his head; this is probably why he wears such ridiculously large spectacles. Without them, he would take on the appearance of a chubby mole, always squinting, mouth slightly open. He imagines that his eyes are his strongest facial feature--which is pure vanity, as anyone can see that without his glasses, they are no more interesting than a soup spoon.

"His nose is bulbous, and his nostrils are asymmetrical, one thinner than the other. His skin is poor; near his ear and his mouth are large, dark moles, rather offputting in their contrast to his pale, pink-splotched face. His cheeks are fleshy and already beginning to sink into jowls, even at his young age. His lips are over-large and pink like a woman's. His teeth, while not appalling, are certainly not attractive, and just slightly crooked enough to be noticable. He wears a small beard and mustache, flaming red and unkempt. Why Fate has decided to bestow such a unique feature on such an utterly boring face, I'll never understand. But the fool has succeeded in fouling Nature's generous gift by not grooming it well. Perhaps he does this to draw attention away from the double chin that the beard barely conceals.

"In short, his appearance is wholly disappointing; at one's most generous times, one may feel that he could have been rather handsome at one point, but that such a goal was quickly abandoned. I'll not even bother to describe the rest of him, beyond a few words: large enough in belly and haunch to put the Buddha to shame; large, fumbling hands; large, clumsy feet in loud boots. A single flight of stairs steals his breath, so that his whistling gasps can be heard for several minutes, while he regains his composure. He slouches a bit, and when he walks, he always looks downward--"

"You're being rather unkind, Oscar."

"Unkind? No. Perhaps blunt, but not unkind. I'm being fair. And for his sort, 'fair' is the greatest kindness one can show to them. Only a fair assessment will help such as he see things as they are. Only 'fair' would provoke thought or response or, dare one hope, even action to change. Kindness never produced such a miracle."

"But how much can one really change of the teeth or skin or the depth of the eyes, Oscar? Surely you're putting too stringent a measure against such a man."

"Fair enough, James. The unfortunate ass cannot alter some of his appearance. ...Mayhap what annoys me most is that he hasn't even the decency to try ."

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