You ask what I see in my face. It’s kind of a strange request. I spend a lot less time looking at my face than others do, but then, I guess, if you asked someone else what they see in my face you’d get their answer, not mine.
In its most basic, my face is the shape of my father’s. Through a coincidence of the mechanics of male pattern baldness, I don’t have his gleaming head. My scalp is safely hidden behind my mother’s thick dark hair.
My solid blue eyes don’t share their color with either of my parents, but there is no doubt we share the same gleam. My father’s great wit and sense of humor twinkles in the corner of my eyes, while my mother’s soft and knowing stare softens the edge.
My maternal grandfather’s tongue has gotten me into great trouble on many occasions. Quick and sharp, always ready with a cynical laugh or a snappy comeback. While his lips have left me with a craving for the taste of coffee and cigarettes; addictions I’ve had to fight for too long. My paternal great grandfather passed his love of whiskey to me through my father and gave me a built in impatience for the superfluous.
Every time I sharpen a pencil I see my father’s father’s hands, impressing a young boy with the quick work of a penknife, carving away at a broken tip until it was sharp again.
My father was never much into sports and I’m not the best at throwing a ball or swinging a bat, but I can practically change my car’s oil with my eyes closed. I can navigate a river’s raging rapids, bandage wounds, ignore pain, and laugh at funerals. From my family I have the ability to laugh at anything, spin stories, and I’ve never stopped looking over the next hill, just to see what might be there.
That’s what I see in my face.