Beauty and the Beast
by, September 14th, 2007 at 04:40 PM (8433 Views)
I took the subway in the afternoon, when it was fairly empty. Across from me sat a guy, likely in his mid-30's. He had a huge birthmark covering nearly half his face. It was kind of reddish purple. I think this type of mark is called a "wine mark".
Besides the discoloration, the birthmark was raised, bumpy and had bright spots within it. It looked almoast swollen. I'm reluctant to call it deformed, but that just might be me. I imagine others would call him deformed.
Next to him, oblivious to the world was a tall, thin, attractive woman. She held a small compact mirror up to her face and studied every line and blemish on her own nearly perfect face. There were no imperfections discernible to the eyes of others, but she was furiously rubbing, powdering and staring at her own reflection with tunnelvision.
It was disturbing and I admit I got a bit angry with her in my own mind. Here was this woman with a covergirl model exterior sitting next to a rather unfortunate looking gentleman. He sat there confident and comfortable with a seeming acceptance or indifference to his winemark and ruddy complexion. She sat there a like a Narcissus submerged in her vanity and self-absorption.
It was such a picture of contrasts for me. Contrasting faces for sure, but contrasting cores to each of them. In some ways, to me, it seemed as disturbing as a person eating a three course meal next to a starving person - never noticing that the starving person is there, because of your obsession with the food before you.
There was a beauty and a beast on that train. Can you guess which was which?