Here I am sitting at my computer; it’s night, and my reflection is there in the bedroom window. My dark hair disappears into the inky night, leaving behind a face composed of man-in-the-moon highlights and shadows from the desk lamp. The actual face is a slightly blurry composite because the glass needs cleaning.
I have this sinking realization that aside from the familiar shirt, the face could really belong to any number of people. I’d never realized before that I don’t actually recognize my own face – I only recognize that that I’m looking in a mirror at myself, which isn’t really the same thing.
I’m usually squinting at myself nearsightedly in the morning when I comb my hair, so the individual features present the same: a familiar nasal bridge, or an eye with a scar by it. Once in a while I’ll catch sight of a side profile reflection in some random mirror at a store, and be surprised to see someone wearing clothes like mine…it’s downright weird!
Photos of me never look like the individual features I see in the mirror; there’s a whole person there that other people say looks like me. You know, the way that people say your recorded voice sounds like you. I just take their word for it. After all, I remember being in the circumstances from the photo.
Being faceblind is sometimes unsettling.
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