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I have been trying to look at real live people. It is a particular challenge right now - what with face masks and the general people-avoidance recommendations. And while real live people are much better than Zoom people or FaceTime people, maybe e-people are better than no people at all.

What I discover is this: there is a crazy rush to just look another human being in the eyes. The rush starts in the belly and rises, a wave, to the chest, crashing up into the skull and back out of the eyes. Look at someone and more times than not, they look back. They gaze back, curious, engaged, saying in their own eyes, “good Lord, you are seeing me. I am being seen.”

In real live people, I see a hint of what Picasso may have seen. Real live people are works of gross exaggeration - of angled planes and interconnected lines, of beautiful fading and darkening hues and dancing flecks of light and shadow. Singular shape of eyes is the thing I most observe. How eyes blink uncontrollably, wondrously - wet, wild orbs of perception. How brows and bridge of nose form an apostrophe. How arms, with pulsating, insect-like hands as tails, wag and flutter with brows. How lips, moving with words, are puppets of the eyes.

The words don’t even matter. This whole human body business is the show. And I’m starved for it. I’m gorging on it. What do they call this? What is this thing?

I think it’s called together.


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