September 26, 2001


There’s a vertical crease that begins at the inside edge of my left eyebrow and extends north about three-quarters of an inch. It’s the kind of crease that forms when one furrows one’s brow. Except this crease is permanent, etched into my face by decades of furrowing. Oddly the parallel crease on the right is half as deep; evidently I furrow lopsidedly.

I didn’t notice the crease until this morning, although it must have been plain for many years.

Similarly, sometime in my early twenties, I discovered that my ears are different; that the left, lacking a fold possessed by the right, sticks out funny. It was a strange, almost shocking moment. How could I have missed such a thing for so long? How could I have failed to something that, once you see it, cannot be unseen?

I spent a long time that morning studying my face in the mirror. Then I pulled out a box of baby pictures. My ears, naturally enough, had always been this way; I just never noticed it.

What else I am failing to see?