I've got an angry face.
It's not a relaxed, open, friendly face. The face people see across a room and instantly want to hang out with. The kind of face that just makes you want to smile, no matter what kind of day you're having.
Nope. That face isn't mine.
I have the kind of face that can be off-putting.
Well, maybe a smidge more than "off-putting."
Okay, I'll be honest. It's the face of a guy who's quite looking forward to punching someone -- anyone, really -- to custard. With bare, blood-soaked fists.
"Custard will be punched, muthafuckas!"
The trouble is, that's not who I am at all. It's just the way my face looks. That's just the way it hangs together naturally on my skull. It just looks furious. Even when it's totally slack and relaxed.
I've got dark, beady, little eyes and a low, pronounced brow that, sadly, when furrowed gives the distinct impression that I want you dead. And not just regular old dead. The kind of dead that awakens family members you haven't seen in years -- who live on different continents -- in the middle of the night with a terrible pain in their gut and an inexplicable urge to call and check on you.
In short, I've got the face of a guy who's just about to start changing into a werewolf.
Me. About three minutes from now.
And not the good kind of werewolf either, who can wear a varsity jacket and dunk. Nope. The bad kind. The kind with all the biting and the howling and the eviscerating.
The good kind.
The other kind.
But the great pity is that many people I've met over the years have gotten the distinct, albeit misguided, impression that I'm a tightly-coiled ball of rage just waiting to explode into a violent conflagration of viscera and death.
"This time Blutto's gonna pay, goddammit. Ike-ike-ike-ike."
But the truth is, I'm not a stone-hearted brute. Honest! I'm really quite the softie. Pinkie swear! It's just my face. It's just how the DNA crapshoot got crap-shot.
I'm actually the kind of guy who stops by CuteOverload.com at least once a day to coo at puppies or bunnies or whatever soft adorables are on offer. I'm the kind of guy who's guaranteed to weep uncontrollably during any Pixar film. Even Cars, for godsakes.
"I'm only terrifyingly furious on the outside. Promise."
To be fair ... back in the day I was kind of a douche. (See blog entry #1. Also see any subsequent future entry in the "Apology" section.) But to my mind there's a pretty big difference between being a thoughtless, socially maladjusted douche ... and being perpetually furious, ticking time bomb of rage and violence.
That's just not my deal. Never has been. Hell, I've never been in a physical altercation in my adult life. The Missus and I don't even argue. I'm kinda supernaturally even-keeled. Even bordering occasionally on optimistic.
Do I get frustrated? Sure. Irritable? Who doesn't? Mad? Sometimes. Maniacally wrathful? Not so much.
Honestly, I don't expect the world to suddenly ignore what their eyes are telling them and accept me as all soft and cuddly just because I wrote a blog post.
But at this point I'd settle for people just thinking I was kinda stern.
Panties = Bunched.
On the other hand, looking like you're about to turn into a werewolf does sometimes have the occasional advantage. People tend to not want to sit next to me on the train, so my unpleasant commute is marginally less unpleasant. And pan-handlers tend not to pester me for cash.
Also, I've never been mugged, which may or may not be coincidence.
Me. About five minutes from now. Oh no! My junk!
Ultimately, I may not like it, but I understand it. I see how people get the wrong idea. After all, I own a mirror and my eyes work. I'm aware that I am, in fact, in possession of an angry face. And I also recognize that my natural disposition contributes a bit to the problem. I'm something of an affable curmudgeon. But the angry face really tends to overshadow the "affable" part. So it just seems like every little irritant in the world fills me with blinding, pants-crapping rage.
But it doesn't! I swear! These pants remain steadfastly uncrapped! Scout's honor!
Some days,though, I'll be honest ... I wish I had a different face. Maybe one that looked like I was about to turn into something other than a werewolf. Something maybe just a little more adorable.
Till next we meet ...