I’ve Just Seen a Face

mary louise parker


I’ve gone out with hundreds of women recently. Really it’s only been two, but over the course of dinner and brunch, it seemed like I was with every woman who I’ve ever known.

This happens pretty much all of the time. When I gaze across the table at a new face, it’s like looking at a group portrait. Sometimes it’s the way she tilts her head or a trick of the light. Sometimes it’s just a recognizable expression or the easy way she laughs at one of my stupid jokes. Her eyes may shine or narrow into soft slits, it doesn’t matter, because it’s in these moments where she shape shifts into a completely different person.

One who I’ve found especially attractive in the past. My heart tends to see what it wants to see, working it big time like a fashion photographer shooting a model. “Okay, angle your head a little to the right and try to look like my ex-wife’s hot friend, Julie.”

I’ll imagine what these women looked like as young girls and what they’ll look like as elderly ladies. For a moment, they may resemble my mom or my fourth-grade teacher, Miss Toback, and then transform into Caryn or my most recent girlfriend. Sometimes they’ll morph into a celebrity; oftentimes Mary-Louise Parker.

I envision what it might be like to be with them and even what it might be like to be with them forever. It’s such a strange phenomenon, and will make a great montage sequence (cue the Beatles’ “I’ve Just Seen a Face”) when filming begins on the story of my life. And most of the time, this is all going on before arriving at the main course.

Which, of course, is love. And that’s what this is really about. “Is this a face I can love?” asks a secret voice somewhere deep inside of me. And the faces keep changing and changing until the answer is “yes.”

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