Googly Eyes, Wide Like a Mask: Adoration, Vulnerability, and a Different Kind of Invisibility

a person wearing a highly ornate mask and a ruffled collar. The mask is silver and blue.
Image by muffinn / CC BY

I’m always staring at Skyspook. But I can’t really help it.

It’s his eyes that are the main issue. His eyes are so beautiful they look illustrated. That crispness and shadow you get from charcoal. And so warm.

But when I look at him for more than a half second, he always looks away.

It might be that his anxiety repels off mine like a magnet. Self-consciousness that creates a force field that pushes us away from one another. With a greater magnitude on his side of the barrier.

I know better, but sometimes the way he draws away makes me feel like I’m ugly. And perhaps I am.

It’s a lot to ask of the universe to be beautiful. After all, it’s a miracle that any of us is even here, let alone remarkable in any way.

Or as Dan Harris writes in 10% Happier: ” The fact that you exist is a highly statistically improbable event, and if you are not perpetually surprised by the fact that you exist you don’t deserve to be here.”

I find myself repeating this in darker times. As a way of staying grounded in the face of whatever mini-melodrama is unfolding and threatening to consume me.

But I can’t help it. I wonder sometimes if Skyspook’s repelled by the depth of my googly eyes. Or what’s behind them.

A friend of mine once said that I have “crazy Jesus love eyes.” That my gaze is hard to bear. That there’s a kind of intensity, a drawing in. An uncomfortable sense of consideration, of openness.

She said that I channeled a kind of vulnerability that made her feel vulnerable. And that it was kind of great but definitely a “small doses” sort of phenomenon.

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I used to think that invisibility was about hiding. Silence. Passivity. But as I think of it again, the ultimate trick for effecting invisibility as a superpower? Might be to see others so completely that they’re forced to look at themselves.

Googly eyes so wide that they turn into a kind of mask. Adoration as a smokescreen.

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But the fact remains: I look at Skyspook because I want to see his eyes. Because I want him to look back at me. And that? It just doesn’t happen.

But for what it’s worth, I have it on good authority from friends that Skyspook does look at me. Just not when I’m looking back.

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