Creative Corner: “Pretty in Just the Right Light”

by DeAnne Carswell

Previously printed in 

“The Citron Review”

Mine is the face of a villain, a gross misshaping of a normal visage. I like my eyes, though, as blue as they are. Navy rims circling daggers that shoot silver into the blackest of irises, kind of wolf-like. 

They are alertly clever, one larger than the other–I think this comes from laughing, even more so than the lines that are beginning to radiate from them. 

The laughing mouth, which jaw distends in a huge guffaw, is a nice complement to lights that frolic amongst the chortle-tears that occasionally flow. In eye-shadow, browns and purples work best to highlight. 

When it first began, they were small, more molehill than mountain-like. I would stand in front of the bathroom mirror I shared with my mother and sister, staring at each one, visually searching for an expiration date. 

When they melted back into my skin, the redness remained, leaving me with an inflamed face that I would cover with makeup too dark for my face. Only pictures were brave enough to tell me that I resembled a clown. 

Eventually, the tiny raised blemishes began to pull my skin upward into hulking, painful lumps. One in a million, is the type of acne that decimates the face on a Job-like scale. I, too, wondered if I were being tested by God. If so, I failed. 

If you truly want to feel alive, live with a deformity. Haunt your neighborhood stores, like a ghost who still thrives with the intent to disturb and rattle the mental cans in your victim’s inner soup aisle. 

Be so present that no one can ignore your ghoulish countenance. Be unrepentant to the discomfort that you are causing by simply being there; be hyper-aware of this, the very thing that makes you different from them. 

Be the one to make children ask questions, to tug on their parent’s arm and point, the one to make parents shush their children as they look anywhere but at you. 

Be a work of art which could only be painted by the likes of Francis Bacon, a study in warped faces–there is beauty in it.

For the rest of the story, pick up the next issue of The Navigator on Feb. 26. Or go online to