Friday, February 06, 2004


Such a great effect they posses. They aren’t just some pleasant or unpleasant appearances, nor are they some recognition features. They are much more than that. Faces are meanings, they’re feelings. They’re time, they’re history and they’re present. But they’re never to be a future, for you can never guess what faces you’ll encounter, or which will surround you a second from now.
Faces are surprises, they’re memories, and they’re experience. They’re your hope, if not, then they’re your disappointment. Yet some are just meaningless faces, postures you’ve seen, or you’re still seeing, that make no difference in your life and add nothing to its value.
Faces… aren’t they such a riddle!

When I first came to Tunisia, I felt so strange. I knew no one at all. It was as if I was thrown out of some different planet. And on my discovery walks, I saw hundreds of faces, not a single one I knew. It was ok with me at first, I knew the time will come when I’ll get to recognize some of those faces. But in a very short while, I started feeling lonely. I had no relationship to connect me with any of the faces I saw. I wished I had someone really close to me who’d ask me what’s wrong with me just from a look at my face. I hoped one would understand I’ve heard great news just by encoding my smile. Afterwards, I got to recognize some faces, like the security man in the building, the mini market woman, the post office workers and some other faces in some other shopping stores and libraries. But no one was able to be close to me, although some were really nice to me.
I look at myself now, now that I’ve got to recognize so many faces, and I wonder what they mean, and how I feel about them.
In the bus I notice faces around me that I don’t know. Through the bus window I see even more I don’t know; but still I come across few which I actually recognize. In my office I see new faces each day, at the same time, I see many old ones. In my neighborhood I recognize some, and yet many are just a mystery.
When I go shopping, I see a lot of familiar faces across the streets, I might even come across people I visit, who are very few, and the chance to meet them outside by accident is even fewer!
Now that I know much more than before, I found out that adding more faces to your memory album makes a big difference.
Faces that you never knew before are the ones that remind you of very bad experiences you had few days ago. Faces that rang no bells before, are the ones which make you feel so confused and lost now. Faces which you never saw before, are the ones who left ugly scars in your beautiful heart. Faces that belonged to no one significant, are the ones which belong to people you avoid seeing again. Faces that were just some features put together, are now the ones that make you insane.
Many faces you know now helped adding to your disgust. Many others took big portions of your love and used out your trust, but very few gave you the love, loyalty and appreciation you needed in return.
Many faces that had no place in your personal dictionary are now being translated into covers -synonym to masks- hiding exactly the opposite of what they reveal.
I’ve always believed that a person’s face is the mirror of their souls. It reflects their feelings and moods as well as their health. I thought it was the key to their personality and that you can predict their reactions to a certain thing from their faces. But as days pass by, I started understanding that faces aren’t always that clear, in fact they could be really misleading.
I’ve always believed that knowing no faces causes loneliness, but now I found out that the less you know of them, the less the chance is to get hurt or deceived. I guess older generation don’t agree with me, they have the right to. In their time faces were what made life worth living.
In my life some few faces have made their way to the bottom of my heart so long ago, and very little kept their places over there up till now. One face I’m lucky to have in front of me all the time, and some I’m so unlucky to have chosen to be far from; and life was too cruel to take the rest, not only from their places but also from my whole life.
There are faces that I still remember every single detail of, and there are some which left me nothing but the memory of their outer contours. I don’t know if I’d ever get to meet them again, will I be able to recognize them? or will I just pass right next to them without even knowing they’re the ones I once knew.
I might recognize their faces, but would they recognize mine? Do they even remember it now as I write this? Did my face ever mean something significant to them from the very beginning? Or was it just a shape they saw, a shape like all other shapes.
I have so many questions that are left unanswered, but at the end of the day I know, that there will always be good and bad faces. I know that just like there are ones I carry with me all the time, there are ones which have taken the picture of my face and kept it somewhere safe and sound. I know that there are ones that appreciate my features and miss my face just as much as I appreciate and miss theirs. I know there are eyebrows that tighten up every day worrying about me. I know there are eyes that see my face all the time, even when I’m not there; and eyes that release precious tears for missing me, or for being happy for me. I know there are ears that hear my voice every day, even if it was just an echo. I know there are noses that still smell the memories of a fresh spring morning they spent with me. I know there are lips that call my name every minute, even if they can barely remember it. I know there are cheeks that brighten every morning just for the thought of me. I know there are foreheads that are bent every night for not hearing from me. I know there are faces that will lighten up just because they saw me.
Faces that love me, wrinkles that are proud of me, fresh baby skin that smiles at me. Faces that will never give up their places in my heart. They might be few, they might be near, they might be far, but they exist, and this is what matters the most to me.
Those are the faces that make my life worth living…