She had an unnervingly tiny face.
In saying this, I do not seek to imply that she was tiny in body nor that her head was statistically smaller than that of the average person. Her head was, in fact, if anything, slightly larger than that of the average person in my experience. I grant you that my experience of heads might not have contained a representative sample.
Still, neither the body nor the head was at issue.
Instead, her unnerving quality involved only her face, the features of which appeared all bunched up in the middle, where only her nose rightfully should have been. The eyes, nose, mouth and associated lines all squeezed into an area no larger than a baby’s fist.
Mere moments after the commencement of our lunch meeting, I found myself unable to focus on anything save this tiny face before me. Why would Allah deem so large a head necessary for holding such a microscopic visage? It was all just wasted space, really. A veritable skin desert.
I should have been engaged and conversing. Wheeling and dealing. But there was none of that.
I imagined this woman as a normal woman with a proper-sized face on a proper-sized head. I imagined her as having had – for reasons both unknown and unknowable to me – pushed her face up, into, and through a large, flesh-colored, papier-mâché orb. Perhaps she was wearing it now solely for the purposes of our meeting.
But there was no line visible where a makeup artist or gluemaster might have worked at hiding the seam between face and surrounding papier-mâché head. There must be a seam, right?
I stared and I stared and once even believed I’d found it. But then the woman proceeded to smile, revealing the seam to be nothing more than an ordinary dimple.
“This is great!” she said, and loudly enough to snap me out of my trance. “Once this deal goes through, we’re going to be seeing a lot of each other!”
There was no question but that I would have to hijack the deal.