Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy

534255.jpg– I considered animals bearers of higher truth, and I wanted to align myself with their knowledge. I thought animals were the only beings capable of understanding me. –

– Through them I learned the language of paranoia: every whisper I heard was a comment about the way I looked, every laugh a joke at my expense. –

– Anxiety and anticipation, I was to learn, are the essential ingredients in suffering from pain, as opposed to feeling pain pure and simple. –

– I learned that all I had to do was relax, that fear was the worst part. I became a machine for disassembling fear. Even the worst pains could be rendered harmless if you relaxed into them, didn’t fight. –

– Beauty, as defined by society at large, seemed to be only about who was best at looking like everyone else. –

– One afternoon a beggar ran up behind me, demanding money. I stopped and turned around to look at him. He stopped in midsentence, looked at me for a second longer, then politely apologized and handed me a dollar bill before turning away, muttering to himself. –

– I looked with curiosity at the window behind him, its night-silvered glass reflecting the entire café, to see if I could, now, recognize myself. –

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