We are all alone in our skin. However much we try to be known by others, they can never truly know us.


I don’t have any memories of my parents being together except one. I remember being in my house and getting the idea to have my parents surprise each other. First I went to my dad and told him in my four year old way, that he should sneak up and scare mommy, then I told mom to scare Dad. My Mom was making dinner and Dad responded to my idea with a quip “what are you trying to pull here Alexander.” Immediately I felt defeat, it may be the first time I had ever felt it. Possibly I felt their relationship breaking up, I wanted them to reconnect, and that is the only thing I could think of to get them back in harmony. In any case that’s the only memory I have of my parents together as a family. That’s the day I woke up.

Waking up is hard to do

I decided that I didn’t know what anyone was gong to do (least of all my parents whom I knew better then anyone), and so I better get really good at observing people because their actions seemed to affect my life, big time. I watched faces and eyes, I could see when people were hiding things. Not little things like white lies, but big things, life issues, deep problems and regret.  I began to see these broadcast across peoples faces even when they think they are being subtle or stoic. It has been a strange and confronting 33 years from there. Being so observant of faces. I am flooded with data at places like the supermarket, a concert, or festival. If I am passive, and not judging, I can watch people for hours and not get bored. Sometimes though, in heavily populated areas it can be too much. 

If I find someone who has really good control over their facial expressions and I can’t tell what they are thinking, it has a calming effect on me for a while. “Great!” I think, here is someone like me who can morph and alter feelings according to the situation, a social chameleon, an emotional adept, or enlightened creature. But this can be a bad thing. People who hide their emotions facially can be trouble. In my case, I can choose to give you no information with my face in order to not burden you with my troubles, or to seem calm when I am freaking out. This skill is important for actors and healers especially.  But for others, its a protection mechanism that is used unconsciously. They may have been through some incredibly horrible things and have lost their contact with their emotions because it’s to painful to go in and experience much of anything anymore. There may be counter intentions that they are hiding or emotions that would give them away if they did emote, so they cover the emotion/lie/or fear and do not give the information that usually would be appropriate.

Why do I write this now, honestly I don’t know. Maybe I want to know if I am alone in this art of facial reading.

Loving you,

Alexander Polinsky

Avatarism is an inquiry into the nature of character itself. An open source game/philosophy for conscious character creation

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