At times they used to laugh with their hearts and laugh with their eyes; but now they only laugh with their teeth, while their ice-block-cold eyes search behind my shadow thereby exposing human pretence. There was also a time indeed they used to shake hands with their hearts; but that's gone. Now they shake hands without hearts. 'Feel at home','come again,'they say, and when I come again and feel at home, once, twice - for then I find doors shut on me. So I have learned many things: I have learned to wear many faces like dresses - home face, office face, street face, host face, cocktail face, with all their comforting smiles like a fixed portrait smile on white washed walls.
And I have also now learned to laugh with only my teeth and shake hands without my heart and shake hands without my heart. I have also learned to say 'Goodbye' when I mean 'do not come again' I have learned to say 'Glad to meet you'; without being glad; and to say 'It's been nice talking to you' after being bored. I have learned to welcome passersby to lunch on when I mean they shouldn't come. Most of all I want to learn how to laugh properly, for my laugh in the mirror shows only my teeth like a snake's bare fangs.

By Bishop Love


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