I remember from my boyhood a man in the old hometown who had survived a tragic car accident, and whose face was disfigured beyond recognition, having been reconstructed by the doctors into a featureless, expressionless mask. In the barbershop one day, the first time I saw him, I watched from my place high in the third chair as he entered and exchanged friendly greetings with several men waiting who apparently knew him, although to me at that age there seemed nothing to recognize. Later when I asked about it, my father told me who he was and what had happened to him, and how his wife had left him after the accident because of his appearance — an outcome which seemed both terrible and understandable even then, and which to this day needs a fairy tale to rectify and describe. But of course I have none. Something I do marvel at, though, is how, even at that young age, I was able to witness such a scene without betraying my curiosity and surprise. This is something I appreciate now, when people treat me as if I truly belong, even though belonging is something I no longer seek or require. I am here. That, too, is a fairy tale which explains and describes — or will, once upon a time.
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