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ad for General Printing Ink, trade mag, 1960

–loss of strength and muscle weakness all over the body
–double vision
–blurred vision and drooping eyelids
–hoarseness or loss of voice
–trouble saying words clearly
–loss of bladder control
–trouble breathing
–trouble swallowing

–Botox, possible side effects


He passed his reflection in a store window and surprised himself. What a scowl. It was there without his permission or knowledge. He wasn’t even unhappy.

Yeah, but if he walked around smiling, people would think he was crazy. Or they would assume he knew them, and that they should know him back.

Smiling is an effort. Add to that the challenge of every chance meeting with a person he recognized or actually knew. Is a smile expected and perhaps required? It depends on the size of the street, neighborhood, and town or city. It depends on the size and strength of the individual heart-brains. Except there is no such thing as a heart-brain.

Long ago, while walking to his office, he was bracing himself against the wind. His tie was blowing up in the air over his shoulder. (Strong wind.) His face was locked in a grimace, a protest against the wind. This was a private matter between the two of them, his face and the wind. But a photographer for the local paper happened along and snapped a photo. The paper ran it with a caption: “Angriest Man in the World. Name unknown.”

That was an old wind and an old paper. Dust now.