BLURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM (24)

By: Fran Pado
September 19, 2022

One in a series of 25 enthusiastic posts, contributed by 25 HILOBROW friends and regulars, delivering brief remarks on mottos, mantras, speeches, slogans, and other words to live by. Series edited by Adam McGovern.

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Have a Nice Face

I can show you with words, let me show you with words, a little something that maybe doesn’t deserve anything poetic… but I’m trying to give it some dignity. To me, so little deserves garlands these days. After all, there’s so much of it — movies, series, endless short videos, and I don’t know, maybe even books. Now I sound like I’m 300 years old. Which I’m kind’ve okay with.

The little something? The smiley emoji. Here it is: a feeble bird, tiny, yellow, round black eyes, a vacant, happy smile. I used to hate it. When it showed up in a text I immediately thought the sender had maybe owned a phone for two days. Didn’t they know how uncool it is to send the smiley emoji?

Something happened to me during the Pandemic. I became old, or at least, older. I could tell because suddenly all the seniors on my block started telling me about their breast cancer. We hang out on stoops talking about stuff that happened in the ’80s. I realized that old people, fighting every day against failing bodies, are the most punk rock. My hands grew wrinkly. And when I told a friend of my daughter’s that I went to a Phoebe Bridgers show, she told me that was cute.

Suddenly I understood the smiley emoji. It is a small, noble attempt to send oneself out into the world. It doesn’t come on too strong. It doesn’t want to scare. It basically says “in some way, we are alike, and in some way, I am happy.” In its bland way, it hopes to reach another.

There comes a point in everyone’s life when they will, from time to time, become the smiley emoji. Go forth and do what you can.

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BLURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM: INTRODUCTION by Adam McGovern | Ran Xia on BLACK CROW BELIEFS | Kelly Jean Fitzsimmons on LEFT-CORNER BRICK | Andrea Diaz on JOY IS RESISTANCE | Lynn Peril on TO THINE OWN SELF | Miranda Mellis on THE FUTURE IS PASSÉ | Bishakh Som on LET THE WEIRDNESS IN | Lucy Sante on FLAUBERT’S PERFECT WORD | Stefene Russell on CRYSTAL SETS | Crystal Durant on LIFE IS A BANQUET | Adam McGovern on EVERY MINUTE AN OCEAN | Josh Glenn on LUPUS LUPUM NON MORDET | Heather Quinlan on SHUT UP, HE EXPLAINED | Adrienne Crew on WATCH YOUR PENNIES | Art Wallace on COME ON AND GIVE A CHEER | Julia Lee Barclay-Morton on WILLIAM JAMES, UNADAPTED | Christopher-Rashee Stevenson on TO EACH HIS OWN | Nikhil Singh on ILLUMINATE OR DISSIPATE? | Mimi Lipson on CHEAP FOOD TASTES BETTER | Kahle Alford on NOT GONNA CRACK | Michele Carlo on YOU CAN’T ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU WANT | Marguerite Dabaie on WALKING ON WATER | Raymond Nat Turner on TRYIN’ AND TRANEIN’ | Bob Laine on WHEN YOU GROW UP | Fran Pado on THE SMILEY EMOJI | Deborah Wassertzug on PLACING YOUR BETS. PLUS: BLURB SERIES CODA by Lisa Levy.

MORE ENTHUSIASM at HILOBROW

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Enthusiasms