Ted and Alice keep a closet full of faces. They hang on little hangers next to shirts and trousers and skirts and blouses. The arrangement makes getting ready for work easier. Shoes point out the door and neither Ted nor Alice worry about underwear.
Ted is big on linen. Alice goes for blends of poly cotton. Silk or satin for evening. In Macy’s Facewear, Ted selects his favorite loose fitting with snaps behind the ears. Alice likes her faces nice and tight over her perfect, high cheekbones and with hidden zippers. Ted sports medium tan summer and winter. Occasionally camouflage in fall. Alice delights in bone white with subtle blush touches on her nose tip and along her perfect, high cheekbones.
Ted lets his boxer wear his face on occasion. Same with Alice and her schnoodle. They usually only do this when the famous dog photographer has been spotted with his camera down at the gazebo. Spoilers that they are, Ted and Alice went out last Saturday and got Rocky and Trixie faces of their own to wear.
One morning in a hurry dressing in the dark, Ted and Alice accidentally put the other’s face on. It was bound to happen sooner or later. Ted’s pool boy Rusty waved and winked as Ted was backing out of the driveway. Neighbor Abby caught Alice’s eye and wiggled and winked from her rose bed. No one gave a second thought to why Ted and Alice switched cars. Just then each of them caught glimpses of his and her selves in the rearview. Whole neighborhood heard the squeals of u-turns at the ends of the boulevard.
When Ted and Alice saw themselves as each other, it happened. They fell in love all over. During a cocktail lunch they toyed with the idea of gender reassignments but decided to stick with what they knew. After steaming apple pie and dollops of whipped cream, Alice held the ladder while Ted screwed a new bulb in the closet socket.
Charles Springer is an only child and nothing is going to change that now. A Pushcart Prize nominee, he is well published in the small presses. He has degrees in anthropology and is also an award-winning painter. He’s lived much of his life in Cincinnati, Philadelphia and New York. Charles currently eats, sleeps, bicycles and writes from the family homestead in Pennsylvania where he is constantly trying to keep his barn from falling down. He dreams of living on Cape Cod.
Artwork: Steffanie Lorig, “Reflections on the Core of Inner Silence”