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Carrie Conners

Fix Your Face

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Mine’s broken. Or at least I’ve forgotten how it works. Month 7 of the panorama & 45’s still in office, so I’m grinding my teeth like everyone else. It aches where my jaw meets my cheekbones, both sides, & I read online that you should relax your jaw to ease the tension, stymie the throbbing, but relaxing felt weird & now I’m thinking about it too much, psyching myself out & I can’t remember how to hold my face like normal. If my jaw is completely relaxed, won’t my mouth hang open? That seems unsanitary. Especially during the panopticon. Some genius cooked up an acronym, LTTA (lips together, teeth apart) to coach numbskulls like me how to face, but it’s too vague. How far apart? For a couple of days I thought that jutting my bottom teeth forward, giving myself an underbite, might prevent grinding & give my strained facial muscles a break, but I jutted too hard when checking work email Dear Faculty and Staff, I ask you to try to imagine returning to campus under ideal conditions. We are not there yet, of course, but I find visualizing the optimal situation can help make you feel safe & got a throat cramp, which I did not know was a thing, but here we are, almost 8 months into the parallelogram & this headache won’t quit & I still can’t remember how to face, so now I just prop my chin up on my hands as I peer into Zoom screens, like “The Thinker” if “The Thinker” wore a nice blouse with pajama pants. Yes, I have considered the hygienic implications of having my hands so close to my face during the panettone, but it offers a little relief, cuts down on my Vitamin I consumption & well-behaved women never make history. Yes I know that I’m not affecting policy, just trying to remember how to work my tooth box, but cut me some slack, we’re in week 37 of the Panic! at the Disco & I just ordered a football helmet. It squeezes your head into a fixed position & even has a chin strap to keep everything secure. I’ll just tell my Zoombie colleagues that the roof got water damage & parts of the ceiling keep falling down & the helmet is for protection until a repairman can come & fix it, but who knows when that will be since we’re 10.666 months into the perineum & the vaccines aren’t here yet & while my Zucchini co-workers jabber on & on I’ll pretend I’m an astronaut & float around the moon humming “Rocketman” & eating freeze dried ice cream.

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