21 February 2012

A Perfectly Suitable Smile

Guy Vanderhaeghe, Man Descending (Toronto: Macmillan, 1982), p. 189:
A last cursory inspection of the bathroom and I spring open the door and present my wife with my best I'm-a-harmless-idiot-don't-hit-me-smile. Since I've been unemployed I practice my smiles in the mirror whenever time hangs heavy on my hands. I have one for every occasion. This particular one is a faithful reproduction. Art imitating Life. The other day, while out for a walk, I saw a large black Labrador taking a crap on somebody's doorstep. We established instant rapport. He grinned hugely at me while his body trembled with exertion. His smile was a perfect blend of physical relief, mischievousness, and apology for his indiscretion. A perfectly suitable smile for my present situation.