Lifestyle & Culture > Ground Control

Ground Control

Published: June 12, 2011

No, not the ground control that Major Tom was dealing with where guys in a low control room on earth were trying to help a guy out in space.

This is another version. In this version, a person on earth is trying to control their little piece of ground in some way.

We are on the ground at Baltimore Washington International airport. There are roughly 140 of us on a Southwest flight to San Diego. Three rows ahead of me there is a lady trying, trying so very hard. But she hasn't quite figured it out yet.

He first battle is her appearance. From her neck down, she looks like a teen about to hop into her prom dress and anxiously await her first kiss. Then you look up above her shoulders. It is not that she is a 'Butterface" (i.e. everything about her looks good but her face.) No, its more than that. First, the face doesn't fit her body, clearly. The face has been on earth over 50 years, while the body appears to have only been here 15 years. There is no doubt that this woman is well past her last first kiss.There is so much effort, but whoa, the result. Just whoa horsie.

You see, that is what the workouts and clothing can do, you can mask a lot...but...

The face is not simply wrong for the body, its wrong for itself. Incongruous. It almost appears that instead of getting an at-home hair coloring kit for her hair, she got an at-home face lift kit. There were no two parts of her face that fit the other parts. Skin seemed alternately too tight, too loose, too left, too right. It was not that her face appeared to be photo-shopped on her body, its that the face itself was photo-shopped in pieces. Nothing worked, nothing fit. Too much effort to control something that was well past controllable.

But she pressed on. After the heart-wrenching mistake of turning and facing the back of the plane she tried for more control "Are you coming up to sit up here?" she asked someone behind me. There was no sound that I could make out behind me,so I think the answer was a shrug.

"YES or NO?"

The Face tightened. Still no sound from behind me.


The Face contorted even more, Dali? Munch? I wasn't sure. But while I was trying to unscramble the visuals, this last version of the question was followed by a "finger gun" to her head which she discharged, her head recoiled and she sat down.

A half hour later, the passenger behind me walked up. This passenger had the exact same body as the contrtoller. But atop that body rested a face that fit. Relaxed, the parts of the face moved in concert with one another. Odd. So odd to see the relaxed version talking with the taunt version.

The was no way the controller would ever regain that face. Or any facsimile of a face that could pass as human at this point. No amount of effort could ever get that back. Just like no amount of badgering could control the seating arrangement. All she could do is take whatever she tried to control and make it...

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