Oh Man, Those Eyes

Declan Episodes

Sometimes it’s hard to concentrate, because He is always there with me.

Not in a creepy way, I should say. People always assume that’s what I mean, and I get it. Looking at him, looking at him with no context that is, you’d be forgiven for thinking some pretty unflattering stuff. He’s old-looking, and He always has been, that’s the weird part. Nobody really knows what He looked like when He was young, and I can’t even picture it, even when I’m literally looking at a picture of it. He’s lank, and maybe tall? Although, maybe not. Maybe He just seems that way. I don’t think ugly men are ever allowed to be average height, it just doesn’t work. I think we automatically perceive them as being extremes of height and weight whether it’s true or not, because without that instinct we might be forced to confront some pretty uncomfortable truths about ourselves. Not that He’s ugly. No, well, He is. Not really, not like ugly ugly, just not attractive in any way that you would be able to… describe. Or identify. But that’s not mean, He jokes about it a lot! Well, His characters do, at the very least… But he wouldn’t take such ugly roles if he hadn’t on some level come to terms with the fact that his face is, at best, unorthodox and, at worst, just freakish. Let’s think about some of them: a thief, a sort of creepy mayor or something, a P.I. nicknamed “the Chameleon”, and an actual sort of chameleon monster with too many legs. I think it’s a sort of meta-irony on His part, He is making a point about morality and aesthetic. All these characters are either villains, or they are ugly, and ugliness, as we know is simply a physical manifestation of some deeper moral failing. Yet He is a good man. A great man, even. A hero. A hero willing to be perceived otherwise for our entertainment. Kind of like Jesus, really, because he was technically a criminal, but it was also for our own good, I think? I don’t know the story that well, but I’m pretty sure he got the death penalty, but it was one of those cases where they got it wrong, so they reversed the decision. Either way, He’s kinda weird looking, and He knows it, and I think that’s sometimes why he looks back at me, back through the long-range lens, with a face of such confused horror, with eyes that plead “Why me?”. 


And those eyes. Oh man, those eyes. Pensive, bulbous… wet. You know how sometimes in films there’s a character, and they’re a fly, and the movie wants to show you what the fly is seeing, and suddenly the screen is filled with hundreds of tiny circles, each filled with the same image distorted in a thousand different ways because that’s what science tells us flies see? Well what I want is for a director to have the bravery, to have the – the – the… vision! The vision, to show us what He sees. Because there is no way He sees the world in the same way you and I do. And I don’t just mean a bright filter and a panoramic lens, I want the real deal. It’s not for me to say what He sees, but I know it’s purer somehow. I know it borders on the transcendental, and I know it strips back the dishonesty of the world to reveal something greater. You couldn’t lie to Him. I mean, you could try. But you’d know, deep down, that he had seen right through you, seen back through time to the exact moment of your conception, seen everything preceding this moment, and everything that will follow, that he perceives the world as one enormous chain of dominoes, Kafka’s own Rube Goldberg machine, stretching back to the very first instance of the universe, and reaching on until its collapse, with each individual component so vital and yet so insignificant, reason disguised as choice and chance, a closed system of immense potential which ticks and tocks its way forwards, ever forwards, and to which He has the blueprints showing Him all that has been and will be, and making it quite clear to Him that No, you didn’t just “happen to be” outside of his dentist appointment which only his assistant knew about, who the hell are you?

And it’s a valid question, y’know? Who am I? Who am I to consider myself worthy of His presence? Who am I to put myself within His reach, and feel entitled to stay there? Well I’ll tell you who. 

I am the one who has sacrificed their life (admittedly a lesser life, but a life nonetheless!) in the pursuit of being closer to Him. I may not have had His millions, or His universal acclaim, but I had a wife. I had children. I had a job, and a home, and circle of people who held me in some sort of regard. But they couldn’t– no, they refused to see what I see. Rather than join me, they chose to condescend, to ridicule, to cower, and ultimately to leave, to give it all up. So now this is my job. Now He is my wife, and He is my kids. He is all I have. So yeah, I feel like maybe I earned a place by His side. Maybe there should be some recognition of that dedication. Show me someone else willing to throw it all away in allegiance to Him! Show me someone else who has read all the biographies, and written a couple more (as yet unpublished). Show me someone else who has crippled their eyesight spending day after day in a dark room pouring over long-lens shots of a man whose face could buckle wrought iron gates! You can’t, because it is just me! I am the one who exclusively wears the clothes He thinks He is donating to charity! I am the one who waits until the internet traffic is low to edit every “he” on His Wikipedia page so they have capital “Hs”. I am the one who drinks his bathtub dry, and flosses with the hairs that stick in the plughole. And I am the one who, on the rare occasion that I pluck up the courage to head out into town, to try to live life like everybody else, to go and have fun in the company of my fellow mortals, I am the one who on this one-in-a-million evening, having finally set Him aside for just a few hours so that I might unearth the care of another human being, am graced by the alignment of stars and find myself speaking to a woman who is enthralled not by Him, but by me, and whose skin thrills me, and whose words are a balm to my wounded soul, I am the one who, having stumbled upon what might be the freshest blossoms of love, having tripped into the arms of one who is willing to carry me, who asks, who begs to come home with me, whose hot breath on my neck is precursor to some greater physical connection yet to come, I am the one who presses her back to my front door for a kiss of unrivalled passion, before turning the key and pushing us both giddily into my apartment, I am the one who will piss it all away, who will decimate my only hope for a normal life as I stand there, proud and defiant, unmoved and unmoving, as she looks at me and howls with a horror informed by ancient traumas logged deep within our cells, screams at me to explain why everything, and I mean everything, in my flat has Steve fucking Buscemi’s fucking face on it!

And when He dies, as only the truly immortal can, I will be the one who is there to witness it, to bask in the ineffable white light of His supernova, to let His essence wash over me, and change me for the better.


At least, I will be if He ever drops this restraining order.

Brad Barket/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images