My eyebrows are thick and dark with a witchy point at the arch I sometimes exaggerate with pencil, remembering the day after Halloween when I was ten or eleven. I could never get off all the greasepaint the night before. My eyebrows were black, glowering, joined with a shadow over my nose. I remember staring at my pale face in the bathroom mirror. I was wearing a light blue t-shirt I disliked. I looked dirty, like a pirate. I rubbed a bunch of toilet paper across my eyebrows and threw the blackened wad away, reached for more. Officially, I despised make-up, though secretly, guiltily, I was fascinated by it. But nobody could blame me if I just didn't wash my face. I went to school smudged and interesting. When people commented on my eyebrows, I gave explanations, feigning exasperation at the inefficacy of soap.

In Spanish in seventh grade, I taught myself to raise my left eyebrow with a tug of a muscle at the upper left, while forcing down my right. It is a perfect inquisitive arch. From the first, though, I could barely locate the corresponding muscle on my right side. It made me squirm in my seat. It was like trying to move my legs in a dream, an almost intolerable impression of strain in all the wrong places, nothing but weakness and indecision in the right one. I could only work on it for a little at a time: more, and the tension started making me fidget, yawn, jam my legs hard under my desk. I can crank my right eyebrow up a little, but not without making faces, or feeling the urge to grab my crotch.