Stucco Faces

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I used to stare up at the stucco ceiling and see faces staring back at me. Much of my idle childhood was spent doing this and I think it was wisely spent. The faces in the stucco never frightened me, though many were grotesque, the faces of monsters. Same goes for the faces I’d see in the bathroom tiled floor, or in the wooden grooves of furniture, the monster faces staring back at me in whatever the walls of our apartments and houses were made of.

Google tells me this is called “pareidolia”

noun  par·ei·do·lia \ˌper-ˌī-ˈdōl-ē-ə, -ˈdōl-yə\

Medical Definition of pareidolia

:  the tendency to perceive a specific, often meaningful, image in a random or ambiguous visual pattern <The human brain is optimized to recognize faces, which could also explain why we are so good at picking out meaningful shapes in random patterns. -New Scientist, 24 Dec. 2011

I say that Pareidola sounds like a Tool album title. I still see faces and entire scenes with strange characters all the time when I look at a surface. It comforts me, inspires me, sometimes it reassures me; that my imagination isn’t broke. That I’ll always have some juice left in the tank. That my weird shit will never leave me.

I could be wrong.

Scientists at the NNT Communication Science Laboratory in Tokyo did a study and their results told them that neurotic people are more likely to see faces in inanimate things. Possibly because they’re wired to be alert for danger. Lots of danger has a face.

Usually human.

Makes sense, I’ve never been quite sure if I’m really chill or really anxious with a chill facade.

All I know is I’m 34 years old, an author and I use words like chill on the reg.

Also “on the reg.”

Either way, even if it’s a sign that I’m mentally bent I look forward to all my stucco friends. Maybe I’m just comfortable never being truly at ease?

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