Learning to Glare

A new expression has entered Dubsie’s facial vocabulary. She is learning to give the stinkeye, the scowl, the glower, what in Spanish they call la mirada asesina (the assassin’s stare).

She thinks it is a weapon best deployed at close range. She climbs onto my chest in bed and stares into my eyeballs from an inch away, tilting her forehead like a charging bull and knitting her brows. “What are you doing?” I ask, trying to sound afraid in order to mask my amusement.

“You can’t see all the way. That’s what I’m doing,” she answers. She is not actually angry, or even irked; she is experimenting. The only way she knows if she is glaring correctly is if the top of her vision is bordered by her own fuzzy eyebrows.

Dubsie has a universe of expressions, from joyful to exasperated to furious, but this is the first one she is cultivating, breaking down, talking through. Once she works out the kinks it’s going to be a killer.


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