The Thing About Facial Expressions

agoraphobic philosopher nina tryggvason


When I was 12, I was a newspaper kid for the Vancouver Sun.

1979 Nina age 11

Nina age 11


I roamed the hills of New Westminster like I was Julie Andrews in Sound of Music.

I sang Elvis, Olivia Newton John, Connie Francis, Pattie Page, Patsy Cline, Hank Williams, Kingston Trio, Joan Baez, Linda Ronstadt. Kris Kristofferson, Gordon Lightfoot and Tanya Tucker.


I never imagined being one of those adults who look back at their high school time as the best in their life. I always thought the best was yet to come

then I slipped, I stumbled and I fell.


I kinda have the Elvis song echo’d but that’s not really the kind of slip and fall that I mean.

I mean the kind that does or almost kills you.


Like in the bathroom. Where Elvis died on the floor, not the throne.

The stress of the first concert since the release of the body guard book, probably combined with the codeine that the dentist gave him that Elvis had a mild allergy to, according to Linda Thompson.

Just enough extra stress on an already overtaxed system.

Over 1000 concerts from 1969 to 1977. three movies and three albums a year.

a punishing pace that is about factory output and not artistry


I was 9 when Elvis died. Just a couple of week older than his daughter, Lisa Marie.


during my recovery process, I started getting creative and tried to find funny and entertaining ways to think of my life.


so one of the flights of fancy was that I was the daughter Elvis would have had if he had married




and Elvis is the topic I default to when I don’t know what to say

or I don’t want to say what I need to say


because he’s the last common cultural frame of reference for the whole world

since he was the first and last entertainer we could all agree on

no matter what country our origin

earth is the source of us all



the human face is  capable of 7000 expressions

not all of them are nice

and I doubt that anyone can make all the ranges, never mind the nuanced ones


because there are some faces that can only be made by people with certain brain structures or dysfunctional processing


one of the more interesting studies that I read was about homocidal pychopaths and their abilities to accurately identify facial expressions.

When shown photos of people in fear and terror. the description was “that’s the look before I kill them.”


saying when they see it, not indicating any understanding. It almost seemed like part of the motivation was to see expressions they, lacking fear and empathy, are unable to make.


but the reality is that there are more psychopaths in the boardrooms and halls of capitalism in management than violent psychopaths.


this is why corporate cultures are what they are.

this is why business practices are about short term gain rather than sustainability


why creative people burn out and why regular people are ground down too


yet we fear what we are least likely to encounter


but it’s a question of recognition



at some point during my recovery process. I could only watch Dreamworks and Pixar movies.

I can’t remember which particular movie it was, it was themed in a few of them


the visual I have is a dark haired little girl who is looking up at the sky and a man blots out the sun

causing an eclipse effect and darkness falls on her face



It caused me to go into medical shock. I got cold and chills because that is exactly what it is like to be looked upon by a psychopath who has craven indifference planned for you. Rape, torture and murder.


When I was 12, I encountered Clifford Olsen. Canada’s most notorious child rapist murderer.

I have never forgotten that look on his face

and you know I never expected to see it again in my life


but I was subjected to it on many faces for a lot of years or variations of it


extrovert to introvert explained.


I am not sure how to make the journey back


first meme

This is what I see when I look in the mirror

I no longer recognize what positive facial expressions look like and I don’t respond to them

the absence of negatively is not enough to turn a life positive



This entry was posted in Agoraphobic Philosopher, Elvis Presley, Living Well, Raw Recovery Specialist, Zeitgeist Analytics and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to The Thing About Facial Expressions

  1. dykewriter says:

    and the real problem is how many of them are politicians or dictators honestly


  2. Pingback: The Human Face and how to Read it | Nina's Soap Bubble Box

  3. Pingback: Serial Killer Watch: Charles Manson | Nina's Soap Bubble Box

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