The only advice I ever received regarding addressing anyone of station came from Nevil as we approached the Sovereign of the Chantel Prime. Even then his words weren’t all that helpful, because all he said was, “don’t show your teeth.”
This of course prompted me to whisper, “what?” Because he did it as we were already on approach to be welcomed by the Sovereign and he could have easily have said as much while we were waiting for our appointment. I also had to wonder where this came from as I never considered myself one to smile or really show much in the way of my teeth.
Fact is, I hated my smile, it was all teeth. Like too much teeth. And verging on showing the entirety of my gums. It was not pretty and was always uncomfortable. So I liked to try and keep a straight face when possible. And in our line of work smiles were often seen as a form of weakness.
Which really got me wondering why Nevil thought to bring this up now. It’s not like we consorted with such sorts on the regular. In fact our whole appearance before the Sovereign wasn’t what you would call business as usual. That would be smokey dives, back alleys and more than a few space port brothels. And you can tell as much from how everyone else in attendance looked upon us.
But when a head of state calls upon you with an offer of work, you don’t ask many questions. Other than, “why shouldn’t I fucking smile?” out of the side of my mouth. Nevil didn’t say anything more, he just nudged me with his elbow and nodded towards the waiting Sovereign.
And there she was, in all her doe-eyed glory.
Never have I seen anyone like her before or since.
Today’s art is courtesy of Diego Maricato from Campinas, Brazil.