There may come a time in your life, dear reader, when you find yourself face to face with Jeffrey Leonard. It may be at the barbecue of your slightly shady uncle, in the elevator at the building of your investment manager, or perhaps in a high-stakes poker game on a Louisiana riverboat piloted by a man wearing both tattoos of snakes as well as actual snakes. Regardless, the prospect of repartee with Mr. Leonard can be an intimidating affair. Thus, as a public service, we’d like to provide the following set of guidelines regarding his facial expressions, and what he may be conveying through each particular contraction of facial muscles. If you rank your social skills as anywhere below the level of “enchanting”, it may be wise to print this reference out and carry a copy in your wallet.
Be warned that Jeffrey Leonard is a complicated man, a man who has some degree of mastery over his own presence. As such, there can be no guarantee that his facial expression exactly aligns with any specific emotion. We wish you luck in your future badinage.
1. Jeffrey Leonard is not sure he should have left his coat lying over there.
2. Jeffrey Leonard would like to respond to your criticism of the meatpacking industry, but his mouth is still full of peanut butter.
3. Jeffrey Leonard is stunned that you have chosen the Caro-Kann Defense in your chess game, when his success against the variant is well-documented.
4. Jeffrey Leonard really is interested in what you have to say, but he probably shouldn’t have watched One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest this afternoon.
5. Jeffrey Leonard understands that it’s impossible to travel back in time to an era in which he didn’t know you. Instead, he’s chosen to travel forward in time to an era when you’ve gone away.
6. Jeffrey Leonard actually hadn’t seen the ending to the Usual Suspects yet.
7. Jeffrey Leonard isn’t particularly fascinated by your home business selling jewelry on Etsy.
8. Jeffrey Leonard is listening to you, but he is responsibly checking the room for exits in case of a fire.
9. Jeffrey Leonard is wondering why so many hot air balloons have pictures of rainbows on them. Is it camouflage? Do people actually like being reminded of being outside in weather where rainbows are likely to appear, being rained on while elsewhere, on the horizon, the sun is out? What is that about?
10. Jeffrey Leonard isn’t upset; in fact, he may be a little flattered. But Jeff Leonard is older now, and he’s been knocked to the ground a few times in his life. Maybe someday he’ll be ready to open himself up again and share his poetry. But not today.
11. Jeffrey Leonard believes you are completely wrong in your presentation of string theory, but is too polite to correct you in front of your colleagues.
12. Jeffrey Leonard finally understands, for the first time, what it’s like when doves cry.