Her Fair Skin

was dabbed with amber freckles on her nose and her cheekbones.  She had a smooth forehead—wide and wondering, with expressive dark eyebrows hovering above bright eyes.  Incredibly bright.  They were either reflecting the rehearsal room’s light very well or radiating a gleam of their own.  The redness of her hair glimmered, stuffed neatly into a bun and pressed with a thin strip of an elastic headband.  Her lips were curved upward into a thin, prim crescent that lifted her round cheeks and made her eyes glow even more.  The shape of her face tapered into a petite chin, pointed like the ruinous cusp of a cartoon heart. 

the ruinous cusp of a cartoon heart

I obsessed over this phrase days after I created it (talk about narcissism!).  It’s mostly because of the word cusp.

Originally, it was “the ruinous spear of a cartoon heart” but I thought, “her face isn’t that pointy.”  I pondered.  I perused thesaurus.com

Finally, I thought about Calculus class.  Because the very literal and most accurate definition of a cartoon-heart would be a cusp.  In math, a cusp is this:

What if people didn’t remember their Calculus classes?  I used Google, fearing the worst.


I almost fainted.  Because “cusp” was, in fact, the most flawless word I could have come up with for this situation.

I’m so excited about this word choice that I’m going to go through every part of this screenshot

pointed end or part where two curves meet

Of course my sentence is supposed to be a roundabout way of saying that her face is heart-shaped, with her chin being the pointy end.  The second part of this definition could suggest that she actually has a butt-chin.  Even though only a mathematician would pause to consider this, I still like the ambiguity it created.

a point of transition…: TURNING POINT

This is the most swoon-worthy part of the entire definition.  When I originally wrote the sentence with “spear,” it was supposed to be obvious that the girl is supposed to be wound-inducing–dangerously penetrating into the life of the viewer.  But cusp is better–cusp can mean that she is a turner of history, the spark of complete change.

either horn of a crescent moon

This works especially well, since her face is white much like the moon is.  It adds an air of cool enigmatic-ness, doesn’t it?  Like a moon.

an ornamental pointed projection formed by or arising from the intersection of two arcs or foils

Suggests that there is more to the girl than the superficial description given–more than meets the eye.

grinding surface of a tooth

Unfortunately, pictures of grotesque molars were the first thing that popped up when I searched the word “cusp.”  I appreciate this interpretation’s suggestion that her looks are destructive to the other teeth, though–it goes back to the original meaning of the phrase.

I’m so unbelievably giddy with this rare gem of a phrase that it does renew some hope for me, I admit.  🙂



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