Baby Skinhead With the Long Eyelashes
“I did it for a magazine shoot” when I trace my finger from empty widows peak along his scalp to the vacant crown. Back off the peak, down to his lips before I pull my finger away.
“Where do I know you from?” when I perched by the pillar because I thought I saw someone cute coming in from the patio and, sure enough, he heads straight for me with that question already perched atop his eyelashes.
“I’m going to make a lap” when, after not establishing where he knows me from, he literally floats off to the right, his bald half-moon skull then swinging back—“almost done”—to the other side of the packed floor, before returning to me, hand on my back and knee between my knees.
“Now here you go again, you say you want your freedom” when Dreams comes on and the floor goes into a sedated trance of dance and, yes, I’m actually singing it to him but he doesn’t know the song—turns out he’s 20 years old—so I move in, move his lips with my own, until we’re singing to each other.
“You’re so beautiful” when I think about saying this to him but just count his eyelashes instead because I’m sure he’s heard this plenty of times already.
“You’re so cute” when he says this to me and I can’t say he’s beautiful in response because that’s all it will sound like—a retort, a one-up—and all I’m remembering is when I turned 20. Sitting alone in my room listening to music. Alone, with only a vague intuition that I was not cute, certainly not beautiful, vibrating like a serrated song perched in my half-moon skull.
“You’re beautiful” when we’re outside, by the train, and I finally say it. His slash of silence leaves nothing pouring out, yet still Iblot it frantically “I mean, I know that word is pretty much useless—“
“No, no, it’s okay. I appreciate what you meant by it.”
He lands on those final three words so evenly like he hopes I kept the receipt on the gift I just gave him. Of course on the train home I wonder what I meant by it--and, of course, find nothing other than the need to call something else beautiful since I can't possibly say it to myself.