As you lie there next to me and peel my legs open, revealing all the ugliness hidden up there. Your hands unzip my thighs, and the further up you go, the more flaws come spilling out. I look at you and wait to watch you shudder as everything ugly about me comes crashing down on the sheets beneath me, all the small imperfections magnified by the bright light outside. I wait for your desire to wane as unshaven legs and the folds of fat and the lumps on my skin and the scars and zits and the blotches and the bumps lay bare on my skin, beneath your hand. And I don’t know what your hand was expecting, as it lies there in pause. Maybe some milky smooth surface not discolored by the years of use that my legs have seen. The kind of things that only exist in the second dimension as its elevated above our heads on billboards. The hair on my head is not silky and smooth. My teeth are not white and straight. My fingernails do not glisten with polish, and my belly spills over in awkward places. My skin is not white enough. My eyes are not blue.
So I look at you, and I brace myself for that moment when you recoil. Away from me, and the words are already stitched together neat, needy little sentences, waiting to bounce off my tongue with excuses and reasons why I’ll be better next time. I wait for you to judge me and reject me and go fuck someone younger. The skin on my body is so old.
This is why I’m drunk, and this is why you’re drunk right now, too. So that when the silence slips from your tongue as you retract your hand, keeping it safe and close to your body, all the pain will be dulled as you walk out the door.
Or, maybe that’s not what happens. Maybe your hand keeps going. Maybe this pleasure is not negated by the American activities of judging each others’ bodies, because I’m here, aren’t I? Waiting and ready. And maybe you don’t do me the disservice of remind me that I’m ugly. That the body in the mirror is not the one I wanted. Because I won’t do that to you, either, as you quickly disrobe, and it’s not that all these flaws make you ugly. I would never call you ugly. I will always call you beautiful, because that’s what you are, as we lie here in our euphoria abyss.
If you make me feel beautiful, despite it all, then maybe one day, I’ll actually be beautiful.