Thursday, June 18, 2015


To me you are really beautiful.
His words drew me in, like a slurping – soul gone, my bones with it. Yet as soon as I heard you speak those words, I knew I wouldn’t believe them. For a second there, you seemed like a blind fanatic, heaping praise at the wrong pedestal.
When has someone ever said those words and meant them to me? A person who looks at the mirror and sees only disarray. See, there’s a movie which can explain this. Filmed in the scale of 33 years and archived in my brain. Watching it is akin to seeing a god wield an axe to sunder the Tigris.
Flashback to childhood: a beautiful boy. Wide-eyed, hungry for the world, a fearsome inquisitiveness scorching behind the face, an old soul interred underneath chubby cheeks, always sticking his nose in magazines, drinking up the colors of their silken doors that opened to sleek universes. Plump-faced, huge steel-blue eyes, lashes like taffeta, a little nose, and lips to rival the angels’ in Boticelli’s paintings. And would you believe, skin that was flesh-colored fair?
What happened to that boy?
He discovered the beauty of men’s bodies. The hardened jaws of older males, their masculine mouths, their unapologetic brashness, the curves of their labor-muscled arms, the fullness of the serpents concealed between their legs.
And how these men hated him. The boy, now a young man, becomes a fragile vat of absent self-esteem, open for the Harpies to descend on and befoul whatever goodness existed in him. A cowering nerd, victim to unsolicited appraisal, repeatedly under-assessed, maligned, and verbally abused: Deviant. Possessed. Maricon. Pervert. Faggot. Cocksucker. Catamite.
And the once pseudo-fair complexion turned burnished, crimson. The little nose turned stout, the lips fleshy, the eyes weary and darkled deep.
The words were attacking physical attributes now. Words became harsh, with the malice in their resonance, and they stuck like gospel: Negrito. Charcoal. Midnight. Black Hole. Abyss. Bushman. Mixed with the subtext of faggotry, the words took more creative forms. Above this, one word stuck, a single word to surpass and encompass them all: Ugly.
To me you are really beautiful.
To hear these words from someone as beautiful as you - as nonpareil, as cultured, as timeless - is like listening to a siren’s deadly song. Terrifying yet addictive. A gorgeous destruction.
I want to believe you. I really do. That love can look beyond what the eyes perceive, or that I actually possess the beauty that you see. I look in your eyes and I am enthralled, spellbound by my reflection there, mesmerized by an image that sadly I can only accept as fantasy.
To me you are really beautiful.
How? How can I compare to the gods and goddesses that surround you? What is it that your eyes absorb when they fall upon my face, my insecurities, my painful past? What curse has been cast to erase my hideousness from your sight?
I want to be trapped in your fascination. But when you’re gone the mirror returns the same unsightliness. How can you love someone who cannot reconcile a love for himself? How can you see beauty in someone whose belief in his repulsiveness has been so deviously ingrained?
I weep. I don’t see anything in that mirror. The glass only echoes me.

No comments: