A Love Story
Princess. A nameless girl, laying naked across white Egyptian cotton sheets spread in folds around her smooth, white body. Fans of wickedly black hair fanning around a heart shaped face, glossed lips, dark eyes. Dark eyes, smeared with eyeliner from tears or touching her face. Her mother always used to tell her not to touch her face—you’ll get pimples, your beautiful skin will be ruined. Don’t touch, never touch. She folds in on herself, hiding flawless skin. She’s bunched up the sheets, pushed them to the foot of her bed. She folds in on herself but makes no attempt to cover herself. She kicks at the sheets again, her white down comforter sprawls across a white, white rug underneath a white, white canopy. Princess. Wickedly dark hair fans around her heart shaped face, her tiny nose, her big dark eyes.
Pauper. Brown, mousy hair. Cut short, beard growing out, scruffy. Nameless, the boy down the street you always thought was cute but was never appropriate to bring home to your mother. Flannel shirts, tall socks, all those things you hate about men. Young, with something of a potbelly. A potbelly at that age, they used to say. He smiles a lot, with crooked yellow teeth from years of cigarettes and philosophy books. A tattoo from his former glory days, a day when he got drunk and stoned and couldn’t remember his own name. Now, nobody can remember his name. He never goes back home for supper, he never goes out for dinner. He never takes someone out on a date, all he does is watch porn.
--What do you want from life? he used to ask her.
She’d pause, smile at him weakly with perfectly glossed lips and say, --I guess I’ll never know.
--But what do you want out of this?
She’d pause again, look at him past white, Egyptian cotton sheets and discarded clothes. She’d stay quiet and he’d look at her with envy, with passion.
--I want a love story.