8/26/12 3:33am – 4/21/13 3:05pm
your chin’s at permanent rest upon your shoulder
to see what about me’s giving you the shivers
there is something about the way your lip quivers
when your beauty’s in the eye of this beholder
“the eye of this beholder” & “i”
cody swann as
“a he who was who i wished was me”
, “he”, & “him”
zahira gutierrez as
“her” & “she”
i was on my way down an escalator
when i first & last heard her speak.
she told a he who was who i wished
was me, “i’m going to run to the
restroom before we go”.
it was inside of a two-story “sealed-
only” bookstore that i had been
following her (“them” by association)
for some time.
watching as she navigated aisles of
loosely alphabetized authors in search
of a last name that fell
somewhere between “m-p”.
her steps, although slow, were focused.
unlike most, she was not searching for
she was forward motion & i, like
everyone else, was a being suspended.
HE. was just trying to keep up with her.
the two of us had that in common.
i resigned myself to there being no
shot of catching up.
& THAT is where WE differed.
his appearance, it’s safe to say, was
what most would describe as classically
complete with this face that looked to
have been meticulously worked on by
some master sculptor.
which is where we secondly & also
my face & body unfortunately looked
more like they were left in the oven too long.
i take shelter in knowing that the most
interesting thing about saps like him
(their looks usually) is the very thing
that they had the least say in.
to me it’s as pointless as priding yourself
in the name you were given.
don’t get me wrong she was gorgeous too,
but it did not end there.
it may have been that my hope sprang from
my observation that almost no one roots
for the guy like him.
it doesn’t seem right that the man already
blessed should have all of life’s great
inventions falling into his lap.
you don’t have to win the lotto to understand
the moral dilemma you’d have purchasing the
following week’s ticket.
there’s nothing quite like the simple joy
that can be took in walking up the
i considered it an exemplary form of
the most basic; day to day rebellion.
that day i took a particularly pleasant
set of steps when she gave him his cue
to separate & me my cue to follow.
they parted & he began to kill time
browsing the art history for dummies
searching for what i can only imagine
was the feeling of himself being made
i assumed it made no difference that
they were sealed if i had imagined
correctly about the front cover being
his usual stopping point.
any purchases of his i also assumed
were merely to validate a still-empty
bookshelf he had come to own.
the coast was as clear as it was ever
going to be.
she was not yet out of my sights & there
i was already retracing her steps toward
the women’s restroom.
on my walk i began to realize that i’d
spent all of my time thinking about how
to get her alone & now, closer than ever,
i hadn’t put much thought behind what
i was going to do or say to her.
i concluded that i was a spontaneous
enough guy to just feel it out in the
moment & wing it accordingly.
for proof of this just look at the way i
could derail my day at the sight of her.
although it could be argued that my
day was fruitless before her.
as i began to close the gap between us
i could hear the time between the sound
of her steps beginning to grow shorter.
we had ourselves a race..& i could not
help but wonder if she had sensed me
& if she had i couldn’t get close enough
to see if the hairs on the back of her
neck were standing up.
she wound up beating me by a mile to
the finish line.
i was discouraged, but i knew it only
right to finish the race you started.
visualizing my prize, i rounded the final
corner that lead where the men & women’s
restrooms split off when suddenly i was
stopped dead in my tracks.
there she stood; leaning against the
she had to have been expecting company
since she had refused to pass through
i was completely thrown off of my game.
i could not even bring myself to play it
cool by entering the men’s restroom.
she had won what was perhaps the
easiest staring contest ever played.
i turned one hundred & eighty degrees
& began to run damage control through
if she looked she would have seen the
hairs standing on the back of my neck.
if she listened she would have heard the
sound of my steps growing shorter.
i made my way for the down escalator
knowing good & well that on this ride down
i would not be partaking in any simple joys.
i stepped on & began to let the machine
do my leg’s work for me.
i had only descended a couple steps when
i heard from behind me feet stepping on
& the sound of whispering.
not to my surprise it was them.
the guy was no tall glass of water so i
didn’t sweat it too much.
i could only laugh to myself when i glanced
back & caught a glimpse of him placing an
arm around her shoulder.
as if i would not have known she was
i wondered if he only ever touched her
when other men were watching.
she must have what she thinks is a
very affectionate boyfriend.
i laughed to myself, to them, & at the
joy i’d take the rest of my way down.