Yellow Sweater

United States

(Formerly Zinniav)

I'm 17, interested in linguistics, mathematics, philosophy, theology, and history.

She/ Her | Bi | Disabled | Agnostic | Useless Intellectual | WA

I don't necessarily agree with my own assertions.

Message to Readers

Still, have no idea where I am going. And this time the prose is less sparkly so I have less of an excuse:) Any ideas or technical help would be very much appreciated! I think i run into trouble when I try to right a scene with any kind of action in it. I have a difficult time describing movement.

Narcissus Boy (continued)

March 9, 2021

FREE WRITING

11
He hated himself. He was a wiry creature of self loathing, of hollow cheeks, arched feet, sharp fingernails, pouty lips and thick breath. He would smile, but even that curve was made from the same hot wire. He had taken sandpaper to his skin, rubbing until his soul was scarred and raw. 

We all experience heartburn, moments when our bodies are revealed to us with blinding clarity. But I have never meant anyone who could endure beauty like he could, who could withstand the dull ache. He was nothing but a model for hungry pencils: lines and sinew and thirds. When we lay together, I could trace his shape and his contours would linger, occupying space, but not consuming it.

It was early spring when I found him on a park bench, gazing at his reflection in the muddy pond. I liked his shape, his Narcissus facade. He had a book in his lap, small, with thick, dog-eared pages. Beat poetry? French Existentialism?  I crept a little closer, squinting as I tried to make out the title. Howl. I smiled, a holy narcissus boy. I watched him for a while, caught on the sand-paper sidewalk. It was hard to tell in the watery late afternoon light, but I think I fell a little bit in love with the idea of him, with his reflection.  

A swan glided by, a park swan. The boy stretched his neck; eyes to the sky, eyes to his book.I had gotten a fringe the week before. It was the required uniform of coffee shop lackeys, but it always seemed to tickle my forehead when I tried to concentrate. It’s hard being a woman, having to reconcile cold-marble expectations with your own breath. I wished I could be like him. A creature of sky and books and reflections, a single hot wire, a conduit.  

Loving him was nothing like loving myself, nothing like I expected it to be. He was feminine in many ways, delicate, burning. I expected to own him. But he owned himself. He had distilled his soul into a body. 

We rode city buses, trespassed through secret gardens, got drunk in underground jazz bars, pressed ourselves against brick walls. I was finishing up a thesis on something. He was modeling, I think. We were a fashionable couple, straight out of the 60s, selling our bodies, revolting against... revolting against the lines between blasphemy and prayer, between blood and bones, between love and hatred; becoming lines ourselves. 

~~~

Three weeks after I had spied on him in the park, three weeks after I had desired his reflection, two weeks after I had discovered that a reflection was all he was, we took a train out of the city. The buildings got shorter and the sky larger as we flew over the tracks. I leaned back against the plush cobalt-blue seat, watching him study himself, deciding whether to disturb his reverie. I tossed a book into his lap. “Have you read this?”  

“Yes.” 

“You’ve read everything, haven't you?”

He smiled, “And nothing. I read for the aesthetic of it.” Rain began to fall, streaming across the windows and blurring the industrial suburbs beyond. He looked down, examining his graceful hands. 

With sudden relief, I objectively analyzed my fatigue. I was tired of always speaking, of always being. It was exhausting to fill the space around his thrumming stasis. The city was gone now, wiped clean by the rain, replaced by vague verdant fields. Under the clouds the green was surreal, like it emanated from the mouth of some strong-lunged goddess. The green embodied all her unsung words.    

I could feel the train moving beneath me, the train and the tracks. I grabbed my phone, reflexively scrolling through Spotify. I settled on something complex, putting on my headphones. I focused on the melody. It was intricate and ephemeral. It hovered above us, the train and the tracks. 

We chugged along; hands on the chrome table-top, eyes between us, eyes and hands open to ourselves. My music hit an uncomfortable crescendo. I glanced out the window. We were rolling through the forgotten backside of a small village. From our untouched angle, the whitewashed cottages were dirty and the ground was littered with garbage. 

I grabbed his hand “Let’s get out at this next stop.” He nodded, picking up the book that was still resting on his lap as he rose to his feet. I pulled him down the aisle. “Come on, the train is slowing.” 

We hopped off, onto the raggedy gravel. The brick train station was still stained black from when the train had run on coal smoke. I walked over to a vending machine pushed into a filthy corner. “Want some chips?” 

He inspected our lackluster surroundings, then shrugged. “I’d take some Fritos”

I stuffed a couple dollar bills into the machine. Fidgeting, I waited for the dull, red and yellow bag to fall over the edge. With an odd urgency, I pushed back the flap and snatched the chips, looking around for a bench. After we were comfortably seated again, this time facing the tracks, I pulled open the bag. The chips had mostly disintegrated, but they were still salty.

We stared at each other as we snacked. And I realized, in the utter banality of the moment, that I was still infatuated with him. Even though we were going nowhere. 

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6 Comments
  • nolongeractive

    Wow, just incredible.


    3 months ago
  • ???

    oh my god, this is sooo beautiful. i have a feeling re-reading this and reading it again and again will definitely show me what's there between the lines (there definitely is something between the lines, this is too beautiful and real and i want to try to interpret it in more ways). so imma go do that now. also. thank you soo much for writing this. it's awesomee omg.


    3 months ago
  • Cosmogyral

    This has a fairly sleepy essence and I love it <3


    3 months ago
  • ChimChim_1

    Re: No problem!! hope it works out for ya.


    3 months ago
  • GraceWritesTheWorld

    I have no words- Just, wow. I love this.


    3 months ago
  • Paisley Blue

    ahh i love this!!! wow


    3 months ago