I recently entered a writing contest with the theme based on Charles Bukowski’s overarching theme of Women as objects of desire, amazement, undeniable and unattainable creatures of beauty. The assignment was to create something showcasing those characterizations. The following story was born:
I hadn’t seen her straight-on. Instead, I noticed a shocking red in the corner of my left eye. I glanced nervously her way, as red rarely ever meant righteousness.
She was glory and glow.
The corners of her mouth were upturned and mischief gushed out of her eyes. She kept a secret, a secret no one would ever get to know. I knew she was duality. I knew her red held the truth to its origin of fire.
She was not beautiful in the sense that humans define beauty. She was stardust and infinity… the way all humans are. The difference was that she knew it. The difference was that she owned her divinity and tethered the tight rope between morality and heaven just by entering a crowded bus.
She embraced a feline quality; eyes too open, body ready to escape if the world became too loud or too bright. She was alert without anxiety, taught without rigidity. I could see her insides reeling against her skin. I could see her vitality pushing the boarders of her body. I could see her crimson soul reverberating loudly against the chaos of everyday life.
I was repulsed by my own need for her. I was revolted by these tendencies I had to observe, and truly see, but never take action. For what creature of astonishing duality could ever comprehend the dark shadows that make up my form of humanity?
Never had I witnessed a jewel as precious. I refused to engage the thought that I may be her equal. I watched her from the back of the bus and marveled that the Universe could make a creature so perfect. I knew the sight of her was ruining me. I knew my life would now be divided between the moments before and the moments after I’d seen her.
My fear at approaching her matched my need to do so.
And then, she was next to me.
I gulped and slowly inhaled. Her long curls brushed my arm as she leaned forward to fix her shoe. She was real, and I was next to her.
I turned my head and looked directly at her profile. I noticed her eyes were frosted in white powder. I noticed how her eyebrows turned up at the tips. I noticed that her lips were raw, as if she’d been chewing on them. I looked so closely into her, I could see her femininity escaping her pores.
She turned and looked directly in to my eyes. She held me there, without fear or embarrassment for being direct. I floated there for a moment, on the precipice of stopped time.
She crackled like lightning and her eyes brewed like a storming sea. She smelled like the earth in autumn and carried her own wind. The sound of the passengers, the lurching of the bus, the smells of clean-shaven wanna-be business men were all drowned out by the arch of her jaw and the intention on her face.
A smile lit inside her eyes and transferred down to her peachy mouth. She did not show her teeth, but let her lips spread across them. She was bestowing me a kindness. Her smile created my Zen.
“I can see your red,” I thought frantically to her. I’d hoped I’d screamed it loudly enough for her to hear. My eyes jutted back-and-forth, taking her all in as hastily as I could. I felt as if she would slip out of my grasp if I looked away.
Her mouth opened slightly, not to speak, but to emote curiosity. “Amanda,” she said after we had continued to stare at each other for what seemed like hours. She reached her hand out in greeting.
I knew my eyes were too big for my face. I knew my dilated pupils spoke the truth in a way words never could. I embraced that veracity as I watched her hand come toward me in slow motion.
I took her hand in mine, and covered it with my other. I didn’t know where we were on our bus route. All I knew was the bus was stopping, I was standing, and I was leading her out the door. All I knew was that the warmth of her hand in mine was all I’d ever want to have again.
As the bus drove away, I turned to her. I looked down into her sea-eyes and saw her soul pressing insistently on the surface of her face.
“Hopelessly in love,” I answered back.