"I have horrible accent, sorry."
Smiling pleasantly I offered him my hand as he had
asked; hands weathered from my abuse of their youth. His cheek
held the bristle of man, a handsome face whose olive complexion
accentuated the hazel of his eyes and midnight hair. I looked up
slowly, noticing a certain deprivation of sleep that clouded his
complexion; but nevertheless could see clearly through such fog
the solidity of his build and the fierce docility with which he
took my hand.
I knew his routine not moved by my presence but
rather hastened and encouraged by my apparent innocence; he was
to ask what I was doing with my life - deception proved my
defense as I responded.
"I'm a student at Brown."
"What means this, Brown?"
"Oh, yes. What you study?"
"I'm an English major."
"Oh, you see maybe you help me. I have horrible accent, sorry."
Again a pleasant smile and inquiring brow as he
launched into the heraldry of his product - a certain nail
polishing kit that removed miraculously ill-kept cuticles while
also lending a frighteningly glamorous incandescence to ones
nails; thus he validated, for me, by attempting to diminish such
with nail polish remover. I admired the rapture with which he
indirectly implored of me to purchase his imported items;
imported from Israel along with his broken English, nonetheless
charming might I add. He felt the roughness of my hands as I
wallowed deep within the roguish of his ruse.
"Now. What do you think?"
Quickly absconding my dazed, transitory attempts of
romanticizing I thanked him indifferently for the offer;
mentioning my laziness at the prospect of such maintenance to
which he seemed indifferent, already measuring the innocence of
the next victim. Though I would be his every hour; every hour the
light so seemed to gild the glass panes of American epitome, of
The hilarity of my encounter near struck me
incapacitated as I treated myself an ice coffee and oatmeal
raisin cookie at Starbucks - I knew I should not have had the
cookie but after spending what seemed to me a small fortune at J.
Crew I felt my spoiling not much furthered by some calorie laden
delight. So striking about such a trivial interlude was my
derivation of joy and thrill from it - hilarity furthered by its
occurrence in the most occult of settings: a shopping mall. Is my
emotional state so poor that I seek now the sustenance of love's
denial from the empty compliments of a foreigner, one giving no
indication of differing from the male "norm"? Perhaps I wished my
story to give way so lusciously, so tenderly to an impassioned
remembrance of entangled limbs devoured in the ecstasy of lust,
so a part of one another that there seemed no end to the blissful
juxtaposition of desire; when feel you your skin crave the touch
of another at the mere brush of chapped lips; when long do you to
caress the contours of another, of anyone; simply to feel another
replicate emotion, spewed from the well of solitudes petition.
Or, perhaps, I took a sample of lotion and imagined the rest, the
romantic that I am. No. I perceive reality in the balance of
Though I speak often and relent incessantly of my
perceived "torture", it is in part self-derived; being that
aspects of my anguish are further aggravated by my own personal
loathing. And yet I seek not such opportunity, desiring not the
provocation of those irrevocable repressions of misery. Yearn do
I not to climb the slope of contentment only to yield the menaces
of failure; downwards towards the valley of deceit, of
depression. I feel the weather throughout such an upwards climb
taxing the endurance of my character, a deterrent of hope and
more so an appalling affront to the baseness of what constitutes
my definition as an individual. Often do I find my step
faltering, the stumbles of endurance seeming to precipitate the
extent of my fear - one for which I know not the articulation.
Often, I seek refuge. Often do I find a tree to rest upon but not
the branches to cover the torrent of rain so beckoning the annals
of discouragement; making heavy the cloak under which I try to
Reveling in the certainty of my character proves both
a refreshing and bitter experience: Wearing the most fabulous
outfit and hottest sunglasses; if I were to do so in my high
school, nothing but stares and assumptions would I be the subject
of. Clearly locking eyes with the cute guy in the clearance rack
while sharing a timid smile; surely were I to share this with
anyone than my cloak would have certainly a gaping hole. Crossing
my legs and looking at my nails - maybe I should have gotten that
nail kit? I would hate to hear what the environment which I have
created to thrive in would think of such an action. Vanity seems,
yes, the epitome of my shallowness. Think not me, reader, so
susceptible or entirely comprised of meaningless appearances but
I feel that as my environment dictates my character upon what
they see, to revel in my exact constitution prior to resorting to
my "cloak" proves beneficial to my endurance; as such was my
interlude in the mall. Though I only allowed myself the liberty
of an afternoon to pretend to be "gay, white, rich boy" - " 'can
I start a fitting room for you,' 'hell ya hunny and I'll be
trying you on for size later' " - it was a bitter afternoon;
discomfiture so poignant. I had constructed another lie to tell;
more explanations of deceit now not only to colleagues and
associates but to my family:
"Hi, Jason. I've been trying to get a hold of you. Where've you
been? Are you on your way to pick up your father?"
"Yeah Mom, I was just at the mall cruising the clearance racks at
J. Crew, the Gap, Old Navy, Aldo, Guess, H & M, Urban
Outfitters, Heritage 1981, Aeropostale, Abercrombie & Fitch,
Hollister, Hugo Boss, Polo Ralph Lauren, the French Connection
and Banana Republic; you know, just a couple of things for the
summer - I found some great deals. Oh, and I met this cute
Israeli guy who gave me a free manicure and had me try this
lavender based hand lotion - smells heavenly."
Pulling over to a rest stop I began my "de-gay"
routine: No necklaces. No sunglasses. No outrageously adorable
footwear. No bracelets. No clothing that could be perceived as
too feminine - my encounter with such a definition being anything
that is fitted. No scarves. No stylish hats. No screamingly
brilliant colors. No popped collars. Consolidating all my
purchases into one bag I readied myself to face my lie of
obligation. I feel the art of deception and ambiguity my calling.
Reverberations of angelic harmonies in simple
contrapuntal rhythms veiled my anxiety - where dwelt my joy, my
thrill? Clear, verging on that of an oracle; penetrative, as
stung my heart from grief; commanding. Mereille Dolphine. She,
joined with the might of choir and orchestra, whispered to me the
subtext of their Latin vicariously - the brilliance of their
fortissimo cajoling emotion. As rolled the timpani; as lulled the
violins in harmonious thirds; as summoned the brass and relented
the basso profundo of symphonic array; as ran the winds and stung
the reeds and echoed the tenors, I implored of them their
sustenance and joined in such rapture:
Confutatis maledictis, flammis acribus addictis, voca
me cum benedictis.
Oro supplex et acclinis, cor contritum quasi cinis,
gere curam mei finis.
When the accused are confounded, and doomed to flames of woe,
me among the blessed
Bowed down in supplication I beg you, my heart as though
ground to ashes,
help me, help me in my last hour.