To A Stranger | Creative Writing
Dear Person I Don’t Know,
As a kid I tried my best to stay away from mirrors.
My reflection stared back at me one day, and I realized that I was not very attractive: pimples, an overbite, twenty extra pounds. Made uncomfortable in my own skin, I smile now when I think about my first attempt at love with a skinny brown girl I cared for, but hardly knew.
In her parent’s basement we held each other and I forgot to feel nervous about my own nakedness – that feeling of having the eyes of the world on me.
Though you would know, if you knew me, that those years are still not completely gone. I still avoid mirrors.
You would know too, if you knew me, that I saw in that girl an unreal perfection based on her real imperfections. Her gangly arms and legs held me tight and rubbed themselves against my skin with all the care I had assumed there would be from one who was supposed to love you.
I detached for a moment and thought about radio love songs. I wondered if what I was feeling was not new. Had someone discovered this exact same feeling, maybe been in this exact same situation? I swore I would ask my older brother about it on my next visit to his place to borrow money, drink hard liqueur, watch porn and drive around in his car.
I was lying on a dusty old couch with a naked girl who I would later fall in love with. A girl whose awkwardness made her all the more attractive in my eyes. When I kissed her she coughed in my mouth. We laughed it off.
When I touched her chest I felt the roughness of goosebumps on her nipples, but soon I would feel a softness I have never known before. A sharp contrast to the cruelty that the world outside had shown me up to that point in my life–the world outside of that dank basement. It felt like the warming light of the sun, a sympathetic hug, or the welcomed embrace of your bed after a long night of tiring drunkenness.
I continued my love affair with love, as I assume you, and most of us, have too.
I realize now that I still love her. But mostly I realized that love is all in the mind, and in the touch, and in the taste, and in the look, and in the sounds, and in the smells of the person you’re loving, and I wondered if it was the same with you.