Love is a Silly Thing

I was disillusioned long ago. Mom was in the hospital since I was six and she took me to the dropoff to fly. Dad drunk himself sick every other night. Having parents like that makes you different. Makes you grow up too fast. Then Dad figured I looked quite a lot like Mom and we played house until he stumbled out of a bar and got hit in the middle of the street. The funny thing is I actually cried when I heard. I thought I’d feel apathetic, but I guess you always love your parents. Love is a silly thing. It happens even when you don’t want it to.
***
You learn quickly when you have to. I did. I learned that I could get a bed to sleep in and food to eat if I booted some guy’s ego for the night. Some bought me clothes. This wasn’t Pretty Woman. I didn’t go to fancy parties as some rich guy’s arm candy. I was a toy. A dirty pleasure that was expected to clean herself and be gone in the morning. Love is a silly thing, but it knew to take mercy on me.
Then we met. She was shivering in the rain. Her cheap mascara ran down her face. Her long, brown hair clung to her face. Her hot pink lipstick was smeared around her mouth. She was a beautiful mess. Her skin was so pale that her bruises looked like flowers peeking out of fresh snow. So much of her skin showing. So many bruises. So many stories etched in the needle punctures and scars. Her face held the idle rebellion that made me want to let her break me.
“You want a show?”
She tried to sound intimidating with her teeth chattering and I wanted to kiss her quiet.
“God, it’s mute.”
“Don’t speak the Lord’s name in vain.”
“Honey, I doubt he’s listening to us.”
“No. He’s not, but I got us into a conversation.”
“Got a name?”
“If I told you, would you tell me yours?”
She was silent.
“That’s what I thought.”
She ducked into a nearby tattoo parlor because odds are they wouldn’t kick her out with all the other seedy characters blowing in and out. I followed.
“I didn’t adopt a puppy.”
“Ruff.”
She laughed but immediately winced. I wanted to reach out. I didn’t. I understood her too well. One hint of feeling and she would run and I would never know her.
“You too, huh?” She asked.
“Yeah. Couple of years.”
“I’m the same.”
“It pays the bills.”
“If you have bills to pay.”
“Some aren’t conventional.”
“So I shoot up. Problem?”
“We all have our vices.”
“Damn straight.”
We sat in silence. It was time to work. Time to meet men who want to feel wanted, women who still think they’re experimenting, and couples who want no strings attached. Mistakes happen in the dark, so that’s when I come out.
***
We never said it, but it was there. It was there in the locked eyes that lasted a little too long, in the frequent, soft touches, in how we cried together, in the smiles we shared when nothing should make us happy. Love is a silly thing. It comes just when you need it.
She was my safety, my shelter, my armor. A stray glance could lift me from my lowest. A peck on the cheek was my sweetest drug. It was a high that I wouldn’t mind crashing from. Neither of us was fixed. When you shatter something, it will always have the cracks no matter how much glue you use. The trick is to find someone who still thinks it’s beautiful.






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