That Goddam Beauty Mark

“Sorry” I chest. I am sitting on the monarch sofa about to kiss my long-time beau. But seeing his lips pucker like a butterfly about to land on a flower and that goddam beauty mark, I know I have to say something.
“I don’t like the way things are” I look away as I say this. At some point, my lipstick cap had rolled onto the floor and tucked itself neatly between the neon pink shag carpeting.
“But that’s the way they are,” my beau says. His hand is still on my hand. He is wearing spiky red and black rings that make his thick fingers look like pasty hickory horned devils. Ominous.
“Hey,” He says, grabbing my face with one of those spiky hands. “Would you look at that.” That goddam beauty mark hovers just above his lips, twisting and warping as he speaks. Under the sound of Billy Holiday’s voice, I can hear the trickle of water coming from the aquarium. The filter must be on.
“I’ve never seen anything like it.” What did I ever like in this man and his campy ways? His obsession with butterflies was enchanting at some point but not anymore. His living room overflowing with pupa paraphernalia clearly indicates he is lacking.
“It reminds me of something, though.” I know he is looking at my butterfly mark, a goddamn mark to match his own. This coy act of his, a subtle reminder of unity, has lost its charm long ago. It’s only a threat now and so is the history behind it. I can feel his blue eyes boring into my face, as though making a cigarette scar out of my butterfly.
“Do you remember,” He asks, letting my face go. “the house at the end of Ceder Street?” How could I forget? I knew him long before Ceder Street, but that was the day our lives were tied. The day the butterfly touched us. Now both our hairs have grayed and still, I can’t escape that fate.
“Yeah.” The Arowana swims in lazy circles in the aquarium. Its grim toothy look seems to be sending some sort of message. Perhaps it sees something I can’t. My beau’s breath weighs heavy on my neck.
“Why?” I feign innocence. I feel like a suspect in a cop show, dancing around facts we both know. This coy game of coy and koi and butterflies, how did we ever get this far? I’ve never been honest with him but this is the first time I feel like we’ve been talking in circles.
“No reason.” That goddamn beauty mark. Sometimes I’m glad I don’t have to see mine just so I don’t have to see it get warped and twisted by old age and arrogance. He is not a beautiful as he used to be.
“Maybe I’d better just go home.” I smile feeling my own butterfly stretch in flight. The Arowana seems to agree.


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