A Modern Romance Between Millennials


He grabs my hip bone while we kiss. His tattooed shoulder is close against my face and the eyes of a skull are staring at me. It's framed with crimson flowers; a softening juxtaposition. For a second, the ink melts together until it's just a mess of red and black. Before this, the shoulder had black pyramids and red flames. Before that, the shoulder had black bird silhouettes against the red stripes of a rising sun. Black and red shoulder tattoos are some sort of prerequisite for dating me. I guess I'm pretty specific.

I never even notice them at first. They're usually covered up by a plaid shirt or winter jacket. I only spotted the first one because he dressed like a 1950's greaser with slicked-back hair and white sleeves pressed up high. Dreamy. A regular Cry-Baby with one jet black strand out of place above his furrowed brow. Blue eyes. He could be some kind of anime protagonist come to life with his big blue eyes. Maybe he looks more like Jake Gyllenhaal with charming dimples and perfect teeth. Maybe he looks just like G-Eazy, towering above everyone else. We talk all night and wander along a moonlit beach, running away from the cold water. We stare at each other awkwardly at a house party. We share an electric kiss on a rooftop overlooking the city.

On our first date, he takes me to La Vie, I dress up in a faux fur jacket and put on a fake septum ring. He takes me to Mr Pickwicks in Long Street, I sport a grey tank top and a snow-white fringe. He takes me to see Suicide Squad, I wear a Daddy's Lil Monster tee and sexy stockings. We figure out that our paths have crossed before because we know each other's friends. Chris introduced us. We already know that we both know Jamy because it was his house party. I'm surprised he works with Robin, oh, Chris and Jamy too? Full circle.

We have conversations about everything. We laugh at inside jokes. We can't get enough of each other. He becomes my muse. I feel like a muse. I feel like Edie rambling around Andy's Factory. I'm inhaling on cigarettes and tripping over soup cans. My eyes are painted black and I laugh as my long earrings routinely cause trouble by getting themselves caught in clothing. A silver crucifix is stuck in his sweater. If you turn it upside down, it matches the tattoo on his chest. Scratch that, it's tossed onto my night-stand.

We analyse books. We discuss movies. We recommend comedians. We dissect lyrics. We dance with abandon. He photographs me. We try weird food. He writes poetry about me. We passionately sing along to old songs. I paint all over his graffiti-covered walls. I draw him. I film him. Camera girl, swing the focus. A clip of him jumping off of a balcony. A clip of him putting make up on me. A clip of us kissing. There's so much music. My heart heals when he's touching me to familiar tracks. We make art. We make promises. We make love.

One day, he takes me to see the flamingos because he knows I love them. He sets up a scavenger hunt for me to find a book he bought me. We build a fort with fairy lights and watch a Japanese horror movie. There's a full moon the night he tells me he's in love with me. We're sitting on the edge of the bed when he pulls me to a stand and says he's never felt like this before. He pushes his forehead up against mine in his apartment, saying he thought someone like me would never exist. We are intoxicated with butterflies, tangled in one another, enraptured by each other...until we're not.

To them, I must melt into the other girls too. Another blonde. Another set of big eyes. Another foreign accent. For a moment though, it feels unique and it feels like anything is possible. For a moment, I see them and they see me. For a moment, everything is exactly as it should be. I close my eyes and hold him tight.

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