The pain in my back had been coming on now for three days. Working its way up from just above the diaphragm to the trapezius muscle on the right to a position of chronic pain. Pain? What was that really? That unwanted vagrant who once again had moved into my house formerly displacing that old friend known as pleasure? Happiness? So here I was. Drawn here to this place of beer and wine filled glasses for the simple promise of a single look or a glance. And there she was, Galatea to my Pygmalion! There to all the older males in this barroom Good genes and plenty of hard daily work behind it to keep up that blinding illusion. But who really existed there within that prison of ‘beauty for beauty’s sake’? We all have a weapon after all. A sword that is wielded mightily to keep us safe. And some of us less armor, more or less. Still all of us remain ever so naked to indifference and always in constant maintenance of our flagging egos.
There, like a shining beam of light on the other side of the bar was her own lifelong careful construction of the magnificence of herself. A traveling roadshow offering the actuality of material perfection. Yet not fully seeming as part of any form of actuality. A very nicely-appointed goddess off her pedestal tired feet pacing the well-worn floorboards below, running to and fro, dispensing pain killer and equally soothing taunts and phrases. A Mother Teresa of glass bound spirits for some. A cold ice block of bitter rock for others. How hard it must be to keep up this sort of fiction?
“Was I just saying that?” Or is this the heart of what is really a lifelong burden? “Am I loved?” “Or just merely coveted?” Whose fateful path could easily be at the whim of yet another mindless beau. Who, regardless of the consequences, lets herself wander free. The baby had been born from such and incident and she was thankful. It was a wonderful event that she would never regret, it was true. But, there was a but. . . That perpetual sense of public lust and longing reigning over all that had been harnessed to power the progress of the modern world in spite of itself had left her and empty vessel. Who after all could she really trust?
So many could come, and too freely would avail themselves to sunning their baser motivations for a while on her beach. Perched opposite upon unsteady barstools, they would mold their own twisted conceptions of her perfection into an unholy thing. Something that only served for passing hollow fantasy and not the hallowed need for honesty that her desire really deeply craved. How cruel the world truly was as it placed her Serpentine marble Venus uniqueness as but a mere commodity. Who after all were drawn first to that essence of eternal entity that described her however unequally to the illusion that her material flesh surmised. It was a cruel fate to bestow. A Greek course of mythic proportion that only the heavens could set straight.
For my own part I could only stare forth furtively like a mouse. Grateful for every unexpected moment of unguarded intimacy that was ceded me by such a goddess. Maybe the strength of the drink had bewitched me into believing such foolishness? Yet a deeper part of me wished to reciprocate in kind for the sake of simple recognition of one lonely being to another. The proffer of thankful recognition such basic acts of general kindness and regard? Or, being grateful and ashamed that I was not a better person, able to drop this pretense of public indifference in the face of such awe?