The Most Beautiful Thing I’ve Ever Seen

most_beautifulI remember the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. I don’t remember when. I don’t remember why. I do remember where; Minneapolis, Minnesota.

There was a girl. We met in Maine. We met again two years later in Massachusetts. She moved to Minnesota in that phase after a first kiss when colors vibrate and whistle tunes.

I worked two jobs for two months. I bought a flight to Minneapolis. I told her I loved her. She took me to a rave with her friends. It was a Friday. The music was loud, so loud it made my bones ache. I sat in a corner drawing cartoons on coasters. She danced. I left for a cigarette. It was cold; late fall, maybe. The lights were on in a bar across the street.

I don’t remember crossing the road. I remember sitting at the bar. It was light there. The bartender made me a gin and tonic; fast, cheap and watered down, with a dry lime.

A musician with a rag of hair in green sunglasses played cover-tunes on a corner-platform.

A man made of cut-off sleeves of old T-shirts and unwashed beer cans stumbled around on the floor. He cried out the words to “Sweet Caroline.” He sounded like a lost child in the grocery store. All of him danced. His fingers played two guitars, his feet stepped on two different sets of phantom toes and his eyes did the waltz. He was the happiest man in the world.

Then a sound broke through the music. A sound that would make you run, alone in the woods. A woman, made entirely of week old bread and wet ash-trays leapt onto the floor. She had a mole on her left temple. She stumbled into the man. Her wild hair met his camouflage hat and fell in love. They regained their composure and fell into a bestial jig. She fell left, him right. They complimented each other like yin and yang in a blender.

I watched as they both howled out “Bap-Bap-Bah!” into the air. The man in green sunglasses upped his game. He played louder, sang harder. People in the bar began to clap. I did too, forgetting my gin and tonic. The pair on the floor swung each other around. The man dipped the woman and dropped her on her ass. She wriggled around on the ground. The man stood above her shaking his butt, lower, and lower. She spanked it. He howled. He turned and pulled her up off the ground. They both came in close, singing into each other’s invisible microphones. Then, they spread their arms wide as the last verse died, their pot bellies kissing for the first and last time.

The song ended. The bar cheered. The man and woman high-fived. The woman went back to her table of friends. The man slumped into a nearby booth.

Someone touched my arm. The girl I was there to see looked at the scene, then at me.

“What are you doing in here?” she asked.

I opened my mouth. I closed it. She grabbed me by the hand and dragged me out of the bar. I stared across the street at the concert hall. A hoard of high-heels and hair-gel are smoking outside of it.

“You go ahead. I’ll be in soon,” I told her. She shrugged and dashed off. I sat down on the curb and lit a cigarette. I took a breath and began to cry.

164 replies to “The Most Beautiful Thing I’ve Ever Seen

  1. “She stumbled into the man. Her wild hair met his camouflage hat and fell in love. They regained their composure and fell into a bestial jig. She fell left, him right. They complimented each other like yin and yang in a blender”

    Fantastic. And you really have to be in the right, unexpected low-down bar to see true love like this~~

    Liked by 15 people

    1. Haha, thanks. I wasn’t quite sure where I was going with it. Everything just sort of flowed and I rolled with it. Glad it came out well. I was reading a lot of Marquez when I wrote it.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I started with a few of his short stories. They are fantastic. Then I moved onto 100 years of solitude. But everyone keeps telling me I have to read love in the time of cholera. So I’ll get to that soon. But you can find some of his short stories online for free. I’d say start there.

        Liked by 3 people

  2. Wow, fantastic stuff. That was remarkable.

    The ending is spot on and inevitable. The guy has just learned the unwelcome news that the woman he came for is not a woman he’s in love with. But at the same time, it redemptive because realizing this, he can start anew. He didn’t make any horrid mistakes, he’s learning it and can grow from it.

    At least, that was my interpretation. Regardless, this was a great read. Well done.

    Liked by 10 people

    1. Yeah, that is a spot on interpretation of it. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I’d occasionally wake up with this story in my head for the past few years but only recently sat down and managed to get out a version I was happy with.

      Liked by 3 people

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed it. It’s one of my more personal stories. It’s a true story. I always remember it late at night and I decided to try and write it. I’m happy it came out alright. Feel free to share it wherever you’d like, thank you.

      Liked by 4 people

  3. Did this really happen? I suppose it doesn’t really matter, but I was curious…. I think I’ve seen these same two people before, on numerous nights out, in different cities. Loved the way you described them.

    Liked by 8 people

    1. Actually yes. This is a true story. Shortened, of course. I always remembered it as the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen and I was recently talking about it to my brother and thought I’d try to write it down.

      Liked by 3 people

    1. I’m glad you thought it was nice. If you check some of the early comments, people have some pretty solid theories as to why he cried. Just in the first fifteen or so, I’m pretty sure.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I went through the comments and there are few theories about why the guy cried. I may make a fool out of myself, but I think he cried because eventually everyone leaves – the dancing duo in bar and the woman, who came looking for him in the bar.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. That could be it. I prefer to let readers decide why. The truth is, I was overwhelmed and happy in that bar and felt comfortable. Then I was dragged away from it and the prospect of going back into a loud club full of dressed up teenagers seemed impossible in the moment.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. You absolutely transported me to that bar, and that dancing couple, from here on my sunny daybed in Australia, where my palm trees are swaying in the Autumn breeze. So visceral & poignant, thank you SO much for writing it at last! You did such a good job, & it was worth waiting for, just like Love ❤️

    Liked by 4 people

  5. I was listening to a podcast yesterday that was talking about how finding the right ending to a short story is about finding the one that takes you to the right emotional destination. That was definitely the case for this one. I loved it!

    Liked by 4 people

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