I sit in the corner of the club feeling like hamburger helper in a disco ball; good.

A girl, smelling of stale booze on broken glass, sits.

“Cigarette?” she asks. I nod, pulling one out and lighting it for her.

“How old are you?” she asks.


“Oh? I like older men,” she informs me.

Fuck you, I think.

“How nice for you,” I tell her.

She takes three more drags, watching me.

“Do you have a big dick?”

I frown.

“Excuse me?”

“A big dick, do you have one?”

I lean back. “What exactly is a big dick?”

“Twenty-five centimeters,” she tells me, as quick and as certain as if I’d asked her mother’s name.

“I’m American, we use inches. Hold on.”

I pull out my phone and google the conversion. I stare at the screen a moment.

“Uh, right,” I decide.

“Do you know how to use it?”

“You mean like peeing?”

She hits my arm, giggles, winks and says, “no.”

I sigh.

“I want to show you something,” she tells me, serious.


“Not here,” she says, looking around conspiratorially. She grabs my hand like the bar coming down in a roller coaster car and we are off through the mess of meat, slipping through it; coasting on booze-sweat.

I find myself dragged into a bathroom stall. It is green, the same color I painted the porch of my first house with my older brother. I was seven, he was ten; we got paid a fortune.

She stares at me, backing into a corner. I lean against the door, frowning.

“Do you love me?” she asks. I frown. “No,” I say without hesitation.

“Do you think I’m beautiful?” she asks. I nod. She takes off her shirt, letting it fall to the ground. She doesn’t take her eyes off mine. They are black and cloudy, like the bottom of a shoe.

“Am I still beautiful?” she asks.

I nod. “And do you love me?”

I shake my head.

She continues to undress, slowly, till she is as the day she was born. She doesn’t stop. She pinches just under her right ear. It is a nice ear. She pulls. The skin comes away from half her face. She slips a nail in just under her eye and pulls, a long strip of skin slides away down to her breast.

Music plays outside. There is a sucking sound coming from the stall beside us.

I watch; underneath, her muscles are purple and off-yellow.

She finishes just above her knees. We stand across from each other. Her skin, a pile of wet ribbons, between us. A tear slips from her left eye. It doesn’t run down her face. It falls into a crack in the muscles, gone.

“Do you love me?”

“I don’t.”

“Do you think I am beautiful?”

“I do.”

She sighs, then smiles.

Her teeth are black.


A Writer and an artist living in Russia

17 Comment on “Am I Beautiful?

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