Monday, June 9, 2008
Today as I was enjoying a cigarette break at work, a shirtless African American homeless man wandered over to me and wouldn't stop staring. Every other tooth was knocked out and one hung over the bottom of his cracked lip in a yellow triangle. There were rivulets of sweat etched into the lines in his forehead, and his fingernails were dirty and broken. He looked at me and said, "Your beauty comes out at night."
I took a drag and looked at him quizzically. He said it again: "Your beauty... comes out at night." I smiled, he kept staring and smiling, and then walked away. I took another drag. He came up behind me and startled me. He hovered so close I could smell his body, his chest matted with crinkly hairs, reeking of unfiltered tobacco smoke and putrid sweat. "White women," he said, "at night, when it's dark, your skin stands out. Your beauty comes out." I tilted my face so it was obscured by shadows made by the sun. "Oh. I glow in the dark?" "Yes," he said, "it's beautiful."
So there you have it, folks. Pale is the new tan.