To The Handsome Young Man at the Movie Theatre,
I know what you saw.
Of course I do.
I have lived in my body and ‘the community’ for a very long time. I have seen myself reflected in the glass of the mirror and reflected in the eyes of those, like you, repulsed by me. So, yes, I know what you saw.
You saw my body.
You saw my chair.
You saw my age.
But, of course, I know what you didn’t see. You didn’t see anything that even a warm greeting would have elicited. You wouldn’t have heard the warmth in my voice as I responded to a casual hello, because, of course, you didn’t offer one. Instead you offered me your face.
You probably know you are handsome. At 18 or 19, you have a good solid set of shoulders, you have blond hair dusted with bits of gold, you have the bluest eyes. I know you know that too. You will have seen it in the mirror, you will have seen your likeness reflected in the eyes of people, even strangers, who admire how you cut your way through air.
But, your face, when it shows judgement, when it curls into a sneer of superiority, when it sets hatred in concrete, is ugly.
Really, really, ugly.
I wonder if you know that.
I imagine you spend time in the mirror smiling at what smiles back. I imagine you check, maybe with some panic, for flaws and are pleased with finding none, or none that really matter. You probably have never seen the face that you showed me.
All I was doing was coming out of a door that you wanted to come through. You had to wait a second, just a second, but that was too much for the likes of me. People like me can’t expect, of people like you, manners, or courtesy or decency. We are too low in your estimation.
You made it clear who you thought you were and who you thought I was.
I am what you saw. but I am more than that.
I have a heart that loves and a heart that feels and a heart that can be generous.
But you forget, in your moment of superiority, that I see you too. But you don’t think about that. You don’t think about that face of yours, you don’t concern yourself with the angularity of your movements when angry, you don’t think of that fact that while you cannot, at that moment, see inside of me, I can see inside of you.
I am more that what you saw.
I hope, I really hope, that there is more of you than what I saw.
You should worry about that.