244. Tenderness

Ziggy patted the seat on the couch next to him. I sat down cross-legged, sideways so I was facing him. He sat the same way and our knees touched.

He brushed my hair back from my face with his fingers. “You want the old pencil, or you want to try the liquid waterproof stuff?”

“Is it better?”

“It’s wetter,” Ziggy said.

“Okay, what’s that mean?”

“It’s kind of cold going on, and it’s this teensy brush.” He pulled a skinny, black bottle out of the small zipper bag in his lap and pulled the cap off to reveal what looked like a pointy magic marker tip. He drew a stripe on the tip of his finger with it and I saw it was flexible. I guess it was a brush.

“Which do you like better?” I asked him.

“I switched to liquid myself a while back. It’s also darker and more intense. And impossible to put on yourself. Well, I mean, I put it on myself, but it’d be impossible for you to put on without practice.”

“If you say so.” I shrugged. “Whatever you think looks better, Zig.”

“Well, let’s try it and see. The good thing is when you sweat, it doesn’t smear.”

“Okay.” I held still while he kind of stretched my eye gently with his fingers and started to paint. I looked at the ceiling. My mind wandered a little.

Someone walked up behind the couch we were sitting on, which was plopped down in the middle of the room. “When you girls are done with your makeup, there’s a photographer here trying to get us together,” Christian said.

We both looked at him. He took half a step back. “Um, out there,” he said, pointing with his thumb toward the door.

“Great. Be out in a sec,” I said, wondering why he looked so deer-in-the-headlights all of a sudden.

He went out. I looked at Ziggy, who had a smirk on his face.

“What?” I asked. “What did I miss?”

Ziggy just chuckled. “I’ll tell you later.”

I replayed the moment in my mind. Did Chris think we were offended by him saying “girls”? Did we look offended? I didn’t think I did. “Were you offended by that?”

“By what?” Ziggy asked, holding up the brush again.

“By him joking around like that.” I looked up again while he started on my other eye.

Ziggy snorted. “Not really. But you looked like you were going to kill him.”

“I did?” I blinked and he almost poked me in the eye. “I mean, I did?”

You did.” Ziggy snorted.

“I know he didn’t mean anything by it.”

Ziggy just shrugged.

“I mean, come on, it’s Christian. If Digger said it, maybe.” The last thing I needed was Christian thinking I was pissed off at him. “It’s just a thing you say. I’ve played with hair bands before and it’s just something people say.”

“Because they’re straight guys and have to make fun of the fact that they’re putting on makeup, which is otherwise a girl thing,” Ziggy said.

“I guess, yeah.”

“But when they’re all straight guys, no one’s threatened by the joking around. But Chris is probably worried you took it as a homophobic comment. I mean, given that you kind of glared at him.”

“I did not glare at him. I didn’t mean to, anyway. I wasn’t even thinking.”

“Uh huh.” Ziggy leaned back and looked at me with his head cocked. “I think it’s too heavy.”

“What is?”

“The eyeliner. It’s too dark for you. Too perfect.”


“Here, let me mess it up a little.” He licked a tissue and used the corner of it to rub off what he’d just put on me. Or just part of it. “Okay, have a look.”

I got off the couch and looked in the mirror against the wall. “I look like I’m wearing eyeliner.”

“You don’t think it’s too thick?”

“It’s all right. Especially under lights.” I wiped at it a little and it didn’t smudge like the old stuff. “Although, it might be a little heavy for this photographer. What do you think?”

“I like it.”

“Good enough for me, then.” And it was. But if Digger said anything about it, I was going to punch him in the mouth.


  • cayra says:

    Why is this so short? *craves more*

  • Songquake says:

    Good call about decking Digger if he says anything.

    Not that I endorse violence. But.

  • s says:

    I hate it when people misinterpret facial expressions.

    Guys wearing eyeliner are kinda yummy.

    • Bill Heath says:

      My wife tells me I’m thinking about things and goes into great detail on what I’m thinking about, what I think about it, how I came to my opinion, etc, etc ad nauseam. “I’m a good judge of facial expressions.”

      Typically I’ve never even heard of the topic. And I have a light touch of autism, so my facial expressions and everyone else’s are comoplete mysteries to me.

      Facial expressions are but one of thousands of microbehaviors to read. Yet they’re taken as written on stone by the burning bush by “experts.” Hogwash.

      And, yes, guys wearing eyeliner are kinda funny.

    • daron says:

      I doubt Chris was misinterpreting my facial expression–I probably did look less than happy with being called out for the eyeliner thing despite my protests… or maybe Chris was just being paranoid.

      Or both. Both could be true.

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