Eric stared into the mirror. The surface was speckled with white spots of toothpaste. His electric toothbrush had painted them on the glass over the course of two years.
He should get around to cleaning it. He really should.
He’s the only one who uses the bathroom, though. Gone are the days of the mad scramble when someone says the words “could I use your restroom?” The frantic, wet sheets of toilet paper swiping across the toilet rim have disappeared. The hasty swiffer across the kitchen floor gathers dust in a forgotten closet.
The dirty clothes hamper festers.
Life is simply the act of trying to appear not as dirty as you actually are. Death is too, in a way. It’s why morticians exist.
Eric moved from where he used to be to where he is now. He had taken wing, a promise of good fortune and new friends was the wind that propelled him to parts unknown. He flew on hope like a seed. He spun in lopsided circles and lost his way and when he landed he had no idea what to do anymore.
Plus someone had torn him from his flower and tossed him away.
It still hurt.
He shaved. He did it slowly. He savored the feeling of the cool steel on his skin. It felt fresh. It felt new. He raked the hair from his visage and he was eight years younger. He wasn’t broken. He wasn’t used.
He wasn’t even out of the box.
He was ready.
So Eric hopped in his car and drove to a field.
It was lit in a way you only get in movies, a sort of erotic, soft blue that signifies it’s night while still be lighter than the dark. Eric wore a suit and tie. He double checked his lapels to make sure they were appropriate and stepped out of his car.
And his breath caught in his chest because a glen beyond the field was full of lights, soft yellows that reminded him of lanterns and porches, of swings and flowing draperies and love, oh how they reminded him of love.
Men and women flitted around the field, bumping into one another. The lights came from their asses.
Their posteriors flashed messages, a Morse code of longs and shorts, love and desire. Eric saw a cute girl with a sundress and dimples turn her rear to a dashing gentlemen in a plaid shirt and flash off and on.
“Do you like cats?” her ass signaled to him.
“No,” his booty blinked back.
The girl frowned and walked away.
Eric couldn’t tear his eyes away from her. Couldn’t rip his pupils off her bottom. He sighed, watching the way the light faded in brightness. A sign of disappointment or resignation? He wasn’t sure.
He was going to flutter over to her when a beauty intercepted him.
She bent over and showed him her butt.
“How tall are you?” It signaled.
“Five foot eight,” Eric’s ass signaled back.
She stood up and made a face that was the exact sort of face she would have made if she saw Eric’s apartment and strutted away, her rump blinking its disapproval.
The first strikeout of the night.
Eric scanned for the cat woman but she was gone.
Eric dove into the crowd, flashing left and right, blinking here and there. “No, I don’t make forty thousand a year.” “Yes, I believe in true love.” “No, not yet, but my roommates are nice.”
And then he saw her, standing by a tree and watching the proceedings with an air of disappointment.
Eric scampered up to her. Their eyes locked and she put a hand to her chest in surprise.
Eric bent over and presented his butt to her.
“I like cats,” his ass signaled. He stood up and turned around, grinning like a damned fool.
He’d seen the look that was on her face before. It’s the look everyone gets when they open the fridge and find one, last beer, when they arrive the restaurant and get the last table, when they catch their train at the very last minute.
It was a waterfall spilling over her brows and eyes and cheeks and nose and mouth. It was a paper lantern in her soul. It was hope.
She bent over and showed him her bottom.
“So do I,” she blinked to him.
And Eric smiled.
In his head a song played. It was “kiss me” by Sixpence None the Richer.
Her recalled, faintly, a time, many years ago, when he met women in ways other than blinking at them with his rear. You had to talk to people. You had to sit down and have a conversation and get to know another human being.
You had to clean your apartment if they happened to come over.
It was great to get to know another human soul, but…
Her ass glowed so prettily this evening.
Thank god that German scientist had finally finished his catalog of the firefly genome. Thank god the UN had approved the human trials. Thank Christ glowing butts became mandatory.
“Kiss me,” her ass shined at him.
Then she stood up.
And he did.
And there was electricity as their lips met. Their bodies rubbed against one another and the moon shone above as their asses glowed in that magical glen.
And the lights of love swirled all around them as the rest of humanity looked for romance.
Flashing their asses at one another.
Just like horny semaphores.
Or aroused lighthouses.
Or sexy, back-lit phone screens.
Ah, mon amour . C’est la vie.