I waver before the computer screen, my vision blurring yet my mind still feeling sharp as a razor as always. Not even alcohol seems to blunt its edge. I stare blearily at a dating website.
Hope perches on the edge of the table beside me despite there being little room amongst the beer cans. I never question the physics of how she manages it – she just seems to fit in comfortably everywhere.
The website has just asked for a photo. And I am stumped.
A photo. Of me. A photo.
I let the thought go.
“.….upload a photo……“. Hope’s quiet optimism makes everything sound simple as usual.
As I begin my desperate search, I infuse my magic through my fingers and into the keyboard beyond. I don’t understand life. But I love computers. And they love me. I could take a PC and send it dancing and singing across the room should I choose to.
An image of me pops up. I can feel tears beginning to well despite the fact I havent managed to cry since I was 13.
I look so ugly. I cannot stand my reflection – as good a reason as any as to why I only have one mirror in my home and tend to avoid reflective surfaces. Including camera lenses.
“…upload it…..” Hope gently urges.
I refuse to obey. I can’t. When my matches see me, they will laugh.
I hear a hiss behind me.
Hope’s demeanor suddenly changes. Her eyes crinkle with hate, and her laughing mouth assumes a thin fine line. She is looking over my shoulder; at exactly what I choose not to know.
In a blur she vanishes into the space behind me and I hear the gentle swing of a sword. And just as soon as she has vanished, she reappears.
Suddenly she laughs aloud and I listen to that beautiful sound being released into the air like twirling smoke and birthday wishes.
“Now try that again….and this time just do it…… Mister Ugly…...” she teases.
Suddenly I laugh too.
“Who are you calling ugly?!”
And with that retort, my fully completed dating profile is born.
I hit the submit button. and for the first time in my life I become a real human.With a real name.