My Solitary Understanding of Kate Bosworth's Right Eye
"It's two different colors!" I shout, kind of slurring. "Two! In the same eye!"
I'm saying this as proof of something, something utterly fundamental to my worldview, yet nearly impossible to explain. So instead of really trying, I frantically slap my palms on the bar and hoist an eyebrow like Sean Connery for dramatic effect.
I wait for a response from my companion, any response, my insides kind of jumping in anticipation, hoping for some glimmer of comprehension to prove I'm not alone in this, my understanding of Kate Bosworth's right eye.
He offers no response, he just kind of mocks what I'm doing with my eyebrow. I feel the tightening in my chest, the fear of The Disconnect, yet bravely, I press on.
"Just an actress, you say?" I blurt, even though he hasn't said anything. "It's not about who she is! It's only about that eye, half brown, half blue, and kind of swirling together where the colors meet, like that very first moment after a barrel of Myer's Rum explodes underwater, while you're snorkeling, in, like, the Caribbean. You know?"
Again, I wait, panting, sipping my whiskey with a hysterical kind of desperation.
My companion remains mute. I bite an ice cube and take a deep breath, refusing to cry in public.
"Her eye," I continue. "Is the window through which she sees out into the world, but also, the window to her soul, the place others look when they want to see into her. So it has two purposes, and it has two colors. Blue and brown, water and earth, two of the four elements, right there, cooling in her soul-windowsill like an apple pie!"
I'm trembling, kind of shouting again.
"It's transcendent!" I proclaim. "It's about the duality of perception! Don't try and tell me otherwise!"
My companion doesn't try and tell me anything. He looks right at me, his eyes slightly crossed, and takes a big sip from his glass. My companion is idiotic, I'm realizing this. I try switching gears.
"You look familiar," I tell him. "Have we, like, talked about this already?"
Still silent, he takes another sip from his glass. When whiskey dribbles down his chin he deftly maneuvers his glass to catch the dribble.
"Nice moves," I tell him, genuinely impressed. "But be careful, that's the kind of stunt that'll get you dragged out of here by your shirt collar." Somehow I know this. I scan the bar warily for bouncers, noticing it's kind of empty in here for a Saturday night.
I wave to the bartender. He looks a little bothered and it seems like it's me who's bothering him. This, in turn, bothers me. I start slapping my palms on the bar again, defiantly and in no particular rhythm.
The bartender pretends to have other things to do, but really he's just fiddling around, wasting time before he has to deal with me. Finally he submits to inevitability and grabs the bottle of Wild Turkey, filling my glass with fresh ice and whiskey. I'm about to congratulate him on his apparent psychic abilities, but when he hands me the drink he says something which totally severs my chain of thought.
"You're doing it again," he says.
I have no idea what he means, but for some reason it shakes me to my core. I'm pretty sure I've never been in this bar before, first of all. Experience has taught me it's never a good idea for me to visit any bar more than once. So what the hell could I be doing again?
I turn to my companion, who, I notice, has a fresh drink himself.
"What's he talking about?" I ask.
Then I'm silent, shocked by what I've just seen and heard. My companion just asked me the exact same question, at the exact same moment I asked him.
I take a sip of my drink and he takes one at the exact same time. Whiskey dribbles down our chins in unison and we catch the runoff in our glasses, each of us triumphantly hoisting an eyebrow like Sean Connery. I admire my companion's moves and his chosen form of recycling, because he'll have another chance at that whiskey, and although there seems to be some commentary here, some metaphor about the cyclical nature of life, or the trickle-down effect, or something, I have no chance to savor it because I'm so confused.
Just then there's a voice across the bar, the bartender again.
"It's called a mirror." he says. "Stop talking to it."
Shocked, I turn back to my companion, noticing for the first time that he's a little blurry. I tell myself I must have put my contacts in backwards again, even though I know damn well I'm wearing my glasses.
"You do this every Saturday night," the bartender continues. "Welcome to your life. Again."
Disoriented and afraid, I lash out, spitting an ice cube at my companion. Somehow he manages to spit one back at the exact same moment and the ice cubes collide in midair. Strangely, only one ice cube makes it to the floor when they fall.
"If you'll notice, everyone else has vacated the bar area," the bartender continues, unmercifully. "Public displays of insanity tend to alienate people."
Suddenly I feel very lonely, on the verge of tears again.
"I've got an idea," the bartender says, kind of laughing. "You should get 'You're just my reflection' tattooed on your forehead, like in that Memento movie. Maybe then you'd kick this habit, because believe me, it's not helping you make any friends."
Refusing to take any more abuse, I cover my ears and shriek as loud as I can until the bartender retreats.
When he's gone I behold my companion with an awe that slowly blossoms into newfound camaraderie. At least I know now that he understands the true nature of things, the complexities and transcendental properties of Kate Bosworth's right eye. It's just the two of us, my companion and I, we're the only ones who get it.
"To the eye," I say, raising my glass to him, "And to the hope that someday we'll figure out a way to help the others understand."
Of course we slur this in unison, like cross-eyed twins or something, and when the whiskey dribbles down our chins we deftly maneuver or glasses and catch the dribble, recycling, giving ourselves another chance, and this has something to do with the cyclical nature of life, or the trickle-down effect, or something, and I savor it this time, this metaphor, this reflection, this whiskey. Then I take another gulp.
About the author:
Christian Rose lives in Greenpoint, Brooklyn and is a native of Binghamton, New York. His writing has appeared in The L Magazine, The L Magazine's Literary Upstart Competition '09 and '06, The Modern Drunkard, Birdsong, Word Riot, Denver Syntax, The 2nd Hand, Zygote In My Coffee, JMWW, Main Street Rag Anthology and DeComp. He is currently working on a comedic novel called Born Hung Over, several short stories and some feature-length screenplays including a horror script called The Gorge, a comedy called Kidnapping the Groom and a screen version of Born Hung Over.