Beautiful things are those that please when seen.
-- St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica
She'd caught him looking, and Joe didn't hesitate. He hopped off the wall, into the cedar shavings, and materialized in front of her on the sidewalk.
"Would you believe me if I told you a story?" Joe asked, smiling, as she stopped her stride and didn't bump into him. She didn't jump, or appear scared, like some of the girls Joe had approached in the same way. A good sign.
"Believe you? . . . what story?" she stammered, a bit bewildered by Joe's interruption into her life.
"A fairy tale, almost," Joe began, not stopping once she seemed to listen. "About a guy seeing a girl that he knows nothing about, yet he tells her she is one of the few, rare, beautiful creatures in the world. He asks for nothing in return; all he wants to do is tell her that, because to him it is true."
The girl laughed, her eyes filled with something, perhaps that funny flattered feeling you can get in your stomach. "Okay, I like your story," she said. "I don’t know what else to say. Thank you."
"You’re welcome," Joe said, bowing, and a few seconds later was back on the wall of the library steps. The girl walked way, shaking her pretty head. Her legs, a creamy, light tan color, slid sleek and beautiful up inside the denim of her shorts.
From the back pocket of his own jean cutoffs he took a pen and a cheap, red notebook. He flipped through pages of blue scrawl until he found space to write. His words described everything he could remember: her black, somewhat curly shoulder length hair, her eyes, her breasts raising her T-shirt away from her chest. Joe took some time describing the way her arms swung as she walked, the way she tilted her head when she had smiled. Movement was a key attribute for a lovegirl.
Joe’s story touches upon the something-about-her that can be found in certain women; an innocent quality of beauty that is observable but cannot be defined, except by metaphor or poetry.
I like Joe’s word for this. Lovegirl. It has a simple meaning, breathing beauty and youth, femaleness and wonderment, and a tinge of love.
So why even define such a thing? Some people might look at Joe’s story and only see a male doing girl-watching, and miss why he watches and why experiencing a lovegirl is much different than just watching someone for their sexual attractiveness
* Joe’s red notebook, February 26 *
sleek legflesh, wild eyes
clean skin, freckles that would taste like chocolate
body curled tight to the floor, knees below,
chest and arms hugging legs tight,
head resting with forehead touching,
just beyond the knees.
The reaction when first seeing a lovegirl can feel like falling, like skydiving, like jumping from a high cliff into clear, deep water. There is that rush that sears up from your center, into your lungs, flies up at your head and stays there, tingling. Sometimes it can be strong enough that you worry about falling over.
This is what it means to say there is something-about-her.
Occasionally the feeling is better if you never meet them. The frustration of not meeting can be exhilarating. When you actually meet there is a chance for the mirage to be broken, for it to vanish like sand through your fingers.
* Joe’s notebook, March 2, early *
First sighting, almost.
Lovely, but not perfect.
There is something almost vampirish in the going about imaginatively sucking off the sweets of girls and things just to fill one’s mind with beauty.
And it can go the other way. Instead of feeding on a woman’s beauty, it is possible that she may feed on a person’s heart, absorbing that person’s desire and will.
As I listened to "Valerie Loves Me" (by Material Issue) today it came to me; there is almost always a desperation associated with a lovegirl. Whether this desperation is a product of some terrible beauty they have I am not sure. But I know a fear exists, subtle, whenever in the presence of a lovegirl. And it is a fear that can lead to desperation. Can this be avoided?
* Joe’s notebook, summer *There is refinement and vulgarity at once in the truly beautiful, organization and chaos, uniqueness and sameness, wildness and placidity.
elbow kissing and bubbles that wander into my mouth, lie upon my tongue, and then spill down my throat, certain gifts of story yearning to describe answers to conflict, perhaps no answers needed, just young innocence . . .
. . . but what makes the edge, the quirkiness? aaahh, smooth-skinned legs kicking water swish, swish.
We value beauty highly because it gives us pleasure, often of a kind that unites intellect and heart in one. The thrill at the encounter with any kind of beauty, personal or not, has mystery and grandeur; the knowledge that we share this moment potentially with all who are human is a powerful force uniting the species, a force that, paradoxically (given how beauty can be divisive), brings us all together for an instant. Yes, beauty can be a cause for anger, envy, despondency; it can perhaps drive people to desperate acts. But that danger is more than outweighed by the blessings beauty brings in it train: the exhalation and pleasure, the sense of unity, the warmth kindled in the heart by the sight of someone beautiful, which makes the observer, for a moment’s time, more human and more aware of the privileges and responsibilities of being human, encouraging good deeds, kind acts. Without beauty, or without the capability to love it, we would be isolated and sad in a world that is blank and unfeeling. It is a good part of what stands between us and savagery.
* Joe’s notebook, March 4, afternoon *The simple phenomenon of a lovegirl doesn’t touch upon who the lovegirl may be as a human being. It is more natural than that. Lovegirls just are, and the attributes they have exist outside of who they may be as a person (though it does have an effect).
Saw a true lovegirl today. Lovegirl defined in image, movement, way of holding herself. True beauty, all through the eyes, though nothing else is known. Does this mean something? Or does it cheapen a person to see them and know only what you perceive and appreciate this simple yet very complex thing?
I don't think so. I believe a lovegirl can be, can exist, on her own. Denying the rush beauty gives is a tragedy. The feeling is there, very human, very alive. I think it can be found outside of any attachment. Experiencing beauty in passing, not trying to possess, brings a wonder, a surge of possibility, and a belief in such things like god.
*Joe’s notebook, March 8, about 5 pm*The wonder, or the innocence of a lovegirl can be found in the momentary beauty of a stranger you may never meet. A lovegirl can also be someone you know. Either way, it is a natural thing, and recognizable. It is beauty, saying hello. It feels good, and if you don’t push it, that is all you need.
blue and white flannel shirt with a hole in the right side of its back, just at the spot her backside begins to curve nipples form just lightly in the flannel, along with her smiles and subtle movement
she’s helping out street girls, friend or not kind of mystical watching, the music, everything, Led Zeppelin, something else
*Joe’s notebook, March 10, (a lovegirl seen in Amer’s Deli)*
blue, blue, sky blue eyes
young, curved, smile and alive
wow. I think it is the smile and the eyes
dripping with unknowable madness,
the birthing of beauty,
that is there and too true
and really isn't the same
as the others in the room
true lovegirls contain
a rare thing
it is not only their attractiveness;
it is a spark of something else.