"Your hair looks really beautiful like that," he says, glowing with what's not been offered; I turn and half-smile at him ruefully and well acquainted with the way this makes me feel– resplendent in my lack of gratitude for what is no doubt well-meant, and I have been raised to count as the highest praise in the land. We are sitting on the edge of the water, where one comes solely (I feel) to say such things repeatedly as if they matter, but in one's head where they might not embarrass one as much as I am now. "It is so beautiful–!" a fair but falling-short response to the ethereal nature of light on the water; of water on the air around it catching breaths and lending pause to the endless frenetic pace of living like you might not be so beautiful after all, in dull comparison, but somehow in seeing are invited, here, to join it. "It's funny," I start in (gently, of course) to make a point I've long been honing– "Those words don't mean quite what you want them to, when really– "Don't you find that beauty acts as if a veil between its object and desire–?" I let the moment land a little longer before adding: "I have been meaning myself (and for so long) to be seen as merely beautiful only to find it does not lead to what one might hope, which is to be "Beloved, or; "Intriguing, where "What is beautiful is interesting; to be protected in its right to be beheld– "What I want is to be appreciated when what instead occurs is "Envy, lust and even awe." He knows these words condemn him, here and so we agree not to say them anymore– his mouth is moving but I cannot hear over the sadness in us both in knowing it is not me he wants, covets or mourns as any loss.