Denver, present day
Errol Gordot is staring at me from behind my laptop screen, his almond eyes fixed to stare into the reaches of my soul. They’ve put him in the shadows but there’s a green light glancing off a cheekbone, sharp enough to cut diamond. I can’t look away.
He’s glaring at me from behind a Netflix banner, the one that auto-plays the trailer to his new movie if you stay on it too long. I’ve seen it five times already. It’s the first thing you see when you log in, so he’s staring at 100 million other people too. None of them are really seeing him though. Not like I am. Not enough to know that look, which means: I’m thinking, but not about you. A soft heat glows against my knuckles when I reach out.
I graze against his brow and press too hard on the screen, smudging an arc of color under my thumb. I toss my fingers into the tangle of chestnut hair that gets stiff when he uses too much product and pillowy soft when it dries right out of the shower. My finger snakes its way past the birthmark that plots a point on the axis of his green cheekbone, and onto the tiny dimple on his chin, the one that folds up when he smiles and slits to his lip when he frowns.
He feels close enough to touch, and it reminds me of all the times we actually did. I remember when I could have touched him every day if I wanted. It’s hard to imagine but we were friends once—good friends. There was even a brief period, a hiccup in time, where I would have called him my best friend. Maybe my only friend. You don’t spend an entire summer with someone you don’t really like, right?
But that was six years ago. That was before the movies and the money and the fame and the pretty little girlfriend with red carpet hair and a daisy chain tattoo wrapped around her ankle. Before he changed his number and moved to the Hollywood Hills. Before he stopped posting to Facebook and deleted our one Instagram picture together. Before he cut me out.
We were close once, but six years is a long time. That was then and he’s moved on.
Now he’s just pixels on a screen.
2 thoughts on “cutback: one”
He might be pixels on a screen, but I wager he still remembers his erstwhile friend!