Beauty Incarnate

Beauty is not having to answer to anyone, I thought.

Beauty is freedom from criticism, freedom from constraint. Beauty is timelessness.

If this is true, I must be the most beautiful woman that ever lived.

Beauty is standing out from the surroundings. I was doing that quite well.

Beauty is hard work, but must appear effortless. That sounds about right.

I walked down the runway in silence. No flashes, no applause, no gasps. I stumbled and fell. No response.

I screamed. No echo. I cried. Nobody came to help. I ripped off the ridiculous shoes and threw them at the cameras. They bounced off with a hollow sound and lay there glittering dully.

I ran to the bathroom. Washed my face. Cried some more.

I can’t stand how beautiful I am, I thought.

I grabbed my backpack and pulled on my boots.

Beautiful in hiking boots and a designer dress smeared with tear-melted makeup.

I clomped sullenly to the parking lot and looked at my reflection in a windshield.

Beautiful, as only the last human alive can be.

View this story's 10 comments.