His eyes are weak, so he doesn’t go out during the day.
Or if he does it’s with sunglasses on, big things that seal his eyes off, reflect the world.
He grows hair unnaturally fast — its congenital, a quirk of birth — he has to shave three times a day.
Even then he’s brutish, stubbled, uncouth.
With the glasses he looks permanently hungover, but at least he can pass.
More or less.
He doesn’t go out for a week, just stays home and watches the moon rise over the apartments next door.
Drinking cheap red wine that tastes like rubbing alcohol and gives him headaches.
In the grey mornings he writes on the walls, rubbing a stub of a pencil over the plaster.
His apartment fills up with words, with sketches of the world outside, with self-portraits.
When he runs out of wine the hair has covered his face again, long and silky.
When he moves it sways along, just a beat behind.
It’s raining, so he doesn’t bother to shave, just wraps himself up against the weather.
What does he care, anyway?
He goes out for more wine, for cigarettes, for white bread and peanut butter.
On the bus he thinks of the books he’s read and the movies he’s seen.
Songs he’s heard.
In the store he’s gone to for ten years they don’t recognize him.
“Thank you, sir,” says the cashier, and a rail-thin boy offers to carry his bags for him.