"The Grindstone" - Mr. Beller's Neighborhood

…I cleaned myself and put lipstick on my mouth, because you were older and because SoHo sounded glamorous. It wasn’t a woman’s lipstick, it wasn’t plum or wine, it didn’t say, fuck off. It was a girl’s lipstick, cerise or magenta or something like that, but it was the only one I had, besides a tinted Burt’s Bees chapstick. It had come free with the rosewater toner the woman in Sephora sold me to ward off wrinkles, when she said that twenty-five was actually quite old to start prevention. I painted my lips and shook down all that hair I used to have, checking myself in the over-the-door Ikea mirror I’d brought down from Boston…

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