you know when someone asks you what’s your favourite book and straight away you forget every single book that you’ve ever read?

Body Image

Cecil is tall and pale and you can see the bones under his skin. All of his bones, not just the thin push of his wrists and collarbones but the shadow of his femur, the swoop of his scapula pushing into his back. He has eyes that are blue like glass is blue. 

Or he does not have eyes at all, and the pits seep black when he watches commercials about limping puppies and kittens who need loving homes. Someday, he thinks, he will adopt a kitten. If it can be trusted not to drink the liquid from his eyes. Khoshekh licked his cheek once. It went badly.

Cecil is tall and pale or he is not. He is dark-skinned, darker than Carlos, darker than anyone in town, and still tall but lithe rather than bone-shaped. The only bones you can see through his skin are the ones you could see through any man’s skin who sometimes forgets to eat. But they do not move quite the way that bones should. His eyes are perfectly normal and he returns each year from his ophthalmologist appointment with a spotless record and carefully marks off on the calender when his next appointment will be. The dentist sends him a yearly reminder card to never make another appointment, please, and a handwritten note that repeats the same thing.

Cecil is lithe and dark or, Cecil carries what his doctor has tried several times to tell him is a bit more weight than a man of his height should, and what he has told his doctor several times is the weight he has always carried. The doctor shakes his head, and offers X-rays again. “No,” says Cecil, thoughtfully looking down at the feet he cannot quite see over the soft curve of his chest sloping into belly. “There are some things, Doctor, we do not need to see.” Everyone he knows describes him as “good-looking” and everyone he meets after this description is disappointed and, later, is not sure why they were ever disappointed. When asked to give specifics, his loved  ones are vague. Brown hair. Skin…definitely, he has skin. His parents in particular are very sure of this. Cecil is quite sure as well. Several of his tattoos, after all, are there specifically to keep the skin in place. It fits better every year, with every ring he adds to the tattoo below his left shoulder blade.

Cecil is pale or (and) dark and (or) thin or (and) heavy. Even Cecil is not entirely sure, sometimes, which of these things are true. After all, his body is hardly relevant. Cecil is a radio personality. 


elementary canon quotes:

“Winwood Reade is good upon the subject,” said Holmes. “He remarks that, while the individual man is an insoluble puzzle, in the aggregate he becomes a mathematical certainty. You can, for example, never foretell what any one man will do, but you can say with precision what an average number will be up to. Individuals vary, but percentages remain constant. So says the statistician.“

                                                                    The Sign of the Four