You lie on a wrinkled sheet in a nondescript room. The blinds have seen better days and filter through chunks of daylight through missing slats. You light a cigarette even though he detests your habit. He’s begged and pleaded with you to give it up but you resolutely object to his requests. Nicotine is what your veins need, that along with half-a-bottle-a-day habit of Champagne. For the rest you are adaptable. You live in a dump, although your mind is fixed on a set of objectives which never really altered since childhood.

“You know…”
You let the last word hang whilst zooming in on that crumbling blind.

“…there is a vast difference between Pretty and that of Beautiful.”

You feel his stare but instead you take another drag and continue gazing from your vantage point.

“It’s a state of mind.” he retorts

“No. That it is not.” you counter, oblivious if you are hurting his feelings with your abrupt retaliation.

“Pretty is a quality that is pleasing to the eye. Charming, delightful…it is perfect in many ways, but lack depths.”

You stub out the fag before continuing.

“Beautiful on the other hand is alluring, possessing. It often pretends to be pretty. A neoclassical facade that now has ended up on the wrong side of town. In the darkness it looks as ever so pretty as centuries ago, but step a little closer and you’ll discover it is now used as a pissoir to the drunken plebs that stalk the alley at night. Beautiful is the over-amorous couple who couple against the building’s sidewall, not even taking notice to the graffiti-covered sidewall that now provides for improvised support. Now that is beautiful.”

He scans you, yet remains silent. You see it as a queue to finish off the story.

“You see I want my house to be pretty, my clothes to be pretty, even my perfumes….well some. Coming to think of it they unequivocally belong to the ranks of the Beautiful. As for the rest I only desire Beauty.”