My partner calls me attractive, but the mirror shows varnish barely covering a rotting carcass. Like decaying wood, spewing black fetid tar, with splashes of paint dabbed all over it. I have accepted that what she sees is not what I see, but I still want to scream at her to find someone better. Stop wasting your time on me, you are not that young anymore, go find yourself someone that's not ugly, not damaged. Be free, be happy, but it won't help, she would stay anyway.

She tells me I have admirers, women who find me attractive the same way she does, people that cannot see beyond the polished surface and I feel embarrassed on their behalf. So blinded by their passion that it hides the smell of my putrid wounds, so emboldened by their desire that they dare speak their desire out loud to her.

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