Tuesday, 4 March 2008

The fine print.

If you've read here for a while, you'll know I am slow to warm up, hesitant to reveal, reluctant to let you in on things.

A lot of people want to know what Ben is really like, what he looks like, more about him in general. I didn't say much previously because I didn't want you to get swayed by his looks. People do that. Ben's a very striking, good-looking man.

Don't get me wrong, Handsomeness is sort of a shallow prerequisite in my world. Somehow it happened that I am surrounded by guys who turn more heads than I do. I wouldn't have it any other way. Maybe I just gravitate towards cute guys. Ben is no exception, though he is just about the polar opposite of any golden-haired viking preachers.

He is the perfect result of what would happen if someone mashed up Keanu Reeves and the young Jimmy Stewart in a blender, but bigger, throwing in a little Rivers Cuomo with his glasses on. More than 6'3", more than 180 lbs, maybe that's off a bit, weight-wise. Again, I fit under his arm. Physically intimidatingly large but somehow he pulls it off with an uncoordinated gangly appeal. Knees, elbows and an adam's apple so sharp they are of the unintentional wounding sort. Short dark brown (he says black) hair that I secretly think he spends hours messing up just right. Sometimes when he's in the mood we all get treated to a fauxhawk which looks ridiculous and suits him well.

The shape of his face is an angular heart. His eyes are a warm brown. Tiger-eye stones lodged furiously into his head, almost against their will. He has the cutest nose, it turns up just perfectly, his jaw is hard but not obvious and he has perfect skin and eyebrows. As in flawless. I am jealous.

He rarely wears flannel and instead leans toward a metal uniform of t-shirts puporting bands he likes. Lots of Nirvana, Tool, Zeppelin, pretty much a duplicate to the black jeans and band shirts Cole lived in. Giant hoodies. He doesn't give a shit about clothes. If they're clean, he puts them on and doesn't think about it any more than that. Well, sometimes he wears...skirts..there was this whole punk phase that just...well, nevermind. Then a goth phase that followed..oh geez.

He wears nailpolish. Black only. Pink if Ruthie gets to him. Fine, you know what? It's a thing, just let it go.

If he isn't smiling, he is possibly the scariest looking man in the universe, leaving you to resort to guessing if he is in a good mood or not. I've learned over the years that his 'concentrating' face would be everyone else's incredibly pissed-off face, leaving me to wonder how one person managed to get his facial expressions so incredibly messed up. His mad face? Frightening.

We have several matching tattoos and piercings. We recently found out Isabellas and Reverse Prince Alberts brought together are accidents waiting to happen. As are both parties in a kiss with pierced tongues. Possibly we can keep all our coordinating tattoos, though. Big B, little b, the kites, the snowflakes. Meanings that lie deeper than we'll share with the world. They are our connections, our bond.

His hands are always ice cold. Always. Never, ever warm.

He brings bagpipes and guitars on camping trips but will forget food and a tent. We've all learned to allow for this. He can charm anyone out of just about anything, but do it without you knowing exactly what just happened.

He shaves, sometimes twice a day. No sideburns, no chest hair, nothing. He has quizzed me extensively about permanent hair removal but the subsequent fear of pain keeps him from going through with any of it, though he let me wax his chest once. That was funny. He did my legs.

I know, this isn't a good picture is it? Boundaries are something we rarely seemed to have. Picture your favorite girlfriend. Now give her a penis. No, give her a big one! Okay, that's Ben.

He is awesome and he's good with a guitar and better with his voice though he rests it mostly, singing very little as he walks around.

He is Henry's idol, proving that of course even with a job and responsibilities one is capable of playing video games for hours each day.

Ben is forever stuck at eighteen, or maybe that's 25 for boys. Managing to have boatloads of fun, working not because he has to any more but because it keeps him out of trouble.

He was Cole's very best friend. He has a responsibility to me that he wore on behalf of Cole until Jacob was gone and now it continues. A protective one that simply watches out for us, instead of trying to suffocate us in emotional bubblewrap.

He is an alcoholic, just recently down from a meeting every day to once or twice a week now. He used to drink and heavily so. He did all his best writing with liquid creativity but will be an even better writer now that his head is clearing. He's cleaned up his act to prove a point and because he was in a slow spiral to ruin. He made a magnificent stab at running with Caleb's crowd, chasing hard drugs and enjoying the fuck out of it but not having an ounce of self-restraint coupled with an incredible fear of death brought him running back this way.

As did his incredibly tiny and afraid friend (me, haha) pointing out that he was a very scary drunk.

I am so proud of him, always proud to be his friend. Oh my God, over the years we have fought to the bitter death with tears and ultimatums and pleas to just smarten the fuck up, him over alcohol and girls and me over love and being tougher and not molding myself into the perfect image of the man I am with.

He has been with so many girls he lost track years ago. Literally names or not, memories of them or not. His phone used to ring constantly (sometimes it still does). He could line up three or four in a single night and did. Thankfully via his fears of all things that might harm him he always used protection and to this day is disease- and child-free. There were bets. He proved everyone wrong. Thank God.

Of course I worried about him. I'm happy he is smarter than he looks.

He's a happy, moody fellow. Every conversations ends in all manner of perversions, he is absolutely rated X just about all the time. He is the master of turning innocence into depravity but he is surprisingly kid-oriented as well. The children love Ben and always miss him when he isn't around. He wears that like a badge of honor. It keeps him going, to be loved unconditionally by them.

He suffers from depression, and now keeps himself up with a mild pill or two and private therapy also.

He keeps a day job just to keep from getting bored and plays hockey to keep from feeling old. His on-ice nickname is Bunny. Henry thought Ben's name was Bunny when he was a toddler, so they wound up sharing the nickname for a long time.

He lives for his night job.

He whines during yoga and refuses to run, instead cementing himself to the weight bench when he feels the urge. Ben seems to like nothing better in this world than jamming me into the crook of his armpit with his arm around me and falling asleep that way. He doesn't move when he sleeps, not an inch, and he hardly ever talks after around eleven at night.

He's an introvert, just like me. This is how he is able to come and just be, just spend time with me when I won't or don't talk. He has all kinds of places to go inside his head and never minds or finds it uncomfortable, those long silences. When he is ready to interact he'll start going through my pockets or my bag or drawers in the room. He is curious.

I always wished I could be like Ben. He is life personified in black and white, has a loose list of low-slung morals that won't budge, but somehow putting happiness and safety over everything else. He plays music all the time and smiles a lot now and wears the scars of character won gradually and in hard lessons. There is a character-chip in his front tooth from an accident. He has a big motorcycle and a bigger truck, the bike is black and the truck is white. He picked the white horse out at Nolan's too, which this time around brought forth jokes at our expense, Bridget's knight riding up on a white horse.

Yup. With his nail polish on.

He has a weakness for Big Macs and prime rib but will live on raisin bread if he must.

So there you go. You asked for it, that's about all I can tell you for now. The only other truly intriguing points are that he's an orphan, he and his brother forming a tight long distance circle most of the time. Maybe that gives him more insight into me than I give him credit for. We are so much alike it causes problems sometimes. Didn't I tell you once he was Bridget in male form? An enigma of swirling emotions, contradictions and beauty, too? Fucked up but tolerable?

Yes, I believe I did.