A short fiction about music, love and embarrassment
She always got a frisson of shock when she saw him in photos. His hair, straggly at the forehead; the small eyes buried in a nest of wrinkles; the unmistakeable tautness of T-shirts, crinkling at the chest and smoothly tense over the hillock of a Weebly belly. Once, she recognised him instantly from behind online, untagged in someone else’s Facebook snap. With a sudden rush of shame, she recognised the shiny bald patch, so ridiculously monastic, as if he were a character in an Umberto Eco novel, some sexless monk giggling over a parchment. In the picture, the dark wetness beneath his armpits was staining his too-tight shirt—a purchase in which optimism had clearly won out over realistic self-perception.