I’m known at this point for wearing lipstick. It’s like a calling card. Before Covid, I wore liquid lipstick and regular lipstick but masks have made it so I only go out in industrial strength liquid lipstick that won’t come off for 24 hours…mostly. It’s potent stuff.
There are three lipstick moments that are tiny but map the progression of ongoing things in microcosm:
The first was a summer night of indiscretion that involved making out on Crown Heights sidewalks. Making out will take lipstick off, no matter how strong. And it had transferred onto his face. It was dark out but I noticed it and instinctually licked my thumb and tried to rub it off his chin. Unintentional intimacy but maybe a little too motherly.
The second, a month later, was when we’d gone out, again in Crown Heights, and gotten a bite and the new lipstick I had tried for the first time smudged on my face and I didn’t notice until I’d gotten home. When I mentioned it, he said he wasn’t the type to notice such things. Oh. Great. My whole face. But don’t worry. It’s nothing to notice.
The third, two months later, was when we were at my apartment and I had just applied lipstick, not noticing it was on my teeth. He did though, told me, and moved towards me to rub it off with his thumb. I ducked his hand and turned around. Why? Because it was too intimate a touch at that point and, also, there was someone else in the room. For some reason I didn’t want to be touched. But it was nice that he noticed enough to try.
And that’s pretty much all there is to tell.