Photo by  Margot Pandone

Simon hated that he could not stare into the sun. He knew that no one could—not for long, at least—but he abhorred the fact of his own weakness.

The white of a noonday sun, the way it washed away the raging, reaching blue—it seemed the most pure thing in the world. When Simon saw it in photographs, the men or women tilted their heads sideways, away of the glare, he couldn’t bear to look at anything else. The green of the trees, the blue of his lover’s jean jacket—nothing seemed as right to him as the white of the sun; nothing seemed as true.

Simon wished he could stare into the sun and disappear into it the way that Abner had. He wished his lips would melt away into the abyss of white like Abner’s smile was, right here—still—in this photograph he pinched between this thumb and forefinger. Simon wished that he could be as cool as that kid for just one second of his life.

But he couldn’t. Even with the enormous sunglasses that Abner had bequeathed to him, he had to turn away at the last second. He always flinched at the pure, the true.

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