Boy Like an Angel


Once there was a beautiful boy with very long eyelashes and silver-blond hair. He stopped into the library one day while I was working at the circulation desk. I saw him appear, like an angel, through the rotating doors—so small, so fragile and light. Something in my heart leaped at the sight of this boy, though—do not mistake me—not in a lustful way. I’d given up romantic fervor long ago; my age was such that I now preferred the calm equilibrium of platonic love, of kindly affection unmixed with the frenzies of passion. So when I saw the boy, I ached with a love that erred more toward compassion than desire, and something about his delicate frame aroused a feeling of protectiveness in me. I watched carefully as the boy turned to the right and found a small blue chair in the corner, near the books on Natural History. He settled himself into the chair, cross-legged and compact, then dropped his hands to his lap and looked serenely ahead. He was carrying no bag, so far as I could tell, and he seemed uninterested in taking a book from the shelves. Indeed, he appeared more keen on imbuing his surroundings with the intensity of his gaze—his eyes were grey-blue and wonderfully round—and filling the room with his preternatural light.