What Makes You Beautiful

Tara has a dream, you see, to make people feel exactly what she’s feeling for just one moment… Who is Tara, you ask? Well, let me explain.

She has this dream that she could touch someone, someone who she wants to be completely in tune with, and they would completely comprehend her down to the last finger tremble and goose pimple. One might think, “that happens all the time, with good friends or family,” but I assure you, it’s the most impossible thing to happen since the Big Bang or reversing entropy.

Consider this: your hand brushes a soft, microfiber blanket as you walk by a display in a department store. No matter who you are, unless you’re a fair-skinned princess like in the fairy tales, you will likely agree that the blanket is very soft, and 73.6% of the people that feel it will smile, and 96.2% of the smilers will say, “That was the softest thing I’ve ever touched.” 92.4% of the non-smilers will agree.

Of the smiling group, one person will remember a blanket from when they were very young, perhaps nicknamed “blankie” or “bankie” or some sort of endearing term like that. That blanket was the softest blanket they can ever remember touching, and this department store blanket is reminiscent of it, but not quite there. Still, nostalgia hits and they are suddenly watching Barney on TV, feet dangling well above the floor, Cap’n Crunch filling their cereal bowls on a Saturday morning. One person will think of the scratchy blanket their grandmother made for them so long ago. While it wasn’t a pleasant feeling, the fact that their mommom or gammy made it caused the blanket to embody what it is to be soft and tender, and the softness of this “softest thing ever touched” is but a metaphor of that feeling. Still another person felt a blanket a couple feet away and turned, seeing this display. The blanket they had previously touched paled in comparison, and in their short-term-memory-loss perspective, this became the softest thing they’ve ever touched… in the last five minutes. The last two smilers imagined something completely different. One of them though, “I could take this blanket and make it into a toy for children, or even my own new baby nephew.” The other thought, “I could take this blanket and make it into a profit by marking it up a good 20% and selling it at my (insert name of business that could sell blankets).” All of them had a reason to smile. Some because it made them nostalgic, some because they just really want a good blanket, and some because they wanted to make something with it.

Now, we cannot glaze over the 26.4% that remain who did not smile. They, perhaps, are even more important than the smilers. Let’s say there are three of them. One touched the blanket and thought, “That thing would never make it through a wash cycle.” The second, “My last (significant other/boyfriend/girlfriend) gave me something remotely like that once, just before we broke up.” Finally, the third thought, “What an indulgent, decadent luxury. For that price, I could buy ten blankets of slightly lesser quality and give them to homeless people who simply need to stay warm.”

I don’t mean to sound so scientific. This, to me, has the voice of a psychologist researcher writing a textbook, and I apologize for that. Read between the lines!

Everyone bases every thought on not just their experiences, but also the way they are wired. You could take two nearly identical people who have lived identical lives and experiences, and in this one moment, they may differentiate because one has a single ounce more of nostalgia, penny-pinching, or memory that the other person doesn’t have, and suddenly there’s a cataclysmic change in how they think or react.

My friends, how beautiful it is that Tara has this dream! Because, what she wants more than anything else in the whole world, she desires for someone to know her wholly in every way, to have experienced all she has experienced and be programmed to sense it in the same exact way and to process those senses in a manner identical to her own. In short, she wants someone who will inhabit her and be exactly one with her.

And to think, I was going to write about one’s reaction to a sunset…

That would literally take a novel.

My friends, you are all novels of complications, and that makes the world beautiful.

And that makes you beautiful.

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Michelle builds starships.

Sharing my story through a science fiction blog.

Paola Trimarco

Writer and Linguist


"I saw the Angel in the marble, and carved until I set him free"

Jo Writes Fantasy

Born in Poland | Living in Texas Now | Hype

Way Too Fantasy

Speculative fiction book reviews and more!

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