Hair. Strands of protein cascading from the skull to protect the brain from outside temperatures. A piece of hair shone in my ale, reflecting even the dimmest of lights in the room. The blue-tinted light in here showed on everyone's hair but mine. I have no hair. I shave my head once every three days, leaving no traces of the protein strands. Nothing to protect my brain from the impending cold. Nothing to touch while you're kissing me.

This is so wrong. I don't know why I feel so imaginary, so conceived. Maybe it's the alcohol. Maybe it's God. Maybe it's her hair. I watch her dance with this man. This man that I know can't see her. She dances with this guy like he cares about her, like he cares about her opinions, about her feelings. And it's not even because I'm jealous. Because I know I am. I want her back in my arms. I love her very much.

But that's not the point. The point is that I honestly don't think she will ever find someone that appreciates her like I did. Someone that sees her. And her beautiful hair. Don't get me wrong, she is beautiful, but that's not why I loved her. And that's why our love was so pure. I don't find myself particularly unattractive. I could get a girl if I wanted. I'm not desperate. Maybe I could even get another like her, even though it wouldn't quite be her. It'd be a little different.

But that's not the point. The point is that we're equally attractive, so it wasn't an issue. We're equally intelligent. That wasn't an issue. We were equals and I loved her, but she wanted something else that I obviously couldn't provide for her. Or her family wanted something else that I couldn't provide for her. Or somebody wanted something else that nobody could provide for her and I just got screwed. Any way, I'm here, being bald, sipping my ale that tastes kind of like urine. Or maybe it's the alcohol that tastes like urine. Or God. Or her hair.

And now there she is, trying out this new guy that's even further from being the one than I was. And I was pretty damn close. When they break up, he'll see the past few months as wasted moments of his precious life. But not with me. The years that we were together weren't a waste of my time. I loved every minute. And that's what makes my love pure.

I watched her sort of. What I mean by sort of is glancing at her every now and then, taking in her unconventional beauty that wasn't mine to share. Glancing in between sipping my ale that tastes like urine and feeling imaginary and alone. That's how my life is tonight and I certainly hope it's a little different tomorrow. I get up and walk outside, away from the fancy party, away from the beautiful redhead in the glittery blue dress that made her look like royalty, away from the cheap wine glasses, away from the ale that tastes like urine. I leave this to stand outside in an alley to smoke a cigarette. A death stick, as she used to call them.

I looked up at the stars. As much as I miss her, the stars are still very pretty and sparkly. As much as everything down here looks so bleak and miserable, so grey and damp, those stars keep burning and exploding and forming and all those star functions that astrologists seem so wound up in. Maybe I'll be a star. I'll keep functioning despite all the millions of creatures' hardships and despairs. And people will look at me in awe and wonder and they'll take pictures and study and be inspired by me.

The door opens to my right, down the wall a bit. Out comes the beautiful girl with red hair, holding an ale. As she approaches, I see that it's the same ale that was on my table. The ale with the hair in it. The ale that tastes like urine. She sips it and hands it to me, smiling. Smiling. She's really in it up to her elbows and she's smiling at me. What a star. And in her glittering dress, she really was.

"Hey," she says. She leans on the wall beside me, looking up at the stars. After a moment, I can feel her eyes on me. I stare up. She says to me, "You don't want to leave."

And of course, I really don't. She reaches across my body and takes my left hand with her right. She tilts my head down, level with hers, and kisses me, just how she used to. Not a sympathy kiss, not an "I'm sorry, here's one more kiss before I go" kiss like in the sad movies. It's not a "welcome back" kiss either. But it is real. It's more of a "remember this" kiss. I remember. And now I don't want to be a star anymore. I just want to kiss her and appreciate her.

When we part, I tell her, "I appreciate you."

And she just stares at me, but I know she understands. And then she turns and walks back in the building, clutching my ale. All I can do is smile, really, even though the aftertaste of the ale makes my breath taste like urine. I peel a piece of her hair off my shoulder and carry it home with me to place with the rest of them.