The Girl With The Eyes of Liquid Smoke

MDJ Says: I don’t open myself up very often. Honestly, I get embarrassed about the softer, emotional side of me. Which is why generally, I put up an asshole-ish, attempting-to-be-funny front – my whole “MDJ Superstar” schtick, basically.

But I believe in the power of raw honesty and emotion. Here’s a little piece I wrote early on in mine and Zee’s relationship, to tell her how much she was changing me for the better. I hope you like it. It isn’t very funny. But it’s honest.

And sometimes, that’s good enough.


Once upon a time, there lived a little Superstar.

He was not a particularly handsome, talented, or wealthy Superstar. In fact, as far as Superstars go, he probably fell on the lower end of the spectrum – cute enough but not heart-stoppingly so, amusing enough but not outright funny, pleasant enough but not distinguishedly sweet. He was an intersection of kind-of’s and sort-of’s, a nondescript middle ground halfway down the highway to superlative.

He was gifted with one special gift though: an ego as robust and swollen as a ripe watermelon slightly past its prime. He carried himself with a swagger, determined to achieve through sheer force of character what he could not achieve through more overt physical charms. That was all he had, after all, but it was something he carried in spades: a shamelessly invincible sense of self-worth that allowed him to steamroll people into believing he was, in fact, Super.

What people did not realize was that hidden behind the bluster and bravado of his Superstar nom-de-plume, was the soul of a tiny, scared, insecure little boy, closer to the emotional fortitude of a 6-year-old than his 29 year-old physique, with strapping 18-inch biceps and scruffy biker’s goatee, would suggest.

He was scared.

He was fake.

And he was lonely.

And then, one day, this Superstar met a Girl.

This Girl had eyes that seemed to be woven of liquid smoke, deeply entrancing and heavy with both mystery and promise. She had a way of gazing into the eyes of the Superstar, and stripping away the layers of swagger and bluster he had painstakingly forged for himself through years of shame and insecurity.

“Be true to yourself, Superstar,” she would whisper. “Be the man you know yourself to sincerely be.”

And just like that, she stirred a yearning within the trembling fraud Superstar. “I will be honest,” he whispered back. “For you, I will be true.”

And into the sunlight, the Superstar stepped. “It’s better to be true-per than Super,” he chuckled to himself, shaking his head slyly over his clumsy pun. Away came the swagger. Away dropped the fraud. Away fell the desire to impress with façade.

And the Superstar swore to the Girl With The Eyes of Liquid Smoke that he would no longer be selfish and self-centered and aloof and withdrawn. He would look outwards with her, accept the beauty of a world embroidered with love, and embrace a life of Spice Girls-inspired “2 Become 1”-ness.

And he knew that beside her was where he wanted to be. Beside her was where he was the happiest. Beside her was where he could learn to be brave and strong and true.

Beside her was where he was made to be.

Beside the Girl With The Eyes of Liquid Smoke.



This very rugged, macho article calls for a box of Kleenex Tissues. Share the Softness, my ass. This is totally manly!


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