I have a boyfriend.
We met at a barbecue the weekend before last, at the end of the Indian summer weather.
I'm not sure of his real name; people call him Dude.
He has had a hard life - rejected by his family, fostered and subsequently adopted in early childhood. Perhaps because of that early rejection he is hard to get to know...rough, self-sufficient, uncommunicative, somewhat remote.
I think affection comes hard to him, but I believe he has a noble spirit and an endearing vulnerability which tugs at the heartstrings.
Not everyone would find him handsome. But in love, it is the peculiarities that attract, not the perfections. His lower jaw is strangely malformed, as if it doesn't belong to him, so that his lips never close over a perpetual smile. This may be inherited or a product of early neglect, but he is self-conscious about it and I haven't asked. His hirsuteness is strange to me too, but he has all his own hair, his breath is sweet, and he runs like the wind. There is natural grace in his stride, and an irreverent gleam in his eye which is full of promise.
It may have been the wine, or the red glow of the sunset, or the music, but as we relaxed together on a bench in the embers of the evening our eyes met in mutual recognition, and he stretched out beside me and laid his head in my lap, and somehow I knew that it was right. That whatever people might think or say, whatever society's mores and expectations, there was a beauty in this relationship which dare not speak its name.