"I turned to him—he was focused on me, yet somehow away, as well. He almost looked as if he was somewhere else, a place entirely different from this early morning rooftop. His face was benign and pensive, almost beatific, it’s contours softened yet by the golden morning light slanting in rods through the cracks in the clouds. The light caught the planes of his eyes, hitting the flecks and pools of brown, making them flicker like a lighted chalice. I had never noticed how truly handsome he was until this moment—the patches of gray above his temples now seemed singular and familiar, the notch in his brow unique and profound. And perhaps others wouldn’t find him to be so wonderful. They might think his smile crooked, his nose lopsided, his hair messy and his bumbling, endearing awkwardness rather off-putting. But I didn’t care. I suddenly realized how irreplaceable, how rare and matchless he was, and it filled me with a sudden bittersweet sadness that I could not trace nor explain.
—Paper Stars, pg. 217
face and style study of Benjamin Jastrow
art, character (c) me