"You do have these strange habits - playing with wax, eating paper -"
"Yes". There is a pause as he considers this. Feigned gravity is one of his specialist subjects. "I can get away with it because I'm pretty".
Though we are several drinks into the evening I recognise even now that this is not merely ironic. There is a knowingness here, a knowingness that makes me exhale sharply.
He decides to elaborate.
"If that guy over there did it, it would be weird. If I do it, it's quirky".
I look at the unknowing guy, dragged into our conversation and ruthlessly forced to stand in comparison to the man across from me.
I nod. It is true. I wonder how many times he has been told this. I briefly consider telling him that I saw his double at work the other day, or at least how he would look if he were taller, and a bit thinner, with slightly neater hair and with less of a penchant for everything that goes with his lifestyle.
But, of course, I do not. For he is not incorrect. He is undeniably pretty. At times beautiful. And I suspect that it is written across my face that I think so.
"It's all about genetics".