Unexpected Developments

Past Imperfect – #551

Carole was a bit troubled.

That last things she could firmly recall in the fevered menagerie of her mind was that she had spent a quiet evening at home, enjoying a bit of stir-fry based on a recipe a neighbor had handed her during one of those awkward moments when over-zealous neighbors knock on your door and misunderstand personal boundaries. She had then read a few chapters of Virginia Woolf, because such things happen when you don’t have a respectable itinerary for a Saturday night. Lastly, she had retired to her slumber chamber after a brisk but regular facial scrub involving apricot kernels and a dash of minced habanero peppers.

Carole woke up at 3am. Such a development was not something she had envisioned, especially when balanced against the shockingly-dubious amount of vodka she had swilled during the stir-frying and the Virginia-reading and the face-scrubbing. (If you open the bottle, you might as well finish it, right? It seemed like an appropriate thing to do. Just ask Joan Crawford.)

Carole’s immediate thought upon waking was that she should simply ignore this rude nocturnal interference that had disrupted her dream of being anointed queen of a medium-sized country wherein everyone basically got along and other countries didn’t bother to invade. Monarchs always have a much better chance at remaining monarchs when no one gets an attitude about anything. (Just ask the Romanovs.)

Sadly, Carole was unable to free her soul and drift away, so she tossed and turned a bit. During one of the turnings, she suddenly realized that she was wearing high-end couture rather than the standard, worn-out flannel nightgown she typically sported on those nights when Virginia Woolf was her only companion. What on earth? This was entirely absurd, and not in the fun way that things are absurd when they happen to other people.

Carole leapt out of bed (or rather, she awkwardly lunged out of said bed, because high-end couture is a heavy pain in the ass if you ever find yourself horizontal without taking it off) and marched toward her bedroom door. Just before she grasped the doorknob, something in her peripheral vision seemed a tad off kilter. She turned toward her bathroom for further study, and she spied the tube of facial scrub tossed carelessly on her otherwise exquisitely-organized vanity. (Have we mentioned vodka? Disarray is often a byproduct of consumption.)

Carole picked up the tube, which seemed to be mildly vibrating, in that odd way that things feel after one has passed out in high-end couture. Squinting, she flipped the tube over and perused the fine print that no one ever really reads, regardless of vodka intake. Our stupid lawyers are making us include this stupid warning that the combination of apricot kernels and minced habanero peppers can cause some people to believe they are world-famous concert pianists and compel them to give an impromptu performance in their living room whilst wearing heavy-ass couture.

Carole breathed a sigh of relief (life is so much easier when you can blame your inappropriate behavior on chemistry rather than personal choices), promptly threw the tube in her exquisitely-bejeweled trashcan, and went back to bed. Unfortunately, she had not bothered to read the rest of the warning. And in certain cases, people who have been swilling vodka for no respectable reason might have additional visions concerning deceased authors coming back to life. Perhaps we should not have used so many environmentally-hazardous chemicals in our skin-care products just because legislative loopholes allow us to do so.

Three minutes later, the Virginia Woolf tome on Carole’s nightstand flipped open and began to read aloud a passage from page 42.

Carole’s eyes blinked awake once again.

It was going to be a long night…

 

13 replies »

    • Right at this particular moment, I would greatly relish one of my Anne Tyler books flipping open and soothing me to sleep. This opinion will change within hours, but right now, that’s where I’m at… 😉

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  1. I KNOW I’ve read this one, not sure why I didn’t comment then, but at last a possibly appropriate comment has blossomed. Haute couture at that level (which I’ve never even pretended to achieve), stays up by some largely misunderstood maneuvering and can abruptly fall down, revealing things some women would rather have stay hidden. I’ve heard mention of duct tape, cleverly disguised industrial strength undergarments of the bra kind, double sided sticky implements and glue as devices used to keep the strapless bodice in place. Still, moving about without careful consideration of enthusiasm levels, obstacles in one’s way, and flying insects is a risky proposition. Best to stay seated, picturesquely, while one daintly imbibes vodka (and that stuff comes in FLAVORS now too!) and reads from one’s favored novelists, such as Ms. Woolf. From the comments to this episode of P.I., I think I’m glad I never indulged. H.P. Lovecraft and Stephen King gave me enough fodder for nightmares to last until (and perhaps after) I’m dead. But now I can add pointy, sequined gowns to my monster roster…

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    • Not to steal the focus of your lovely and thoughtful comment, but what you have just described, with the exertions and compromises, perfectly captures what drag queens go through every day. Now, on to more mundane matters, I think I do remember you commenting on this, but now I don’t see your bon mots. What the hell is wrong with WordPress? Damn the fools… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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