Sunday, October 31, 2010




“How many unoriginal girls does it take to screw in a light bulb?”
“I don’t know. How many?
“None. Unless an original girl is doing it first then there will be no one to copy.”

Your whole life they’ll tell you to be true to yourself. Follow your heart. Do what makes you happy. What if what makes you happy is being just like the other girl next to you and the one next to her and the one next to her? What if it’s never enough just to be yourself? Then what?

Alex sits next to me as the girls all stumble down the line. The imaginary runway that isn’t really there. Preening and prodding themselves into the party. One by one by one making their entrances and then exits. None more interesting or unique than the other as they circle the room, never committing to any one location. He jabs me in the right arm as clone number fifteen stumbles out and catches the train of clone number fourteen while she’s wearing the same exact fabricated brilliance in a slightly different color of chartreuse with a veil and the same slanted stilettos with a razor sharp heel.

“Slice. Shred. Clear! Quick, call an ambulance. Fashion emergency!” Alex jests again between sips of his strawberry daiquiri twisted with a half shot of mystery booze for a kick. I’m certain he’s toasted when he yells Miss Daytona at the hostess of the party. It’s all so fabulous until it’s all so comical.

They say imitation is the highest form of flattery. Maybe that’s why we do it. It’s the ultimate compliment to be someone else. Follow what is in your heart as long as it is something other than you. It doesn’t matter who. Anyone other than you is acceptable. We want fake. We like the lie. We want anything but never what’s in front of us.

Quarter past twelve and there’s no going back. Alex appears to be sauced and yelling at the party after making a scene in front of the hostess.
“How about Dorothy in the ruby slippers on the balcony?”
“I was hoping to be less of a vulture in my next life.”
“Picky tonight. What did you have in mind?
“Oh, I don’t know.”
“How about…? There.  A little more blue blood.”
“A little less like the rest of the room please.”
“There. One of a kind. Walking this way. Looks a little like you, only with a slightly tucked chin instead.”
“Alright, this is shaping up nice. Then, let’s have at it.”

Copying someone is becoming them and through that effort they will be eternal. It’s not really eternal but no one will ever notice that you’re not really you anymore. Mostly because you’ve wasted so much time being her and that other her before you ever contemplated being yourself.

Alex tosses his drink onto the floor with a splash. There’s a slip and a giggle as two birds of a feather flocking together pass wearing the same face. Miss Daytona is wearing a crown made of three dollar pink carnations attached to a tiny stuffed bird trying to pass it off as the next big thing in haute head apparel. Tiny feathers fall from her bird feather crown as the girl next to her is donning an almost exact copy in white minus the bird. And I can’t help but wonder where I might fit in wearing the crown in lavender as I find myself grabbing at Alex who falls off his seat before he lands head over heels in the middle of the clones. Nice to meet you and you, but you’re not you.

Part of you has to wonder what will happen when we’re through living. It’s alright to wonder. It’s perfectly natural. People love to wonder about the most outrageous things. The process is simple. You aren’t needed to do anything at all. Just keep being yourself. Be true to your feelings. Follow those instincts. It’s not necessary to be anything other than you. And because being you is really being someone else this won’t hurt one bit. See, you haven’t felt a thing the entire time.

Somewhere after Miss Daytona, her clone of another color and their attitude walk away, I’m stumbling upward with my arm around Alex. He’s not making this easier with his stagger shifting weight onto mine when another set of hands come around to assist. Just like clockwork its perfect timing. She doesn’t really have my face at all but definitely a little less like the others. It’s after Alex drops a few more slurs that I drop my bag. Without a second thought she’s offering to lend a hand to get him out to the car. I can’t help but smile before accepting the kind offer. Alex leans his head against the full breasted bodice of her Westwood knockoff with a wink and giggle as we head out toward the car.

What do you want to become? Do you always want to be exactly the same? Year after year, becoming a product and selling yourself, in the same way the rest has sold themselves, time and time again. There’s no point in working to be original when unoriginal is so much better. Take the short cut. Steal that look. Make that face. Talk that talk. Dance that dance. It’s not yours but when in Roma… do as the Romans do.

Alex unlocks the doors and turns on the hazard lights before exiting the car. As he opens the rear door, he reaches forward to release the trunk and grabs the tire iron from the plastic covered seat. After shutting the rear door he heads around to the back of the car to finish having a conversation with our one of kind girl. She’s not disagreeing for too long as he strikes with a fury into the trunk. I know it’s over as soon as he slams the trunk. He seems completely exasperated as he closes the door and turns off the hazards.
“That’s was a tragedy. I thought she’d never go. Lasted longer than it needed to. She didn’t want to bleed. And once she started to bleed she didn’t want to stop talking. I couldn’t drive another mile listening to that noise.” He says.
“Really? It seemed to go pretty quickly.”
“No. It really did linger.
“They do on occasion.”
“Ah, they do. But they never have peaches and cream complexion with fierce hair. Let’s get this over with.”

All you wanted was fake because to you the fake is better than real. Happiness can only be found in the things that we are not. In likewise turn I’m borrowing a part of you and that happiness can be fulfilled over and over again. Eternally.

“Is the setting grind or puree?” I ask Alex with a hint of uncertainty as I push down the lid.
“Puree is without chunks. So unless you want the hearty pieces between your teeth hit Puree. And don’t forget the sugar. This one may have seemed sweet enough to eat, but that’s never the case.”
“This one didn’t seem to struggle like that other one.”
“Even so that other didn’t have the… what’s the word? The panache. She lacked a certain…? Something about her was missing.”
“So true, but my skin never lacked a luster from that uninteresting girl. I’ve practically been glowing this last week.”
“True. What do you think this one will be like?”
“One of a kind. I don’t know. Nice complexion. Kind personality. Oh she did have amazing hair….”
“And she had those penetrating eyes. Do you think my eyes will pop like that now?”
“Not unless you plan to take those out first!”
“Oh shut up. Get a spoon. Take one of those out and toss it in.”
“Alex darling. How about next time we make it blonde? I’ve always wanted highlights.”
“Sounds like brilliant idea.”
“What shall we drink to?”
“Cheers, Darling.”

Unoriginal. We are a product of everyone around us. Taking that idea a step further. A little darkness. Working to get out things and finish up on my project. Consumed is the best word. Trying to maintain an Authentic Life at any cost. Try to recall it’s the not the kind of price that money can pay.  Anyhow, love to see originality in the most unoriginal places. Enjoy. kisses. m. 

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