Story Go Round 01/03/2004, round 1, #1

"It's Boots or Heels, Baby"

It all had to go - the socks, the underwear, the shampoo, the conditioner; everything that made me who I am. This year I would transform myself and become the person my horoscope said I should be. First, I would start with the essentials - the long lavender polyurethane scarf. Add the fake eyelashes, the leopard skin underwear and the kimono and voilà! Instant sensation! Sensual sensations! I purred loudly at myself in the mirror to try out the sex-god persona I'd been toying with, but even I could tell it wasn't going to attract anybody.

"Ooh, pour me a tall, cool glass of you," I heard a husky voice say. I turned eagerly, only to find the person at the next mirror over staring fatuously at their own reflection. They had added a garter. I saw my mistake instantly. You can't be suave in flats - it's boots or heels, baby, and preferably both, stiletto and patent leather if you can get 'em. Someone sashayed into the dressing room in obvious haste, swishing satin at every step, and stopped right behind me.

"You don't want to be doing that." It was the star of the show! I could tell by his cool, critical eyes that he had no interest in the real me. They only wanted cookie-cutter performers they could jimmy and harass and modify to fit the worthless, lowbrow preconceptions of their working class audience. I bit back a bitter retort and forced a smile to curl up my brick red, lip-gloss shiny lips: "What would you do, sugar pie?"

"Curtain call in five minutes." We both glanced reflexively at the clock. "I would watch my back if I had as few friends as you do," he said, and caressed my cheek with insincere tenderness. "That ... is what I would do."

I pursed my lips and made a kissy noise at him in the glass. He fixed the bow in back of my kimono with a smirk and glided off to the mirror next to me to check out his butt in the tight skirt.

I sighed and turned back to the oppressive view of myself that mirror was showing me. "Mirror, mirror, on the wall," I said, "Which eyeliner goes better with this wig?"

If you only knew, gentle reader, the anxiety that goes with facing a crowd, and crowd, with the stage lights arcing over silhouettes and the smell of musty radiators and human sweat. Intending to make a big statement with the silk kimono about my true self and my future, I was dismayed to find that I already had pit stains. It had to go.

"Gents, yer on!"

I hurriedly stripped off the kimono and put on my dressing gown. I advanced toward the stage. The din hushed. Sal played a light, tinkling ditty on the piano and gave me a significant look. The fur trim on my see-thru robe tickled a nostril and I had to fight hard to stifle a sneeze. 'Sabrina' glanced past me at that moment checking to see if her back-up singers were ready and caught the look on my face - she took it personally and responded with an icy glare that said clearly, "just you wait." I tried to make a face that matched the "no, no, it's not you" I mouthed at her, but just then the curtain went up. We were on.

Amber is purple; John is pink; Alan is blue; Terry is orange