July 22, 2011

golden-plated cage


I'd been going blind for three months now. It was completely voluntary. Selective, even. The self-effacing kind, where I didn't care to address anything happening to me. I knew it was going to happen and I thought what more convenient a time than now, summer. Not me, I thought. I don't want to see me at all. Anyone but me.

The days L and I spend together are spent in relative functional silence. It's a beautiful thing. I don't understand more than one thing about her at a time but there is a sadness that reverberates from her that is as compelling as it is unduly timorous.

I don't know what I did to make her confide in me, but more often than not I find myself nodding raptly and making supportive clucks at the appropriate notions of a woman wronged. Perhaps it's nice just to have another female around. Maybe she sees the same in me that I do her. Maybe we are nothing alike, but in the same terrible boat.

They aren't secrets, but they are not badges either. The charm lies in her ability to boast without bragging. In between casual stories of actress friends (the names of which I've only read in magazines), actress foes, decadent party favors and jet-setting, chain-smoking, up all night, a golden cage's worth of tales-- in between all that,  I would inquire, since I am so curious, from absorbing her stories of torrid love affairs with rock stars and lifestyles where money comes as easy as the next cool party you find yourself at, and you're one commercial contract away from boasting a Lana Turner story of discovery, I would ask, What is it like to be young, thin, white and beautiful and not try at all?

But I don't ask. And I don't pretend I don't see it but I don't mention it, out of politeness. You, a broken-hearted shopgirl with no health insurance and no idea what next. You could ask me the same thing, save a few small details.

"Isn't it obvious?" I would say, hoping that to somebody, anybody, that it was.

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