First story. I hope it's okay! Don't normally write this kind of thing but suddenly felt inspired after reading similar (better) stuff on here.
Disclaimer: this is not mine. As I guess you already know. Boosh belongs to the lovely Barratt and Fielding. (Title is also not mine, I nicked it off a Tori Amos song cos I'm crap at thinking of titles for anything).
Bliss Of Another Kind
I once found the perfect shade of eye shadow in a shop on the French Riviera. Hard to describe. Glossy. Glitter in it, of course. Wouldn't be perfect without the glitter. The woman let me test it out – perhaps cos she didn't speak English so she didn't really know what I was asking until I started putting it on, but she didn't complain. She held up a mirror for me and everything. I could have got used to that.
It was a sort of blue-green-purple. I can't remember what the colour was called; something French, I suppose. I decided it must be magic because when I put it on, my eyes snapped even more brightly and my hair got even glossier and even the eleven-year-old boy tagging behind his mother practically started drooling over me. Not that I'm not used to people drooling over me but they're normally at least sixteen. Fifteen. Fourteen. You know what I mean.
Anyway, the eye shadow was genius. I looked at myself in the mirror like I'd just met myself and was working out how to invite myself out for a drink sometime. And then that face came to mind, the way it always did.
Even he couldn't not notice me if I was wearing this…
But as usual it went wrong. I didn't have any cash. I'd only gone and gone shopping without my wallet. Typical. Things just always have to go wrong, don't they?
And that face comes to mind, the way it always does. The one face that never lights up when I strut into a club, that never follows the curve of my spine when I lean on the bar, that never checks me out when I dance. The one face I can never get to soften with a flash of my teeth (and no, I don't use whitening tooth paste… I'm all natural, me… except my hair; I'm really a kind of dirty blonde, but other than that, everything's down to biology).
I'd sometimes like to know what I did. I don't remember doing anything, not bad enough to deserve this.
I remember my mum once reading me some ancient story, in one of those books people give their distant relatives' children for Christmas, about this really vain man who was punished by being made to fall in love with his own reflection. If my mum hoped this would serve as a warning, she was a bit late. But occasionally, when I get reflective moments – they mostly happen like now, when I think about this stuff – I think I'm not a bad variation on that old story. I'm not in love with myself. Really. No, instead of lusting after myself in mirrors (I only do that occasionally – once a week), I seem to be doomed to something that I sometimes think is worse. The beautiful boy with the bright blue eyes, who can charm anyone within a five mile radius, is condemned to love the one person who isn't in thrall to his smile and the way his hair softly strokes his cheeks when he moves.
Am I being punished for vanity? I ask myself, on these thoughtful occasions. I think that's one of the deadly sins, isn't it? I never know. I'm not that vain, anyway. Honestly I'm not. And when I look in the mirror, I sometimes think, "Beautiful – but if I had to give it up and get an ordinary face, in return for one thing, would I?" And there's definitely one thing I want, that I'd give all this up for without a thought.
It might actually help if I lost my looks. After all, they haven't really been an asset. I've spent years of my life stroking my stomach through shirts in changing rooms, worried they might not hang quite right; years of taking off and re-doing my make-up just to get it perfect before I emerge; years of lying awake at night, planning what I'll wear to something special in the hope that just maybe…
And as usual, nothing happens. This is what I think in thoughtful moments.
Then I'll see a bird or a spot of paint on the window and get distracted.
There's one particular spot that looks like the continent Africa. Or is South America? I decided this spot could be my friend, because it had hung itself in the window for everyone to see, a bit like me really. Its name was George. But George didn't speak a lot. Even less than me. Then it turned out George wasn't alive so I went right off him. But sometimes, I still think he might be the best person to talk to about these things.
He wouldn't understand, so he couldn't ever just blink at me. He couldn't laugh. He couldn't do what I imagine would happen if I ever told him – eyes widening, mouth slightly open, a horrible pause before a nervous laugh and a, "Very funny; you got me there." And then, "You're not joking… oh God." I try not to think any further than that because it gets too much. Even in my mind it gets too much.
Other things get too much, too. Like thinking about what it would be like for him to touch my hair. Or how it would feel to kiss him. If I feel weak at the knees just picturing this stuff, I know I could never do it for real.
I know this, I really do. But I still find myself taking an extra half hour or two to get my hair just so, another extra half hour to even up my eyeliner, and I'll catch myself arranging my arm, shifting the angle of my hips, if I ever suspect he's looking. Just in case…
I may continue this if I get enough reviews (so no pressure!!) However, it could also be a stand-alone story... haven't decided. Hope you enjoyed it, anyway. Thanks for reading.