Flumes Volume 2: Issue 1, Summer 2017 - Page 38

Chet Baker’s horn sounded love’s tired alarm.

Love; to let someone waltz right in and rob the most valuable part of yourself without setting off any obvious red flag warning signs. Stealing past well erected defenses, sometimes being handed the keys to something as precious as a heart. No honor amongst thieves. She’d proven that tonight. She had a wall of evidence to select for exhibit A.

She whorled in the tiny barefoot steps of an unsure ballerina, joints creaking with each turn. Taxidermy, precious gems and metals, works of art with fakes hanging in their former homes, the EGOT she kept from that year she met Eddie and got into the award circuit. All of this and more on display to an audience of one. What did it mean to have a legacy of things when no one could share in your greatest achievements?

To be a tour guide for none.

Sure, she had her notoriety. The boys whispered behind their hands when she entered a room. The same, ‘Dijyahear?’ start to any number of stories, most of them with a hint of truth at the core. None of them with the marbles to let her play at their table.

Each little boy in the lifestyle sipped from their bitter cup of jealousy and envy. They feared her for doing what they could never dream of. No matter the tale, they all ended the same.

‘Ya know… for a girl.’

‘For a girl.’ The worst three words next to ‘I love you.'

Wasn’t that why she wanted to call it quits? Pulling off capers with ever raising stakes, not to keep up with the boys, but to keep up with her own desires. Wasn’t she tired of dying her hair to play constant new roles? Didn’t she want to pull dye jobs strictly to hide her all too plentiful grays? Wasn’t vainly living out the latter part of her life the dream when she first picked up the lifestyle? Didn’t she want to be like the goddamn Catwoman? After all, she paid enough to have a better bust than Julie Newmar. What happened to those silly dreams of a little girl who didn’t want to play princess?

She wanted to be Queen, only to find her crown an ill fit.

Legato in black came from a trumpet and bass, sucking the warmth from the showroom lighting. Slinking to the wet bar, thoughts of pouring herself her own bitter cup to call it a night flooded her mind. Anything to soothe being ill at ease in her skin. She’d taken off her shoes, but stayed wrapped in the backless red, retro-flapper-number, that made her look so flash tonight.