the autogeography of a no/body
Jul 14

Altered Ego

Whenever she felt bad, which was pretty often, Miranda hid behind a mask of thick make-up and an accommodating smile. It had been obvious since she faced herself in the mirror that morning how the day would develop. She drew a thin brown line around the outside of her lips then scrabbled to find her favourite diva lipstick. Red. It makes a statement. Only women over the age of thirty can wear red lipstick and not look like silly tarts – with the exception of undead gothic princesses, goddamn Winona Ryder.

Pout, bend, dab. Is that the faint trace of a moustache Miranda? Perhaps you should get it waxed or bleached or electrified. There. See? Some of your powder is not entirely in contact with your skin. Moving swiftly on to lavender scented hand lotion while ignoring what looks like an age spot. You really should wear rubber gloves, Miranda, especially when doing the washing up.

But this is not part of the illusion, because once on stage, under the lights, Miranda shines brighter than any star, and domesticity has no place in fantasy, at least not at the Catfish Club. The audience love her. They know her. They own her. She has been treading these boards every night for the past six years. Six years! Day in, day out, through thick and thin. She has become quite an institution, brick built and municipal.

Of course they applaud, some insist on standing and whistling – even Winona Ryder has to deal with such coarse behaviour; but no one ever brings flowers to Miranda’s dressing room, Miranda’s small, drab dressing room, where she sits, on a chair borrowed from the main floor, swabbing the make-up off her face after yet another show, with man sized tissues in her man sized hands.


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