Thank you, Chuck, for portraying me so accurately.
Posts Tagged ‘someone made my portrait and i had no clue’
You’d take her to dinner at your parents’ house. Audrey would smoke unfiltered cigarettes while she ate, if she ate.
“Your folks are perfect”, she’d say, wryly, holding her plate up, like a vampire looking for the reflection that won’t be there.
Your mother would smile awkwardly, desperate enough to take this as a compliment. Audrey wouldn’t even offer to help clear. She would read your mind like a witch.
“Help your mother,” she’d order. “It will give you both a chance to talk about me in the kitchen.”
“You know you really could do better,” your mother would admonish, while you scraped dishes at the sink.
“She’s really very sweet,” you’d lie.
In the dining room, your father would be treading water with polite conversation while Audrey stared back unblinkingly, her pupils dilated. Suddenly, she would laugh at an inappropriate point in his Korean War monologue. Then she would lean forward and show him the ringworm scars between her breasts. “I’ve always had cysts myself,” your father would offer weakly.
Finally, months after that dinner, after your parents had broken all contact with you and you’d lost your job, you’d recognize your misery. When you considered leaving her, she wouldn’t threaten to kill herself, she would threaten to kill you. Nobody leaves Audrey. Got it? When you came back from the bathroom, she’d be gone, but there would be a knife stuck up to its handle in your side of the mattress. The next day, everything you owned would be in the dumpster.
Each time the bus stops, you glance out the window to see if she gets out the back door.
Even if you did meet her, Audrey would never marry you. She would probably consent to date you, for the contrast. She would insult your friends. Her friends would insult you. Der Blau Engel. A moth to the flame. You’d lose all control.
because you don’t have the guts to turn around and look. You know she’s sitting with her back against the warm steel wall of the bus, and her feet drawn up on the seat beside her. She’s not a big fan of daylight. She should never be seen in color. By day, she’s a grainy black and white image: a discarded blow-up doll of a back-up singer from a heavy-metal music video. At night she’s a fourth-generation photocopy of a Margaret Bourke-White photo luridly animated to Euro-pop dance music. She’ll never live long enough to become sepia-toned.
Like in a dream, you’re sure her name is Audrey, but you don’t know why. Maybe because it sounds like “tawdry,” name. You know that August is her favorite time of year–in August. She likes spring in spring, winter in winter. She can deal with anything.
You hope she gets off the bus while it’s still downtown. You can’t turn around, but you want another chance to look at her. It would break your heart if she rode with you out into the stability of the suburbs.
or a Southern drawl, and she can speak with her mouth brimming full of cigarette smoke.
You know she killed her parents because they physically abused her; but if they’re alive, she’s disowned them because they’re billionaires. She has no one to answer to. She does not have her G.E.D. or a beautician’s license. There’s no canopy bed crowded with stuffed animals where she’s going. Audrey’s not trying to lose weight, or quit smoking, or pull her life together and make it count for something in the world. “I’m perfect. Always have been. If you can’t see that, then you’ve got the problem,” she’d tell you if you asked.
She doesn’t own a car. If she did, she wouldn’t have any insurance. She doesn’t have a career, she just has a job. If you asked her what she was, she wouldn’t tell you what she did for a living. She defines herself as undefinable, and she’s not working or studying to become someone else. she’s not going to be an actress, nor is she impressed by the fact that you’re a financial counselor. If you tried to tell her about your congenital dry skin problem, she’d show you the infection she has from trying to wipe off a botched tattoo with hot laundry bleach.