because those bitches wouldn't know beauty if it beat them over their 'do's with a porch plank.
My Mediterranean sultriness was not what they were looking for;
them with their politeness and their narrow-lipped smiles holding back the churning reflux that their hearts produce.
They are not human.
As a baby, I was different.
I spoke within minutes, asking for a mirror before milk,
and sharing Portuguese brandy with my father in the library before the month was out.
Let others become checkers at Target.
Let others slave in the shamba under a broiling sun.
They do not have my sculptured cheekbones,
and so must scramble and struggle while I laze under an awning in a cafe,
accepting the dazzled worship of waiters named Jean-Guy.
But look, it hasn't been all roses and honey, just the same.
I stayed barefoot until I was twelve, by choice.
I whipped all the local boys,
and was the terror of the American compound.
I first considered pageants when I was caught siphoning gas from a diplomat's car.
(I had wanted to burn down Amber Rae's house; she was a stumbling calf
with a big mouth, and a throat just made for my reply.)
The diplomat took me inside and stood with his back to me,
gazing through his wife's sheer curtains at the stucco buildings across the street, and said,
"There are other things
you could be doing."
Soon I was shivering,
my arm dangling boneless over the edge of the dining room table,
smiling at the patterned copper ceiling.
I had still been in command of myself when he lost all his polish and said things to me that were not diplomatic, but rather,
the shouts of a drowning man finding shore.
these bitches looked at me critically, as if I were a steer at auction,
each of them a little complacent fat cask of petty.
I knew I couldn't win,
and my mind turned, as it always has,
toward ways to rain down destruction upon my enemies' heads.
I have a little French cahier
that I write down my dreams and plans in.
If the gendarmes ever find it, I'm so fucked.
But never mind.
The world of pageants plateaus early--
you're done at twenty, turned loose in the streets to blink big-eyed
at the onrushing autobus that will flatten you dead.
Does this sound like me?
I am a girl who will never need a raincoat,
because it never dares to rain on my perfect creamy shoulders.
I own no pearls,
but I have six different sets of Ben Wa balls,
one for each day of the week, and then I go to Mass on Sunday.
I didn't win the pageant,
but I escaped to Algiers and met a man.
In the morning, we start out together for Kilimanjaro--
I shall be barefoot, in my element once more,
and McComber will have some sort of accident and leave everything to me.
Heft those trunks, bush guides,
I forgot my mirror and am keen to retrieve it
so that I may kiss my image as one would Cerberus,
if he were female
and as pretty as me.
for Flipside's word list 15: Mediterranean, siphon, brandy, destruction, cafe, cahier, raincoat, narrow-lipped, barefoot, pearls, sculptured, mirror, critically, casks, plateau, politeness, awning, curtains, shivering and shamba. (words taken from Ernest Hemingway's "The Garden Of Eden")
Also linked to real Toads open link Monday.