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Hagseed Takes Manhattan
By Tawni Waters
She was a woman given to pageantry, though she shouldn’t have been, looking as she did like overripe fruit left to wither in a casing of sequins.
It wasn’t her face that made her ugly. (I’ll admit it didn’t help.) It was her soul, which hunched like twin raisins, scrunched and desiccated, at the center of her eyes. She eviscerated bad baristas, sighed only in French, said her prayers in pig-Latin backwards, and kept a brown bag full of Etruscan cigarettes by her bed. Her head was badly misshapen from longing for a crown, the down above her lip stained red from blood oranges and a coarse and strident longing she could never fill.
What she needed was a reverse-will, her mother bequeathing her something other than extra chins and a worn-out disco ball.
Maybe a hall for beheading peasants, an unexploded hand grenade, tangerine marmalade, jade green eyes, any kind of talent, a pair of thighs that didn’t touch, a hutch chocked full of white rabbits fresh from the magician’s hat, Joe DiMaggio’s baseball bat, a good girdle, a swimming pool brimming with raspberry Jell-O and the secrets of sexual desire.
She aspired to become a movie star, draping herself over every cherry red car she saw, taking deep draws from her long, long cigarette, Cruella De Vil style. And oh, that smile. Watch out Pennywise, you’ve met your match.
Some Julys, she put on shows, rose to greet her fans, her pudgy hand haughtily extended. “You may kiss the royal rings.” And her German shepherds would. She wasn’t just good, she was real good. The neighborhood went wild!
Encore! encore! You’re a star!
Crowbar your way into the limelight!
How upsetting! How bizarre!
What exactly is she doing to that poor, poor cherry red car?
Who needs talent?
You just need money (and they have Kickstarter for that).
Pass the hat.
Keep out the riffraff.
Scourge the wait staff. (And laugh--don’t ever forget to laugh.)
Flash that Cheshire grin.
Tuck in your six chins.
Straighten your cardboard crown.
Paint the Big Apple a fine shade brown.
Let out your gently used Marilyn Monroe gown, and rock it, babe.
Walk that rented red carpet.
Sure, you’re slightly dented. You’ve been around
the block a time or ten, but please believe me
when I tell you, my glamorous, mysterious misery maven,
you don’t look a day over 66.
Ok. Maybe 67.