Vignette

Mona Lisa Smile

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I am the most lazy and careless person ever, with my wigs and shoes and especially with my eyelashes. You don’t know how many goddamned pairs of beautiful lashes I’ve lost, wrecked, misplaced or ruined. I am the worst.

I have this mountain now of useless right lashes because often late at night, I just collapse wasted into bed without flossing or brushing my teeth, washing my face, sometimes I don’t even take off my shoes or remove my wig. Dylan, for his part, alternates between energetic speechmaking, passionate instruction, and periodic vehement attempts to heroically perform my nighttime tasks for me. His is a continuity of acceptance, resignation and fondness, with flashes of annoyance, exasperation, failure and despair.

I wake up mornings with a perfect right eye still flawlessly lashed and made up and a completely naked left eye because apparently I sleep with my face violently smooshed against the pillow hard upon my crushed and smothered left eye so the make up there and all my left lashes disappear. Sometimes the left lashes are stuck poetically to my forehead or are lost deep in the folds of my undergarments and hair.

I often afterward find myself wandering lost in supermarkets without still yet having washed my face or showering, looking carelessly like a zombie slowmotion feral woman, haphazardly dressed and debatably sane. Passersby and strangers stare in stupefied horror, children run away shuddering with tearstained faces, while Dylan with skillful effortlessness plucks all manner of random left lashes from wherever they might manifest upon my person. It’s a boisterous and chilling scene.

Now too I still have that mountain of useless right lashes. What’s to be done with all those. Dylan suggested when I’m a famous author sitting behind a pile of books at a book signing, instead of signatures, I should with great solemnity paste into each book’s momentous first blank page a single right lash. Those in the know will know and cherish.

I tell Dylan if I ever go missing or suddenly disappear, all he has to do is follow an exalted and extended trail of left eyelashes. At trail’s end, there he will find me, fully lashed, smiling like the Mona Lisa and ready for the great embrace.

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