Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Disconnect

In the Carlyle Hotel in New York City, things like embossed cocktail napkins and specialized disposable drink coasters with the hotel's name emblazoned on them exist. In the bathroom, you'll find nice paper towels and real Kleenex should you feel the need to blow your nose in the presence of the marble surfaces and shiny gold fixtures. I always feel grateful when I'm there -- as one should if someone else is buying the drinks.

I looked at myself in the mirror there tonight. I was dressed appropriately, in a pin-tucked black shift from another decade with matching heels. I gave the mirror a Paris Hilton (or maybe, more appropriately, a Julia Allison) -- that half-cocked, cheekbone-in-the-air stare that makes a young woman look like a socialite, if only for a half-second. I stayed there and stared at myself, smoothing down my pencil-skirt silhouette, for a good five minutes straight.

I look good. I am thin. I am pulled together. I am a mess.

Only an idiot doesn't know that an outside can contradict an inside, but I was the living, breathing example of that tonight. I was present and laughing at contrived jokes but really going into mixed-up reveries as the punchline was delivered. I wondered how beauty and possibilities could seem so at odds with each other. I hope that I was at least polite.

I went home and put on one of N's T-shirts, because it was the first item on top of the laundry hamper. I looked at myself in my hallway's full-length mirror: I looked strangely pinup (or at least, strangely 1980s fantasy), hard nipples pushing through the white cotton fabric.

I look good. I am thin. I am pulled together. I am a mess.

Another cell phone check: My past is giving me the full-court press. My present is stagnant. My future is muddled.

Labels: , , , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home