Quondam

June 2013
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Pocket hooker

I close my eyes and sigh, “I hate this.”

“It’s good for you.”

“It is not good for me. It makes me feel like a hooker.”

“You could never be a hooker.”

“I didn’t say I was planning on being a hooker. I said this makes me feel like a hooker.”

“You could never be a hooker — hookers have to carry purses.”

“Wait, you’re saying the only thing standing between me and whoredom is my awkwardness with purses?”

“When’s the last time you saw a prostitute with her pockets bulging?”

“My pockets do not bulge.”

“They so do. Credit card, license, keys, phone, hand sanitizer.”

“My pockets do not bulge . . . anyway, no way hookers don’t carry hand sanitizer. No way. Also, what do you mean, When’s the last time you saw a hooker with pockets? When’s the last time you saw a hooker . . . period?”

“We live near Portland . . . I see them. When we’re driving around sometimes . . . I see them.”

“You do not even know those ladies are hookers.”

“What about the one with the cardboard sign that said, DO ME FOR CASH ?”

“OK, maybe her.”

“She had a purse.”

“This is the oddest conversation ever. Can I open my eyes yet? I feel like maybe that’s enough eye shadow.”

Kallan squeals, “No, not yet! I want to do eyeliner on you.”

“Upper lid only.”

“No, I have to do the lower lids so that your eyes will pop.”

“OK, first? I do not particularly want my eyes to pop, as that sounds horrific and blinding. And second? I am going to need a cardboard sign.”

Giggling, Kallan pulls the eyeliner pencil along first one upper lid and then the other as I squawk protest, “Mom, stop being such a baby. Makeup does not make you a hooker. You are so strange!” She pauses in her ministrations for a moment, and then presses the side of my right lid into place with her fingertip as she works, “Know what’s weird? Your skin moves a lot more than mine does. I think it’s the olderness.”

“Well, thank you for that. I had no idea this makeover came with free ego-boosters!”

“And did you know you have a gray eyebrow hair?”

“You’re making me all giddy with self-esteem!”

“OK, open your eyes and then look up at the ceiling so I can do your lower lids.”

I sigh and look up at the ceiling, “Is this really necessary?”

“Yes. I need to practice putting eyeliner on other people. I know how to put it on my own eyes, but I need to practice.” Kallan starts to work on my lower lids, “Also, you’re going to look good. You’ll s . . . uh oh.”

“Uh oh? What do you mean, uh oh?”

“Ummm . . . a tiny bit might have gotten into your actual eye.”

I close my eyes and blink rapidly to clear the intrusion. My eyes start to water.

Kallan wrings her hands, “Nooooo! Don’t do that! You’re getting everything all smeary!”

“Ow . . . hold on.” I lift the backs of my index fingers to my lower lids to try to clear the tears while tamping the eyeliner into place. It works . . . kind of.

“Augh! You look insane!”

I turn to look into the mirror, and I giggle at the deep black smudges of liner that have settled into the shadows beneath my eyes, “Ooooh . . . I had no idea that makeup could reveal my inner beauty this way!”

Kallan is frustrated with me, “Mom, take this seriously. Everybody wears makeup”

I stare into the mirror, leaning close to see where the silver eye-shadow has rolled itself into the creases of my skin, “My face appears to be rejecting the makeup. I think I may have an allergy to outer beauty.”

She sighs, “How am I your daughter?” She reaches with the pads of her thumbs to try to clear some of the mess from my face, “It’s like your face is trying to throw the makeup across the room.”

I settle back into the chair, “I cannot be held responsible for the poor decisions of my face. Alright . . . try again.”

Kallan works to clean off the smeared makeup, and then she starts again.

“I’m going to put a little concealer on this hillock.”

“Hillock? Really? That’s a small mole, and it is the same color as the rest of my face.”

She dabs at the mole, “Even so, let’s see if we can’t make it a bit less hillocky.”

“Why don’t we call it a beauty mark? Like Cindy Crawford has.”

“Who?”

“Never mind. Carry on.”

“I’m going to put mascara on you now.”

“Like hell you are.”

“Mom, you need mascara to complete the look. Sit still.”

“This isn’t going to work . . . ack . . . I can feel it all sludgy and heavy on my lashes . . . I hate that.”

“And now the lower lashes . . .”

“Kallan, are we almost done?”

“OK, so don’t blink for about a minute.”

Which of course makes me blink . . . repeatedly . . . excessively . . . immediately.

“Seriously, Mom? Seriously?” Kallan works to remove the speckles of mascara my face has thrown from my eyelashes onto my brows and cheeks.

“Sorry.”

“Alright, so lipstick and gloss, and you’ll all set.”

“Can’t we just do Chapstick? It could be fruit-flavored . . . fancy!”

“Mom, stop talking so I can do your lipstick.”

“I am seriously creeped out right now.”

“Stop sucking your lips into your mouth!”

“Just leave my lips alone.”

“I said stop talking. The line of your lips is already tricky . . . is that the olderness again?”

“Oh my god . . . why did you not tell me beforehand that there would be so many compliments? I am all aswoon!”

“Stop talking.”

“Do we have to do gloss?”

“Yes. Be quiet.”

When she is done, I stare into her eyes as she stares at her handiwork.

I don’t know what she sees, but I see doubt.

I turn to look into the mirror, and we stare together at my reflection.

We both burst into laughter.

“Oh my god, Kallan . . . I look like a hooker who lives under a freeway ramp and possibly has sex with mole-people.”

Kallan snorts and gasps for breath, “You so do. I tried to make you beautiful . . . what happened?”

I make a kissy face at the mirror, “It’s not your fault. I told you . . . I am allergic to outer beauty. This is . . . ummm . . . disturbing.”

Kallan gets her giggles under control and she waves her hands for silence, “I’m trying to think. You remind me of someone. Shhhh . . . let me think.”

“Was this person of whom you are thinking possibly under a freeway ramp caressing a mole for spare change?”

She leans against the counter, working to catch her breath, “No, stop making me laugh!”

We stare again together at my reflection and laugh helplessly.

“Oh, I remember!” Kallan looks at me excitedly, “One time Daddy took me to a liquor store.”

“Do tell.”

“He was looking for Kahlua or something. I don’t remember. Anyway, there was this lady there.”

“How old was this lady?”

“Ummm . . . oldish.”

“You mean my age.”

“That’s not the important part of the story. She was there buying an armload of bottles, which I noticed because she could have gotten a basket to carry stuff, but instead she was hugging her bottles to her chest.”

“Get to the part where she is awesome and reminds you of your amazing mother.”

Kallan averts her eyes, “Ummm . . . she was wearing a lot of makeup . . . like you are now . . . but it was weird. Wrong, somehow.”

“Mmm hmmm.”

“Nothing on her face was quite where it was supposed to be, and so all of her makeup was just slightly . . . wrong.  She looked wrinkled and slippery, all at once.”

“Wow . . . and here I was worried I was going to be insulted by this comparison.”

“Mom, this is not an insult . . . I’m the one who put this makeup on you. You’re just the one with the face that refuses to rest beneath it and submit.”

“True.”

“Anyway, it was like she had missed the details of her face. Like she had been working from memory that wasn’t hers. Or like she had applied her makeup to a younger version of her face that no longer existed.”

I say nothing, imagining this woman.

Seeing this woman.

Kallan keeps talking, “I remember thinking at the time that it was like she took her make-up face off every night and hung it up on a line beside her bed. Like a clothesline. And then every morning, she got out of bed and pulled on her face, right off the line. Except on this particular day, she hadn’t gotten it lined up quite right.”

I stare at Kallan.

She stares back at me, “What?”

“That is the best description ever. Aside from the part where you said she reminded you of me . . . that is the best description ever.”

Kallan giggles, “So, do you want me to help you?”

“Help me what?”

“Find a purse to go with that face.”

“Sassy child . . . no . . . I’m going to be a pocket hooker, I think.”

Sometimes, Kallan laughs so hard she cannot breathe.

She gets that from me.

    27 comments to Pocket hooker

    • I have never had the sort of face that rests and submits.

      Ever.

    • Jen Little

      I cannot pick out which part of this is my favorite. “Pocket hooker” is awesome… it’s also me. But I think Kallan’s description of the lady’s clothes line face is A-MAH-ZING! I mean, SERIOUSLY?!?! I have seen women like that and it’s exactly how it sounds! ALSO… “DO ME FOR CASH”… are TN and OR somehow the same place?

    • Wisdom and facial carnage from the girl child. A true mother/daughter moment. You will soon post the video, right? Of course you will. Because your fans DEMAND IT.

    • Aw, man! I was waiting for the photographic evidence! Anyway, I think I have reached the point where I’m applying makeup to a younger face that no longer exists. Thank Kallan for explaining it to me. Now to figure out what to do about it.

      • Yes, well . . . let me know if you figure it out.

        My plan is just to go on as I have been going on . . . without the makeup and without the concern.

        Hee hee.

    • You lost me at the hand sanitizer in your pocket…the whole time I was imagining you sanitizing door handles and other items of such important hygenic disarray.

      ;)

      • My older daughter Maj will not get out of the car if we do not have hand sanitizer with us . . . no lie.

        It has become a habit; I carry it with me at all times.

        And if I ever do become a prostitute?

        It will come in handy.

        Hee hee.

    • Are we related?

      I swear you are me.

      Or I am you.

      Take your pick.

      Heh.

    • Mishelle

      OHMYGAWD!! “Do me for cash!!” BAHAHAHAHAHA!!

      I just snorted toast crumbs all over my ‘puter.

      Again.

      You’d think I’d learn wouldn’t you?

      Note for the day: never let daughter do my makeup… the “tinsel” they comment on in my hair will not be found in eye brows…

      M

    • Amy

      Maybe just a cropped picture of your eye and it’s allergic reaction?

      pocket hooker. perfection.

    • Issa

      For the first time in days, the tears rolling down my face are from laughing so hard. Good god Kallan is awesome. It must be awesome to be her brain.

      Pretty sure I’ll be in your archives today. Am needing to laugh badly.

      You should find some cardboard and make a sign and show her when she gets off school today. Or home from a friends or whatever if they’re off already.

      • I am worried about the other tears of which you speak . . .

        But I am delighted to have made you laugh.

        Ooooh . . . I should so make such a sign.

        But not for today — I pick up both girls from school at the same time, and Maj would KILL me.

        And that would hurt.

        Hmmm.

    • Thank you for the snorts!

      Also, I was hoping for a photo. A little disappointed, if I’m honest…

      • You know me better than that.

        I am a woman of words, not photos.

        I prefer words and their magic to images, every time.

        Every time.