Wednesday, December 12, 2012

i dream in technicolor

I ride in the backseat of a vintage car with creme leather interior and an exterior painted in the most retro powder blue imaginable. It's a blue so dated that it feels like we could just disappear into the spotless sky on the horizon as we drive down this stretch of long flat desert road. With the windows open, the dry air whips my long black hair as we tear through the rising heat of the pavement.

We pull into the parking lot of a brick motel. The red "MOTEL" sign juts up into the sky like a beacon.

I float lifelessly on my back in the pool of rippling blue and white. The red bikini top covering my flat chest barely breaches the surface of the water. My long hair fans around my head like thousands of thin black tentacles. The sun is blinding, hot white. It sears my pasty Asian skin. I am a prop in the background of a retro-influenced fashion editorial: like the fat, hairy, mustachioed man and his orange floaties; like the impeccably fit, depantsed, white-assed man and the crazy-blonde boy that supposedly depantsed him; like the golden retriever wearing sunglasses and swim trunks and the little chihuahua in a tutu humping its leg.

The models are fittingly, unrealistically edgy. Their glossy red lips reflect like glass. Their graphic cat eyes are hard and sharp. Their modern rolled hair is soft and disheveled. They cut hourglass silhouettes like corseted ladies in their editorial dresses. They make as much sense as stilettos on grass, but like most ideas that don't make sense they are an appeal to a higher ideal.

In the dressing room after the shoot two models pass behind me as I sit in front of a vanity drying my hair. I see their reflections in the mirror. I watch them undress. I want to know the reality of their figures. I rejoice a little to see that under their dresses they are still both tightly bound from their ribs to their knees.

I recognize the silvery white opacity of their undergarments to be layers and layers of tightly wrapped transparent plastic film. The two women smile and joke as they unwrap themselves from the yards and yards of plastic wrap. As layers are unraveled the transparency returns, and I can start seeing their flesh tones underneath and something else, something dark. I stare more intently at the hazy darkness that smears their lower half. The more of the layers they peel the more clearly I can see that it is rusty red of dried blood.

The sounds of their nonchalant conversation presses against my ears. I can't look away. I know it's in the moment you turn away that the unknown horror jumps out to get you. I stare, wide-eyed and unblinking, but I know what it is before the last of the plastic wrap is dropped to the floor.

Like encircling your thumb and pointer around the middle of a jelly doughnut, so were these round and filled women squeezed. The last lengths of plastic wrap bind their knees tightly together, and between their pressed thighs is the mess of filling. When the last of the plastic is undone and their knees separated their fillings squished between their legs drop to the floor with wet thuds.

Both women step out of their respective circles of plastic they've made on the floor around their ankles and cheerily walk away towards the showers. They leave behind the contorted bodies of their nearly full-term fetuses that lie like hatchlings, bruised blue and yellow, in their respective gossamer nests of red-stained silvery white.

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