Like Celine

Oh, I almost forgot.
At about three, this girl comes in
while I’m on the phone
and just stands there
with this piece of paper in her hand
and she’s like, holding it on the counter?
I catch a glance while I’m telling Teddie
all about the silliness at Jackie’s last Friday—
and it was that one—oh, you know,
that album with all the hair
like snakes, out about a foot from her
head in all directions—
I think—I know— my god,
she wants me to do that to her!
And I’ve never seen her before!
I finished off with Teddie, said it was an emergency
or something,
and asked the poor thing
if there was something I could do?
And she tells me she wants to look like Celine.
Well the poor thing doesn’t have
Celine’s cheekbones
or her long horsey face that needs a foot of extensions
writhing on each side of her head to compensate
Who could walk around with that?
She’d need to hire a staff of shepherds
to walk around with long crooks
just to keep it from running away!
I looked her right in the eye
and I said Honey, why you need to look like Celine?
Well, she starts this tale of woe—
all these folk have soap opera lives—
like how this boy she works with
is never going to notice her
and she’s got her whole paycheck
and she’s going to blow it on
this Celine thing with her hair
to win the day.
I see a tear growing
in the corner of her eye
and I see her fingernails chewed down
and her sorry excuse for rewashed
and resewn clothes
and how her coat isn’t warm enough
and how she’s too plain
and too forgettable
and how nothing in her life
ever has been or ever will be enough.
She sure can’t afford
the three hundred dollars
that do would cost, but I think what the hell, it’s Christmas;
I can do something for her.
So I look her in the eye
poor little pimply plug,
and I say sit in that chair, girl:
if you’ve got ten dollars there,
I’m going to make you look just like Celine.
Got to go, Hon; my two o’clock’s here.
Come right in, Mrs. Mac: sit down, and I’ll be right with you.

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About riverwriter

Poet, playwright, duplicate bridge player, website designer, cottager, husband, father, grandfather, former athlete, carpenter, computer helper for my friends, theatre designer, backstage polymath, retired teacher of highschool English, drama, art, a baritone singer in a barbershop quartet, who knows what else? wordcurrents is on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wordcurrents/ Doug also has a Facebook page, "Incognitio", related to his novels.
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