By Fawn Parker
With artwork by Loni Jeffs
It had all been arranged. Six months in the making, give or take. But see then once we met I just didn’t know what to do. It was a real big fork in the aesthetic road, as they say.
I consulted with close acquaintances and much to my dismay it got me ten steps back from where I began.
The whole thing is off, I said to them. I said, I have fallen in love and now I must take that into account.
But, well, see it’s common knowledge that I fall in love too easy, so they simply pacified me. He won’t mind, it doesn’t matter. What about when I go away for two weeks, I said, What then. Again, they pacified me. He won’t mind, it doesn’t matter. This is for you, they said.
This is for me. I was speaking to the mirror when I said this. Isn’t that so meta, that I said to myself (the mirror self) that I (myself) am doing this for myself. I did it for myself and for all of the bright bright mornings in that damn single bed. The heat gets so unbearable in the summer months it woke you at ungodly hours, only to turn and discover something I wouldn’t wish for anyone to see.
How I longed to rest in peace. Oh not like that. Haha. To lie still and oblivious to your positioning and proximity! I had gotten so accustomed to the posing. I could sense a look coming from a mile away. There I was, prepped and ready with the good angle coming your way.
Ok, so yes, I am stalling. Here is how it happened:
I was led into a bright white room. Oh, it’s like being reborn! I said. Oh, it’s so magical! I said.
I was put into a deep sleep. Now this is where I cannot tell you what happened, although I have my theories. I awoke in a different room, less bright but also white. It was like waking up from a dream in which nothing happened. The doctor said that it had all been a success. I must have been breathtaking just then.
So I was now in a cast. Under the cast I was in limbo. For one week I was either beautiful or I was hideous. How is one to compose oneself when one doesn’t know which? Should I have been too loud, too presumptuous, too obscure, well then a person could say to me, ‘Upon reflection, that behaviour was unacceptable, knowing now that you are ugly.’ Oh what strange uncharted territory that was.
And ok, so once the cast came off I was in agreeance with the surgeon regarding it being a success. But it was so different. It was so good. Surely you would notice that I am beautiful.
So what I did is I went and got a haircut. I got these blunt bangs like Zooey Deschanel just in time to return to you. I was away, I said to you. I was busy, and you know I hate to Skype. You know I hate how it reminds me of the distance.
I did not know that, you said, but that makes sense to me now that you have said it.
So now, upon returning, it seemed you were starting to look at me funny. It seemed that you were beginning to notice.
That haircut sure looks nice, you said to me over dinner.
I turned at one point, foolishly letting my guard down to grab a wine glass out of the cupboard, and I was just certain that you had noticed.
So, alright. The cat was certainly out of the bag. I have had some work done, I said, and I slid my finger down my nose. I understand that this is a controversial act for an independent woman in the year of 2016. However, I am simply reacting to my environment. Simply playing the game, if you will.
Oh, you said. Hmm.
I said, Well what do you think.
You said, Well that’s alright with me. Anyhow I am moving to Spain.
Spain! I said. Spain! How long ago did this come about?
Oh, you said. About six months perhaps.
Is it that you thought I wouldn’t notice? Men all up and down the street turning their heads when I walk past and you, in Spain with your wine and your damn books.
Fawn Parker was born in Toronto and lives in Montreal. Her work has been published in Joyland Magazine,Cosmonauts Avenue, The Quietus, and elsewhere. Her collection Looking Good and Having a Good Time was published by Metatron in 2015. She is the managing editor of The Puritan.
Loni Jeffs is a writer and artist. See more work here.