High school senior Ashley St. Helens
has suddenly found herself living a fairy tale life....
Which is not as much fun as it sounds.
Until... the other shoe drops.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Teen Princess

I used to spend an hour or more in the laundry room each day, reading between tasks. The moist, tropical warmth of the dryer made it a cozy place. The loose ends of my hair would curl on their own, as if free for once to express themselves. One day I was sitting on the washer waiting for it to finish the spin cycle. Just as it slowed to a stop, I finished reading Kafka's Metamorphosis, and between the dreamlike story and the lulling motion of the ride, I was in another world. Everything was still for a moment, and far in the distance a curious thing happened: the phone rang upstairs.

In that house, I rarely heard the phone ring in the afternoon, since Debra or Donna were always talking on it and incoming calls would beep in their ears instead of out loud. A moment later Donna burst into the room with said phone attached to the side of her head, blabbing away to one of her girlfriends about—as usual—clothes. (Let me try to record this faithfully; it was pretty amazing…)

“So did you see in the latest issue of TEEN PRINCESS they had those thigh-high stockings with the cross-stitched ribbing—no not those, those were cute too, but I don’t like wide stripes, they make my legs look too fat—yes, and did you see the SHOES she was wearing with them, oh my God, anyway, I’m all, aren’t those adorable, just too too cute, and SO new they’re just the thing, I have to have ‘em, and I was like, trying to order them online but they declined my credit card because I’ve maxed it again and forgot I was waiting for Mother to get another mortgage, so I left ‘em in my cart, since it may be awhile before I can get them—but I hope they’re not like, totally out of style by the time I can complete the transaction, but anyway I have to email and ask their circumference since my thighs are only sixteen inches and they might not even stay up.”

I kid you not. One sentence.

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