Once upon a time...in August... I had a terrible, no good, very bad day - possibly one of the worst days of my life. And on this day I found myself wandering aimlessly around downtown. Beside myself with misery, self-loathing and humiliation, I came to the conclusion that I needed to indulge myself immediately and so I marched into the MAC Cosmetics shop on Robson and I bought myself some pressed powder
Big deal, you say. Well, it was a big deal. It was a new product - a
nd an expensive one, at that. Years ago, dropping $30 on face powder was no big deal. Pffft... I used to spend that on a tube of mascara. But, times had changed, and so it was unusual for me to make such a purchase. It felt good to walk in there and spend my money in such a wonderfully selfish way. It was a small, sad act of defiance.
That disc of pressed powder with its perfect, satin finished surface - still untouched by brushes or fingers - meant
something to me. I wanted my life to be as pristine. I thought maybe if I could take this fancy little item home, that perhaps some of it would rub off. Not in the make-up way, of course. I mean, I wanted that, too. But also...Oh, you know what I mean...
So, I bought it. And for the first time in a good 24 hours I felt like a human again - not just human, but like a lady
. How bad could things be if I could walk into a shop and buy myself something so lovely? The saleswoman treated me just like a normal person. It occurred to me that she couldn't even tell
that I was gutted wasteland - and that if she couldn't tell... then others wouldn't be able to either. I tightened my grip on the compact appreciatively.
Time passed. I got over a great many things. My pressed powder maintained its magical qualities. I used it over and over again and the surface still looked untouched. Every morning I swept it over my cheeks, nose and chin and every morning the powdery ritual reassured me: Everything would work out fine.
Well, last week my cat swatted my compact on to the tiled bathroom floor. There were no survivors. Well, the cat survived - but only because I don't believe in hurting animals. If she were human... well I'd be in jail or the perpetrator of a murder/suicide. The compact is no longer compact. It is now nothing more than a cracked and crumbled mound of my-flesh-coloured dust, housed in a cheap plastic container.
I cried when I first saw the damage. I told myself I was being silly even though I knew I wasn't. I felt heartsick - like I had failed at something. I didn't throw it out, even though it is unusable. Though I feel miserable whenever I see it squatting in my bathroom drawer, I still try to use it. I grit my teeth and stab my blush brush into the ruined mess and dust it over my face. I doesn't feel nice, but I do it anyway - not to punish myself... No. I think maybe because I'm not ready to give up yet. Maybe its twisted sort of optimism. Who knows? That disc of pressed powder meant
something to me.
I started with a "once up on a time" didn't I? Well, it would certainly be jumping to gun to end with a "happily ever after", wouldn't it? I guess "to be continued..." would be the most appropriate and really, that's not so bad.