Sunday, November 19, 2006

Powder Blue

Once upon a 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 - and 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.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

maybe the cat was trying to tell you something... like that powder simply was not your color! Or maybe something else.

11/20/2006 7:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I want to cry...

11/23/2006 1:33 PM  

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