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Inner Vision: By Any Other Name

Inner Vision: By Any Other Name

Rose bobbed her head like a dashboard cupie, trying to get used to her new graduated lenses. She liked her old bifocals better. Clear lines: the top was for far away and the bottom for up close. But the hipster-optometrist convinced her that the rimless squares she now wore were “bleeding-edge,” whatever that meant, and infinitely more attractive than her old specs. 

Rose bobbed her head like a dashboard cupie, trying to get used to her new graduated lenses. She liked her old bifocals better. Clear lines: the top was for far away and the bottom for up close. But the hipster-optometrist convinced her that the rimless squares she now wore were “bleeding-edge,” whatever that meant, and infinitely more attractive than her old specs. According to Dr. Opal, it took only a subtle shift of the eye through the lens to change focus. Unfortunately, Rose had never mastered the art of subtlety. 

Frustration festered as she continued her head dance. Damn. Close things were blurry when they should be clear. And the farther things still seemed too distant, like the soft face of perfection she’d been trying to see across the room for 45 minutes. 

When she shifted in her seat to get a better view, curly red hair littered her shoulders with tiny bits of dandruff.  She woefully watched as an unwelcome flake drifted toward the blueberry scone on her plate.  She tried to swat the intruder before it landed, but instead knocked over her Black Forest Double Twist Iced Tea. Again.

“Still working on those new glasses, eh?” Lacy said jovially, as she bent down and swooped up the sticky puddle quickly spreading over the floor.

“Yeah…got any club soda left in the back?”

The scene was too familiar for her to be embarrassed. No matter how careful she was, Rose spilled her drinks, toppled displays at the mall, and – on more than one occasion –injured small animals and children by trying to get out of their way.  Her mother called it a special touch.

Lacy brought the club soda, again, and Rose worked the skirt until the beige stain faded enough to look like it was an intentional pattern. Sort of.  She smoothed the fabric and straightened in her seat. Honestly, she felt like there was an unspoken conspiracy between dirt and disaster that swirled at her feet and followed her wherever she went. 

When she looked up, she found her fuzzy vision focusing straight ahead at the table where Gorgeous was still sitting. Rose blinked and Gorgeous smiled. Oh God, she’d been seen! Grabbing the discarded Auto World from the next table, she sank into the booth and conspicuously tried not to be seen.

“It sure is pretty, isn’t it?” a melodic voice asked.

Peering out from her paper cocoon, she made out the silky mane and cobalt eyes she’d been staring at for close to an hour.

“Uh …” Rose tried to speak, but instead saliva shot out an attempted reply. She wanted to die.

“I thought about it, too” Gorgeous went on, pretending not to notice the tiny rainstorm.  “But it’s a gas hog.”

Rose tried again. “Uh huh.”

“Sorry, I’m always doing that,” said Gorgeous, extending a graceful hand. “Hi.”


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(continued)


“Hi,” Rose replied with a half-smile, trying desperately to lick the remaining drops of spit off her lips without looking like a thirsty hound dog. 

“I come here every other day or so just to get a change of scene, but I suppose that’s redundant,” Gorgeous said.

Rose smiled with a weak laugh to avoid any further precipitation. When she was convinced that she’d dried up the river inside her mouth, she took a chance.

“I know, I see you.”

“I know,” Gorgeous sang through flawless teeth.

Rose smiled, truly embarrassed now.  Her hands were starting to get clammy and she wondered if Gorgeous could see the perspiration stains in her armpits that were beginning to drip down the side of her blouse. She also noticed an odor and thought her 12-hour deodorant had given out after only 4 hours under pressure – again.

 “Whoops,” Gorgeous laughed. “I don’t care what they say about lactose intola- whatever you call it. I can’t stay away from lattes.”

Rose watched a silky stray hair fall down to blue sandals that adorned oversized, under-groomed feet.  Toilet paper stuck out from underneath the heel.

“That’s okay,” she said.  “I’m perfect. So that makes two of us.”

Looking forward,

Lisa V.

 

Miss the last Inner Vision? Read it here!

 

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Lisa B. Valentino