On Madame X

Her gloves are new, her cigarettes old. She drinks cocktails but breaks them up with a longneck beer. She loves walking face-up in the sunlight, but knows it’s a cheap imitation of her swagger after dark. She leans against a lamppost reading a paperback. She’s kicked the asses of guys bigger than you.

She has a spiritual agenda and a story involving a sledgehammer.  She’s okay with being petty, because that’s a part of her, which must make it somewhat beautiful. She gets to the heart of things, the guts of their beings, which explains why she hangs out with lots of mean, strange weirdos. She believes love conquering all is a nice fairy tale, but about as real as she is.madamex3

She can drive a car, maybe a boat, likely a horse. She’s had to change a tire in the snow; the first time, someone offered to help, but she told them she’d have to learn eventually so it might as well be now. She’s gone on sexless road trips that involved heartburn and classic shitty movies in a twin bed. She enjoys throwing things, and will always try to hit trash cans from far away. She knows how to make service representatives laugh. She can play cards. Your brother likes her.

She’s got a past. It’s ugly, as ugly as yours easily. There were lovers, plenty of them, interesting and funny and sometimes nasty. Some mattered, some didn’t. She’s still friends with the good ones, even the rich one she always makes fun of. She talks about them by name and the interesting experiences she had with them. One or two she hates outright, describing their flaws as neither poetic or fascinating but just chaotic and infuriating and wretched. She doesn’t want to hang out with those ones.

She’s aware of what goes on. Oh, she knows. She may laugh, and smirk, and have a good time dancing at places, but she’s aware of how bad it gets. When you blow off someone’s cruelty as clumsy or typical, she refuses to buy it. She’s not ready to lie to herself for comfort, or to hope for the best when the truth is mistaking her for the help and asking her for a refill. Don’t insult her intelligence.

She makes you laugh, sometimes the lips-curled cackles of comedy but most of the time the bent-browed laughter of joy. Her sharp wit and dark sense of humor are just two more tools hanging from the belt she wears to survive life’s gruelling adventure. She knows why you smile so little, but also knows why you should laugh more. She’s ordered food because you ran late. She couldn’t wait, and knew you’d be hungry.


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