She has, in her hands, a small metal instrument that looks like a cross between a tattoo machine, a dental tool, and a paint sprayer. “Close your eyes,” she says, and a moment later she’s spraying my face with foundation. It’s like being outdoors in a breezy mist.
She and Mary are chatting as she continues to apply makeup to my closed eyes. My eyebrows. My lips. Ultimately, she glues fake eyelashes on me and I feel hooded and a little like Lucille Ball, certain to peg anyone who gets too close with one of these feelers.
Of all the improbable things to happen this evening, it turns out wearing heels is the oddest. They’re gorgeous heels. Stomping heels. And they raise me up to some wild height of danger. I could be on stilts. I walk as though I am.
I’m handed a cane.
“Don’t upset her,” the photographer’s assistant says, “she has a weapon.”
I have never been photographed like this. And when it was suggested, I told the photographer that I make monkey face when I’m anxious. “That’s my favorite kind of face,” he assured me. And that’s how I knew this would be fine. Now, in the studio, he says, “This is all about awkward, and fun. Whichever parts of you bend will be entirely straight, or entirely bent. Awkward and fun!”
“Oh good, I specialize in awkward.” And before he snaps the camera, he makes a sharp intake of breath in surprise, like when you’re playing peek-a-boo with a toddler, “EEh!” and I mimic him — my face lighting up with the noise. Surprise! Flash! Surprise! Flash!
I’m one of the early doctors from Doctor Who. I have a Panama hat. And a long skirt. I can hear Mary laughing, behind the lights.
But, honestly, this is exactly what he promised, awkward and fun. I’m this weird character in my weird body, made up to catch the light in ways I usually avoid. Performance in person rather than on the page. Later, when I watch Mary, who makes the awkward seem more natural, I realize how much skill it takes to be someone else. To inhabit it. Mostly, I feel like I’m still trying to figure out how to be my self. Awkward and fun. That really does cover it, doesn’t it? Awkward and fun, and chasing joy.
2 thoughts on “Doctor Who?”
You were WONDERFUL!! I can’t wait for you to see the pics 😀
Awkward and fun. Huh. I just realized I presumed those things to be mutually exclusive. How liberating!
I can’t wait to see what this is all about…