in medias res
It isn't that I'm
a princess, really, but more that everybody just instinctively knows to approach me with deference. Additionally, I'm not saying that you're all entirely
wrong, but I prefer to think of myself as a fairy faggot boy with an highly calibrated sense of discernment. One of the things you don't realize is how much work it takes to do this thing that's part bringing sexy back, part community service, and part social activism. This much beauty this casually is anything but effortless! Can you imagine it--for all those ads that tell us we aren't yet quite happy until we BUY THIS [thing] FOR ONLY THREE EASY PAYMENTS!!, I must wake up early at eleven in the morning, dredge myself from the bottom of the most luxurious IKEA bed you have never paid full price for, look at myself in the heavily faux-gilded mirror, and say, "That'll do, pig, that'll do."
Forget the fairy tales with Shining Armor and Dragon Fighting. I live in the middle of nowhere now, but once I trained with the direst cutthroats in the American Royalty Making biz--Los Angeles hope
fuls. That's where "the prince took (hard-working waiter-cum-actor) her to be his wife, for now he was sure that he had found a real princess, and the pea was put into the Museum..." But after that ellipsis, you never read that the princess was put on the mantle and the prince brought all his friends around to swirl brandy and snort coke and the princess withered next to Emmy and Grammy and Oscar as surely as the forgotten pea shriveled, thrown into a drawer next to hot pink-handled safety scissors and snugger fit condoms.
There was a time when all I wanted was to storm around a palatial penthouse and order quaking lackeys to do my bidding. Turns out, there is no point to that kind of existence, and it gives a (biologically adult male) girl a chance to think about some things. After the fifth week of waking up in a sticky pile of limbs on a leather couch worth more than US debt to China, unsure of what chemicals and substances went into which parts of which naked bodies around me, I realized I wanted more than the life I'd dreamed of since I was but a budding ingenue. I sold all my shoes, found out Seattle isn't actually one of the wettest cities in the country, bought a condo there, and learned to use "hipster" like the locals--that is, without a clue what it really means.
The trick for me is that I still have no point to my life. I'm beginning to suspect that there kinda isn't a point beyond what we give it. I've learned the differences between oolong and green and black teas, which drinks are actually herbal infusions or botanicals, and even the proper pronunciations of pu-erh, rooibos, and yerba mate. I went to community college and studied programming, of all unlikely things. I learned about stocks and certificates of deposit and mutual funds. I've really learned about tax deductible items and donations! Nobody knows me here. I don't have an infamous commercial or an unforgettable scene or a signature phrase from my acting days. I buy things from craigslist to fill my place, and I occasionally scan the Missed Connections, M4M.
Unlike the fairy tale, there's not so much an ending to this one. Probably just another ellipsis, truth be told. I still struggle not to be lonely and I think about getting a plant or a cat sometimes. I pick pretend fights with pretend Vietnamese landladies and go on pretend dates where I tell the waitress, "He's coming, just running late!"
For all that I got to the top of the world, trophy wife to a mogul-icon, this is happiness for me: the other day I rode the Number 41 Metro bus, headed North without really any destination. There were two young men still on as we approached the end of the line. They got off at the last stop, and so did I. They walked across the street and the whole time were signing to each other, a lively and engaging conversation I couldn't follow at all. They were on a bus date, I realized, and I could see that they loved each other. I live in that world. That's happy.
So no, it's not so much that I'm a fairy tale princess. I have made and lost a fortune or two. I've kissed a LOT of frogs. I've even done my time on magazine covers. That was a previous life, maybe, and now I'm just some fag in a city in the middle of media nowhere, thinking of a dried pea thrown in a drawer...
This short was written in response to a prompt contest