Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Glittery, Poison-colored Paste

I went for a random city wander in midst the sandwich papers, autumn leaves and flyers on the floor. Between the slowly awakening neons winking moodily at the city sunset from sleazy windows, from behind plastic palm trees garlanded with Christmas lights, tinsel and fake sunflowers, pushing the violet hour away slowly, with flickering fits and starts, as the blue velvet swirled in convulsively, grimly threatening to drown out all of the day’s light and life.

I kicked before me some crumpling night club flyers and looked at the long road before me, noticed a drug store to my left and remembered about some nail varnish that I wanted. Inside the store, I stood momentarily mesmerized by the long row of make-up displays, full of pink and silver, purple, green and red colours, black, yellow, and gold, too. I slowly picked up one nail varnish, turned the bottle on its head and watched the glittery, poison-colored paste move slowly and sluggishly, like amoebae, through the tiny glass vial. The glitter was very fine, in dark silver and purple tones, and it seemed strangely animated, the way it slowly let an air bubble swim from one side of the bottle to the other, like a cute brat popping bubble gum.

I stood there with the nail varnish, thinking, “I wonder if they are actually all as ugly as this, or whether some of these could pass for good taste”.

I picked up another. Here, the glitter was much less fine and dusty, and it was multicolour, more like confetti. It was swimming in bubble gum colour pink fluid, and had a similarly caterpillar-like way of moving its gooey consistency about, as I turned the bottle over and a bubble of air went through the body, like a pulse, it seemed.

The lip pencil section, with fragrances and tastes as well, had me particularly transfixed, as a dance of words like “ballet pink”, “blushing nude”, “sexy cherry”, and “dreamy decadence” stared into my eyes. “Such crudely misogynistic, pseudo-girly conceptual tags for such pathetic, distasteful goo”, I thought, “what a shambles”, as a big and bulging pink cloud fell over my brain.
I started to think pink handbags, Barbie dolls and watermelon martinis, white cars and palm trees, and then again, I started to think that all the make up and nail varnish I ever wore was like so much dust from a poisoned cloud settled on my skin, and on everybody else’s too, like so many worms and maggots moving over my lips and eyes and nails, a thought I found difficult to shake off.
Yes, I thought, I had recognized the decay to be what it was, decay, rather than the lavish joie de vivre that happy people fondly refer to as decadence. Creeping out of a rotting cake like a stray worm and trying to make it on my own amongst the bubblegum-plastered streets, ducking the crushing boot of society, seemed to me just as insane as staying in the mold, hatching in the familiar nest of desperation and thinly fading southern comforts, and whiskey sours rubbing off and off on purple velvet bar furnishings like a big, fat, vulgar fungus on the soul.

First published in IndieBerlin at

My first novel (similar style) on amazon