SWIMMING IN THE OARK/Nancy Zafris 1IFE IS STRANGE, isn't it? A hotel pool in Rome, the china plate of jblue water, fifteen other girls in the company-issue swimsuit. We're stewardesses from Japan. Yesterday we went shopping. Tomorrow, Our lounge chairs surround the pool like a fence, like a red fence with splashes of white paint. Next to me Michie talks of wanting to more like a troupe of Kabuki actors. Too much makeup and somehow you begin to look like a man. It's the layers of foundation on our faces--chin and cheeks--but that's how they like us, painted in white, the post-adolescent pimples hidden. The cosmetics clog the pores, causing further pimples, then more layers to cover up, and voilà! in no time Tm admiring a pretty transvestite in the mirror. Makeup free, I turn my face up to the sun. I have my eyes closed and Tm getting hot. Beside me Michie sighs. "Omiyage, " she laments. "Such a constant trial," agree the others. Already I have three shopping bags of calfskins and Gucci from Via Condotti, presents for family, in-laws, and friends, but hidden in one is a secret treat for myself: miniature yellow post-its with
The Missouri Review – University of Missouri
Published: Oct 5, 1996
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