What feeling ugly does

May 23rd, 2017

trying to fix the outside doesn’t change what’s inside

My seventh grade friend Lindy and I hung around Tiburon’s Angel Island ferry dock on Main Street’s Penny Arcade behind Bird and Hound Clothing.  Goofing off, we watched penny movies for a dime and played foosball.  A bunch of kids sat on the railing, flirting, pushing and jumping into dirty grey-blue bay.  Sometimes we walked the tracks back to Lindy’s house for a swim in her pool.

Lindy had a beautiful face, even with a mouthful of braces.  Her cheekbones were high and her gorgeous jade green eyes stood out because she outlined them with a brush and black liquid eyeliner from a tiny bottle, adding multiple coats of black mascara on caterpillar eyelashes like Elizabeth Taylor wore in Cleopatra.  Lindy constantly applied lip gloss if she wasn’t smoking.  She filed her nails and compulsively changed polish several times a day.

We both suffered because we didn’t look like models in Seventeen magazine.  I know I never hit the mark.  Eyeliner looked stupid on me, but I lined my eyes for years because Lindy did it.

“I’m ugly. I hate my life!”

“What are you talking about? Your eyes are amazing! You go to modeling school!”

“I look fat.”

She was in junior high, enrolled in Robert Powers Modeling School in San Francisco.  No convincing her, Lindy felt like scum and neediness showed.  She craved a boyfriend to define herself, scaring boys away because she looked so grown up.

“You’ve already had more boyfriends than me,”  I was sick of this conversation.  Yeah, yeah, I needed a boyfriend, so I wouldn’t stick out more than I already did, but I didn’t want to think about it.  I hated my chunky body, too, checking out tall boys to not stick out more that I did.

Lindy moved like a dancer, evenly sliding her head from side to side like an Indian snake goddess, with her slender, graceful hands undulating in an easy groove.  Her double-jointed knees almost locked backwards so far they looked painful.  She could completely close one eyelid at a time, keeping the other one open like one of my dolls.  Nobody else could do that.

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