Saturday, October 25, 2014

A New Line of Work

She's never felt this anxious, her heart's palpitating, vulnerability overbearing as she crushes a small cube of ice in her left hand. "Just focus on the cold, forget everything." Her mother had suggested deep breathing, the ice treatment, 21 minutes of exercise but her heart still palpitates. She wants to build a wall around her, a fortress, protective and impenetrable. There's no reason for the fear, it's like walking into a party, the last one on the list and everyone in the room staring, watching, judging. Her doe eyes broaden. She looks like a spaniel about to give birth, vulnerable and desperate. She's drowning, sinking into the abyss in a tiny vault. It's just an interview, it's just a change, it's just a walk in the park, twenty metres down the street that kaleidoscopes into a five mile slow motion drag.  Her imagination takes over as the ice melts in her palm, dripping cold pearls upon the bathroom floor. She imagines herself swathed in silk, this is going to be an Academy Award performance, she's dressed queen of St Germaine.

The panic attacks are new. She's been as stoic as a statue until now. Teetering down Walker street, the towering skyscrapers spin above her head, why is she so nervous, it's just an interview. Planets are not aligned, in their right order. The red planet is too profound, the ringed planet off kilter. She thinks about turning around and forgetting it all.

She isn't young, but she's no dinosaur. Attractive, shapely, enhanced a little by a breast uplift and good genes. No prowler or cougar, just a protective lioness of a mother, providing for her pride since he traded her up for a younger model. She puffs up her chest, straightens her back, steadies herself with military precision and even though her heart still feels like it's about to burst from her chest, she walks through the sliding doors with heroic confidence that betrays her inner fear.

She's the playgroup Mom, the perfect housewife, the quintessential mother, now about to become a lady of the  night, a call girl, an escort.

She slips through the lobby, smils sweetly at the Concierge and approaches the desk. Cognisant of the CCTV, she looks up and winks at whoever is in the control room. And so it begins.