XXL: Seeking Venus

By Jo Phillips

Make Me Up - The Heartbeat Issue
‘Make me up’ published in The Heartbeat Issue guest-edited by Jo Malone. Photography by Jeremy Coleman. Creative Director: Jo Phillips. Beauty Editor: Alexis Day.

6:45. Hit Snooze.
6:52. Wake up. Six minute shower, with the shampoo that gave people orgasms in the 90s. You’re sexy.
Red panties. Just in case. Red bra. Vintage dress circa 1920. Flapper. You can pull it off. Only good thing about small boobs. Make-up. Make it look natural. None of those garish colors the ex-husband’s secretary wears.
7:20. Breakfast: coffee and a Red Bull chased with gum, Arctic something.
7:54. Drop the twins—they’re not twins, but you always wanted twins and the way the girl wears her hair short, she even sorta looks like the boy—at school.
8:01. Tanning. Friends think you get tan gardening. You tried a garden last summer, but when fat green caterpillars kept eating your tomatoes and the dog left a heaping shit on the basil, you gave up.
Tan ten minutes.
8:21. Consider walking to the grocery. It’s a ten minute walk. It’s nearly 90º out.
Drive to grocery store. Not the whole foods one. The one with HoHos. Remember you only weighed 119 pounds before the boy. 130 before the girl.
That was fourteen years ago. You were pretty.
8:31. Walk past the HoHos.
You’re pretty now. Lipo, thank god. Doctor said 150 didn’t justify it. Money convinces anyone. One fat slup later: 115.
8:33. Grab a kiwi. Kiwis are healthy.
Grab a RockStar. Kiwi: $0.33; RockStar $2.99. The way the cashier looks at you, under eyelashes too long for a boy: Priceless.
Eat the kiwi, skin and everything, before getting back in SUV.
Drive to office. 9:02. Work. Get on Facebook while conference calling. Chug RockStar. Buy a Snickers from the vending machine while you’re on a different call.
12:15-1:18. Lunch: Snickers. Eat it while you bike on the stationary bike at the downtown Y. Shower.
1:20-1:40. Fix make-up.
1:41. Purchase double soy latte.
1:44. Return to work. Search for better job. Maybe a wedding planner. Imagine sexy young grooms-to-be, and how they’ll be nervous about getting tied down. How you’ll call them in for a private conference. How, after pretending to care about whatever they’re saying, you’ll lean in with a low cut blouse and breathe-whisper in their ear, that sounds like such a good plan.
3:47. Wonder if the twins got home safe. Call the boy’s cell. Call again. Start to panic. Call again. Yell at him when he answers. Feel relieved they’re home safe. Hang up. Wonder if the boy was lying. Leave work early. You’re salaried.
4:29. Try the front door. Unlocked. Imagine rapists. Grab a vacuum cleaner attachment from the pile of vacuum cleaner parts in the coat closet. Realize it’s the hose. Slink through the house. Imagine yourself as a frog. A Leopard frog. A Leopard frog with sexy red panties.
Frogs come lubricated. Frogs are sexy.
You have fantasies about being raped. By your ex-husband. You know you’re not supposed to think those things. You’re a liberated woman, and rape is anything not sexy.
4:31. Nudge open the door to the girl’s room. See a boy. Not your boy.
They don’t notice you. They are inexperienced and clumsy. Don’t watch long.
Now you know the girl isn’t a lesbian. Not that you wouldn’t love her anyway. That’s what you’re supposed to say. You’ve rehearsed. Just in case.
Remember when boys wanted you.
4:49. Go to linen closet. Break into emergency supply of HoHos. Eat three. Hell, you’ve already opened the box. Eat them all.
Puke. You like feeling empty. You can’t balloon out again.
5:01. Go to kitchen. Pour yourself a finger of rum. Make it three. Add Coke. Call it dinner.

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