Sunday, January 07, 2007


Living on the cheap in East Side Milwaukee student flat with other backward children, frantic to break free of quotidian and provincial surroundings, we played pretend with single minded furies of imagination, and yes one day, oh one day they transformed a very young woman, 18 years old she was, oh an egghead for sure, somewhat bent in the brain, wearing the inevitable 70s costume of workshirt and bluejeans, living somewhere in the vicinity of her head, not knowing there was a woman's body there, oh no.

And the flat was bohemian, or as close as it could get, artists lived there, and several mannequins graced the place, one named Jeanette, her costumes obtained from the Not So Far From Zanzibar second hand store, glorious relics from past ages of glamour, and one particular item a black lace corset, changed everything.

One night, bored, the artists persuaded the very young woman to play, and dressed her in the corset, two sizes small, gave a va va voom hourglass shape, curvy and sexy (cleavage she didn't know she had!) but then oh what to wear? For there was the ball to attend, of course, can't just go in a corset, oh at least not in those days. So a black dress was found, with padded shoulders and three quarter length sleeves, flaring skirt, oh Miss 40s, yep, oh and on with black seamed stockings and high heeled shoes, hair done up in wild style with a million bobbypins and red, red lipstick, the whole nine yards, oh and no one even recognized her, the boyfriend's jaw dropped, and off to the ball, a night of music and dancing and wild revelry, ah, the first transformation of many to come.


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