html xmlns:og='' xmlns:expr=''> Lounging at the Waldorf: La CC


Tuesday, September 11, 2012


CC is the name she uses now but her real name is Carolyn. She lives with her mom upstairs from me and my mom. Her mom taught us to read tarot cards and coffee grounds. She had us throwing pennies and consulting stars. If any of it worked, she would have seen her daughter turning into a gangster so I guess we can assume it was all BS. It was fun, though. Pretending that we knew something we didn't.

I was best friends with Carolyn. CC, though? CC is a stranger. Treats me like a stranger, too. CC walks down Hill Street, slow and steady, twisting up her fingers in a secret language to cars that pass by. Some of them respond. Most just keep driving. I imagine the drivers are just as confused as I am.

"La CC" she scrawls on on her notebooks. "Loca Por Vida." This would all be well and good except CC stands for Carolyn Cline. So. Well.

It's summer and I'm sick of TV. My mom tells me to "go outside and play." I'll be 14 in a few months. I don't "play" anymore.

I walk down Hill Street to Pic 'n' Save to see if they have any new lipsticks. They don't. My neighbor Andrew works there putting prices on things then putting the things with prices on shelves.

He's all, "You better tell Carolyn not to come in here any more. They got her on the security tape taking nail polish and strawberry wine and shit." I shrug my shoulders and start walking towards the door. "They got her picture on the wall," I hear him say before the smudgy automatic door closes behind me with a squeak and a sigh.

In the parking lot, I pull five lipstick out of my pants. I already have these colors and they all look like shit on me. I chuck them in the bushes and keep walking.

Over on Marine Street, I see this girl I know from school, Sloppy Tina. She's sitting on the hood of a car, drinking something pink from a mayonaise jar. They call her that because of what she did with a boy. Or I guess it was a man, almost. I mean, I heard he had a mustache. I don't even know if it's true. They say she was wearing a maxi pad. That doesn't even make sense.

She juts her chin out at me. "What's up?"

I jut my chin out at her. "What's up?"

We have nothing to say to each other but she's alone and I'm alone and I'm fucking sick of it. I sit on the hood of the car next to her. She hands me the mayonaise jar. Strawberry wine.

Me and Tina are at her house with plastic bags on our heads. We're dying our hair a good color called "eggplant."

Because her mom is a beautician, Tina knows how to do all kinds of beauty things. She has her own piercing gun and gave me a three more earring holes. She taught me that I'm an autumn. She said, "Your best feature are your hands. Use them."

She's going to go to beauty school just like her mom. She has brochures on her nightstand and she flips through them constantly. Wilfred Beauty Academy, Marinello, and the big one: Vidal Sassoon. She's kissed that brochure so many times it's pink.

It's sunny and hot so we sit on the front porch to let our hair dry. The more it dries, the more purple it becomes. I feel like a flower.

"Where do you want to go after high school?" She asks.

I shrug my shoulders.

"You'll figure it out."

Suddenly, I want to ask her if it's true. If she really did get drunk and let the man with the mustache fingerbang her when she was wearing a maxi pad. I heard it happened in a closet Tammy's house. But then I also heard it happened in Ricky's backyard and now I need to know if the girl I've been hanging out with for the last five weeks is Sloppy Tina or normal Tina Nuñez, my new best friend.

"Do you want me to help you?" She asks. "You know. For your future?"

I don't know what to say.

Our hair is dry. It smells of chemicals and is the color of rotting plums. I love it.

"Your mom won't be able to tell," Tina assures me, "Unless you go into the sunlight."

Just then, a Monte Carlo rolls by, low and slow. I can't see who is driving but I can see who is in the passenger seat. La CC.

I jut my chin out at her. "What's up?"

She throws her fingers up at me. "What's up?"

It's the end of summer and the car is cruising so slow it's like watching a lawnmower drive off into the sunset but eventually, they turn the corner.

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