3:30 am – REM:
The man with the fog machine ran past me leaving a trail of white. I inhaled, and the mist massaged my lungs. It was a nice three second break before resuming my search for my left shoe. Which way should I go? Left? Right? Straight ahead? The deafening music made it hard to focus. I couldn’t remember where I had already looked, and my right silver 5-inch stiletto kept whining for its partner, “Briiiiiidget! Briiiiidget! Come to us!” I looked down, gave him one more “You’re on my last nerve” look, and limped toward the bar.
The sweaty bartender pointed to the long fashion runway and asked, “Shouldn’t you be getting ready, back there?” I shot him an exasperated look and pointed to my bare left foot. He handed me a smokey drink and said, “You better drink your fizzy and head back there.”
The liquid stung my throat… I giggled like Charlie in Willy Wonka’s factory, and lifted off the ground… I floated over to the backstage area behind the runway.
They were floating… all of them… those faces and bodies I had seen in my catalogues and on TV. A few of them were hanging upside down from chains in the ceiling and laughing maniacally. The rest were doing air somersaults to Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’. I floated in one spot, with my mouth agape until Heidi Klum floated horizontally up to my face. It was Heidi Klum. She looked like Heidi Klum. She was also clearly about thirteen years old. She said to the girl next to her, “Auf wiedersehen”, and handed me my left shoe.
“First time?”, she asked.
“Don’t worry. You look great.”
I looked down at my body, and realized she was right.
“Just remember to use your tailbone”, she said in her awesome accent.
“You know, imagine there’s a broom coming out of your ass. Your job is to move it from side to side and sweep the runway as your walking.”
I nodded again.
“And keep an eye on your shoes! Fucking stilettos are the worst. Now you better warm up.” She pointed up to the ladies somersaulting to Journey.
I reached my arms up to join them, but apparently warm up time was over. I heard a whistle blow, and a hockey player came skating toward me, picked me up, put a feather tiara on my head, and plopped me on the runway.
My heart was thumping in my ears as I stared out at hundreds of faces, and flashbulbs.
One step. Another step. One more step.
I heard a ripping sound… like velcro…
My arms started to look wrinkly.
All of a sudden I realized I was wearing Spanx – skin Spanx. I was wearing an entire Spanx body suit of skin, and it was falling down.
The skin suit fell to my ankles.
My abdomen unfurled like an accordion and my navel hit the runway with a loud and echoing thump.
Young Heidi Klum’s words echoed in my head.
“…use your tailbone…”
I started swaying my hips…
then I thought maybe I should walk too.
I heard Journey in my head.
I turned and started sashaying back toward the beginning of the runway.
I swept that baby.
I swept it with my imaginary ass broom…
and I swept it with my navel.
When I hit my spot at the top of the runway, I turned toward the audience, struck a pose, and gave them the best diva face I had ever made.
But no one was there.
Stupid unsupportive subconscious.