Body and Soul

By Sue, 68. Aberfoyle Park, SA

Hello, Miranda. Knew you’d be in sooner or later for your makeover. It was only last week at the tearooms you were praising me on the wonderful job I did on your friend Lydia.

By the way, isn’t the coffee and cake there to die for? Can’t go there too often or my waistline will be showing the consequences — got to look good for my clients and hope they follow by example. It’s a pity, really, as the tearooms are where I get a fair bit of work from, mostly just like you, because others have recommended me.

Yes, there are other establishments in the town. But we — and me especially — pride ourselves on the personal touch. A couple of relaxing hours accompanied by your choice of music. Really, these things should not be rushed if the result is to be admired by family and friends.

I like to put my face on before leaving for work. Nothing too much; it’s good to show your expertise to the public. Too heavy and the effect is ruined. It should be subtle, using good quality products and a light touch.

When I first came here from years helping those in the theatrical world look their best on stage, I had to lighten my technique. You, Miranda don’t need to be seen from the back of the theatre. This is a more personal, intimate look we’re hoping for.

My work table here is like a history of my career. Remnant items from my theatre days, some clients require a smudge more than usual if the situation calls for it. Don’t know why I kept the false eyelashes — hardly anyone looks better for wearing those. A natural appearance is the standard request. It is not to be underestimated the skill and use of tried and trusted cosmetics and my years at beauty college, then honing my art in the entertainment world.

Roy Lichtenstein, Still Life with Red Wine (1972)

Oh, the bottle of red wine at the end of the table? It’s a little quirk of mine, maybe a a few sips during our interlude together. Helps me be creative. They are very easygoing here, never had a customer complain. I would like to share but it’s not allowed.

I know that usually you prefer no eye shadow but a smear will definitely improve the overall look.  Nothing overpowering, mind you. Just a hint. 

Dear me, Miranda! You haven’t been looking after your skin lately. I have attempted to give advice for your skin routine. But all that fresh air, riding your horse over hills in all sorts of weather has taken its toll. Perhaps I can tone down the weather-beaten look, and instead suggest a healthy rosy glow. You won’t regret this. I think, truthfully, I’ve never seen you looking better.

It’s a pity a fall from Zorro, that beast of a horse of yours, had to deliver your body here to me in the cosmetic department of  Foster and Evans, funeral directors.

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1 year ago

Hi Sue, this was a really good story, with a great twist at the end. I wondered whether your sentence about the cake at the cafe being ‘to die for’ was a clue as to what was coming?