Saturday, June 06, 2009

The Actress

To err, is human

She epitomizes wit and intelligence. She dazzles all who know her and awe those who observe from afar. She exudes charisma and charm. She's confident, never cocky. Reticent, never distant. 

She keeps up the act. After all, years of experience has finessed her skills, enhanced her talents, a master in her trade of illusion and disillusionment. As long as there are others around, an eye, the lens of a camera, she smiles, that brilliant flash of white teeth. 

Her world a mirage and dream for envious outsiders, morphs into living nightmares the moment the curtain closes. Shadows haunt her days, lurking around corners, creeping out unbidden. Her friends, her foes, all meld into a jumbled unidentifiable blur of strangers. The world at her feet, the risk of trust misplaced remains unaffordable. 

The mirror her only confidante, she sees perspective in the world weary eyes that gaze steadily back at her. An accomplished actress never fractures under stress. She lives up to self imposed expectations too high to imagine. But the eyes in the mirror are feeble barriers to the reservoir of incipient tears. Tired of all the back-biting, backstabbing and polished trickery of others in her trade the dam threatens to break. White knuckles hover over nails biting into tender flesh as she keeps a tight restraint on emotions. Breaking down is unthinkable. Not now. Not when the end is near. 

But it gets unbearable with each passing second. A tiny drop of blood escaping from lips bitten in restraint preceeds the first tear drop. As it trickles down her smooth cheeks, cracking the carefully applied layer of foundation it opens up a chasm deep within her soul. As silent sobs rack her slender frame all the pain and misery imprisoned in her heart escapes through the gateway of torrid tears. 

Never one to leave a job unfinished, she pulls in that rigid control, stopping the floods. With a less than steady hand, she touches up her makeup, eliminating all traces of the tracks those tears left behind. After all, her investment in her large vestige of maquillage will cover all flaws and imperfections, the stain in her heart a minor irritant to the unsuspecting onlooker. She arranges the folds of her skirts, forces the confidence in her walk, pastes on a practiced smile and tilts her chin up to an angle of cheeky rebellion. Head lifted high, she enters the stage again. After all, the show, must go on. 

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