A big family, a good heart — was all Maybelline ever wished for, more than she expected. She was the fifth generation of a family that reproduced minimally, one small baby at the last possible moment, all the way back to her grandmother’s grandmother’s grandmother. Unlikely Catholics. Back so many years ago, how did those maternal progenitors inhibit their output so effectively?

Those babies of Maybe’s, so sweet and pink in her young imagination — she named the first of the seven Ivory, a beautiful name, smooth white keys, harmony, intellect. Later, she thought of elephant tusks, endangered species, colonialism, and changed Ivory’s name to Petri — analytical, scientific, logical. Petri never took. She looked at her grandmother’s one crotchety child; such a reluctant name, John. Decided the first child’s name should be Breve, like a short dry cappuccino. No excessive expectations.

In the meantime, it was true that planets kept revolving and tides kept pulling, and gradually she became more infatuated by the security of imaginary children than actual children — no daycare, no college expenses, no fear of sudden illness, broken bones or catastrophes lurking to rip her heart out.

Her imaginary children were bigger, more robust than her one reluctant real one would have been. Tugging at the reins. To her horror, the last but two became a religious zealot, a Republican. Maybe tried to unbirth him, but imaginary children are harder to shake than real ones. She knew she should never have sent him to a good school.

“What a disappointment you’ve turned out to be,” she told him. He laughed, straightened his tie, and went out to vote in favor of everything that had ever appalled her. She couldn’t control him at all anymore. And no wonder, she thought.


2 Responses to “Maybelline”

  1. 1 Teresa March 2, 2007 at 9:05 am

    I hear from internal sources that this is certainly NOT the same Ginger as in Curative. I will rethink that, maybe edit this story. It wasn’t Ginger at all originally, but there was that theme of conflict about children or not. Well, stay tuned. Meantime, I’ve got another little tale of sex and guilt and ambiguity sitting here waiting for time.

  2. 2 Teresa March 2, 2007 at 9:08 am

    So now Ginger is Maybelline, Maybe for short. I will think some more about her and what she is doing here. You should still go see
    , though, it’s a good story (in my opinion).

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