In her mind, the most demanding hurdle of adulthood was learning to apply lipliner and red lipstick. This didn’t strike many as a great accomplishment, but she was acutely aware of the improbability of it all.
Crimson was the most unforgiving color; without the supervision of a good lipliner it would bleed into her pale and freckled veneer—a color insisting, announcing, intruding.
Red lipstick stained the moment it had new territory to claim as its own. Creeping along microscopic gullies, these web-thin lines actually reminded her of veins, but she rarely reported it as so. Veins almost always made her think of a scrotum; and considering a scrotum in any serious manner made her self-assess relentlessly. She wondered about her mental stability in these moments. Was she strange? or had she had stumbled into some adolescent scar begging to be mended? Did she have a some sort of sac infatuation? Were there support groups for this? Would this lead to other obsessive patterns, moving southward perhaps, past the perineum and straight on to the anus? These digressions would ripple across her skin until she shook them from her body like a unwanted chill. That was silly. Man parts are silly.
The weird would then reconfigure itself as gratitude—for the universe had, thankfully, decided to provide her a vagina. And she knew well that vaginas were fantastic—a piece of anatomy cultures had created entire mythologies around. As far as Sara knew, there didn’t seem to be anything mythological about the ball sac.
Lipliner was—as a result of these microscopic gully veins—a necessity. Without lipliner to fence the fierceness, she’d fuck up the application anyway. Not quite understanding the dimensions of her own lips, she’d be left to choose between wearing a crooked pout or wiping away proof of her efforts.
Other shades would allow for her clumsy, not-acustomed-to-adulthood-ness, but no shade stirred her in quite the same way. Crimson was unforgiving, yes; but spoke the same language as her heart—a beckoning from her past life as a Hollywood scarlet, an imprint on the fabric of the soul itself.
Red screamed when her voice could not. It honored the fire she so-seldom let rage. If she could put on lipliner and red lipstick, the passion she felt surge under her excited skin would finally make sense to the outside world. Red meant owning it all—the failings, the triumphs, the passion, because red offered absolution.
Wear red lipstick, she thought. Wear it and be unapologetically free.