Mood Piece (Madame)

Kicked back across the couch, cigarette in mouth. Perched on ripe lips – inhale, exhale. She’s shrouded in smoke and dressed in pink lingerie. She’s ripe on the couch, heaving as she breathes in. Sighing as she breathes out. Everything inside her is golden. It’s the haze of the next day, with the clutter of last night still strewn across the scene.

She gets up, she putters to the fridge, long silk robe grazing the floor as she reaches in and pulls out a bottle of soda water. Back to the couch – the big movement of the day has been accomplished. Work will come later. For now, she lies on the couch, the soft sound of some music ebbing in the background. Inhale cigarette smoke, exhale redemption. There’s no need for TV as she swims in her own thoughts, her own visions. With the brightness of day barely creeping through the blinds. Not yet – she’s not ready to start yet.

It’s not that she’s hungover. She doesn’t get hangovers. She’s not one of those people who is unfamiliar with limits. It’s just that this is what she likes to do: lie here, looking lovely, while the rest of the world carries on without her. She is content with that. She is content with her own thoughts, her own inner world weaving around her. The plans. The ideas. The movements.

What is she thinking? If only we could know. Her mind is passing through fleeting vignettes of childhood drama and adulthood pursuits. She is stitching together a story hewn from the emotions she shows no one and the reality we all share together. It’s enigmatic. It’s impossible to tell what will come next, or where she will go. She meanders with a moral compass that none of us can gauge or understand. She is a master of men, but none us know how.

These are her moments before she walks into the prison of the rest of the world. This is her time to herself, and to truly be herself, before the burden of everyone else and all their expectations try to weigh her down. Beautiful, majestic but not for anyone else’s benefit – just as a state of being. Right before the cigarette goes out, and she stands up. Time to get dressed. Time to live the rest of life. Time to file out into the chain gang and be one of the rest of us.

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