Even in Death

Earlier that morning, the daughter of the deceased gently handed a makeup bag to the undertaker. “I know my mom,” she murmured. “She would have wanted to look her best.” The undertaker nodded and showed the daughter out into the frigid winter wind. Later, after the deceased had been properly dressed, the undertaker opened the makeup bag sitting on the table of utensils. He squeezed out a dollop of her foundation and brushed it over the deceased’s skin, bringing color to her face once again. Popping open her blush, he circled it around her cheekbones. He uncapped her red lipstick and painted over her blue lips. Mascara, eyeliner, eyeshadow, he went through the entire bag until nothing was left. She had an air of dignity about her, even in death.



I squeeze the Gillette shaving cream into the palm of my hand and lather it over my stubble. Carefully, I let the razor glide across my strong jawline, cleaning me of my roughness. Spring light sneaks in through the window, cascading over my fresh face as I reach for my mother’s little black dress lying next to me. Slipping it on, I take a deep, cleansing breath. To complete the look, I reach into her makeup bag sitting on the vanity, pull out her lipstick- Underage Red- and carefully apply it to my thin lips. I stand tall in front of the mirror, back arched, hands at my sides. Gazing back at me is a woman of great confidence, a woman who knows her worth, a woman who is no longer the empty shell of a man.


She’s a wild one. You’ve heard about her before; the girl that commands the room with her confidence, marching straight up to the bar to order her usual Sidecar, ignoring the stares of the lustful men and the envious women. She scans the bar as she’s waiting for her drink, scoping out her audience. Her eyes meet yours- those chesnut brown eyes. They sparkle for you and only you. She smiles that mischievous, red-lipped smile, as if she somehow knows every detail of your life. Desperate to find out the extent of her knowledge, you work your way over to her, avoiding the noisy bachelorette party calling to “You! Yeah you, the hottie with the hair!” But, as every story like this goes, because every wild one’s nature is just so, by the time you get to where she was standing, she’s gone. Her perfume still lingers lightly in the air, mocking you. You scan the room, desperately searching for her gleaming brown eyes, her cherry red lips. Your eyes reach the exit as her perfectly manicured hand closes around the handle, ready to move on to her next adventure. She catches your eye one last time, lips curving into the smallest smirk, and pushes the door open, letting the warm summer breeze take her place.