Red Lipstick

I smooth the red color along my lips and with it offer a simple prayer, “Change me. Change me into something else.”

“Do you like it?” The makeup lady asks. I look at her, Miss Perfect. She is wearing a perfectly white coat, her hair coiffed in generous curls, skin glowing (with the help of translucent powder, of course), and a smile enhanced with a complimentary shade of pink.

“Yes, I’ll buy it,” I answer. This is the exact color I saw on Mark’s collar.

The makeup lady rings up my purchase, and I stare into the mirror. The color is quite stunning, but my clothes don’t match it. A woman with this color of lipstick saunters through her day in clothes much classier than mine. I collect my fancy shopping bag with my red lipstick tucked inside and head over to the clothing department.

I look at myself in the fitting room mirror. “Yes,” I think. This is similar to the clothes she wore. It matches the lipstick. I recall seeing Mark seated in our favorite restaurant next to a beautiful woman. She was dressed in an elegant white silk blouse with a classic black skirt and red heels. Not a hair dared to be out of place on her pretty little head, I remember. Her nails had a French manicure, perfect for holding Mark’s hand as he leaned in close enough to smell her expensive perfume.Yes, this is the outfit I will buy today. All I need now are the red heels.

At home, I take one last look at myself in the mirror before heading out to the coffee house to write. I look like a different person with my silky white blouse, stylish black skirt, and stunning red heels.

In my closet, I see my old wardrobe. I have the heart of a Bohemian. My side of the closet is brimming with colorful skirts of all shapes and patterns. My blouses are treasures excavated from vintage shops. My closet reflects my writing life, nothing is color coordinated or organized. Mark’s side of the closet is empty. He gathered the last of his belongings last night.

I grab my new handbag (black to match my skirt, of course) and laptop. My writing notebook looks at me like a dog expecting to go on his daily walk.

“Not today, my friend,” I tell my notebook. Today, I will write on my computer. That is what sophisticated writers do, they don’t waste time on handwritten rough drafts scribbled haphazardly on white pages. I feel a twinge of guilt as I close the door behind me. My notebook knows I share my thoughts with it first before launching the words into the digital world. I am leaving my best friend behind.

I sip my coffee as I stare at my computer. I had to order a regular coffee. Would a woman wearing this outfit order a Venti Chai Tea Latte with almond milk and three pumps of raspberry? I think not.

Several men have noticed me. My handsome barista even winked at me before refusing to take my money. There is one man in particular that keeps glancing my way. He’s around my age with blonde hair and blue eyes. I’ve never had a man that good-looking stare at me before. What an upgrade from Mark! It must be my new outfit.

Everything would be perfect if I wasn’t suffering from a horrible case of writer’s block. No one would guess the terrible distress I am under. I have only written one sentence in the past half hour, “I can’t think of anything to write.”

My journal back home smiles. Yes, I am helpless without it. My colorful clothes would love to offer their inspiration, but I owe them an apology first. Trying to be someone else, I’ve blocked off access to the true source of my creativity, my self expression.

“May I join you?” The blonde hair, blue-eyed man asks.

“Sure,” I smile and gesture to the open seat.

“My name is Trevor,” he introduces himself and extends a hand.

“Nice to meet you, Trevor. I’m Sylvia,” I reach out, shake his hand, and smile.

“Are you a writer?” He asks.

“Usually, but not so much today,” I laugh. “Do you write?”

“No, but I love to read,” Trevor answers.

Wow! I think to myself. The outfit works like magic! Look at the men it attracts, handsome and smart!

We spend the next hour sharing our favorite books. We seem to like the same authors. I love hearing his thoughts and reactions to the storylines. He doesn’t just read books. He considers them on a deeper level. They haunt him just like they haunt me. Mark never bothered with reading. It’s nice to have someone to really talk to, especially someone this handsome.

“Can I take you out to dinner tonight?” Trevor asks.

I feel butterflies flit in my stomach. I’d love to say yes. He’s so handsome! Plus, I’d love to talk to him some more. But I have only one outfit like this, sooner or later, he’d see the real me. I’m not eager to set myself up for another heartbreak.

“I’d love to, but I’m not sure it would be a good idea. I’m going to be honest. I never dress like this. In fact, I’m kind of allergic to these clothes. I haven’t been able to write a single word while wearing this outfit, and I’m sure you wouldn’t much care for how I normally dress,” I smile back at him awkwardly. I’m already regretting my honesty. It would have been nice to have one last conversation with him.

“How do you normally dress?” He laughs.

“Oh, I am pretty much a mess of different colors and vintage clothes which I put together randomly based on how I feel that day,” I shrug my shoulders and just let my words be what they are.

“I have a confession,” Trevor replies. “I’ve read all your books. I almost didn’t approach you, because you look nothing like your picture. I saw you were trying to write, so I took a chance. I can’t tell you how happy I am that I guessed right,” he smiles. “Please join me for dinner. Wear whatever you want.”

I accept his offer. I have the perfect clothes in mind. I’ll pass this lovely outfit on to the thrift store. I’m sure they will be a good fit for someone else.

Thank you for reading! Please subscribe to the blog to see all of my latest stories. My debut novel, Dancing The Salsa, is available at I have another novel that will be released within the next few months! I’ll be sharing more details in the near future. Be sure to visit my website to see more short stories and videos!

The Dancing Writer

Dancing and writing are the funky glasses I wear in life that gives color and depth to the world around and within me. One grounds me to the physical sensation of being alive. The other invites me to launch my imagination and explore endless possibilities. Dancing inhabits only the present, whereas writing exists forever on the page. And so I dance and write between now and forever in a playful way, living life in the moment and writing down what I learn.

Okay, so that’s the fancy way of saying both are just so much fun! I honestly don’t recognize myself if I don’t dance and write. This blog is my way of sharing what I love. My life is far from perfect, and I’m fine with that. What could be more boring than being perfect? No, I’ve had many bumps and bruises along the way, and skinned knees from kissing dirt after a tumble. Countless times, I have ended up hopelessly lost. And yet, here I am still standing, wearing my funky glasses.

I’m sure this blog will be about many things, because life is just so damn interesting, isn’t it? However, there is one question that is closest to my heart. I’m sure it will show up in my writing wearing disguises here and there, and when you spot it you’ll say, “Yep, I recognize that character.”

So, I’ll ask the question here. Are you alive?

Please tell me you’re not among the living dead. Zombies are all around us. I talk to them every day. Instead of seeking brains, the modern Zombie just wants more. More of what? Well, more of anything that will fill that void of not having enough. More time to get things done, more youth, more goodies, more money, more perfection, you get the idea. I was a Zombie for many years. I died taking care of everyone else. Never even noticed, I wasn’t even invited to the funeral. I just lost touch with that feeling of aliveness that comes from slowing down and breathing life in.

Somewhere along my twisted travels, I’ve come back from the undead. I dance and write, and I don’t think Zombies are capable of doing either of those things. So as long as I keep writing, you can rest assured I’m alive.

What about you? Did you check? If you found a heartbeat, then I hope this blog inspires you to keep exploring your own curiosities. If you didn’t find a pulse, don’t panic. Zombies are welcome here too. The more you hang out with the living, the more likely you’re heart will recharge. I’ll even let you borrow my funky glasses.