Ms. Marmelstein

Ms. Marmelstein led with her mascaraed eyelashes, a half inch long and curling out like scimitars. Why bother snipping, she thought. They were made to be seen. So beautifully fake—plastic? horsehair? A delightful screen: a scrim, is what they were. People had to peer in to see her and, of course, she had to peer to see out. But what did she need to see, anyway? She saw whatever she wanted to, didn’t she?

Some even thought they were “ugly.” Ha! She knew she appalled. “Outré,” “far-out,” “preposterous”—that’s how everyone described her, with her bouffant wig and flashy, splashy clothes. But that was the fun of it, wasn’t it? The game? Still, the game was played with money, and hers was running out. And that was really ugly.

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