This is the first in a multi-part series by our contributor Anonymous Bosch, a college student on the west coast who won’t reveal any more details. Well, except these:
When I was a toddler, I would toss my plane, train, and automobile models in the trash can with a snarl, then steal away to my nine-year-old sister Eden’s room and reach up towards the porcelain dolls on her dresser, crying in agony because my stout figure could not grasp what I truly wanted. She would shove the dolls into my arms and then push me out of her room, slamming the door behind her so she could carry on with her phone call, commiserating over her lack of cleavage with her fellow flatties.
It wasn’t until I was six that I discovered the Bible, and by that I mean my mother’s monthly subscription to Vogue magazine. After she had finished reading the fashion and culture review, I would take it to the bathroom and feign a long poop, leisurely thumbing through the seemingly endless glossy pages.
Just one look at the September 1981 cover my mom had saved in a stack of old issues and I fell in love with glamour. Staring deep into my soul was Brooke Shields, her green eyes reflections of the massive emerald enveloping her throat, held taught around her neck by cords of gold.
I jumped up from the toilet and ran to my mother’s jewelry box, pouring its contents onto my parents’ bed. I searched through the piles of sterling silver and cubic zirconium until I found a semi-acceptable substitute for Brooke Shield’s emerald.
I made my way to the kitchen table, chest puffed out, walking on tippy-toes, proudly showing off the cameo brooch I had tied up around my neck, flanked by my mother’s wannabe-Pucci scarf I had slung over my shoulders. My mother’s jaw dropped as my father’s eyes widened. Eden just stared.
“What are you doing with those?” asked my mom as she turned back to the stove.
My dad took hold of my shoulder and said, “You know those are for women, right?”
I was so confused. A few minutes earlier, I had been standing in front of the mirror awestruck at how lovely I looked. Everyone gawked at Brooke Shields. Why not at me?
“Go on Eden, help your brother put this stuff back,” ordered my Dad. “Then come and eat! Your mother actually tried today!”
Later that night, I was so troubled by my parents’ failure to recognize my bejeweled beauty that I couldn’t fall asleep. I left my room, dressed in my boy pajamas, and descended the staircase, where I could hear my mother on the phone, speaking to her friend on the telephone.
“It was absolutely hysterical!” she cried. “He must have seen me wearing them last week. He’s a born actor, trying to imitate his mother. Now didn’t your son put on your husband’s boots one day and pretend to fix cars? Yeah, they all….”