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Red

When i was in high school, i started painting my fingernails red. I was not allowed to paint my toes. My mother called me a hussy. She told me red was a prostitute's color and that anyone who saw my fingertips would assume the worst about me. I was 15. In Idaho. Eagle, Idaho. No one was assuming anything except that I probably wasn't Mormon. In any event, her lack of support on nail color struck my teenage angst in a very productive way. I compromised by not painting the toes. But my fingernails were always red. Short and red. Not bright and orangy, but a deep meaningful red. A red that lays on your tongue like dark chocolate. Deep and intense. Not brick. Not wine. Red.

Off to college. My fashion tastes changed and so did my color wheel. Out with Dad's old 70's cords still in storage for some day in the less-fat future. Out with the leather sandals. Out even with the wide collered brightly dyed 70's shirts dug lovingly from the smelly depth of racks at the local Salvation A. And off with the mid-back length mid-parted brown tresses. I lost my virginity to boys and then to girls. And this means, or course, short black hair, and black clothes in any fabric OTHER than cotton. Maybe some gray and red thrown in for dramatic effect. But no green. No blue. And not on the fingernails either. I strayed into a black polish phase, but quickly scooted back into the familiar enveloping and loving red. Toes joined the empire.

During my senior year i lived with two gal best friends. One of their favorite things to do was get together weekly and do nails. They both had a kaboodle cosmetic box full of colors. And every week the nailcolor changed. They never applied it well and it would chip rather badly only a few days later. I've always associated color as fleeting somehow. Flighty and noncommital. The weekly changes and their rude insults as I tried to explain helpfully how to make it last longer im sure are part of some psychological stack of reasons. Red should be applied carefully with a gleaming and protective top coat. With strength and endurance.

Black will be there for you. The darkness in every heart. The sun that sets everyday.
Gray is the inbetween. The rainstorm in the afternoon. Questions unanswered. Sometimes tolerance. Sometimes ignorance.
And Red. Red is the blood in our veins, the flush of unveiled secrets, love and pain and anger, cherry sweet popsicles and fire. A slap. A kiss. A sense of power.

I stopped wearing red polish in 2001, right after I met James. Instead, I settled for a 2 year relationship complete with moving in, aquiring cats, and lack of quality sex. I can add to that lack of sex at all, since for the last 5 months, he wouldnt touch me beyond a peck on the cheek. Ego killing. And what replaces sex? What would make me stay with someone in that manner and be true and good and perhaps even colorful? Some very very dark avenues left for another entry. Until I couldnt take it any more. I kicked him out of my apartment.

Dave: no red polish. enough said.

I started wearing red fingertips again at the end of this past September almost immediately after the break-up. I love the shiny shiny. the way it looks next to my skin. The way it looks scratching tracks on someone else's body. They way it states- no you cant fuck me. Because im not a hussy. Fuck you and come here at the same time. And red toes. Perhaps I have a fetish for my own piggies. I don't have words for it yet except to quote the name of my favorite patent red stilettos: Sex on your Feet. Red doesnt waver. It's not jealous. It's concrete and fantasy. It's suggestive but off-putting. I wear it proudly.

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
(Anonymous)
Dec. 7th, 2007 03:04 am (UTC)
quick question, where are you logged into? i am trying to chat with you on ustream, but you seem to be a different server...
lisagoddess
Dec. 7th, 2007 03:02 pm (UTC)
chat
i chat in my justin TV chatoom
(Anonymous)
Dec. 7th, 2007 10:21 am (UTC)
red !
beautifully written.Thanks for a glimps into the past.more please.pantyman xxxx
(Anonymous)
Dec. 8th, 2007 03:45 pm (UTC)
Lisa, I love you (in a non lesbian way of course)You are so real and true, don't ever let anyone stand in your way, or drag you down, we have one life, it is precious, live it to the max as long as you are not hurting anyone, you are an exceptional lovely woman.
(Anonymous)
Dec. 10th, 2007 08:11 am (UTC)
Wow! This is a nice essay. Carries me along to the final paragraph and reminds of William Carlos Williams...

==========

The Red Wheelbarrow

William Carlos Williams

so much depends
upon
a red wheel
barrow

glazed with rain
water

beside the white
chickens.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )