Lip ring blues

Rating: NNNNNOne freelance corporate ho drops off time sheet. A week's worth of work for multinational office-temp pimp. I'm sellin'.

Rating: NNNNN

One freelance corporate ho drops off time sheet. A week’s worth of work for multinational office-temp pimp. I’m sellin’ tha booty, and after deductions all I have left is that “gotta run home and scrub my skin” sorta feelin’.

Life reads like a tired cliche sometimes. University-over-educated black woman writer with utopian lesbian feminist politics and way too much lip can’t bear to sell her soul to Tha Man for a full-time permanent job.

Back in the real world… there’s rent to cover. Pads, TP and munchies cost money. And like most writers and artists, I don’t have medical or dental.

Then there’s my boy Rosehip. His furry feline belly don’t care if I can’t afford to buy enough cans of Purr or boxes of Meow Mix. And he don’t get it when his doo-doo box smell stink cuz I ain’t got tha bucks for a new container of that fancy clumping litter.

No paycheque also means no new frocks, accessories or shoes. And god knows there’s nuthin’ better than hittin’ tha town dressed to kill.

So I gotta get up early in the morning. Bathe, put on the face and iron the secretary wear.

Then it’s hair time. My locks are tipped in gold and a lot like me — crazy-makin’, obstinate and reachin’ for the sky. Before the het sistren of my generation got wise to the full fashion potential of a bald head, I use’ta worry ’bout whether admin types could deal with a shine-head receptionist.

Curled creation

So I did wigs. One was a short, black and sassy (did I just use that word?) bob with bangs. The other was an asymmetrical curled creation fit for a dancehall queen.

But I’ve decided that hiding the naps is screwed, so I try not to do it. Even when employers’ eyes are buggin’ out. Even when they start off saying hello, then see me and end off stifling a scream. Get over it, cuz I got mad skillz. Now pay me!

‘Sides, I even show up on time… or close to it, anywayz. Which is a stretch considering that I think this obsession with punctuality is a white supremacist, western, patriarchal, capitalist plot.

On time or not, things don’t always work out for the best. Insecure and under-appreciated career secretaries play power games. And middle management spouts talk about permanent gigs while trying to motivate me into a butt-kissin’ state a mind. Whatever! But sometimes I’m not even around long enuff to adjust my chair or bond with the staff. For instance, a few weeks back, new boss, another black woman, meets me and starts goin’ on ’bout the dress code. I point out that my dress is beyond proper. Then it hits me — girlfriend’s undies are all in a knot over my piercings.

Deep breath. One… two… three. I offer to ditch the nose ring. But I draw the line at the one in my lip (not as if I know how to take the damn thing out anywayz). She’s not satisfied. And she ain’t even laid eyes on my tattoos!

Glass cage

Most days, if there’s work, I trek into the Megacity’s hinterland or wherever the agency sends me. If you spot me on my way to a flourescent-lit cement-and-glass cage, make nice-nice.

Don’t say a word ’bout the spice-coloured hose, the sensible shoes, the beige skirt or the good-black-girl blouse. I’m one hell of an undercover creatrix doing my best Steppin Fetchit routine all for tha green.

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