Wicca’s Originals @ The Warehouse Sale // April 23rd – May 18th
Strip Away The Layers
The closer she looked, the more the colors blurred. Dull, lifeless, common. Nothing to write home about, if she actually had someone to write to. It was a minor piece by an insignificant artist, who led an unremarkable life. Just like me, Naia thought to herself.
With a heavy sigh, Naia pulled off the magnified glasses she used to resort paintings at the Metropolitan Museum and tossed them on her worktable. The throbbing behind her eyes was there when she woke up that morning and nothing; shower, food or coffee, eased her discomfort. Considering the shower was lukewarm at best, the food bland and the coffee weak, it’s not like there was much hope.
For seven years, two as an unpaid intern, Naia worked in the cold, temperature controlled basement of the museum for long hours and low pay. Her clothes were from the bargain racks at the local Goodwill. Long skirts down to her ankles, and oversized, shapeless sweaters; all meant to hide her body. She might be 26 years old, but Naia looked as old as the other two basement dwellers who worked nearby; both close to retirement age.
After rubbing her eyes with the heels of her hands, Naia looked up at the clocked and noticed it was after six; time to go home. Mr. Smith and Mr. Jones, heaven help her, those were their actual names, had already shuffled out, leaving Naia alone. No hellos. No goodbyes. No conversation day in and day out. It was like working in a morgue with walking corpses.
Naia gathered her belongs and made her way out of the museum. She arrived at the bus stop in time to see the 6:15 chug away down the street. With her bag clutched tightly to her stomach, Naia sat gingerly on the edge of the bench and waited for the next bus. What else could she do, but wait.
Two hour later, Naia walked the final block to her tiny efficiency apartment with a bag containing two soggy tacos and a warm soda from the whole-in-the-wall place around the corner. Just like work, she lived in the basement of a converted brownstone that had seen better days a century ago. As she drew closer, the building manager came out of the front entrance with an overflowing cardboard box. Without fanfare, he dropped the box on top of the trash cans with a grunt of disgust, and then climbed the high stoop as if it were Mt. Everest.
To enter her shabby little space, Naia had to descend a few steps to a door beneath that stoop. As she passed the trash cans, Naia caught sight of a familiar item in the discarded box. Naia reached out and fingered the well worn boots worn by Tillie in 3B. They found Tillie a few days ago when the manager went up to demand she turn down the music blasting from her crappy stereo, dressed in just her underwear and the needle still in her arm. Bet that stereo is now in the manager’s apartment.
Looking around to see if anyone was watching, Naia grabbed the box and hurried down to her apartment. Once safely inside, Naia dropped the forgotten food onto an old, scarred table and carried the box to her bed; which was no more than a thin mattress on top of a wooden pallet. The single room contained a toilet, shower (without any walls), sink and a tiny closet. No kitchen – only a hotplate on top of a small chest of drawers.
One by one, Naia emptied the contents of the box on to the mattress. A couple short skirts, a tank top, a black button down blouse, a red pullover blouse and a thin black sweater. All that remained were the thigh high boots and what looked like a child’s diary.
Naia stripped down to her underwear and dropped back down on to her bed. As if driven by a force unknown, Naia slipped into the boots. A little snug around the toes, but otherwise the leather hugged Naia’s legs like they were made just for her. Naia couldn’t help but stare at her legs like they were a new, strange creature she had never seen. And she couldn’t help but wonder about the woman who wore them.
With the diary in hand, Naia scooted back on the bed until her back rested against the wall; only a thin pillow to protect her skin against the rough, exposed brick. She turned on the small lamp that sat on the floor and worked the clasped open on the small book.
At the beginning, the diary was filled with girlish hopes and dreams. Pretty dresses. Parties. A puppy. As a teenager, Tillie dreamed of becoming a singer. Loved. Adored. Famous. Soon after that the entries turned dark. Names of men. What they made her do. What they paid her. How they hurt her. The last entries were nothing more than incomprehensible ramblings and unreadable scrawls.
Naia didn’t realize she was crying until her salty tears fell on the last page. She looked around the place she called home and her stomach turned. Her life could be reduced to a cardboard box carelessly thrown onto a trash can. With gentle hands, Naia carefully removed the boots as if they were fragile and costly and returned them to the box. Each piece of clothing, neatly folded, was returned to the box. Last, the diary was laid on top with respect, as though Naia was placing flowers upon Tillie’s grave.
Staring down at the carton that now rested beside her dresser, Naia was determined not to meet the same fate. For the first time in her life, Naia wanted to fight for something. She was ready to fight for a new and better life.
Naia no longer wanted to just exist. She wanted to live.
– THE END –
Sizes: Maitreya, Legacy [F], Freya, Hourglass, Reborn
HUD: 10 Colors & 10 Metals (hide option for the upper leather parts and you can color upper and lower part separately)
Event Location: The Warehouse Sale