Providing an extraordinary childhood may produce a fabulous adult / fantasy by sylvia kronstadt
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|Sun, 11-03-2013 - 4:06am|
Elderly Girl's secret passageway to the role of Global Icon
Can you imagine frolicking with your sisters through the endless rooms, secret passageways and tropical underworld of this neo-Byzantine castle? Can you imagine wearing anything you wanted from any of the cool boutiques inside? Isn't it like every little girl's dream come true? You may think it helps explain Elderly Girl's confidence, her splendor, her sense of freedom, style and beauty. But the truth is much more complicated.
Elderly Girl was conceived, born and lived in the Kronstantinople Bazaar, the most splendid mall on Earth. It's hard to believe, but she was a rather stupid child. Her three big sisters were brilliant and brave -- true originals. So why was it she who became a Planetary Phenomenon? It's an epic tale that will captivate the human race forever.
Elderly Girl grew up in an environment of wonderment and freedom, affection and tolerance. It might therefore seem that she should be a bit more affectionate and tolerant herself, but if she were, she would just be a regular old lady, instead of the ever stunning and provocative Elderly Girl.
Kronstantinople Bazaar, which opened in 1942, was run by the unconventional members of the Kronstantinople clan, each of whom had emigrated at the request of Elderly Girl's Russian father, Konstantin Kronstantinople, and launched some sort of entrepreneurial venture there. Talk about a family business! This was more like the Holy Roman Empire!
Only Elderly Girl and her sisters knew that the phantasmagorical castle encompassed many hidden worlds. This was a place of such baroque mystery and playful trickery that it seemed wholly out of place in Middle America. They lived in a sort of Arabian Nights fable.
SWEARING AND SQUABBLING IN 12 LANGUAGES
Kronstantinople's 200 delightful shops, cafes, spas, studios, pools, skating rink, galleries, classrooms, gymnasiums, a putting green, a community greenhouse garden and concert venues were created and managed in bazaar/bizarre style by a loving, squabbling blend of emigres: Turk, Romany, Moroccan, Russian, Italian, Swede, Greek, Portuguese, Mestizo, Jewish (both Sephardic and Ashkenazi), and a droplet of Cherokee. There was more, but it had gotten so blended in, no one could remember who was what anymore.
It was such a diverse family, ethnically and racially, that they were written up in National Geographic in the 1950s.
Their mall, which had become a global attraction, reflected the richness of their blended heritage.
Elderly Girl, her parents and three sisters were the only members of the clan who inhabited the building. They had fourth-floor living quarters that were so dazzlingly vast and gorgeous, the children never really stopped being shocked each time they went up there.
KONSTANTIN AND ISLAMINA ARE FUELED BY PASSION
The marvelous story of Konstantin's Kronstantinople's youth, his studies and his love affair with his voluptuous wife, Islamina Toledano -- a Jew from Casablanca -- unfold in "Konstantin's much-spilleth seed was precious indeed"(http://kronstantinople.blogspot.com/2012/03/elderly-girls-father-his-much-spilleth.html). It is an epic tale, filled with history, ideas, vast ambitions and plain old lust.
Elderly Girl's daddy was a riveting giant of a man -- a mystic, an osteopath, a psychoanalyst, a published author on the efficacy of folk medicines, and an advocate for the revival of ancient public baths and steam rooms. His speeches around the world in the 1930s on the mind-body connection were decades ahead of the medical establishment. His sprawling spa and therapeutic salons, the "Cortex Vortex," encompassed most of Kronstantinople's third floor.
A spectacular respite for body and soul in a Cortex Vortex public bath.
STORYBOOK CHILDHOOD IS A REAL PAGE-TURNER
And they never were!
Elderly Girl's big sisters devised the expansive, complex, suspense-filled and often gruesome story lines that energized their safaris into Kronstantinople's various secret worlds. She played along, honored to be included.
BELIEVE IT OR NOT, ELDERLY GIRL WAS 'STUPIDO'
It's hard to understand this, but she wasn't very bright. Basically, she was a bimbo from Day One. Eventually, of course, she would outshine her sisters and everyone else. She would outshine the Universe!
During all those years -- all those expeditions and safaris and methodical explorations -- the sisters never exhausted the mysteries of Kronstantinople castle. Up until the day they grew up and departed, they continued to discover secret passageways and trap doors that led them to untold territories and to breathtaking vistas of art and architecture, playworlds and dens of iniquity. It was madness -- an enchanted dream!
Each new descent led to a mind-boggling discovery. Some of the subterranean wonders they had once discovered -- such as the karaoke bar and the pottery studio (fully equipped, including a huge oven) -- they were never able to find again. Karaoke was totally fun -- and so was sensually shaping the revolving wet clay into pots. The way they did it was way more sexy than Demi Moore could manage many, many years later in "Ghost," (even though they laughed uncontrollably at how kind of yucky and weird it was), and they were counting on that pottery wheel to help them become expert lovers. Rats!
YOU NAME IT, HONEY -- IT'S YOURS
Elderly Girl's parents were true bohemians. For example, they adopted a practice that has been used by several cultures throughout the ages, allowing each of their four girls to choose her own name when The Spirit filled her with the conviction that she was ready.
When The Spirit said, "It's time," there was no ambiguity, just a downpour of certainty. In the meantime, they were known as Baby, Yum-Yum, Boopsie and Girl.
("Girl" was not a nod to the use of "Boy" in Tarzan, but rather to the sensual, soul-music usage, as in, "Hey, Girl," or "Give it to Me, Girl" or "Oh, Girl, I'd Be in Trouble if You Left Me Now," etc. If you say it right, it's a pretty cool name.)
These "baby names" gave way over time to Larkspur, Niagra and Chassis. Girl remained Girl -- or, on occasion, Girlie -- for decades, until she realized that she was an Elderly Girl.
'GIRL' KEEPS HER BABY NAME, AND BABY, SHE IS CUTE
She kept her "temporary" birth name, because she was so intimidated by the overall originality and flamboyance of her sisters that she didn't dare do much of anything, including picking a name for herself, for fear of making her inadequacies all the more apparent. She sucked her thumb for comfort well into her teens.
Now that Elderly Girl has such brilliance, such flair, such insouciance, it is hard to imagine that for many years she was terribly despondent. She felt like such a nobody!
She was too sexy for her own damn good! At least she was a creamy-dreamy masterpiece with a super-hot bod and ultra-kissable lips from the day she was born. It was intellect she lacked, and boldness and sparkle. Her sisters were geniuses! They were such startling, improbable characters, it seemed as if someone had just dreamed them up to enliven a show-offy blog.
A FLUSH, FOLLOWED BY A SUSPENSEFUL HUSH
A DIVE INTO PECAN-PIE SCENTED WATERS -- SOUNDS TASTY
A HELLISH SAFARI INTO THE BELLY OF THE NETHERWORLD
AS THEIR GIRLISH HOPE RISES UP, TYRANNY FALLS
At last, it seemed that Larkspur's wish might be granted: The sound of cascading water was audible.
WHAT HAD THEY DONE TO DESERVE THIS?
They were asking, "What Have I Done to Deserve This?" more than 20 years before the "Pet Shop Boys" joined with Dusty Springfield to ask the same question in song form.
But on that first day, they swam through the waters flowing away from the waterfall, through striking cave formations and iridescent colorations. It was so beautiful. And it was theirs!
One afternoon, just before Chassis turned twelve, her mother asked her to be a dear and fetch some marzipan and halavah from the back storeroom. (The girls' mother, Islamina, ran a bakery, a restaurant and a cooking school at Kronstantinople.)
As Chassis moved aside bins of poppy seeds and palm sugar and marigold honey, she noticed a nob in the corner. By now, she knew better than to turn the nob by herself. Golly, just about anything could be looming back there. She delivered the desired goods to her yummy, huggable mama and went to summon her sisters.
SCREAMING DOWN A POLE, SURROUNDED BY THE VOID
Have you ever slid down a pole? It looks so slick on TV -- you just jump on and zip right down -- but it's really nerve-wracking in real life, especially when the pole goes on forever, and you're in the dark, and you're not sliding -- you pretty much have to climb down, afraid that you're going to lose your grip any minute and go tumbling into the void.
But boy was it worth it. Chassis had had the foresight to cram a big flashlight down her blouse, and the girls made their way through what seemed to be a magnificent rain forest. The trees were so tall you couldn't see the tops. But there was no rain, and no sun! They could hear bird cries, and there were monkeys swinging around, shrieking with chimpy joy. Or maybe they were orangutans or bonobos -- who cared? The girls loved primates.
GIRL LONGS FOR AN ADORING SNUGGLE PARTNER
"I want a baby monkey to take home," Girl said shyly. She wanted a little creature who needed her and looked up to her, just as she needed and looked up to her sisters. She wanted to be someone's comforter and protector. Little did she know that she would some day become essentially the Comforter-in-Chief of the Entire Female Race.
Suddenly the pathway changed from mossy soil to brick, and a burst of flowers appeared, surrounding a stairway.
This is way too weird to be true. Who did this, and why? It's absurd! The girls ascended the stairs and found themselves standing before a large door. A sign said, "It's about time. Come on in."
A long hallway extended before them.
EVERY GIRL SHOULD HAVE HER OWN SKI RESORT
The first door they reached led to something they had been praying for practically since birth: their own indoor ski slope. They were good girls and rarely expressed a desire for anything more than all the crazy pleasures that they already had. But this was important, and now it was really happening. (Within eight years, Chassis would be on the U.S. Ski Team. Larkspur and Niagra were radically daredevilish snowboarders. Girl loved to lie down and make snow angels.)
When you were here, it was if nothing else in the world existed.
GIGGLES, SCREAMS AND OCCASIONAL INNOCENT PROFANITY
Sh*it! I mean, who even needs a movie with all this candy? They were so thrilled, they hugged each other, which wasn't normal for them at all.
THIS JOINT IS SO COOL! LET'S BLOW IT!
It seemed that whatever Overly Generous God had created this special world for the Kronstantinople sisters had Chassis in mind next, because what they found was the coolest jazz club ever! At last, a place to practice that was worthy of her. God, you guys, it was so pretty:
THE 'MASTERPIECES' LACKED TRUE GENIUS
The art museum that they discovered a few minutes later would have been even more exciting had the girls realized that every painting on display had been stolen from a major American or European museum. They were worth hundreds of millions of dollars. That would have generated some eye-rolling among the girls, who found most of the works to be quite good, but certainly not "masterpieces." Many were simply pedestrian or derivative.
SUNDAY, BLOODY SUNDAY IN THE BOWELS OF THE BEAST
On a blustery Sunday afternoon, the girls reconnoitered in one of the family quarters' many "ordinary" rooms to plan a classified mission in the bowels of the castle, one that would involve martial arts, secret passwords, a rather occult oath and singing in four-part harmony to ward off the terror. They had made numerous expeditions down there, looking for yet-another mind-boggling treasure (the latest was a huge ice-skating rink).
BAD MEN MIGHT HOLD YOU DOWN AND COMB YOUR HAIR
There were definitely animals who hid out in the nooks and crannies, and there may well be bad men as well. Men who might tickle you, or offer you a treat that your mama would find unacceptable, or comb your hair the way THEY liked it. That was what girls had to fear from men in those days.
A PLACE FOR OUR GIRL TO CULTIVATE HER GRANDEUR
As soon as they saw it, her three sisters knew this would be hers and hers alone: A Throne Room. Here, she could merely sit, and she would feel that she possessed regality. She had a domain, somewhere, over which she ruled. She had subjects, probably everywhere, who adored her. Her most cavalier pronouncement was taken with the greatest of seriousness, or would be, once she thought of something to pronounce.
She must rise to the occasion. She must muster her mind. She must toss the ermine mantle of grandiosity around her shoulders. And so she did. Or anyway, she tried.
The Grand Finale of her journey would require that she leave this precious sanctum and survey the world in person. Then, over the years, she would become the true, the proud, the Elderly Girl.
ARTIFACTS CAN TURN INTO ACTUAL FACTS
Isn't it fascinating what a few props can do for you? As you may recall, Elderly Girl has already stressed to you the incredible power of visualization in making your dreams come true. Using artifacts such as a gold-encrusted throne on red velvet can help you in this process if you have limited creativity and imagination, which poor Elderly Girl certainly did. This is but one of so many life lessons that we can learn from this exemplary, pudding-smooth sweetheart.
God didn't throw away the mold after he made Elderly Girl. He didn't use a mold, you fool! He used his own dear (by then somewhat arthritic) hands, and then he said, "It is good," or, as we prefer to imagine: "I done good."
The Kronstantinople sisters grew up from the late '40s to the mid-‘60s as the darlings, the cuddly pets, the stars of the show at the lavish mall, with nothing to fear but dandruff and nuclear war. In a sense, they had been at the helm of American history -- as expressed in its commerce, fads, rituals and cultural evolution -- for their whole lives, although they would have thought it "tight-assed'' to look at it that way.
HOMEWORK, THEN A DATE WITH THEIR BELOVED BLACK MAN
(Uncle Otis was a black man who owned a martial arts studio in the mall. The girls' pride at being ``part black'' -- albeit through marriage -- had never dimmed, and their tall, tightly muscled uncle had sat through many a "show-and-tell'' session over the years as all those suburban white students lined up for a chance to touch his skin and hair.)
Otis was a great teacher, and he sang gospel while he lunged. It was so uplifting!
The charming little girls even worked on their synchronized swimming, minus the water, and insisted on donning swimsuits, swimcaps and noseplugs to lend authenticity to their labors.
The girls made the idea of jumping into bed, any bed, almost irresistible.
Before dinner at Mama's "Welcome to My World" restaurant, which featured a constantly changing array of global cuisines, they picked out tomorrow's school attire at the "PruFrock Boutique." Aunt Prue (Ashkenazi with Cherokee in there somewhere) who was briefly married to a sheik and had a rather too large diamond in her nose, called them “my little publicists.” They created a market for the latest styles before they had even appeared in American Girl magazine.
As each new shipment of designer children's apparel from around the world arrived, the girls had thrilling dress-up parties to familiarize themselves with their choices. Could life possibly be any better?
Auntie Prue had very hip taste, making the girls renowned trendsetters.
FOR DESSERT, THEY HAD EXPERIENTIAL DELICACIES
Niagra worked on her "History of Guerrilla Warfare in Iambic Pentameter'' for awhile, and then put on some boxing gloves and sparred with Uncle Otis while he taught t'ai chi and judo.
Girl should have spent her time taking notes on her three sisters' achievements and adventures instead of following along like a pathetic mascot. She could have written runaway best-selling biographies of each of them.
CLOSING TIME FOR LITTLE-GIRL EYES
Each bedroom had a staircase to the tower, where they could view the landscape and the night sky.
When you walked in the door of the Kronstantinople emporium, you might think you were in Zanzibar or Istanbul. Amid all the tasteful, modern boutiques were Old World storefronts flowing over with products which, at that time, had never been available in America before: barrels of brightly hued spices, fresh ginger, herbs, legumes, truffles, richly colored infused oils and vinegars, dried figs, tamarind, olives, sauces, rare nuts, intoxicating roasted coffee beans, condiments and bottled delicacies from the Mediterranean, the Middle East and Asia that were so pretty people bought them just to display them in their kitchens.
There was a vast selection of imported pastas (So many shapes and colors! Bellisimmo!), dried beans and grains, including many unknown here such as couscous, amaranth, kamut, triticale and buckwheat..
There were beautiful greens, squash, root vegetables, fresh fennel, Nopalitos (a tender, edible cactus) varicolored lettuces, heirloom tomatoes, vivid peppers, sweet onions and wreaths of garlic. There were prickly pears, key limes, blood oranges, papaya, mango, kiwi, plantains, berries, and lovely pastel melons. There were fruits we have no name for from tropical paradises around the world.
IN 'THE LAND OF THE FREE': FOOD FIT FOR A PRISONER
This was back in the day when "vegetables" in America meant canned peas and iceberg lettuce, and fruit was a flavorless, genetically denatured red delicious apple or a flaccid "cling peach" canned in syrup. "Pasta" in those days meant canned Chef Boyardee ravioli. Nobody even knew that coffee could be anything but an instant powder. "Asian food" meant Chun King Chow Mein. What a primitive country!
The word for "barf!" in Italian is rimettere. Americans had a pathetic soft white material they called "bread." What an abomination! (Sometimes they dipped it in gray-brown slop known as "gravy.") At last they would be introduced to big, brown crusty loaves that had beauty, flavor and texture. You broke off a chunk and you chewed something substantial!
The stuff these backward people called cheese -- Velveeta and "American cheese" -- was NOT CHEESE. Making real cheese, which has character and depth, is a nuanced art form. It takes time. It takes terroir. And you can't "whiz" real cheese out of an aerosol can! Good god, you people! How could you have gone so far astray?
It may be easy, but it's not cheese. They drank a liquid entitled "Tang," which was intended as a substitute for orange juice. Why? One cannot comprehend the motivation to drink a chemical solution when oranges themselves are so delightful and wholesome and right there in the orange grove.
FROM WHENCE COMES THIS GASTRONOMIC EVIL?
And the limp so-called olives these people ate from a bottle were nothing like the freshly brine-cured, meaty olives right off the tree. Those little "sausages" in CANS (how dare they use the name Vienna?) and that ground-up pork vomit known as Spam -- which is admittedly a good name for it -- made Real People from Actual Countries With Pride and History just sick to contemplate.
What was it about America that had them dumping a bunch of bona fide EDIBLES into some sort of contraption that would TOTALLY DENATURE them, stripping them of all nutritional and sensual value, and the RECONFIGURING them into hideous amalgamations that seemed expressly designed to be addictive and to damage the human body?
Americans made such appalling stuff they called food, that there was actually a legal case made in which food was blamed for criminal behavior: The infamous "Twinkie Defense."
The Twinkie itself was indefensible on any grounds, except for profitability. America did not seem rich to the Kronstantinoples. It seemed disadvantaged and backward. They would fix that.
The atmosphere of Kronstantinople's food vendors was joyous, as in, "We are here to share with you the things we love."
"The disquieting and the delightful hang out at the Kronstantinople Bazaar,'' People magazine had declared a few years back. "The Kronstantinoples are a real-life Addams Family -- minus the macabre.'' Since the girls were forbidden to watch television until they finished high school, they assumed the reference was to the New Yorker cartoonist and were all quite flattered.
Larkspur decided what she really wanted was a woman. The owner and cops were so amused by this explanation that no charges were filed, but Larkspur had promptly declared herself a lesbian. This was such a bold and politically correct move that a disconsolate Girl could think of no way to remain in her sister's league -- except, perhaps, by burning herself at the stake.
THE SISTERS OPEN BIZARRE SHOPS IN THE BAZAAR
As they grew into their late teens and early twenties, the girls evolved in lovely ways. Larkspur, a sex fiend with a degree ("for the hell of it") in civil engineering, owned the Mask-o-chism shop ("costumery for creative intimate encounters"`). She was finding ever-more-exhilarating ways to put the dungeon downstairs to "respectful" use, with "clear, mutually agreed upon boundaries."
Larkspur regarded role-playing as good, clean fun. She had a stomp-around, outta-my-face, blow-your-wad attitude that had kept the Kronstantinople girls on the giggling brink of delinquency for most of their lives and had led to controversial lecturing stints on "Constructive Sociopathy'' and "The Myth of Maturity.'' She had about a hundred tattoos, and exploring them all was like going to an art museum.
SLASHING, POKING: SHE AIN'T JOKING
Scarification can look pretty cool, but you go through hell to get there. Niagra had begun writing a term paper about the history of self-mutilation several years ago, but it had evolved into a multi-volume encyclopedia, complete with some of the most gruesome pictures you'd ever want to see. She had just returned to Kronstantinople after a year as a U.S. military academy's first-ever poet-in-residence. It had made her despise the military mindset more than ever. Talk about mutilation! Those guys were fuc*ked up!
A HEARTWARMING GYMNASIUM FOR THE MIND
Chassis loved children, as long as they were other people's children. She also hosted stimulating lectures with guest speakers that were designed to expand the horizons of her audiences. These lectures had become so popular that they were broadcast live from the vast Kronstantinople auditorium on the local NPR affiliate. Her business was entirely nonprofit.
'GIRL' FLOUNDERS, BUT LOOKS GOOD DOING IT
It seemed that her progress in the Throne Room was unbearably slow, even though she did slide, hike and swim to it every afternoon for an exhausting session of visualization, meditation and free-association.
Aunties Patina and Patella, the lisping twin owners of the "Shower Me" bath boutique, had provided her with the most cozy robe, towels and lotions to make her comfortable after her arduous journey. She wrapped a baby-blue terry-cloth turban around her damp hair and pretended it was an intimidating headdress as she sat magisterially on the Throne.
She had become increasingly despondent about how to live a productive life until the "Throne" effect kicked in. She was about ready to throw in the towel.
'OPEN WIDE!' OUR GIRL WRETCHES INSIDE
Then one day she saw a commercial that seemed to have been sent directly by God into her TV.
"Are you ready to throw in the towel?" the pitchman said, pointing directly at her. "Step up to an exciting, rewarding career in dental hygienics! In just four short weeks, you will be filling the world with beautiful smiles!"
What a heartwarming way to earn a living! Or not! How could anyone feel bad about that? What a noble calling, our airhead of a heroine surmised.
She paid several thousand dollars for the class. Then she plunged with great hope into her new career, picturing a world filled with healthy, happy smiles that her craftsmanship had enabled.
IF THIS WAS HER CALLING, SHE'D BETTER HANG UP
But after a couple of weeks, dental duties were giving her the terminal “icks.” Membranes and secretions! Passageways leading god-knew-where and gooey folds hiding god-knew-what! Slimy pink (at best) tongues like lusty dolphins nuzzling her fingers. Oh please! It looked like "Journey to the Center of the Earth'' in there. No soap had been Zestful enough to suds away her shudder. People are precious, but that doesn't mean you have to be slopping about in their openings.
It hurt Girl's feelings to give up so easily, but really: She was on the verge of wretching the whole time. That would have been terribly rude, and maybe someone would have sued her for inflicting emotional pain. Isn't that conceivable in this litigious day and age?
'THE LAY OF THE LAND' FINDS THE TERRAIN ROCKY
Listlessly, she schlepped around and slept around during her remaining teenage years, hoping to make a name for herself, which she did, becoming known (fondly and respectfully) as "the lay of the land.''
The only men she had ever truly, madly and in that tingly way loved were Kojak and Issac Hayes, but she respected them too much to have a carnal relationship with them, even in her sleep.
My god, ladies -- what a cozy lap he had! Oh those blissful lap-sitting dreams -- her cheek pressed against their hot, hairless heads. She wore bitsy skirts and called them "Daddy." With them she was as safe as a human being can be.
BALD HEADS, ROLE-PLAYING AND DE-STALINIZATION
Coincidentally (or not), her daddy had gotten tired of being told he looked like Stalin, so he had shaved his head several years ago.
"Daddy, you don't look anything like Stalin!" That, perhaps, explained Elderly Girl's weakness for bald men. So that wasn't like some repressed incestuous thing, was it? She used to sit in her Daddy's lap, and he would hold and stroke her, and kiss her hair, and her sadness would just fly right out the window. So was her yearning for bald men with laps some terrible regressive perversion or something? Things were all so complicated, especially if you thought about them.
A HOPEFUL INFUSION OF HERBAL COLLUSION
Oh my heck, she was thinking about them! That was progress! Maybe the Throne Room was finally having its desired effect.
Going into that shop had always given Girl a woozy visual overload. There were so many vitamins! So many minerals! So many barks and berries, blossoms and roots, seeds and sprouts! So many extracts and distillations, immersibles and emulsions, pills and powders!
COULD 'SPRING ADONIS' SEDUCE HER WARY MIND?
AN ASSYRIAN EXPLETIVE JOLTS OUR DEAR GIRL
This was so many capsules to take every day that Girl didn't know if she could stand it.
"You can stand it," Kiwi said sternly, throwing in a very bad Assyrian expletive -- "Khol Ikhreh!" -- for emphasis. She had learned to swear in so many languages, it made you wonder about her priorities.
"Get serious, Girl. People go through a lot worse sh*it than this to get their acts together."
Girl was taken aback. No one had ever spoken sternly to her before. Perhaps they should have. This kick in the butt was going to propel her forward with renewed purpose.
She resolved to dispense with the Throne Room. Bye-bye, my gold-and-velvet bassinet. It had done its job. She had begun having what are generally regarded as "thoughts," which was surprisingly enjoyable. Several people had offhandedly remarked (to her surprise) that she had displayed "insight" on a particular subject. She began having teensy tendrils of flutter in her brain that suggested she was about to develop true character and perhaps even a philosophy of life.
OFF WE GO, INTO THE WILD BLUE YONDER
She knew what must be done. She packed Aunt Kiwi's capsulized herbs into her Annie Oakley lunchbox from elementary school (she still loved it, OK?), along with six pairs of underpants, a big wad of hundred-dollar bills, a little blue jar of Noxema (moisturize, ladies!) and some Chapstick.
Girl would love this forever, no matter how elderly she became. She vanished into the mist. At least that is how she chooses to remember it. She strode into the unknown with her hair, as usual, billowing beautifully. Her muscled arms, her flat tummy, those lips that screamed "Kiss me!!" came along for the ride as she trekked around the world (or was it just around the state? It's kind of blurry.) (It couldn't have been around the block, could it? Because she seems to recall tropical birds and the Tower of Pisa. Oh, and Machu Pichu. Or was this just stuff she saw on PBS? Dang those magic mushrooms she swiped from Daddy's bathroom.) (Anyway, it was a big-time adventure that took, like, forever and was a life-altering experience) (And she did need all the underpants, which must count for something).
FREEDOM'S JUST ANOTHER WORD FOR LOTS OF THINGS TO GAIN
The first thing that hit her on her trek was this grand phenomenon known as freedom. Leaving family and home behind, she was on her own for the first time in her 21 years, and it was immediately exhilarating. A revelation! She felt like a brand new person, filled with both light and de-light. Autonomy, my god! It was like being the star of an extravaganza that she would write as she went along. She looked at everything and everyone as if she had just been cured of blindness. She could have cried, the tumult was so poignant.
It appeared that she hadn't realized how much she knew -- or how competent, bold and perceptive she could be -- until she tumbled out of the Kronstantinople womb. This was indeed a birth! She could do anything and go anywhere she wished, answerable to no one. No one had any idea where she was. She could go to Rome, or take a little float down the Nile.
The Nile is so restorative this time of year, don't you find? She could try a slice of Wonder Bread with Cheez Whiz on it, which had never been tolerated in the gastronomically pure Kronstantinople environment. She could also choose not to, out of unmitigated disgust, which she did.
THE REAL WORLD WAS TOUCHING, BUT IT NEEDED HER
She streamed through crowds of fellow human beings on apparati that were called "sidewalks," and she was flooded with a blissful duality: She felt like one of them, and she felt separate. She felt brave, majestic and observant, yet she felt humble.
She sensed that these people needed help -- in dressing, in grooming, in comporting themselves, in fiscal discipline, and in refraining from gluttony -- but still there was a tenderness in her toward these poor beasts. They seemed tired and rather anxious. And, frankly, not terribly bright. A rather rash judgment for a lifelong bimbo to make.
One day, she was hiking Kilimanjaro, or some really large hill, and it dawned upon her that low self-esteem has a flip side: arrogance. Over the years, she would also conclude that self-hatred is at the core of most egomania.
SHE'S NOT AN EGOMANIAC - SHE JUST KNOWS HER STRENGTHS
She wasn't becoming an arrogant egomaniac, exactly -- she was simply transitioning into the role of Most Splendid, Lavishly Luscious and Hilariously Brilliant Person on Earth. This was not just an adventure: It was a job. It came with a heavy mantle. She was defending your freedom just as truly as if she were a four-star general, squatting inside a bunker in Afghanistan.
In fact, she wasn't just defending your freedom -- she was having to remind you constantly that you had it. Be free! Do it your way!
Hers became a life devoted to helping others -- in between bouts of utter despair (in bed for days, crying for no reason) and explosions of self-indulgent high-handedness. Every once in awhile, her vanity (how could she not be spellbound by her own beauty?) and irritability/impatience/intolerance got in the way of her compassion, but we believe it is fair to say that she has earned a reputation for saintliness, albeit not in the conventional sense. She has devoted her life to humankind. Elderly Girl would tear the peaches and cream right off her face and give it to a disfigured burn victim if it were medically feasible (which fortunately it isn't).
MEDIA HAVE THE 'RIGHT TO KNOW' THIS: YOU'RE CREEPS!
Barbara Walters will do whatever kissing-up
is needed to get her "must-have" guests.
She worked for years to become the Elderly Girl we know today. In fact, she is still working at it, even as the "girl" part of her fades, ever so slowly (thank goodness) away. She remains, as ever, at your service.
The Kronstantionple epic began with the passionate, exotic lives of Elderly Girl's parents -- her Cossack/Mongolian father and Moroccan Jewish mother -- who met in Paris.
Their brilliance and passion created both a family and an empire. It required special seed, indeed, to sprout into the fragrant flower we know fondly as Elderly Girl.
Have you heard the news? Elderly Girl has defended your freedom by seducing Mitt Romney and ending his campaign!
Elderly Girl has flown the coop. She needed space. She wanted her own place. Frankly, we're surprised she hung out in this gaudy, clamorous venue for as long as she did, surrounded by ordinary people, slapstick theorizing, chronic diseases and confounding issues.
She has ensconced herself in a new domain, "The Elderly Girl Experience" (http://elderlygirl.blogspot.com/),where her autonomy and solitude can be protected.