“IF I VOMIT one more time,” said Trixie Franklin over the head of the woman layering foundation onto her skin, “I am personally going to give Ralph a vasectomy. Why is being pregnant so awful? Aren’t I supposed to be glowing? And,” she said, swatting away the makeup artist’s hand, “stop trying to make me look white! What color is that powder, anyway? China doll?”
“If you vomit one more time during work hours,” said her manager Lorraine as the makeup artist stepped away and crossed her arms over her chest, “I’ll give Ralph a vasectomy. You can vomit as much as you want when we’re not on a shoot. Here, honey, try Mahogany Queen.” She said the last part to the makeup artist, who took the compact from Lorraine and swiped some over Trixie’s cheek.
“In my next life I want to be the person who names makeup colors,” Trixie said. “They may as well call it We Hope You Forget We Enslaved Your Black Ass, ‘Cause Hey, You’re A Queen. Oh, And Your Skin Looks Like Wood. Anyway, it’s still too light.”
“Ebony?” asked Lorriane, rummaging through the make up kit.
Trixie thrust out her arm. “Does this look ebony to you? Don’t they have anything called Senegalese Standard? West African Ancestry? Original Skin? Hey, that’s good! Maybe I should be the person naming makeup.”
“You won’t make half as much as you make for sitting here and complaining,” said Lorriane.
“It’s good, though, isn’t it!”
“Fabulous,” said Lorraine. “You should probably patent it.”
Trixie stuck out her tongue.
“Careful!” said the makeup artist, as though she were scolding a six year old.
“Lorraine” yelled the photographer from the other room. “How much longer?”
“Use the ebony, hon,” Lorraine said, shoving the powder at the makeup artist. “Five minutes!” she yelled back.
“Tell me again what we’re doing?” asked Trixie.
“How is it you can remember every lyric to every song ever written, but you can’t remember which shoot you’re on?”
“Just brilliant I guess,” said Trixie, batting her fake eyelashes.
“Would you hold still?” said the makeup artist. “Lips, please.”
Lorraine checked her watch. “Daniel Cavino. Twelve minutes ago.”
“Riiiight,” said Trixie. “Those weird boxy outfits.”
“Yeah, well, you can thank those weird boxy outfits for letting you work into your third month of pregnancy.”
“Thank God I’m not showing yet….I’m not, am I?” Trixie looked down at herself and anxiously smoothed a hand over her belly. “No one knows, right?”
“Don’t worry. Everyone just thinks you’re bulimic,” said Lorriane. “And anyway, you look gorgeous. As always.”
“Even my eyebrows? Make sure she fixes that weird little cowlick thing on my left eyebrow.”
“I’m standing right here,” said the makeup artist, her voice sharp.
“Of course you are,” said Trixie sweetly. She looked back to Lorraine. “Did Youssef drop off the new contracts?”
“First thing this morning.”
“Just like he promised.” Trixie rolled her eyes. “Little brother never disappoints. But who makes more money now, huh?”
“You, of course,” said Lorriane. “Are we done here?”
The makeup artist snapped her tray closed. “Oh yes,” she said, packing up her box. “We are so done here.”
Lorraine watched as the makeup artist slammed the door. “Can’t you give those girls a break? That’s the tenth girl in ten shoots.”
“Find me someone who gets me and I promise I’ll be sweet as a sugar daddy.”
“I have no idea what that means. And no!” she added as Trixie started to speak. “Don’t even explain it to me. You’re late. Go do your thing.”
Trixie stood up and swayed dangerously. “Oh crap,” she said.
Lorraine put out her hand. “Not again, Trixie. Not now. Pull it together!”
Trixie swallowed hard and nodded. “Why do they call it morning sickness, anyway? It’s two in the afternoon!” She took a deep breath. “I’m okay,” she said, clomping into the next room on her spike heels.
A second later she came running back, hand over her mouth, looking pale through the Ebony powder. She ran into the bathroom and slammed the door. The sound of retching could be clearly heard over the running water meant to drown it out.
“Models,” said the photographer from the next room.