There’s going to come a day when he will ask you – to help him with…his make-up

Sunday.  October 18, 1992.  Buffalo, NY

Dear Diary.  Or, should I write…’Dear Lynne, so ten years from now it could be a letter to my older self.”  Okay. Start over.

Dear Dumb Ass,  “What were you thinkin?” Why. WHY- would you let him talk you into…putting make-up on a dead person?” With YOUR make-up. Haven’t thrown it out – yet. Not that I’m keeping it. Just don’t know where to dispose of it.  Might burn it. Perhaps Morty can throw it in with the next one. After witnessing what they do to bodies, I’d rather be thrown in the fire. 

What scares me, I was in such a hurry to make our dinner reservation that – it didn’t phase me to touch it. Backing up to yesterday…we finally got reservations at Shaw’s in Niagara Falls – Ontario. While getting ready, my phone rings.  “Hey, can ya come get me?”  Great, some date. “I’m still getting ready. I thought you were picking ME up?” Not happy.  “They need my car for a funeral and I knoooow you don’t want to show up at Shaw’s…in a removal van. You can finish getting ready here?”  Um, Ew. Let’s think.  Get ready for your date at a funeral home or have’m pick you up in a body van.  I grabbed my things. 

Parked in the back, entered through the “Flower Delivery” door  and found my way to the bathroom.  Then, a knock.  “Hey it’s me. I need your help – no one’s here yet.”  My help? Oh, god. Should I open the door?  Cracked open the door and peeked out.  There he stood in his astronaut suit and gloves, and says…“Okay, here’s the story. We’ve got three bodies; one needs her makeup finished and the others need dressed. I’ll dress the two – you can finish the makeup on the lady.  We only have 20 minutes – we gotta go!”  Yeppie! Lucky me. Good lord, what I’m I doing here. “Excuse me? Shit. Twenty-minutes. I can’t get myself ready in 20 minutes. So, I gotta touch this – lady?” Guess that was a stupid question.  He clears his throat and hands me a picture: “The primers done – she needs lipstick and eye stuff.  There’s little here, if you have stuff you don’t use, it would help.”  With my – YUCK face, I said: “No way. I use everything in this bag.  What’s Primer, is it going to protect my make-up?” Silence. Don’t do it Lynne.  ”Where is she?” He points to the room down the hall.  At that moment, I felt like I stepped into some freakish B-Movie. My stomach growls. Looked at  the clock.  Alright Lynne, just vision you’re putting make-up on your doll.

Actually, she resembled my grandma’s friend Helen but, she felt like my doll Annette. On our way to the restaurant I blocked out visions of the dead lady and replaced it with, a Long Island Ice Tea and thoughts of the Munsters.  If I turn into Lily, SHOOT ME!!. Worse yet, if Morty begins to resemble Herman Munster. I can already see it, when he laughs.  





Lynne Houston


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