Thursday, May 03, 2007

The Devil Reads Dada

Clarissa orders her nervous assistant to “Lay it all out on my bed. Carefully!”

Tonight, Clarissa will attend the single most important cultural event of the year: The Dada Legacy Poetry Reading. The assistant must not mishandle the posh party clothes of this fashion icon of belles-lettres. If she does, the girl can kiss her enviable career goodbye.

Tonight, Clarissa will wear a Duchamp ribbon dress: black, slinky, and corseted with a Marcel Janco fox fur shoulder wrap. She will wear her silver Man Ray stiletto heels, carry her Emmy Hemmings clutch, and adorn her ears with platinum, anti-war teardrops designed by Tristan Tzara.

The dress lacks a hole through which to put one’s head. The shoulder wrap is long enough to wrap around the world. The silver shoes have claws that sprout out like those of a cat in after-nap stretch. The clutch purse doubles as a cell phone. The platinum earrings turn into real wet teardrops after midnight, and they fall to form silver puddles on the floor. Clarissa’s is the prefect outfit for such a high-profile, surrealist poetry function. The paparazzi will go wild!

But if the outfit should be torn, wrinkled, or mishandled in the slightest way, Clarissa will pee on her assistant and then, horror of horrors, she might loose this great job as assistant to the famous Clarissa Holloway.

Lucky for this assistant, she performs this task to perfection. So, afterward, Clarissa gives her a more impossible task. “After you’ve finished cleaning up after the poodles, get on the phone and book the Cabaret Voltaire for my daughter’s Sweet Sixteen.”

“But the Cabaret Voltaire doesn’t do Sweet Sixteen Parties.”

“I don’t care. Tell them she’s a boy, and we’re throwing a Bar Mitzvah.”

“But…?” Before the assistant could say anymore, Clarissa had already given her a sharp, dismissive look and turned away. That was all.

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