Human beings, it is said, are creatures of habit. Miz Shoes can attest to that, as she has ridden in the same seat in the same car (more or less) during the last 17 years of her commuting life. And because work hours are pretty typical, she has seen a lot of the same people day in and day out for the same 17 years.
There is a woman on the afternoon MetroMover who fascinates me. She is a kewpie doll of a woman: short, prone to wearing short little skirts. She is possessed of a tiny button nose, puffy lips and a blonde bouffant flip (none of which appear to be hers by birth, but of acquisition). She wears t-strap pumps of moderate heel that look like jazz dance shoes and sheer support hose. Her face is a study in botox and eye lifts. I’d would love to take a picture of her, but there is just something about her that is a little scary.
The other day, another woman of Miz Shoes non-acquaintance, but similar work schedule got on the shuttle at the same time as Kewpie Lady. This other woman has spoken to me once or twice, unsolicited, and displayed a sort of innocent mild looniness, so it seemed safe to approach her with the following question: How old do you think that woman with all the plastic surgery is? She is a cipher to me.
Well, with that question, we went from cordial impersonality to Miz Shoes was the Crazy Woman on the Train. The Other Woman looked around and said “I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT.” Really? Because there are not a lot of crazy Kewpie Dolls with Too Much Plastic Surgery on this shuttle. “I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT.” and she scooted a little bit farther away.
So this has left me free to imagine Kewpie’s life story. And this is what I have decided. She is, indeed, a woman of a certain age, but she was not always. In her youth, how ever far away that really was, her name was Juan, and she was the star of a cabaret show where she portrayed Charo. Juan was fabulous and made a fabulous living as a drag queen Charo, enough to retire from the life, and have the ultimate surgery. Unfortunately, this did not work out the way he had hoped (i.e., he was not asked to marry by some handsome millionaire playboy), and so Juan-Charo has had to go to work as a secretary in a steno pool somewhere here in downtown Miami.