High Fashion
Nick Peace
H-1, this is the Tower, over,' (the voice in my �phones drawled)
                'Tower, this is H-1, over',
                'H-1, you�r e cleared for take-off on runway one, destination Montego Bay. There�s a slight    northwesterly crosswind, currently 15 - one five - mph, over,
               'Roger, Tower. I�m ready to roll, over,'
               'You is one lucky bunny! Safe journey, out.'

*                           *
Mina was always teased about her weight at school. Called
Twiggy, Stick-Girl � that kind of thing � kids can be so cruel to each other sometimes. What they don�t realise is that the real damage only shows later, a gift of complex pathology and distortion, to be carried through life like a monkey on the back.
              Mina had no disorders; she was a size 10, that was her only crime, standing willowy amongst her dumpy peers. She was different, then, though in no abnormal way. Persecution came as a result of undefined, pre-adolescent jealousy. Later, when teenage awkwardness grew into graceful beauty, the woman I came to love understood and forgave � at least her tormentors.
              At high school, Mina attracted many admirers, and she was popular with everyone. Her personality seemed well balanced and easygoing. Perhaps the scars would have healed then, had it not been for Harry Heffer and the world of haute couture.
              Heffer was the founder of the PlayBunny empire, the first real attempt to market sex through the mass media. HH had been an orphan, now a middle-aged man who had never enjoyed the orality of a maternal breast. Keen business sense and arrested development led to PlayBunny breast and ass: America�s cheeriest cheerleaders, marketed to the public. Hey, I�m no square, I�ve got no problem with flesh - so long as there�s no exploitation or degradation involved � and the majority of the western world felt the same, allowing this poor-boy-made-good to create and dominate the soft porn mass market.
               He started with beautiful celluloid Goddesses, offering to showcase their natural charms in a way previously unheard of, and elevate them into immortality. After the stars of screen and society, Jean, Jane, Marilyn et al, had had their day, Heffer started grooming girls from high schools across the country. The only problem was, HH had grown even more pathological, remodelling them to his ideal of the female. This eccentricity reached a new level of obscenity with the advent of cosmetic surgery. Fashion creates an impossible image, and corporations go astro trading on manufactured insecurities. Now, hundreds of thousands of females are trying to conform to some twisted multimillion-dollar fantasy, giving us hoards of walking, talking Bambi dolls.
              Mina at last found a society into which she not only fitted, she was in demand. There was no need for peroxide, surgery - not even the need to sew a bit her ass into already perfect lips � she was a doll, a natural beauty. Fashion came between us then, and it destroyed her mind; when you fight your way through childhood and learn to adapt to the real world, then are suddenly placed in a dolls� house that elevates you to some illusory level above the rest of the world, there�s going to be a few tears. When she eventually saw through the fa�ade, and realised what she had lost as a result, her mind went on vacation; she no longer knew where she belonged in the big picture: a broken, discarded, burned-out Bambi doll.
              She�s still in the High Towers Home after four long years. I do visit; though the Mina I love is so timid with the taste of Valium, that she doesn�t recognise me.                
*                                    *
              I had started flight training four years ago and worked damned hard to get here today. That, together with a bit of machination, and I finally get to fly the latest Leary jets with the continent�s most prestigious private airlines. Lifting off from the earth, and leaving the dross and illusion behind is a sensation I would give my life for. Now my Love lives on a different world, there is nothing to attach me to the planet that the undercarriage has just left. LA is passing beneath my wings and only God and the stars lie in front.
              Leaning back, I wondered about 
gravity and retribution. Where�s that Molson
              Peroxide hair was an invention born of male mythmaking. The worrying part is that beautiful non-blondes everywhere are implicated in this male-manufactured, demented wish-fantasy. The Nords and Scands were dominant, competent and confident when Western culture was shaped; now mongrel males craving to compensate for their own inadequacies realise their ambition through the reflection of manufactured icons, basking in the light of the  golden halos of the women on their arms. Arian ideals and discrimination have not been resolved �
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes?  Was Billy Wilder part of a wider conspiracy?
              What about the true blond: how has she been denigrated and discounted in this perpetuation. Perhaps blondes lit easier or more effectively on the set, during the days before Technicolor. Unless you�re above working-class, and have a pedigree, these days being blonde means you�re either easy, dippy, or a PlayBunny and both.
              Heffer created this scenario. He is on my
Shit List.
*                            *
              �Think my ass is getting fat?� She raised up on her knees in the bath before me, thrusting splendid cheeks in my face. I placed a kiss between them, collecting Ass Milk Foam Bath on the end of my nose,
              �It�s just peachy, Hon,� I settled back in the foam and took a pull from the icy bottle of Molson. She giggled and wriggled, sliding slim fingers up her ribcage, slinking back down in my lap.
              �Perhaps�I�m thinking about some development up top, though��
              I sighed. Closing my eyes, I pulled hard on my column, pointing it  toward Heaven.
*                               *
              At high school, I remember in science class  discovering the bi-metallic strip. This device is two strips of different metals welded together, face to face. The different reactive properties of either strip under circumstances create a mechanical reaction. It�s simple; you�ve got a piece of tin attached to a piece of copper, give it some heat and it will bend in favour of the copper: an efficient heat sensitive switch;  two elements in conflict facilitating change.
              Liquids have an even greater reactive coefficient (generally), as demonstrated each time you excite water atoms to make a cup of tea. Heat, however, is not the only external factor to effect a substance � ever brewed-up on top of a good size mountain? � yes, there�s also gravity�
              Heffer and his entourage were aboard, in the cabin behind me, heading to some exotic hideaway far away from recession, Middle Eastern warfare and litigation from living plastic surgery nightmares; his whole executive staff and forty PlayBunnies, all identical except for their names on HH brand shirts, stretched taut over fat silicon implants.
              Starlight lit the cabin and I flicked from the aviation channel to local FM. Jim Morrison implored:    
Let�s drive to the ocean / Let�s swim to the moon
              I took a swig of Molson and pulled back hard on the flight column, heading toward Heaven

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