Mrs. Oregano was stationed in Bahrain when she realized her true calling. “Oh, dear,” Mrs. Oregano commented, when destiny finally revealed itself on September’s first breezes. You see, Mrs. Oregano had a husband & three savory children to support back at home, and, how was this going to affect them? Fortunately, Mrs. Oregano’s true calling & your boutique’s pre-autumnal rush are soon to coalesce in what the apple twisters call Boutique Destiny. Now, you may be wondering how a thing as non-variable as destiny can really be boutique. But that’s where the ancient wisdom of the agroccultists will serve you well. “Rub your shelves with the oil from an olive tree three thousand years old on the twelfth hour of every Tuesday” they’ll tell you and Mrs. Oregeno, and other stuff of that nature. And if you follow their ways, then this season is sure to be a feast of Boutique Destiny.
What are you holding?
Oh, you… well, you dropped your slapstick heart.
And I was standing there holding this thing, dripping. I wasn’t even sure I wanted to pick up in the first place. I don’t know— people have been leaving all sorts of stuff behind in my shop lately. Every morning after I beat out the rugs, I write over the door, “γνῶθι σεαυτόν (KNOW THYSELF)” Yet I have this pile of unclaimed personal items sitting under the counter. Think I should start selling them or something?
In the beginning the acceptable thing to do was to bury the farm wren, to marry the true friend. In the beginning, the acceptable thing to do was to pardon the dry creme.
All the old birdies in their skirt skirties grew up with that sort of thing.
So when you greet them at your door and play them your garment history score
Please do it in the key of G.
Your parfums, your blue rings won’t frighten their understandings
and they will know, they are women like you.
“If only we had a way to process these credit card orders without such high service fees,” you say to your Parisian pup at the end of another day. Your pup don’t know shit, so he keeps his yap shut and comes to lay at your tired feet. Under the glimmer of some rays from above, you sip away your entire evening out a steamy cup of ginger tea. Come midnight, you find yourself with a set of plankton knocking at your shore.
“Do you have a moment to review a petition?” they’ll ask. “We’re taking a stand, pardon, we’re taking a squiggle against unnecessarily high service fees for small retailers.”
The pup sniffs around suspiciously.
“Well, sure. Did you want a cup of tea?”
Around 1:00, “You do seem to have an argument here.”
A turquoise plankton hands you his tiny ballpoint and you sign the moist document.
The diatoms thank you and toss your pup a baguette as they head back out to sea.
“Hi, I was walking past the other day and saw a pair of classes in the window— did they sell, or do you still have those?”
“Oh! Ah, sort of like those, only these had more work-out clothes.”
“Okay.” creek, shuffle shuffle shuffle, then the door closes.
“Oh, no—these had deceased husbands and supportive, pastry-eating friends.”
“Did they like to fly?”
“I don’t think so.”
“God, I mean, I don’t kn…”
“Oh, they’re perfect.”
“They are really, very beautiful.”
Your mannequin has been shipped.
Whew. What an afternoon. Paris can be a chakra-clogging bitch in flats.
Escorting you through the streets of Paris this spring is an imperative question for your boutique: How much haute is too much haute? And after a long day of perusing you decide to head to the Hemingway Bar to collect your haute thoughts. But when you take the short cut through L’Espadon you’ll find the restaurant, which doesn’t open for another half hour, is not as empty as you had supposed.There in the center of the room behind a table of lemon & peach macaroons, in a lamé gown, a string of 18K & diamonds, and topped with an enormous white rose tipped cooly across the brow sits your archenemy, Kate Moss.
However the next few moments proceed under these grandly curtained arches, whatever triumph you may find in this auspicious hall of gastronomy, remember, one’s arch enemy never really dies. Later, when you finally make it back to your room, you may meet Ms. Moss again, perched on your room’s fire place mantel in a red gown confronting you with the riddle you still have not solved: “How much haute is too much haute?”
They were so hungry while you kept them in storage but how much more brilliant to watch them take it in all at once, turning through gradients of ego anchors, personal triumphs, romances raging on customers’ shores. Unlike other promotional in-store offerings, the intuitive organs serve more subtle purposes. This year, as you bring out these burnishing vessels and place them between window greens and sunhat displays, you’ll feel a churning in the subterrain of your own consciousness. An odd glowing will pulse from behind your sweater. Maybe you should take it easy on the probiotic supplements. You’ll have to grab an apron from the greenhouse for an extra layer of opacity. A young sensitive in his mother’s belly sling will strike up a conversation with your apron as you help his mother with her hat shape. The baby babel will end abruptly with the strong pointing of a pudgy hand at a nearby organ working through some violet shades of blue. “Oh well isn’t that lovely. How much for the the garden orb?” his hatted mother will ask. But does she know what she’s buying? A pulse of light spills out edge of your apron. Isn’t that the point of these ingesting organs? They work what you do not know, what your customers will only see the glowing light of. Let it be her garden decor. Look what you’ve swallowed this year. It isn’t that bad is it?
“I hate the midday.”
This is what you’ll say to yourself right before you die. No, I’m kidding, you won’t die at all that day. Not even in the way you should. Instead you’ll nearly trip over Carly Simon, who you’ll find sunbathing on the sidewalk passing an empty storefront. Carly Simon doesn’t hate the midday. No ma’am. Look at how bleached her hair gets in the summer. And you know, her mouth doesn’t look so big now that she’s gotten older.
“Ms. Simon, oh my god,” you’ll exclaim bringing your hand to your chest.
“Is this your place?” She’ll raise up on her oiled elbows to ask.
“No, I don’t know who owns this building. It’s been empty for years.”
“Well,” Her eyes will narrow and she’ll stand up to examine something behind your, “what are these?” From her sunbathing perspective, Carly Simon will notice a pivotal shimmering behind your
“I swear I’ve never seen those keys before.”
“At least try them in this mysterious door.”
And that’s when you’ll discover what your boutique has in store.
“About a poor blinkered boy who outshines them all in the end, never getting an empty chest like all the rest? Well it does seem like a nice story. Does it have an age reference?”
“Yes, it refers to all the ages.”
“Oh it sounds like a perfect fit. Why don’t you leave us a copy and we’ll try it out next month.”
Your boutique’s monthly story hour is perhaps the only reason it’s lasted in the neighborhood. Ages generally like to keep their dry goods separate. Who can deal with more disease than those already particular to their life stage? The 38 year old surely wouldn’t want to catch a coward’s cough from the 82 year olds’ comb selection. And what self-respecting retiree can handle the woes of wishfulness blowing onto their orthopedic inserts from a dusty layer settled on the young adults’ trendy lenses. The inclusiveness in your small boutique is almost offensive, but in the magic hour of the story you’ve found a sort of chaplain for this house of integration.
The damn limelight’s been getting in your eyes lately. And since you’re no whiner, you head to your boutique for a pair of shades. “Hey this place is pretty nice.” You’re uncomfortable with the whole boutique thing so you usually pass on by to your Target or your Walgreens. But here you find a chill inducing item in less time than it takes to walk through a double set of sliding doors. On the way to the register, you hear your name tossed between the two associates.
“Oh really.” You interrupt, keeping your cool.
“Oh yeah,” The one on the left replies, “We’ve both established, on separate terms, that you are a Fucking Genius.”
You’re touched for sure but feeling a little odd about all this. “Who are these women? What do they know about your genius anyway?” You ask yourself as they put your money in their till. You feel the arthritis flare up in your wrist.
They go back to measuring up the world around them and folding stupidly soft napkins. You bite off the tag of your glasses, spit it in trash and walk out into the worshiping rays of the sun. “God, when does it end!”
You’re climbing the ladder for a rooftop view, a view that will solve itself, yep.
And it’s true that your view will draw for you a new horizontal.
Yes, mmhmm, and your breath will return to you right up your spine.
But back to your boutique is not quite where you’ll go,
You’ll stop short and for hours watch the activity below.
An arm will reach out, so tiny from here, from under a red head
to examine bookends, inkhorns, letter presses, and glue.
Customers interchanging in mesmerizing lines,
weaving patterns of brilliance, they are their own textile design.
Then cutting into your picture, another arm, one more your size will reach over
and hand to you a wee spot of clover.
He saw it there growing on the side of your scope.
How did you miss it, this luck?—You had nearly kissed it.
Ho! But not for you to wonder about just now,
For here there is an other who’ll see your furrowed brow.
And look, there too, he’ll wear one like you.
While looking deep into the creases above each others’ eyes
You’ll turn a bit, no more of your head shadowing his guise.
But in this turn he’ll begin to slip, when he had almost reached your lip.
Oh! There he’ll go! Right down through the hole, with flailing arms about.
And with different contact than what had been cooking
You’ll reach out to catch him, barely looking
at the wrists that will come slapping into each others’ palms.
You’ll nearly start a singing of many a psalm.
For his body will dangle like a charming chandelier,
at last dissolving your too-drab-of-a-ceiling fear.
You knew from an intuitive flash at conception a mantra would be your gift to the baby. Your boutique carries a variety of things you’ve needed on the way somewhere in the past. The baby shower you’re picking it up for is a safe three hour drive west of here and the mommy is notably understanding. You probably won’t have to put much explanation to her. She’s a social worker. But in that yacking pack gathering out west, you’ll watch your friend unwrap more than just your mantra. In an eclectic circle of chairs lining the living room, women will pass around mantra after mantra. A heap of mantras will pile up next to the featured mommy to be and you’ll wonder why you didn’t take that gift receipt. The woman writing the record of each gift and its giver will get a hand cramp. When you all leave the social worker will bring the mantras to the nursery and paste them up as a border around the room. Baby will learn to read at a thrilling young age. Her first words will flow out like poetry and she will never be able to stop being a sage for the rest of her life. In a nobel prize acceptance speech later, she will thank her mother the social worker, and her mother’s mantra showering friends.