Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Lizzie Borden Story (A Loose Interpretation)

I finished up at work a little bit early, on Monday - and treated myself to a spur-of-the-moment shopping spree - right across the street at my favorite, neighborhood thrift store. Some days I go in there and scour the entire store, but not a single garment jumps off the racks at me. Monday however, was not one of those days...matter of fact, I fairly well hit the dang jackpot! Someone had recently donated the most fabulous collection of sick gowns and dresses, (circa 1970 - '85), and after methodically weighing the balance to determine which ones I should add to my wardrobe (or not), and then checking the balance in my bank account on my phone - I settled on the four frocks that I liked the best (and...that were priced so that they fit within my budget).

The lavender, striped and flocked dress (seen here in this entry) wasn't necessarily my favorite outta the bunch, but it was definitely the one that made the most sense for the shoot that I'd planned to stage later that day. It was the very picture of pure, sappy-sweet, country charm - complete with calico ruffles and a long, flowy sash - which I bargained might make it the perfect compliment to a backdrop replete with cows, and a silo, and a honey of a barn...

Anymore - although I do still give costumes the good, ole college try - I oftentimes find them creatively limiting, not to mention - somewhat physically restricting...and because of that, I usually shed 'em pretty quickly in favor of wearing the one costume that I feel gives me the utmost freedom of expression...and that is (not telling you anything you don't already know here) - absolutely nothing at all. Trouble is though, I've been worrying lately that the nudity schtick (especially when coupled with the abandoned house theme) could start (or already is) wearing thin with my readers. I mean, how many self-pics. can one person take - buck naked in one crumbling structure after another?

With all of that in mind, this time I kept away from the old houses to which I am so absurdly drawn - and believing that this shoot would certainly be a departure from that which is steadily becoming my "norm", I absentmindedly fell victim to a different sort of repetition, by staging my second "barn" shoot in a row...(what in the heck is my problem?!)

Once on site, and zipped up into the snug-fitting dress - I drew a complete blank on how to begin. I oscillated on the balls of my bare feet, my eyes panning the spectacular space - hopeful that my surroundings would trigger an idea...but all I kept thinking was, "Tha hell should I do?"

Realizing that the day was wending ever onward, and concerned that the farmer might interrupt my shoot should he show up to tend to the cows - I stopped asking questions and started snappin' pics....with nary a game plan, just a very vague notion of who the person (people, rather) was (were) that I thought I could pretend to become...and with the intention also of seeing if the lavender dress could convincingly assume its own different identities in each of the separate groups of pics.. 

The interesting part about all of this though, is that when I got back home and downloaded the pictures - the person (singular) that I saw there, was nothing like the people (plural) that I'd tried to portray...and for as much as I'd wanted to find versatility in the dress - it always only looked like itself. But the cool part about it was - I saw a character that I never even meant to emulate, but who was magically materializing right there on my Mac. She was this sort of modern(ish)-day take on the infamous Lizzie Borden (minus the blood and the gore, and all that)...and as I reviewed and edited each consecutive frame, her story unfolded right there before my eyes...

And so, if you'll kindly oblige me - I'd like very much to share the story that the pictures told me...

(All pics. snapped on 11/14/11)

...In the midst of yet another of their classic, incendiary screaming matches - Lizzie stormed out of the house, and away from Andrew and Abby (her iron-fisted father and money-grubbing step-mom) to take refuge from the tumult in the barn. A safe-haven of sorts, the barn had become the only place where Lizzie could go to escape Andrew's volatile tirades...and decompress in the company of far more gentle creatures...

...But on this particular day, Andrew and Abby made the ever-so-grave error of invading Lizzie's sacred, secret space - their sole purpose - to continue the bitter argument that had been abbreviated by Lizzie's abrupt departure from the house. The instant she heard her father approaching from behind her, all the while spitting and spewing a barrage of derisive, derogatory remarks  - Lizzie whipped her head around, and shot him a threatening look - as if to say, "You talkina me, muthuh fuckah?!"

Lizzie turned and marched with purpose towards the two barking aggressors, never quantifying their castigation with a response of her own. She just thought to herself, "Ya'll done messed with the wrong pre-menstrual bitch", then grabbed an ax that was leaning against the run-in stall wall, and with two very clean, swift, and accurate blows - she ended the argument for good...

Lizzie remorselessly stepped over the bodies of her expiring parents, and now brimming with a great sense of satisfaction and relief...she made her way to the silo where she reflected upon the episode under the neutral auspices of the pigeons that roosted in the catwalk high above...

Her meditation was cut short though, when she heard a car making its way along the winding, gravel driveway that led up to the Borden family's home.

"Hmmm...", Lizzie thought. "What to do? What to do..." She inspected the front of her lavender dress, expecting to see major blood spatter resultant from the duo of mortally wounding blows. Remarkably however, the damage was minimal, "Welllllll......that ain't so bad. Nothing a quick rinse in the water trough can't fix."

Lizzie returned to the grizzly murder scene, but averted her eyes so as to avoid seeing the bloody, bludgeoned bodies. She fetched the ax and carried it with her as she hurriedly scampered over to the trough in order to wash the dress and herself, before the visitors could catch sight of the telltale, trace evidence. On her way to the trough, she chucked the ax down into the seemingly bottomless well...speculating that surely no one would ever find it there...

Once there by the basin of chilly, refreshing water - she stepped out of the dress, washed, wrung and hung it out to dry...and then dunked herself, blithely behaving as if she hadn't a care in the world.

 Lizzie could see the people who had arrived in the car, walking towards her as she soaked in the trough. "Dude!" she shouted at them as they came closer and closer..."A little privacy please? Sheesh! I'll be done in a minute!"

The visitors (two women from Abby's garden club) stopped right where they were, and through cupped hands one hollered, "Hey Lizzie! Where's Abby? The three of us are supposed to go to lunch in town together" Feigning ignorance, Lizzie quipped, "I have no freaking clue"...and with that the two women shrugged and turned to walk away...

Lizzie was tried for the murders later that year, but was ultimately acquitted - after no weapon, nor blood evidence was ever found...(MmmmmHmmmm...such a naughty, naughty girl!)

1 comment:

  1. Oh Lauralyn.... you are a total star. Thank you so much for this lovely post. I loved the story...but then naughty girls do it for me ;)

    You are welcome on the nomination and all that I wrote about you is completely true. Your blog is without doubt my favourite blog in my reading list and if my list had to include only one blog...then it would be this one.