Michelle: @Aditi I thought you might like this article: “The Art of Binge Reading Donaldson.” Offering this to the blog post muse gods.
Christina: So should I be offended if someone says my pubes gave them a hairball?
Taneesha: lmao I love you.
Michelle: I know it seems I’m always talking work when I come in here.
Taneesha: ’Cause you are.
Christina: If you could have married work, you would have.
Elli: Did you meet someone nice, Chris?
Taneesha: El . . .
Taneesha: Sometimes a hot not-nice person puts their mouth on you and you like it anyway.
Elli: But she *could* meet somebody nice, right?
Taneesha: Chris . . . don’t.
Christina: I’m too hungover to be bitchy. I was going to behave. This once.
Elli: It’s not like you couldn’t sleep with somebody who you actually like.
Christina: Sure, but that’s not the point.
Elli: What’s not the point?
Christina: Think of it like a transaction. I’m getting something and so are they.
Elli: I guess that makes sense.
Taneesha: Are you sure you’re not a virgin, Elli? No judgment.
Elli: I’ve only had sex with people I really like, but not lately. Not high on my list of priorities.
Taneesha: Understandable. For me, just finding the time to get my rocks off is a serious problem.
Michelle: Has anyone heard from Aditi? She’s sending me emails . . . but . . .
Aditi: I read that article about two days ago.
Michelle: Oh, there you are!
Elli: My parents are making noises about me “doing more with my time” besides cosplay and conventions. They keep coming down to see what I’m doing in my apartment.
Christina: Apartment? I thought it was the basement.
Elli: It’s more like a lair, but for good guys.
Christina: I’d pay money to see you go Evil Willow.
Elli: Their interruptions are distracting, but I still managed to finish the staff for Disney Princess Rey this morning. Everyone in New Orleans is going to love it. And I got the best idea to create Princess Vivian for Fairy Con. But I need more fabric.
Taneesha: Rey, from Force Awakens? I thought it was a romance novel con or something?
Elli: You’d be surprised how many romance writers are geeks. They get the cosplay.
Taneesha: You just made enough to pay for this book con. How are you going to afford going to Fairy Con, too?
Elli: I don’t know. But I’ll figure it out. I always do.
Taneesha: But don’t some of these places run up to at least a grand for registration, hotel, food . . . ?
Elli: I sometimes auction off pieces or barter.
Taneesha: Look at you. I thought you kept them all, but what a way to monetize your passion.
Michelle: El, you could totally find a better paying job than barista or retail. Remember when I made that resume for you? It’s tailored so you could get an office job, something that pays a little better. Find the folder I bought you. I put copies in it.
Elli: What folder?
Michelle: The one I got you for your birthday.
Elli: Right, okay. It’s around here somewhere. Thanks!
Michelle: Don’t provide references. Tell them you’ll provide them and then stall as best as you can.
Elli: You’re so good to me, Miche. <3 <3
Taneesha: Feel better now, Miche? You’ve fixed at least one of us.
Michelle: Hush it. And, yes.
Michelle: Speaking of impotent fury, are you feeling better today, Neesha?
Taneesha: I’ve leveled down from pure rage to just wanting to throat-punch random people.
Christina: Call your brother. He always makes you remember you kind of like people.
Christina: And I don’t have bail money. So call him.
Taneesha: Did you spend it on coke or getting a Brazilian?
Christina: I’m offended. Coke is so eighties.
Taneesha: All right. I gotta go, but here’s a present: #embracingthebush2017
Christina: I’m out.
Michelle: Me, too. Lol
Aditi: I’m screencapping this so when the movement happens, we know how it all began.
Elli adjusted her ruffled necktie outside the mattress store. It matched the empire waistline of her long-sleeved shirt and pencil skirt perfectly. A simple headband held back the short strands of her blonde hair. And Mary Janes on her feet provided comfort for the long walk from the bus to the mattress store her parents’ friend owned.
If only they would embrace Elli’s life the way she did. It wasn’t exactly as she dreamed, but it came close—she had friends who accepted her, went to cons, made cosplay, and was rarely bored by her surroundings. How could she be bored when London—both England and Ontario—had conventions? She’d traveled to places like Atlanta, New York City, and San Diego. Her life was as colorful and eclectic as her rolls of fabric.
Before Elli forced herself to be practical again, she closed her eyes and lifted her face up to the sun. The last of the dirty, gray snow had melted from the streets, leaving the pavement damp but clean. That didn’t mean another round of snow wouldn’t drop down before spring officially began, so...