It was Monday and raining like a Biblical plague. This was the first day Auntie Carol and Lady Lynda would be alone with their proteges, Las Cabronas. Some of the girls even brought in their own babies for lack of a more suitable arrangement. Lady Lynda noticed that Auntie Carol was not her usual buoyant self.
“Don’t look so crestfallen, dear,” she intoned, “Rome was not built in a day.”
“Don’t I know it. Don’t I know it,” Auntie Carol replied. “It’s just that all of them are so hardened and so young. It’s a case of welchschmerz, world weariness. How can we instill in them faith, hope and charity?”
“I think, dear the lillies have been quilded,” replied Lady Lynda.”They’re whores, thieves, drug dealers and worse. I daresay, they won’t get into heaven.”
“Darling,” said Auntie Carol, “heaven would bore them. They have been brought up to believe they are trash. Cheap, expendable and worthless. So they put on this hardened facade. But it’s only a facade. They are the walking wounded.”
“Don’t I know it,” replied Lady Lynda. “To be or not to be, that is the question./ whether tis nobler in mind to suffer/ the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune/ Or take arm against a sea of troubles/ and by opposing end them/”
“Shakespeare, it would appear,” said Auntie Carol.
“Dear, you’re rhyming again,” said Lady Lynda. “Didn’t the doctor warn you that is one of the early signs of schizophrenia?”
“Sacre bleu, and heavens, no, I would hope,” replied Auntie Carol. “It’s a disease with me. Oh woe is me!”
Then the girls began to file in in their micro-mini skirts, and tight, stretch jeans. One girl had a tee shirt emblazoned with the words, “Dick Does the Trick,” with a miniature cock to one side of the letters. They wore those huge outrageous ear rings with their names on them. This depressed Auntie Carol as ladies either wore tasteful pearls or precious stones, and not to mention the tatoos of crawling snakes, skeletal heads , spiders and lewd bleeding roses. No, they were not ladies. This was a given.
“Ladies, quit milling around, and be seated,” said Auntie Carol.
“There aint no ladies in here, Miz Carol,” said Lala, “I’m the Countess of Cock and Balls.” And she laughed uproariously.
“Sacre Bleu,” intoned Auntie Carol. “I may wash your mouth out with soap. Such vulgarity!”
“You are such a card, Miz Carol,” said Lala afectionately. “But I love ya anyway. So old-fashioned!”
“I am not old fashioned,” sputtered Auntie Carol. “What was true in my day is still true today. No man wants a foul mouthed, loose tramp!”
“No, Miz Carol. You got it all wrong. No man wants anything but a tramp.” laughed Lala. There were catcalls and murmurings and laughter amongst the other girls.
Chickie, Lala’s girl, said,
“There aint no virgins around no more after age eleven!”
“There aren’t. Aint is not a word.” intoned Lady Lynda. “Proper English is the cornerstone of our civilization! Think if Cleopatra was foul mouthed. Would she have risen to such heights and captured the heart of Marc Anthony if she was? Just think about that for a minute!”
Lala laughed, and said,”Cleopatra was a Ho’. She slept her way to the top!” And the whole class exploded in laughter.
“Well,” said Lady Lynda, “You’re sleeping your way to the bottom. What’s true is true for everyone. Do you want to go on having babies out of wedlock, selling drugs, and whoring your young behinds?”
“Duh,” said Lala, “Well, yes. We aint got no choice. That’s life.”
“My dear, ” said Lady Lynda, Nothing is written, T. E. Lawrence.”
Lala replied, “Oh, hell, yes, it is. Shit to shit and dust to dust. You live: you die. And in between, you fuck and eat! Who the hell you think I am Princess Di?”
“No, darling, if you were Princess Di you’d be a rotting corpse. A little witticism for you,” said Lady Lynda.
“Oh, I’m laughing my ass off. Life is fuckin’ hard and you got to be hard to survive it!” intoned Lala.
“No being hard is for men,
a little bon mot for you. Oh, heavens, I’m being so racy, A lady should be soft, giving, and nurturing like the Blessed Madonna,” said Lady Lynda.
“I’ll remember that when Fransisco sticks his dick up my ass. Is that nurturing enough for you, Miz Lynda?”
“Women actually do that?” said Auntie Carol in amazement.
“Well, duh. You two don’t know jackshit! said Lala.
“We got to hustle. We got our babies to feed and we have to give the household money to our moms. We want to give our babies more than we ever had. And you aint understand that,” said Chickie who was holding her two month old infant. She was a tough looking Latino girls with masses of black hair trailing down her back.
“Let me cut to the chase,” said Lady Lynda, “And may I be crude. You’re all up shit creek without a paddle unless you change your ways. You’re trapped into history repeating itself. Like mother like daughter.”
“Lady Lynda, you cursed!”
said Lala incredulously.
Lady Lynda replied. “Drastic measures for drastic times. Unless you get some sort of specialized job and a decent education you are doomed to failure in life. You must act: Use your minds. Get some fortitude and defy destiny. Don’t repeat your mother’s mistakes and stop being victims of circumstance! Get off your asses and try! The world is hard on whores and drug dealers.It rewards predictiabilty and skill. Neither of which you have right now. You must break the mold to stop the cycle.”
“What she just say, Auntie Carol?” asked Lala.
“You must overcome your circumstances through an act of will. Again we have it, dear. Nothing is written and character is destiny. Don’t live your mother’s lives. Popping the babies out off your wombs and becoming poorer and poorer. Don’t be a vessel for any man, a semen collecter, if you will. Be your own woman,” exhorted Auntie Carol.
“I fuckin’ killed my bastard stepfather. How education gone make that go away,” said Lala, close to tears.
Lady Lynda took the girl in her arms and Lala burst into tears.
“Dear,” said Lady Lynda in her most comforting voice, “that was not your fault. You were protecting your baby sister the way your mother never protected you. It was a brave thing you did. We know all about it and we are sorry, so sorry. And if you ever need a shoulder to cry own we are both here for you, darling.”
“Oh, my heavens, yes,” said Auntie Carol. “Remember the movie, Gone With the Wind where Rhett walks out on Scarlet, and she says ‘Tomorrow is another day.'”
Lala brightened and said in a low voice, “Tomorrow is another day.”
And the sun, at that moment, broke out in glorious yellow rays, and through out the room there was a warm feeling and a quiet peacefulness.
And Dame Destiny sat on her emerald throne and folded her long fingers over her heart.
Written by CAROL ANN