Author: Sarah Klein

It comes to pass that at a certain population level, investing in the health of the working class makes “sense”. And this had come to pass. The natural disasters and diseases from climate change had truly whittled us down. But nobody wants to come down from the top, right? So they figured out some magic cheap food pastes that the plebs could afford, and gave them all healthcare. Except those poor fuckers actually had to work. You stop showing up to your assigned job, bam, no more pills for you, honey. They’ll check the records. The rest of us, of course, don’t. My daddy made sure I wouldn’t, just like his father before him. The only trouble is, how could we truly differentiate ourselves from those suckers who had to work for a living. And the answer, as always, is fashion.
I spent about three hours before the premiere of the new play getting ready. Jaundice was in this season. A subtle yellow tint to most of your exposed skin, but mostly your face will do. My spider angiomas? Belong in a museum. They’re artwork. I’ve spent hours working on bruises, but for whatever reason they’re a little trickier. The yellow tint really brings them out and helps with that, though.
I ran into my good friend Annie afterwards, who was looking a little unnaturally pale. I was wondering if she’d used makeup for it when she started speaking and her voice broke in despair. “Brianna, I have cancer,” she spluttered, before heaving a sob. “Breast cancer and they say that it’s probably treatable and they’re optimistic but apparently it’s already in some lymph nodes and they can’t tell me it’s 100% -” she broke off and covered her hands with her face. “Hey,” I said, and she sniffled and took her hands down to look at me. Definitely no makeup on, it would be running.
“What an opportunity! You are going to be a HIT in the fashion scene! Maybe a modeling contract! Think about it. If they’re going to do chemo, yeah? You will look so realistically sick because you’ll BE sick!” Annie appeared horrified, and I didn’t understand why. “Come on, you can afford all the best treatments, I’m sure they’ll figure it out,” I said, slapping her playfully on the arm. I reached over to lift up her chin. “You know, I never thought of it before, but bald could really suit you…”
I was shocked when she batted my hand away. “What the hell is wrong with you?” She yelled, and I looked around to make sure we weren’t making a scene while shushing her. “I have CANCER! The treatments are going to fuck me up! They’re going to be miserable! I could still die!”
I kept my cool while checking the tips of my fingers to make sure the red tint was still evenly applied. “Beauty is pain, they say,” I opined, tossing my hair and looking her in the eye.
“I cannot believe you,” she spat, and strode away. Good lord she was uptight. Good old Annie.
I guess I could’ve been a little more sympathetic, but she’s still so young, it’s TOTALLY possible she ends up on the cover of a magazine. And hey, what was that old saying, live fast die young and leave a good-looking corpse? Anyway, I’m thinking of making it up to her by showing her this place that will tattoo astonishingly accurate rashes. I’m thinking one on my shoulder and a little one on the underside of my wrist, what do you think?